Why is this article causing me troubles

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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John Christof
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Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by John Christof » July 18th, 2013, 12:21 pm

Hello, I am having difficulties with the article in the following line of Titus 3,5:

οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων τῶν ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ

What does τῶν refer to or why does it follow and not preceed ἔργων? Is this an ellipsis - but what is the missing word and how would that be translated?
Here is the full sentence:

ὅτε δὲ ἡ χρηστότης καὶ ἡ φιλανθρωπία ἐπεφάνη
τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν θεοῦ,
οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων τῶν ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ
ἃ ἐποιήσαμεν ἡμεῖς
ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὸ αὐτοῦ ἔλεος
ἔσωσεν ἡμᾶς διὰ λουτροῦ παλιγγενεσίας
καὶ ἀνακαινώσεως πνεύματος ἁγίου,
οὗ ἐξέχεεν ἐφ’ ἡμᾶς πλουσίως
διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν,
ἵνα δικαιωθέντες τῇ ἐκείνου χάριτι
κληρονόμοι γενηθῶμεν κατ’ ἐλπίδα ζωῆς αἰωνίου.

Any help is much appreciated, thank you.
John
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Scott Lawson
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Re: Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by Scott Lawson » July 18th, 2013, 6:50 pm

John Christof wrote:What does τῶν refer to or why does it follow and not preceed ἔργων?


John,
It seems to me to be the demonstrative use of the article.
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Scott Lawson

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Re: Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by MAubrey » July 18th, 2013, 7:38 pm

John Christof wrote:οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων τῶν ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ
The article is helping specify that the prepositional phrase ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ should be read as modifying the noun ἔργων.

If you have access to a decent library loan system, Stephanie Bakker's monograph The noun phrase in Ancient Greek discusses these sorts of patterns in detail.
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Mike Aubrey, Linguist
Koine-Greek.com

Scott Lawson
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Re: Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by Scott Lawson » July 18th, 2013, 8:58 pm

Mike was my comment inaccurate? έργων being the antecedent of των...
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Scott Lawson

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Re: Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by MAubrey » July 18th, 2013, 9:41 pm

Scott Lawson wrote:Mike was my comment inaccurate? έργων being the antecedent of των...
That depends on how you look at it.

Technically, we would only talk about antecedents at all when the demonstrative/article functioned external to the phrase it refers to. In this case, τῶν ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ exists within the noun phrase that is headed by έργων.

At the same time, since the idea of phrases didn't really exist as concepts when labels such as 'demonstrative use of the article' were conceived, it's still perfectly acceptable to talk about it as an antecedent from that perspective.

The good news is that thinking within an older model doesn't make you wrong. It's just a difference way of viewing the same structures.
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Mike Aubrey, Linguist
Koine-Greek.com

Scott Lawson
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Re: Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by Scott Lawson » July 19th, 2013, 12:01 am

Thank you Mike!
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Scott Lawson

Scott Lawson
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Re: Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by Scott Lawson » July 19th, 2013, 1:12 am

Mike couldn't the sentence be restructured as ουκ εξ έργων των α εποιησαμεν ημεις εν δικαιοσύνη making εν δικαιοσύνη an adverbial preposition with των α the relative pronoun and the clause a restrictive relative clause?
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Scott Lawson

John Christof
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Re: Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by John Christof » July 19th, 2013, 4:23 am

Thank you very much Scott and Mike for your answers! That makes it clear.
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Hefin J. Jones
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Re: Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by Hefin J. Jones » July 19th, 2013, 8:57 am

Thanks Mike for the Bakker title - I couldn't help feel a certain sense of irony when I noticed (1) Her title, subtitle and (2) the series title; a feeling somewhat compounded by your comments soon after about phrases.
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Hefin Jones

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Re: Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by MAubrey » July 19th, 2013, 12:44 pm

Scott Lawson wrote:Mike couldn't the sentence be restructured as ουκ εξ έργων των α εποιησαμεν ημεις εν δικαιοσύνη making εν δικαιοσύνη an adverbial preposition with των α the relative pronoun and the clause a restrictive relative clause?
Well, it could be restructured like that, but then it wouldn't say the same thing as what the author wrote. Also, I'm fairly confident there's no such thing as an articular relative pronoun. You're never going to get "των α."
John Christof wrote:Thank you very much Scott and Mike for your answers! That makes it clear.
You are certainly welcome. Any time.
Hefin J. Jones wrote:Thanks Mike for the Bakker title - I couldn't help feel a certain sense of irony when I noticed (1) Her title, subtitle and (2) the series title; a feeling somewhat compounded by your comments soon after about phrases.
Oh?
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