oti that, because, since

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oti that, because, since

Postby Ben Hepburn » October 12th, 2011, 9:23 pm

I have been told that the Greek conjunction oti rendered as that in the AV does not always need to be translated into English. Is this so? By not rendering into English makes no real difference to the meaning. The software I have tells me it is used in the AV
as.... ;that 612 times;, for 264 times;, because 173 times;, how that 21 times;, how 11 times;, and another 212 times in miscellaneous ways.

If it can be a redundant word how do we know when it can be dropped? Or should it always be used in one of its forms.
The new American Standard Bible renders oti in the following ways fact , how , saying , since , so , then , though , what .

Another Lexicon I have gives these meanings because , everyone who , one who , ones who , these , these matters which , this , what , whatever things , which , who , whoever , yet .

In Matthew 2:16 we read "Then Herod when he say "(oti) that" he was mocked of the wise men.." we could leave out the "(oti) that" and the sentence would still make sense. So does it really matter if we include it or leave it out
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Re: oti that, because, since

Postby Jonathan Robie » October 13th, 2011, 10:03 am

Hi Ben, and welcome to B-Greek!

First off, a couple of things on B-Greek policy. Your user name should reflect your full name - if you tell me your full name, I can change it for you.

There's a good answer to your question here:

Common Uses of ὅτι

Also: you simply can't understand how a Greek word works in a Greek sentence by translating it into English first - particularly when it comes to the little words that are so commonly used. I'd start by reading through the examples that Rod gives in the above article.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: oti that, because, since

Postby Ben Hepburn » October 13th, 2011, 10:03 pm

Thank you

That link was very helpfull.

I have just started self studying using a book by Dr. Mounce "Basics of Biblical Greek." It does not cover conjunctios as far as I could determin
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Re: oti that, because, since

Postby David Lim » October 13th, 2011, 11:30 pm

ben57 wrote:I have been told that the Greek conjunction oti rendered as that in the AV does not always need to be translated into English. Is this so? By not rendering into English makes no real difference to the meaning. The software I have tells me it is used in the AV
as.... ;that 612 times;, for 264 times;, because 173 times;, how that 21 times;, how 11 times;, and another 212 times in miscellaneous ways.

If it can be a redundant word how do we know when it can be dropped? Or should it always be used in one of its forms.
The new American Standard Bible renders oti in the following ways fact , how , saying , since , so , then , though , what .

Another Lexicon I have gives these meanings because , everyone who , one who , ones who , these , these matters which , this , what , whatever things , which , who , whoever , yet .

In Matthew 2:16 we read "Then Herod when he say "(oti) that" he was mocked of the wise men.." we could leave out the "(oti) that" and the sentence would still make sense. So does it really matter if we include it or leave it out


Besides what Jonathan has said, many interlinears, software and lexicons are highly misleading. For example, "οτι" has no connotation of "another", "everyone", "matters" or "yet". A good lexicon will show the many different ways a single word can be used in different grammatical constructions and varying contexts (for example you can check LSJ at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/mor ... ek#lexicon), but you have to learn at least "a little" Greek first. You will see that "οτι" is the identical spelling of two rather different words, one pronoun in only two of its declensions and one conjunction.
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Re: oti that, because, since

Postby Ben Hepburn » October 14th, 2011, 2:08 am

Hello David

Thank you for that.

What is a good lexicon that will cover that sort of material. I have Vines and Strongs. Neither cover in detail 'oti' . I am assuming from what you said that there are a better more intensive Lexicons out there. So can you recommend some really good ones that I can see if they are available in an Christian Book shops in the city where I live and if not then on line.

Thank you
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Re: oti that, because, since

Postby Barry Hofstetter » October 14th, 2011, 7:19 am

Yes, understanding these things is always better if you actually learn "a little Greek" first.

I know a little Hebrew,
And I know a little Greek,
one runs a pizza shop,
the other sweeps the street.

:lol:

The better a sense you have of the way the language actually works, the better you can evaluate such comments. As for ὅτι in particular, one of it's major usages is to introduce either indirect statements or direct quotations. If the former, we often retain it in English:

George said that he had studied Greek.

If direct, we leave it out:

George said: "I have studied Greek."

Of course, English is flexible -- George said he had studied Greek.

No difference in meaning, just style (and English teachers will tell you, of the last example, [that] it's better to leave it in if you are writing a formal paper, and but it's ok to leave it out in informal writing and speech).

It's really more of an issue with English than Greek, which is why it's important to know precisely how the Greek works before you go any farther.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Re: oti that, because, since

Postby Jonathan Robie » October 14th, 2011, 8:46 am

Ben Hepburn wrote:What is a good lexicon that will cover that sort of material. I have Vines and Strongs. Neither cover in detail 'oti' . I am assuming from what you said that there are a better more intensive Lexicons out there. So can you recommend some really good ones that I can see if they are available in an Christian Book shops in the city where I live and if not then on line.


For little words like ὅτι, a good lexicon can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. I think grammars are better places to look for the little words. Or just ask here on B-Greek, people will help you figure out where to look for answers.

The best lexicon for New Testament Greek is this one:

A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Edition
http://www.amazon.com/Greek-English-Lexicon-Testament-Christian-Literature/dp/0226039331/

Look at alternate sources, you can pay as much as $150 or as little as $100 for it. It's one of the most useful resources you can buy for Greek.

Online, the best available lexicon is LSJ, available on Perseus. Here's the entry for ὅτι:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=%E1%BD%85%CF%84%CE%B9#lexicon
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: oti that, because, since

Postby David Lim » October 15th, 2011, 5:30 am

Ben Hepburn wrote:What is a good lexicon that will cover that sort of material. I have Vines and Strongs. Neither cover in detail 'oti' . I am assuming from what you said that there are a better more intensive Lexicons out there. So can you recommend some really good ones that I can see if they are available in an Christian Book shops in the city where I live and if not then on line.


Actually it is not really about how long a lexicon entry is but rather how accurate it is. I would say that "οτι" is mainly used to mean:
(1) that (conjunction that takes the succeeding complete clause and returns a noun clause)
(1.1) [John 1:34] "καγω εωρακα και μεμαρτυρηκα οτι ουτος εστιν ο υιος του θεου" = "and I have seen and have testified that this [one] is the son of God"
(1.2) [1 John 4:9] "εν τουτω εφανερωθη η αγαπη του θεου εν ημιν οτι τον υιον αυτου τον μονογενη απεσταλκεν ο θεος εις τον κοσμον ινα ζησωμεν δι αυτου" = "in this the love of God was manifested: that God has sent forth his only-begotten son into the world so that we might live through him."
(2) that (conjunction that takes the succeeding complete clause and returns a quotation) (it is often not even used in Greek like in John 1:26, and standard English never uses such a construction as "saying that" to introduce a quotation)
(2.1) [John 1:32] "και εμαρτυρησεν ιωαννης λεγων οτι τεθεαμαι το πνευμα καταβαινον ωσει περιστεραν εξ ουρανου και εμεινεν επ αυτον" = "and John testified, saying that, I have beheld the spirit coming down as if [it] [was] [a] dove out of heaven and [it] remained on him."
(3) because (conjunction that connects two complete clauses and returns a complete clause)
(3.1) [John 1:16-17] "και εκ του πληρωματος αυτου ημεις παντες ελαβομεν και χαριν αντι χαριτος οτι ο νομος δια μωσεως εδοθη η χαρις και η αληθεια δια ιησου χριστου εγενετο" = "and out of his fullness we all received and grace for grace because: the law was given through Moses; the grace and the truth came to be through Jesus Christ."
(3.2) [Matt 5:34-35] "εγω δε λεγω υμιν μη ομοσαι ολως μητε εν τω ουρανω οτι θρονος εστιν του θεου μητε εν τη γη οτι υποποδιον εστιν των ποδων αυτου μητε εις ιεροσολυμα οτι πολις εστιν του μεγαλου βασιλεως" = "but I say to you, do not swear at all, neither by the heaven, because [it] is [the] throne of God, nor by the earth, because [it] is [the] footstool of his feet, nor to Jerusalem, because [it] is [the] city of the great king"
(4) (indefinite relative pronoun) that which (the case within the relative clause is either nominative or accusative and the case of the whole relative clause depends on the context) (some references will list this as "ο τι" but the original texts have no spacing anyway)
(4.1) [John 14:13] "και οτι αν αιτησητε εν τω ονοματι μου τουτο ποιησω ινα δοξασθη ο πατηρ εν τω υιω" = "and that which you shall ask in my name, this I will do, so that the father might be glorified in the son"
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Re: oti that, because, since

Postby cwconrad » October 15th, 2011, 9:09 am

David Lim wrote:Actually it is not really about how long a lexicon entry is but rather how accurate it is. I would say that "οτι" is mainly used to mean: ...


I'd say that David Lim's accounting of usages of ὅτι (which I don't fault in its substance) is itself pretty much like a lexical entry. But for my own part, I think that one really does not gain a full sense of the range of usage of ὅτι except through voluminous reading -- you can be sure that you'll meet it repeatedly on almost any page of text. It might be helpful to note that comparable relative pronouns in other languages often carry the same broad range of usage: Latin quod, French que, Italian che; German distinguishes orthographically the conjunction daß from the relative pronoun das from which it derives, just as Greek orthographic convention distinguishes the conjunction ὅτι from the pronoun with the parts spaced, ὅ τι.

I have also found very helpful Margaret Sim's dissertation on ὅτι and ἵνα, now published as Marking Thought and Talk in New Testament Greek: New Light from Linguistics on the Particles 'hina' and 'hoti' (James Clarke & Co, 2011).
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
… ἐπειδὴ καὶ τὸν οἶνον ἠξίους
πίνειν, συνεκποτέ’ ἐστί σοι καὶ τὴν τρύγα Aristophanes, Plutus 1085
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Re: oti that, because, since

Postby Ben Hepburn » October 21st, 2011, 1:04 am

Thank you all for the information. I can see that I have to save my pennies in order to purchase a good lexicon such as A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Here in Australia it sells for $150,

My study of Greek is going to long and slow b ut I will get there one day
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