μάχαιρα

How can I best learn the paradigms of nouns and verbs and the other inflected parts of speech?
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Danny King
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μάχαιρα

Post by Danny King » September 25th, 2015, 3:41 am

Hello everyone. I'm confused with this word:
μάχαιρα, ης, ἡ

1) Why is the genitive -ης and not -ας when the second last letter is ρ?
2) Are there any other such exceptions (where the penultimate letter is ι, ε or ρ, yet the genitive and dative singular use η instead of α) in the NT?

Thank you.

cwconrad
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Re: μάχαιρα

Post by cwconrad » September 25th, 2015, 6:47 am

Danny King wrote:Hello everyone. I'm confused with this word:
μάχαιρα, ης, ἡ

1) Why is the genitive -ης and not -ας when the second last letter is ρ?
2) Are there any other such exceptions (where the penultimate letter is ι, ε or ρ, yet the genitive and dative singular use η instead of α) in the NT?
Good question, one of the kind that BDF serves as a good resource to check:
43. (1) Substantives in -ρᾰ (rare) follow predominantly the analogy of those in -σσα, -λλα etc. in the early NT MSS, and frequently do so in Koine elsewhere; i.e. they have -ης -ῃ in the gen. and dat. sing. instead of Attic -ᾱς -ᾳ. The same is true of those in -υῖα (§8), while those in -ειᾰ (and the cardinal μίᾰ) retain ᾱ throughout. (2) Some nouns have -νᾰ -νᾰν (Hellenistic) for the old -νη -νην.

(1) Σπείρης A 10:1 etc. (PPar 69.c9 [232 AD], BGU I 142.10 [159 AD], II 462.5 [150–6 AD], Mitteis, Chr. 372 III 7, IV 11, but σπείρᾳ V 5, 9 [ii AD]), μαχαίρῃ A 12:2 etc., πλημύρης (cf. §11(2)) Lk 6:48, πρῴρης A 27:30, Σαπφείρῃ 5:1, συνειδυίης 5:2. M.–H. 118. The adj. στεῖρα retains ᾱ: στείρᾳ Lk 1:36. Against ξύστρης, γεφύρης and the like, Cramer, Anec. Ox. III 247.16. Examples like δευτέρῃ (Reinhold 48), παλαίστρῃ (Helb. 31f.), πορφύρης (Mayser I1 12) etc. (Psaltes 143, 187) from subst. and adj. in -ρᾱ do not appear in the NT.
(2) Πτέρναν Jn 3:18 OT, πρύμνα A 27:41 (cf. πρῷρα in the same vs.), σμύρναν Mt 2:11. Cf. Solmsen 233f., 236.


Blass, F., Debrunner, A., & Funk, R. W. (1961). A Greek grammar of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (p. 25). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

cwconrad
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Re: μάχαιρα

Post by cwconrad » September 25th, 2015, 8:04 am

cwconrad wrote:
Danny King wrote:Hello everyone. I'm confused with this word:
μάχαιρα, ης, ἡ

1) Why is the genitive -ης and not -ας when the second last letter is ρ?
2) Are there any other such exceptions (where the penultimate letter is ι, ε or ρ, yet the genitive and dative singular use η instead of α) in the NT?
Good question, one of the kind that BDF serves as a good resource to check
For clarity's sake, I meant that BDF deals with this kind of Hellenistic variation from standard usage of earlier classical Attic.
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Danny King
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Re: μάχαιρα

Post by Danny King » September 25th, 2015, 11:45 am

Excellent answer, cwconrad, thank you very much. It's good to know that this "weird" form is a Koine deviation from the Attic. Unfortunately, most of the examples are words that are not in my vocabulary. :lol:

I'm curious about the exception, σπείρᾳ. Is this a variant reading for Acts 10:1 and are IV 11, V 5 and 9 the witnesses? I thought V 5 was verse 5. :?

Stephen Carlson
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Re: μάχαιρα

Post by Stephen Carlson » September 26th, 2015, 3:22 am

Danny King wrote:I'm curious about the exception, σπείρᾳ. Is this a variant reading for Acts 10:1 and are IV 11, V 5 and 9 the witnesses? I thought V 5 was verse 5. :?
No, IV 11, V 5, and V 9 cite papyri collected and published in Grundzüge und Chrestomathie der Papyruskunde by Wilcken, Ulrich, 1862-1944; and Mitteis, Ludwig, 1859-1921.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Louis L Sorenson
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Re: μάχαιρα

Post by Louis L Sorenson » September 26th, 2015, 9:22 am

Thanks Carl.

When we were looking at female names in class, I was a bit confused by names like Ἰωάν(ν)α.This seems to be a productive ending for other female names also

Ἰωάν(ν)α, ας, ἡ (on the spelling s. B-D-F §40; 53, 3) Joanna Lk 8:3; 24:10.
Μάρθα, ας, ἡ (מָרְתָּא ‘mistress’; s. B-D-F §53, 3. Plut., Mar. 414 [17, 2] Σύραν γυναῖκα, Μάρθαν ὄνομα; BGU 1153 I, 3 [14 B.C.]; 1155, 4 [10 B.C.]) Martha
Χριστίνα (not in the NT)

BDF explains this variation also:
BDF §43(2) Some nouns have -νᾰ -νᾰν (Hellenistic) for the old -νη -νην.
Note (2) Πτέρναν Jn 3:18 OT, πρύμνα A 27:41 (cf. πρῷρα in the same vs.), σμύρναν Mt 2:11. Cf. Solmsen 233f., 236.
Blass, F., Debrunner, A., & Funk, R. W. (1961). A Greek grammar of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (p. 25). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Danny King
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Re: μάχαιρα

Post by Danny King » September 26th, 2015, 12:19 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote: No, IV 11, V 5, and V 9 cite papyri collected and published in Grundzüge und Chrestomathie der Papyruskunde by Wilcken, Ulrich, 1862-1944; and Mitteis, Ludwig, 1859-1921.
Thank you, Stephen.
Last edited by Danny King on September 26th, 2015, 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Danny King
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Re: μάχαιρα

Post by Danny King » September 26th, 2015, 12:27 pm

Louis L Sorenson wrote: When we were looking at female names in class, I was a bit confused by names like Ἰωάν(ν)α.This seems to be a productive ending for other female names also

Ἰωάν(ν)α, ας, ἡ (on the spelling s. B-D-F §40; 53, 3) Joanna Lk 8:3; 24:10.
Μάρθα, ας, ἡ (מָרְתָּא ‘mistress’; s. B-D-F §53, 3. Plut., Mar. 414 [17, 2] Σύραν γυναῖκα, Μάρθαν ὄνομα; BGU 1153 I, 3 [14 B.C.]; 1155, 4 [10 B.C.]) Martha
Χριστίνα (not in the NT)
Thanks for more examples. It's interesting to see that names are affected as well.

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