ANGELO of Rev 2:1

How do I work out the meaning of a Greek text? How can I best understand the forms and vocabulary in this particular text?
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Iver Larsen » September 3rd, 2012, 3:59 pm

Joe,

You asked: "I understand each angel simply to be John. Do you think that conclusion is even possible based solely upon the greek?"

Several people have already responded, and the short answer is: No, it is not possible. The Greek text uses an imperative: You, John, is to write a message. The recipient of the message is the "angelos" for each church, which means "messenger" in Greek. What kind of messenger is unclear, but it cannot be John, and the speaker does not designate John as that messenger.
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Stirling Bartholomew » September 4th, 2012, 2:05 am

I totally agree with Iver. It isn't possible grammatically.
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Joe Rutherford » September 10th, 2012, 6:44 pm

Iver Larsen wrote:Joe,

You asked: "I understand each angel simply to be John. Do you think that conclusion is even possible based solely upon the greek?"

Several people have already responded, and the short answer is: No, it is not possible. The Greek text uses an imperative: You, John, is to write a message. The recipient of the message is the "angelos" for each church, which means "messenger" in Greek. What kind of messenger is unclear, but it cannot be John, and the speaker does not designate John as that messenger.

Rev 1:11 and Rev 1:19 contain the same imperative, simply, "GRAPSON/write". However in those cases the sense of "write to" does not surface in the translations. In Rev 2:1 GRAPSON is translated as "write to (someone)", though I do not understand why, cause it is the exact same word used in 1:11 and 1:19 and there are absoulutly no other modifiers (that I see) in 2:1 which would cast a different grammatical emphasis of action upon GRAPSON.

The only other modifier for ANGELOS is a definint article which translators state as "the". Would it be correct to say that the english word "to" has been added by translators for clarity in vs 2:1?
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby GlennDean » September 10th, 2012, 11:01 pm

Hi Joe:

the reason, in Rev 2:1, it is "Write to (someone)" is because of the presense of the indirect object of the imperative "Write". Rev 2:1 starts off with

τῷ ἀγγέλῳ <== this is in the dative (i.e. is the indirect object of a verb, the verb being "Write")

The "normal" translation for the dative is using the keyword "to".

Notice in 1:11 and 1:19 the verb "Write" does NOT have an indirect object, but one should note that there is a direct object (i.e. a noun in the accusative).

In 1:11, the direct object of "Write" is ὅ (which is the relative pronoun) and it is in the accusative (so is the direct object)

In 1:19, the direct object of "Write" is ἅ (which is the relative pronoun) and it is in the accusative (so is the direct object)

So, to answer your question on why the translators supplied the word "to" in Rev 2:1 is because the noun is in the dative (that is the case for the noun "angel" is in the dative).

Just a side note, there are 24 different "definite articles", 8 for the masculine, 8 for the feminine, 8 for the neuter nouns. For each 8 definite articles, 4 are for singular and 4 are for plural. For each of the 4, one each is for the nominative, genitive, dative, accusative.

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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Joe Rutherford » September 13th, 2012, 2:52 pm

Hi Glenn,

Yes I suppose this issue is about: What is the indirect object of GRAPSON? As you pointed out the normal/traditional interpretation is that TWi AGGELWi should be the indirect object and therefore would best be translated using the English "to".
This ideal has been in the Churches since Jerome and possibly as far back as the early 2nd Century AD. A significant theological issue involved is that of Church leadership structure. We can even read in 1st and 2nd Corinthians the pull and tug efforts of early Christians to model leadership structure after the usual secular pattern. Paul found it necessary to inform them that he and the other Apostles were simply servants of God and therefore should not be exalted as one more prominent than the other. Then in 2nd Corinthians we read as Paul is defending his God given place in the Church. The Corinthians seemed very determined to put into place a superiority based leadership structure. At some time after the Revelation was written, the "Letter of Clement" was written to the Corinthians. In that letter it would appear the Corinthians were still pushing to undo the established order of elders. History proves that in the 2nd century the Churches had forsaken the established elder system for the solo bishop or pastor system. Unto this day almost all denominations hold to that same leadership format. Given such historical changes, it is understandable why there is such a long tradition of visualizing TWi AGGELWi as the Church Pastor.

My understanding of Church leadership for local Churches is the original elder system which is discussed in several NT text. I know of no NT text which offers authorization for a solo Church Bishop, Pastor, etc. My conclusion is that Rev 2:1 could not possibly contain reference to "the Pastor". Internal evidences of Revelation also support this claim.

I submit that the indirect object of GRAPSON in Rev 2:1 is simply the words for the Church at Ephesus, which the Spirit is about to speak and John is to write. This also makes sense when we read the message to each of the 7 Churches. Each message is obviously to the entire Church and not to 1 individual angel, person, or otherwise.

In conclusion, I suppose this could be considered an issue of interpretation.
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Joe Rutherford » September 13th, 2012, 7:04 pm

Even if the message to each Church could not be described technicaly as the indirect object of GRAPSON, I still believe the message in each case is what John is being told to write, and that he is not being told to write to an angel. As previously stated, this falls in the general category of interpretation. This exercise is a dynamic help for me to begin to learn B greek. I would like to recognize everyone for taking the time to offer some good lessons in greek grammer. :!:
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby David Lim » September 14th, 2012, 11:03 pm

Joe Rutherford wrote:[...] What is the indirect object of GRAPSON? As you pointed out the normal/traditional interpretation is that TWi AGGELWi should be the indirect object and therefore would best be translated using the English "to". [...]

[...]

I submit that the indirect object of GRAPSON in Rev 2:1 is simply the words for the Church at Ephesus, which the Spirit is about to speak and John is to write. [...]


To take "τω αγγελω της εν εφεσω εκκλησιας" as the indirect object of "γραψον" is not just an interpretation but in this case the only possibility, because as others have already said, "τω αγγελω" is dative. Who that messenger is will be interpretation, but there is someone referred to as "the messenger of the assembly in Ephesus". Likewise words cannot be the indirect object of "γραψον", unless you mean something like "εν τοις λογοις τουτοις γραψον ..." which the text does not say.

Joe Rutherford wrote:Even if the message to each Church could not be described technicaly as the indirect object of GRAPSON, I still believe the message in each case is what John is being told to write, and that he is not being told to write to an angel.


As George already said, "αγγελος" does not mean "angel". The text just says that John is commanded to write to seven messengers, one for each of the seven assemblies.
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby timothy_p_mcmahon » September 15th, 2012, 1:58 am

Joe Rutherford wrote:I submit that the indirect object of GRAPSON in Rev 2:1 is simply the words...

No, that's the direct object — what John writes.

The indirect object (if that's even the appropriate term here) is the recipient of the writing, which, as David points out immediately above, is the αγγελω. The addressee of a letter in Greek is in the dative. This is the case in every epistle in the NT where the addressee is specified: πασιν τοις ουσιν εν ρωμη; πασιν τοις αγιοις εν χριστω ιησου τοις ουσιν εν φιλιπποις; τιτω γνησιω τεκνω; κτλ.

Joe Rutherford wrote:In conclusion, I suppose this could be considered an issue of interpretation.

Precisely. It's an issue of you allowing your desired interpretation to override the clear sense of the grammar.

Ironically (moderators: please pardon this brief dalliance), I agree with your theology on the issue. But there are other ways, consistent with the syntax, of deriving it. (If you'd care to PM or email me, please feel free.)
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Joe Rutherford » September 16th, 2012, 9:55 pm

timothy_p_mcmahon wrote:
Joe Rutherford wrote:I submit that the indirect object of GRAPSON in Rev 2:1 is simply the words...

No, that's the direct object — what John writes.

The indirect object (if that's even the appropriate term here) is the recipient of the writing, which, as David points out immediately above, is the αγγελω. The addressee of a letter in Greek is in the dative. This is the case in every epistle in the NT where the addressee is specified: πασιν τοις ουσιν εν ρωμη; πασιν τοις αγιοις εν χριστω ιησου τοις ουσιν εν φιλιπποις; τιτω γνησιω τεκνω; κτλ.

Joe Rutherford wrote:In conclusion, I suppose this could be considered an issue of interpretation.

Precisely. It's an issue of you allowing your desired interpretation to override the clear sense of the grammar.

Ironically (moderators: please pardon this brief dalliance), I agree with your theology on the issue. But there are other ways, consistent with the syntax, of deriving it. (If you'd care to PM or email me, please feel free.)

Hey Timothy, I'd be delighted to hear your analysis of the topic. PM or post if you'd like. I'm sure it would be a blessing. In your above post you refer to " the clear sense of the grammer". On that topic, one thing that stands out in this discussion is the constant reminder that AGGELWi is in the dative. What has not been pointed out, is that there are three general categories of the dative. Indirect object is one category. Instrumental is a dative category which no one has addressed in relation to AGGELWi. Is there some widely recognized grammatical rule which would forbid AGGELWi in Rev 2:1 to be classified as an instrumental dative?
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby klriley » September 17th, 2012, 1:39 am

Joe Rutherford wrote:Hey Timothy, I'd be delighted to hear your analysis of the topic. PM or post if you'd like. I'm sure it would be a blessing. In your above post you refer to " the clear sense of the grammer". On that topic, one thing that stands out in this discussion is the constant reminder that AGGELWi is in the dative. What has not been pointed out, is that there are three general categories of the dative. Indirect object is one category. Instrumental is a dative category which no one has addressed in relation to AGGELWi. Is there some widely recognized grammatical rule which would forbid AGGELWi in Rev 2:1 to be classified as an instrumental dative?


The 'instrumental dative' indicates the instrument with which one does something. If you can find a situation in which John writing with an AGGELOS makes sense, then feel free to consider it a possibility. Until then, I would go with the traditional reading of John writing TO an AGGELOS rather than WITH one. I hope we can ignore the locative category of the dative. It is probably possible to find some way in which either an instrumental or locative meaning can be found in AGGELWi, but surely the dative meaning is the most obvious and most logical one?
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