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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Scott Lawson
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Re: Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by Scott Lawson » July 19th, 2013, 12:49 pm

MAubrey wrote: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."
Thanks Mike! I thought there was sufficient freedom of movement for the constituents so that it wouldn't change the meaning.
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Scott Lawson

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Re: Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by Scott Lawson » July 19th, 2013, 2:27 pm

Mike, is this not possible:


...not from deeds, those which we had piously performed, but...


Sorry, I'm having a bit of cognitive dissonance over τῶν as a determiner for the prepositional noun phrase ἐν δικαιοσύνη.
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David Lim
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Re: Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by David Lim » July 20th, 2013, 12:20 am

Scott Lawson wrote:
MAubrey wrote: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."
Thanks Mike! I thought there was sufficient freedom of movement for the constituents so that it wouldn't change the meaning.
No, Mike is correct. I would say that the original phrase "εργων των εν δικαιοσυνη" is simply a noun phrase modified by an adjectival phrase in the standard syntax of "NTA" ("N" for the noun; "T" for the article; "A" for the adjective), which is one of three ways to express an indefinite entity specified by an adjective, the others being "NA" and "AN". You cannot get "των α" simply because "α" is a relative pronoun and does not occur in the same syntactical structures as adjectives. In particular, if the relative clause is used to further specify something, it will occur after the noun phrase, not with an intervening article. So, more generally, you will not get the article followed by a relative pronoun. If the phrase was "εργων α εποιηθη εν δικαιοσυνη", it would be closer to the original phrase, but exclude other possible interpretations.

As for the article being a demonstrative, it has apparently lost its function as a demonstrative except in a closed class of structures. Also, the demonstrative pronouns "ουτος" and "εκεινος" do not occur after the article when they are used to specify the entity (excluding as a genitive), but in predicate position as in either "TND" or "DTN".
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Scott Lawson
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Re: Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by Scott Lawson » July 20th, 2013, 12:51 am

Thank you David! I'm having a hard time with a genitive plural article followed by the dative prepositional noun phrase...dunno why. It's probably a lack of wider reading. Thanks again!
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Re: Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by MAubrey » July 20th, 2013, 12:53 am

Scott Lawson wrote:I thought there was sufficient freedom of movement for the constituents so that it wouldn't change the meaning.
It isn't so much that English has strict rules against movement of constituent and Greek doesn't. It's that the rules that government constituent order in Greek are dramatically different than those of English.
Scott Lawson wrote: Sorry, I'm having a bit of cognitive dissonance over τῶν as a determiner for the prepositional noun phrase ἐν δικαιοσύνη.
Its no different than when an adjective gets an article following the head noun. In traditional grammatical terms, this is the second attributive position. That's all. And its quite common. There are almost 450 instances of the pattern in the NT and thousands more in Hellenistic texts more generally:

Matt 2:16 πάντας τοὺς παῖδας τοὺς ἐν Βηθλέεμ
Matt 5:16 τὸν πατέρα ὑμῶν τὸν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.
Luke 6:41 τὸ κάρφος τὸ ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ
John 13:1 τοὺς ἰδίους τοὺς ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ
Acts 7:34 τὴν κάκωσιν τοῦ λαοῦ μου τοῦ ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ

Adjectives in the attributive position specify the quantity or quality of a noun. Prepositional phrases in the attributive position location a noun within time and space. Participles can appear in the attributive position as well.
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Scott Lawson
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Re: Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by Scott Lawson » July 20th, 2013, 2:25 am

MAubrey wrote:
Scott Lawson wrote:I thought there was sufficient freedom of movement for the constituents so that it wouldn't change the meaning.
It isn't so much that English has strict rules against movement of constituent and Greek doesn't. It's that the rules that government constituent order in Greek are dramatically different than those of English.
Mike, it was the freedom of movement in Greek that I was referring to and as you know, English is much more strict, except in regard to adverbs or adverbial phrases...
Scott Lawson wrote: Sorry, I'm having a bit of cognitive dissonance over τῶν as a determiner for the prepositional noun phrase ἐν δικαιοσύνη.
MAubrey wrote:Its no different than when an adjective gets an article following the head noun. In traditional grammatical terms, this is the second attributive position. That's all. And its quite common. There are almost 450 instances of the pattern in the NT and thousands more in Hellenistic texts more generally:

Matt 2:16 πάντας τοὺς παῖδας τοὺς ἐν Βηθλέεμ
Matt 5:16 τὸν πατέρα ὑμῶν τὸν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.
Luke 6:41 τὸ κάρφος τὸ ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ
John 13:1 τοὺς ἰδίους τοὺς ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ
Acts 7:34 τὴν κάκωσιν τοῦ λαοῦ μου τοῦ ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ

All of these examples are interesting and seem to me to be the anaphoric or possibly even the appositional use of the article. It is the lack of the article preceding ἕργων that confounds me. Are there other definitizing factors such as the preposition ἑξ that somehow fills in as a qualifier or determiner? Mike are you able to find examples more closely related, or am I just being obtuse? Thank you Mike for your indulgence.
MAubrey wrote:Adjectives in the attributive position specify the quantity or quality of a noun. Prepositional phrases in the attributive position location a noun within time and space. Participles can appear in the attributive position as well.
Mike aren't you suggesting that this is a prepositional noun phrase used adjectivally? And if so, your comments indicate that prepositional phrases in the attributive position seem to be restricted to a temporal or spacial sense. How does that work with ἔργων τῶν ἑν δικαιοσύνη?

As a prepositional noun phrase acting as an adjectival qualifier to ἕργων what does ἑν δικαιοσύνη mean? BDAG notes that: "A strict classification of δ. in the NT is complicated by freq. interplay of absract and concrete aspects drawn from OT and Gr-Rom. cultures, in which a sense of equitableness combines with awareness of responsibility within a social context. The common English translation is "works in righteousness" but that doesn't rest in my ears well...some translations like Gspd has "...not for any upright actions we had performed.." and seems to gloss over the dative case of the preposition ἑν, but I note that the ASV seems to recognize the prepositional phrase as adverbial; "...not by the works done in righteousness which we did ourselves..."
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Re: Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 20th, 2013, 5:39 pm

Scott Lawson wrote:All of these examples are interesting and seem to me to be the anaphoric or possibly even the appositional use of the article. It is the lack of the article preceding ἕργων that confounds me. Are there other definitizing factors such as the preposition ἑξ that somehow fills in as a qualifier or determiner? Mike are you able to find examples more closely related, or am I just being obtuse? Thank you Mike for your indulgence.
All of Mike's examples where of the form aNaX (a = article, N = noun, X = modifier), while you seem to be interested about the NaX pattern. While there are some different, what they have in common is the use of a post-nominal article with a modifier. We had a thread (now split and locked) about a similar case in Rom 5:15 ἐν χάριτι τῇ τοῦ ἕνὸς ἄνθρωπου here: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/vie ... f=6&t=1417

On the NaX pattern, Bakker argues against the appositional analysis and concludes that the NaX pattern "presupposes that the modifier is essential for the identification of a referent: without the help of the modifier, the address would identify the wrong referent or no referent at all" (p. 290). Bakker also allows for the less common situation where the NaX pattern is really an aNaX pattern whose first article is not expressed.
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Scott Lawson
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Re: Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by Scott Lawson » July 20th, 2013, 6:07 pm

Thank you Mike, David and Stephen!

Wish that I could examine Bakker's paper,(for that matter I wish I could access the articles referenced in BDAG) but I see the sense in your comments as well. I'll let these thoughts marinate for a bit.

Is there one place that the BDAG articles can be accessed? I've been wanting to ask about this for some time....
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Re: Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by MAubrey » July 21st, 2013, 12:01 am

Bakker is a monograph. If you have access to interlibrary loan, it would be worth taking the time to read.
Scott Lawson wrote:Is there one place that the BDAG articles can be accessed? I've been wanting to ask about this for some time....
The best place would be a university or seminary library if there's one near you...unless you're willing to invest a large sum of money into the development of your personal library...this is the rather unfortunate world we live in.
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Re: Why is this article causing me troubles

Post by David Lim » July 21st, 2013, 3:34 am

Scott Lawson wrote:All of these examples are interesting and seem to me to be the anaphoric or possibly even the appositional use of the article. It is the lack of the article preceding ἕργων that confounds me. Are there other definitizing factors such as the preposition ἑξ that somehow fills in as a qualifier or determiner?
When a noun phrase is described by what I call an adjectival phrase, which includes adjectives and prepositional phrases, it is invariably in the syntax "TAN" / "TNTA" for definite entities and "NTA" / "NA" / "AN" for indefinite entities. In this case it is indefinite, meaning that no particular "works in righteousness" are referred to. To make it definite we would use "εκ των εργων των εν δικαιοσυνη". However, in some situations, a noun phrase can be used without the article when it is clearly definite. It occurs mostly frequently as objects of prepositions, but has nothing to do with the preposition making it definite. Instead it is because of context (of course including the prepositional phrase), which implies a definite entity, similar to how you interpret the phrase "because of context" to mean "because of the context". But Tit 3:5 does not really imply a definite group of works, so it should be indefinite.
Scott Lawson wrote:
MAubrey wrote:Adjectives in the attributive position specify the quantity or quality of a noun. Prepositional phrases in the attributive position location a noun within time and space. Participles can appear in the attributive position as well.
Mike aren't you suggesting that this is a prepositional noun phrase used adjectivally? And if so, your comments indicate that prepositional phrases in the attributive position seem to be restricted to a temporal or spacial sense. How does that work with ἔργων τῶν ἑν δικαιοσύνη?
I am not sure what Mike means by "[locates] a noun within time and space". I would say that prepositional phrases used adjectivally can have any of the same meanings that it can have when used adverbially with "ειναι". This excludes a few meanings such as those denoting direction or objective of movement. In other words, prepositional phrases that can specify an entity can be used just like adjectives.
Scott Lawson wrote:As a prepositional noun phrase acting as an adjectival qualifier to ἕργων what does ἑν δικαιοσύνη mean? BDAG notes that: "A strict classification of δ. in the NT is complicated by freq. interplay of absract and concrete aspects drawn from OT and Gr-Rom. cultures, in which a sense of equitableness combines with awareness of responsibility within a social context. The common English translation is "works in righteousness" but that doesn't rest in my ears well...some translations like Gspd has "...not for any upright actions we had performed.." and seems to gloss over the dative case of the preposition ἑν, but I note that the ASV seems to recognize the prepositional phrase as adverbial; "...not by the works done in righteousness which we did ourselves..."
If the noun described by a prepositional phrase has a verbal idea, then the prepositional phrase often modifies the verbal idea and not the noun per se. So in this case the phrase indeed means "the works that are worked in righteousness" in my opinion, which in idiomatic English would be as the ASV translated it. (Note that the ASV still put "done" in italics.)

You may want to take a look at http://perseus.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/phi ... 61.2861375, except that I disagree with "[1158] In this arrangement the emphasis is on the noun, as something definite or previously mentioned, and the attributive is added by way of explanation. So τοὺς κύνας τοὺς χαλεποὺς διδέα_σι they tie up the dogs, the savage ones (I mean) X. A. 5.8.24." because there are instances of this syntax used where the adjective is crucial to the identification of the entity, and so it cannot be merely an explanation. As for whether there is emphasis on the noun or not, I am also not quite convinced. In the NT at least, "TNTA" occurs 154 times while "TAN" occurs 308 times, with the breakdown in the 4 gospel accounts being 8:20:12:12 and 33:8:29:27 respectively. It could be that Mark prefers "TNTA" unlike the other three, since the data includes parallel passages where both Matthew and Luke used "TAN" instead.
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