ANGELO of Rev 2:1

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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Joe Rutherford » September 17th, 2012, 8:46 am

klriley wrote:
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?

The suggestion of the possibility that the dative be understood as instrumental is based on the fact that John is an instrument in the hand of the Lord for the purpose of writing to the 7 Churches. Context is that God is speaking to John and calls him TWi AGGELWi / then speaks the Church John is appointed to as angelic minister / then orders John to write / then John is told the message he is to write for each Church. The usual greeting to the seven Churches from John is written in vs 1:4, and John is not writing another individualized greeting, but is writing what God says. So again, I see this as a possibility of the grammer. This is also based on my belief that John is the 7 angels to the 7 Churches
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Stephen Carlson » September 17th, 2012, 9:40 am

Joe Rutherford wrote:The 'instrumental dative' indicates the instrument with which one does something.


It's my impression that the instrumental dative works with non-animate objects, not a human. Do you have examples of instrumental datives for people?
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby klriley » September 17th, 2012, 7:00 pm

Joe Rutherford wrote:The suggestion of the possibility that the dative be understood as instrumental is based on the fact that John is an instrument in the hand of the Lord for the purpose of writing to the 7 Churches. Context is that God is speaking to John and calls him TWi AGGELWi / then speaks the Church John is appointed to as angelic minister / then orders John to write / then John is told the message he is to write for each Church. The usual greeting to the seven Churches from John is written in vs 1:4, and John is not writing another individualized greeting, but is writing what God says. So again, I see this as a possibility of the grammer. This is also based on my belief that John is the 7 angels to the 7 Churches


John may indeed be an instrument in the hands of the Lord, but that has nothing to do with whether the grammatical dative is being used as an instrumental dative. With humans/animates I doubt you can have an instrumental dative. If you can find one or two other examples, then it might be worth exploring the possibility here. Grammar books usually indicate that it doesn't happen. Even the comitative dative seems unlikely, and doesn't fit your theory. The grammar indicates a plain and simple dative. In verse 1 you have a clear distinction made between the AGGELOS (the bearer of the message - DIA + genitive) and John (the recipient - simple dative case), and I see no grammatical evidence that that distinction ceases. The grammar does not support equating John and the AGGELOS in any verse in chapter 1. If you look at the Grammar, you will see that the 7 churches in v.4 have the same relationship to John as the AGGELOS does in the following chapter. Both the 7 churches and the AGGELOS are the ones to whom [dative case] the message is sent. When it comes to theology everyone is free to believe as they will, but the grammar simply doesn't support identifying the AGGELOS of each church with John. I don't believe the grammar can tell us who or what the AGGELOS is, but it cannot be John. John is identified as the DOULOS, not the AGGELOS, and they cannot be the same person.

Often you will find that in general there are a number of possibilities with Greek grammar when viewed as theory, but in any actual context those possibilities are narrowed down to a smaller number of probabilities. In this chapter, the dative case is narrowed down to a simple dative indicating the recipient of the writing/message.
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Barry Hofstetter » September 18th, 2012, 6:35 am

Why make this so complicated? You have the word γράφω. It is often used with the dative of indirect object, the one to whom you write. Human agency is normally represented with a preposition, such as διά. I simply can't imagine anyone reading this of any other construction here.
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Joe Rutherford » September 18th, 2012, 4:04 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:
Joe Rutherford wrote:The 'instrumental dative' indicates the instrument with which one does something.


It's my impression that the instrumental dative works with non-animate objects, not a human. Do you have examples of instrumental datives for people?

I've done little research and am very much a beginning greek student. Daniel Wallace in "Greek Grammer beyond the Basics", cites Gal 2:8 as an example of Dative of Means/Instrument. He also states that this application is "concieved of as impersonal". Concerning Gal 2:8 Wallace writes (pg163), "Although Peter and Paul are persons, their personality is not in view here: rather, they are presented as instruments in the hands of God.". Whether or not Rev 2:1 could be rightly placed in this group, I'm not sure. Wallace also discusses the dative of agency (pg 163). He believes that group to be very limited in the NT and cites what he considers to be common errors by students and commentators. I personaly do not rule out the traditional reading of Rev 2:1, but fluency in B Greek could be years away for me. Maybe by then the whole matter will have become transparent.

BTW-- B-Greek forum is a blessing!
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Stephen Carlson » September 19th, 2012, 3:38 am

Thanks for the cite to Wallace. It is interesting. I have to say that I've read Gal 2:8 many times and never thought of it as a dative of instrument. Rather, it appears to me to be, not an instrumental dative, but a locative dative, e.g., a dative of sphere. That Wallace has to suppose that Peter and Paul are somehow depersonalized here shows that Gal 2:8 rather poorly fits the notion of an instrument dative.
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby David Lim » September 19th, 2012, 11:20 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
Joe Rutherford wrote:The 'instrumental dative' indicates the instrument with which one does something.


It's my impression that the instrumental dative works with non-animate objects, not a human. Do you have examples of instrumental datives for people?


Hello Stephen! While I already stated, as Barry just repeated, that I think there is only one meaning possible for "τω αγγελω", which is "to the messenger", I have previously given many examples of people as instrumental datives at http://www-test.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1342&sid=b9b3d335613f2b10b5e3338d4a253269&sid=b9b3d335613f2b10b5e3338d4a253269#p6828. Here is another that I happen to remember from the LXX:
[LXX Psa 18:29] οτι εν σοι ρυσθησομαι απο πειρατηριου και εν τω θεω μου υπερβησομαι τειχος
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Stephen Carlson » September 20th, 2012, 3:17 am

Hi David. This thread is about bare datives, not objects of the preposition ἐν. Even in the cases you cited, I believe there's a plausible case for a common locative/sphere of influence interpretation of ἐν + dative rather than an unusual instrumental with an animate noun, but let's not go off topic here.
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Joe Rutherford » September 20th, 2012, 9:29 am

Hello again everyone. I've had a change of mind about this issue and have seen the wisdom of accepting the normal translation of Rev 2:1(a). One reason for this is that there is a connection between that text contained in chapters 2 and 3, and other text in Revelation. As the vision continues, John does see 7 angels. Therefore, in view of the normal translation, I consider there has to be a direct connection. I'll not strain the rules for this forum by discussing all these issues. If anyone would like to get into that, please PM.
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby David Lim » September 20th, 2012, 8:50 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:Hi David. This thread is about bare datives, not objects of the preposition ἐν. Even in the cases you cited, I believe there's a plausible case for a common locative/sphere of influence interpretation of ἐν + dative rather than an unusual instrumental with an animate noun, but let's not go off topic here.


Yes sure!

Joe Rutherford wrote:[...] As the vision continues, John does see 7 angels. Therefore, in view of the normal translation, I consider there has to be a direct connection. [...]


Perhaps I want to point out that we cannot assume that whenever a writer mentions seven messengers, it refers to the same messengers. This is because in Rev 2-3, he clearly specified who was the messenger whom he was talking about, by saying something like "τω αγγελω της εν εφεσω εκκλησιας", where "της εν εφεσω εκκλησιας" is restrictive. Each reference to "seven messengers" may or may not be to the same group. For example, "τους επτα αγγελους οι ενωπιον του θεου εστηκασιν" in Rev 8 and afterward does not necessarily refer to those in Rev 2-3, as "οι ενωπιον του θεου εστηκασιν" is again restrictive. However, the seven messengers in Rev 2-3 were actually mentioned earlier in Rev 1:20 as "οι επτα αστερες αγγελοι των επτα εκκλησιων εισιν".
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