Kai

How can I best learn new vocabulary items? What aids are there and what pitfalls should be avoided? How does a beginner learn to use a lexicon?
Iver Larsen
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Re: Kai

Post by Iver Larsen » July 15th, 2011, 4:28 am

Mike,

It may help to think in terms of balancing two items. Kai is a word that is used to connect two words, phrases or clauses together, who function at the same level. With this function it is often called a coordinating conjuntion. There are about 8400 of these in the NT. When Kai joins words or phrases together, it is simple enough and similar to English "and".

When Kai joins clauses and sentences, it is more complicated. Kai can function like an English "then" as in Matt 4:19 (Follow me, and I will make you fishers of people). The English "and" can function the same way. But very often in the NT and more so in the LXX, Kai is a "Semitic kai". It reflects a Hebrew conjunction that simply links two clauses or sentences together and the meaning has to be inferred from context. Quite often, this Semitic kai has traditionally been translated by "and", but it does not function like English "and". You can see that easily if you compare the KJV with, say, the NIV.

The "rule" about anarthrous nouns is misleading.

When the Kai does not balance two items, it functions as an intensifier. It puts a spotlight on the following word (skipping any conjunctions). It still carries the basic sense of "addition". There are about 800 of those in the NT. In most of these (about 600) it is commonly translated "also" to indicate the addition aspect. For instance in Matt 6:10 (as in heaven, also on earth). Sometimes, the word is better translated as "even" in English, but that does not alter the basic usage in Greek. When used as an adverb, you will often find another clause connector, since Kai is not in that case functioning to connect clauses. For instance, you will find hOTI KAI in Matt 8:27 or DE KAI in Matt 10:30 or KAI GAR in Matt 15:27. When it functions as an adverb, it is rarely the first word of a clause, since that position is often taken up by a clause connector.

As you look at texts, you will get a good feel for the difference. Let me finish with one example from Matt 26:73:

Ἀληθῶς καὶ σὺ ἐξ αὐτῶν εἶ, καὶ γὰρ ἡ λαλιά σου δῆλόν σε ποιεῖ.

Surely, you, too, are (one) of them. After all, even/also your speech betrays you.

Mike Burke Deactivated
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Re: Kai

Post by Mike Burke Deactivated » June 7th, 2012, 11:15 pm

When Kai joins words or phrases together, it is simple enough and similar to English "and".

When Kai joins clauses and sentences, it is more complicated. Kai can function like an English "then" as in Matt 4:19 (Follow me, and I will make you fishers of people). The English "and" can function the same way. But very often in the NT and more so in the LXX, Kai is a "Semitic kai". It reflects a Hebrew conjunction that simply links two clauses or sentences together and the meaning has to be inferred from context. Quite often, this Semitic kai has traditionally been translated by "and", but it does not function like English "and". You can see that easily if you compare the KJV with, say, the NIV.
Would it mean in a passage like Rev. 14:9?

Καὶ ἄλλος ἄγγελος τρίτος ἠκολούθησεν αὐτοῖς λέγων ἐν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ· Εἴ τις προσκυνεῖ τὸ θηρίον καὶ τὴν εἰκόνα αὐτοῦ, καὶ λαμβάνει τὸ χάραγμα ἐπὶ τοῦ μετώπου αὐτοῦ ἢ ἐπὶ τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ,

Would it mean "and," "then," or "even"?

RandallButh
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Re: Kai

Post by RandallButh » June 8th, 2012, 2:01 am

Mike Burke wrote:
... But very often in the NT and more so in the LXX, Kai is a "Semitic kai". ...
... Rev. 14:9 Καὶ ἄλλος ἄγγελος τρίτος ἠκολούθησεν αὐτοῖς λέγων ἐν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ· Εἴ τις προσκυνεῖ τὸ θηρίον καὶ τὴν εἰκόνα αὐτοῦ, καὶ λαμβάνει τὸ χάραγμα ἐπὶ τοῦ μετώπου αὐτοῦ ἢ ἐπὶ τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ,

Would it mean "and," "then," or "even"?
But what do "and," "then," "even," or "Semitic kai" mean?

Conjunctions and the linking of different clauses need to be viewed as a system and their meanings partially depend on the other options that were not chosen. They are also specific to any one language.
Your question can be rephrased
τί λέγει τὸ "καί" καὶ τίς ἐστιν ἡ αὐτοῦ δύναμις;

The best place for you to start would be Steve Runge's Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament.

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Kai

Post by Barry Hofstetter » June 8th, 2012, 7:24 am

Mike Burke wrote:
When Kai joins words or phrases together, it is simple enough and similar to English "and".

When Kai joins clauses and sentences, it is more complicated. Kai can function like an English "then" as in Matt 4:19 (Follow me, and I will make you fishers of people). The English "and" can function the same way. But very often in the NT and more so in the LXX, Kai is a "Semitic kai". It reflects a Hebrew conjunction that simply links two clauses or sentences together and the meaning has to be inferred from context. Quite often, this Semitic kai has traditionally been translated by "and", but it does not function like English "and". You can see that easily if you compare the KJV with, say, the NIV.
Would it mean in a passage like Rev. 14:9?

Καὶ ἄλλος ἄγγελος τρίτος ἠκολούθησεν αὐτοῖς λέγων ἐν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ· Εἴ τις προσκυνεῖ τὸ θηρίον καὶ τὴν εἰκόνα αὐτοῦ, καὶ λαμβάνει τὸ χάραγμα ἐπὶ τοῦ μετώπου αὐτοῦ ἢ ἐπὶ τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ,

Would it mean "and," "then," or "even"?
Look at the passage in context, Verse 6 begins wth καὶ , and so does vs. 8, 10, 11. In the rather unusual syntax of Revelation, καὶ in this passage seems simply to be a generic connector between clauses. "And" would probably be the best English rendering.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Kai

Post by Stephen Carlson » June 8th, 2012, 8:58 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Mike Burke wrote:Would it mean "and," "then," or "even"?
Look at the passage in context, Verse 6 begins wth καὶ , and so does vs. 8, 10, 11. In the rather unusual syntax of Revelation, καὶ in this passage seems simply to be a generic connector between clauses. "And" would probably be the best English rendering.
I like the way this answer is put. The English words "and," "then," or "even" are not primitive meaning by which we evaluate the Greek. Rather καί has a meaning, a generic (additive) connector, which English has a couple ways of rendering. In v.9, I think "and" is appropriate. In v.10, the first καί could be rendered as "then" (for it separates the apodosis form the protasis) and the rest as "and." In all these cases, I wouldn't say that the Greek καί means different things but that English needs different words.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Mike Burke Deactivated
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Re: Kai

Post by Mike Burke Deactivated » June 8th, 2012, 2:44 pm

There's still something I don't understand here.

If the Secret Service were given instructions (in English) that no one was to be allowed into a State Dinner without formal attire, an invitation, and a dinner companion, it would mean they didn't get in without all three.

If the instructions were that no one get in without formal attire, and an invitation--even a dinner companion, it could be taken to mean that a properly attired dinner companion with an invitation was their guests invitation.

Now I realize that that may be a bad analogy, but it does get to my question here.

How can there be a "generic connector between clauses," when clauses can be connected in such different ways?

Getting back to my admittedly poor analogy, if the instructions were that nobody get in without an invitation or the proper attire, it would mean that any uninvited guest could get in with a tuxedo.

"And," "or," and "even" are all connectors in English, but they mean very different things.

Is it possible to look at a passage like "Καὶ ἄλλος ἄγγελος τρίτος ἠκολούθησεν αὐτοῖς λέγων ἐν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ· Εἴ τις προσκυνεῖ τὸ θηρίον καὶ τὴν εἰκόνα αὐτοῦ, καὶ λαμβάνει τὸ χάραγμα ἐπὶ τοῦ μετώπου αὐτοῦ ἢ ἐπὶ τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ" and know what meaning "kai: carries?

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Kai

Post by Stephen Carlson » June 8th, 2012, 3:16 pm

Mike Burke wrote:How can there be a "generic connector between clauses," when clauses can be connected in such different ways?
That's why I clarified it to "generic (additive) connector." Though one of the most abstract connective particles in Greek, it marks some kind of continuity or addition between two items. When used with parallel items, it tends to be rendered with "and" in English, when used with non parallel items, it tends to be rendered "also" or "even" depending on context.

Your example features an ambiguity of scope, whether the connector connects the dinner companion to the invitation ("and") or to the no one ("even"). Sometimes, the scope of what καί is ambiguous, and in that case you'd need to context to help you out (if it can).
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

David Lim
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Re: Kai

Post by David Lim » June 9th, 2012, 6:18 am

Mike Burke wrote:[...]

How can there be a "generic connector between clauses," when clauses can be connected in such different ways?

Getting back to my admittedly poor analogy, if the instructions were that nobody get in without an invitation or the proper attire, it would mean that any uninvited guest could get in with a tuxedo.

"And," "or," and "even" are all connectors in English, but they mean very different things.

Is it possible to look at a passage like "Καὶ ἄλλος ἄγγελος τρίτος ἠκολούθησεν αὐτοῖς λέγων ἐν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ· Εἴ τις προσκυνεῖ τὸ θηρίον καὶ τὴν εἰκόνα αὐτοῦ, καὶ λαμβάνει τὸ χάραγμα ἐπὶ τοῦ μετώπου αὐτοῦ ἢ ἐπὶ τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ" and know what meaning "kai: carries?
"και" can only join two clauses/phrases of exactly the same type. In other words, it can join two noun phrases, or two verb phrases, or two participles, or two adverbial phrases... Not only the structure but the context sometimes is necessary to determine what are the two clauses/phrases that "και" joins. As Stephen and Barry have said, in the case of Rev 14:9, it connects two complete sentences, but you would only be able to tell by looking at what came before the "και"! When you observe the structure of the preceding sentences you realise that it does indeed join "ειδον αγγελον πετομενον ... εχοντα ..." and "αλλος δευτερος αγγελος ηκολουθησεν λεγων ..." and "αλλος αγγελος τριτος ηκολουθησεν αυτοις λεγων ...". We can consider it to always assert both clauses/phrases that it joins. I am excluding the usage of "και" which only modifies the following clause/phrase and the construction "και X και Y". Iver has provided examples of the first. The second appears in places such as Matt 20:28, Mark 9:22, Luke 10:30, Phlp 4:16, John 7:28 ("καμε" = "και με"), John 11:48, Acts 2:29. You cannot understand Greek in terms of English, because the way the Greek words are strung together to convey meaning is different from the way the English words have to be strung together to convey the same meaning. Rather you have to first understand the meaning of the Greek syntax to know the relationships between the clauses/phrases, before you can even decide what English words are suitable to represent them. In the case of Rev 14:6-9, the syntax indicates that it asserts all three statements to be true: "I saw [a] messenger ...", "another second messenger followed ..." and "another messenger, [a] third, followed them ...". Hope this helps!
δαυιδ λιμ

Mike Burke Deactivated
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Re: Kai

Post by Mike Burke Deactivated » June 9th, 2012, 1:38 pm

David Lim wrote:...In the case of Rev 14:6-9, the syntax indicates that it asserts all three statements to be true: "I saw [a] messenger ...", "another second messenger followed ..." and "another messenger, [a] third, followed them ...". Hope this helps!
Thank you, but I'm more interested in the latter two occurrences of "kai" in that verse.

...εἴ τις προσκυνεῖ τὸ θηρίον καὶ τὴν εἰκόνα αὐτοῦ καὶ λαμβάνει χάραγμα ἐπὶ τοῦ μετώπου αὐτοῦ ἢ ἐπὶ τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ

Could it be translated something like "if any man worship the beast, even his image, even receiving his mark etc"?

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Kai

Post by Jonathan Robie » June 9th, 2012, 5:18 pm

Mike Burke wrote:
David Lim wrote:...In the case of Rev 14:6-9, the syntax indicates that it asserts all three statements to be true: "I saw [a] messenger ...", "another second messenger followed ..." and "another messenger, [a] third, followed them ...". Hope this helps!
Thank you, but I'm more interested in the latter two occurrences of "kai" in that verse.

...εἴ τις προσκυνεῖ τὸ θηρίον καὶ τὴν εἰκόνα αὐτοῦ καὶ λαμβάνει χάραγμα ἐπὶ τοῦ μετώπου αὐτοῦ ἢ ἐπὶ τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ

Could it be translated something like "if any man worship the beast, even his image, even receiving his mark etc"?
I'm not sure what "even his image", etc. means in your translation. What do you mean by this, and what's your argument for translating it this way? Does any translation use 'even' here?
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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