Revelation 11: 3 - καὶ δώσω τοῖς δυσὶν μάρτυσίν μου

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tjrolfs
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Re: Revelation 11: 3 - καὶ δώσω τοῖς δυσὶν μάρτυσίν μου

Post by tjrolfs » July 7th, 2014, 6:17 am

Thanks Barry,

I think I get it now.

That's quite helpful,

Travis
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Revelation 11: 3 - καὶ δώσω τοῖς δυσὶν μάρτυσίν μου

Post by Barry Hofstetter » July 7th, 2014, 7:12 am

tjrolfs wrote:Thanks Barry,

I think I get it now.

That's quite helpful,

Travis
Glad to be of help. I also meant to point out that these kinds of questions are ones that easily resolve themselves as you continue your study of Greek. However, I understand that sometimes people have questions which exceed their grasp (of Greek, that is). I know I did -- the first verse I ever read in the NT was 1 Tim 2:15, because I was sure that referring to the Greek would explain what it really meant. It was my first lesson in the real value of knowing the Greek when that turned out not to be the case... :?
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Stephen Hughes
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The word μάρτυρες not σημεῖα is being used

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 7th, 2014, 1:48 pm

Revelations 11:4 wrote:οὗτοί
tjrolfs wrote:Could it then be reasonable to argue that τοῖς in the previous verse is then (or at least could be) neuter? In that the μάρτυρες are two things (olive trees and candle sticks) and not necessarily two individual persons; even though those two "things," would be made up of persons.
Most "things" (not people) in Greek are not neuter, they have a grammatical (not natural) gender.
Barry Hofstetter wrote:You notice that both predicate nouns are feminine, not neuter, and even if they were neuter, the noun of the predicate retains its gender while the subject retains its own gender.
As Barry says the οὗτοί determines their grammatical gender. It is probably also their natural gender. IF μάρτυρες were used of inanimate objects - see the next paragraph for why I don't think that's true - I think that the construction would be one that put them into the accusative, like εἶδον / ἤκουσα (+ acc)

Another thing, if they were not people, they would not be μάρτυρες "witnesses", "martyrs" (the difference between those two definitions being; "witness" - one who relates what they have seen, & "martyr" - one who allows others to see something for themselves), but rather "signs" (closer to the second meaning of μάρτυρες). The Greek word for signs would be σημεῖα, but here it is not, so I think that makes it clear that μάρτυρες is refering to sentient beings capable of individual expression to relate second-hand what they know. cf. the instances in the Book of Revelations where people or the dragon are referred to as σημεῖα "signs" because they are only observed, without making direct contact with the observers.
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Revelation 11: 3 - καὶ δώσω τοῖς δυσὶν μάρτυσίν μου

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » July 7th, 2014, 4:06 pm

tjrolfs wrote:
Stirling Bartholomew wrote: Travis,

The object of δώσω is not specified. That verb in passive is used frequently in Apocalypse where an agent is "enabled" by divine providence to perform some action. In the active form here it seems to indicate that the two witnesses will be authorized and enabled for the task defined by προφητεύσουσιν ἡμέρας χιλίας διακοσίας ἑξήκοντα …
Thanks for the info Stirling,

..... καὶ τῷ καθημένῳ ἐπ᾽ αὐτῷ ἐδόθη αὐτῷ λαβεῖν τὴν εἰρήνην ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς καὶ ἵνα ἀλλήλους σφάξωσιν .....
Rev. 6:4

That now makes sense to me that it would be implied here that power/authority has been given, especially in light of similar verses explicitly using ἐξουσία along with ἐδόθη in other places (Rev 6:8 + 9:3).
John 8:28 εἶπεν οὖν [αὐτοῖς] ὁ Ἰησοῦς· ὅταν ὑψώσητε τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, τότε γνώσεσθε ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι, καὶ ἀπ᾿ ἐμαυτοῦ ποιῶ οὐδέν, ἀλλὰ καθὼς ἐδίδαξέν με ὁ πατὴρ ταῦτα λαλῶ.

Here we see the explicit form ἐδίδαξέν με ὁ πατὴρ where the agent ὁ πατὴρ is specified with the active ἐδίδαξέν.
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tjrolfs
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Re: Revelation 11: 3 - καὶ δώσω τοῖς δυσὶν μάρτυσίν μου

Post by tjrolfs » July 7th, 2014, 6:57 pm

My summary of things learned:

1. Do not trust free Internet Greek tools to parse accurately. One tool indicated to me that the use of τοῖς here, is neuter. Had I just double checked it myself, it would have been obvious (as pointed out multiple times) that τοῖς is Dative Masculine Plural in this case, because μάρτυσίν is decidedly Dative Masculine Plural. This false assumption on my part led me down a completely flawed train of thought, which was followed by ignorant comments and questions on my part.

2. Since μάρτυρες are always (presumptuously) sentient persons and not things, as Stephen pointed out, grammatical gender should also indicate natural gender in this case. Seeing as μάρτυσίν is masculine, and τοῖς is used as the definite article instead of ταῖς, this would indicate that the witnesses here are masculine. So, at least one of the two witnesses needs to be masculine to agree with the grammatical gender. Meaning, it could be two males, or it could be a male and a female.

3. Don’t try and use your brain at 4 AM, or else you might think you can change μάρτυσίν, into dative neuter plural by just making it μάρτοσίν. People may just look at you kind of funny…

4. An object of a verb doesn’t need to be stated, for it to be understood. The surrounding context can determine what the object is. In this case, the text immediately following it —προφητεύσουσιν ἡμέρας χιλίας διακοσίας ἑξήκοντα— shows what is being given to the two witnesses: the enabling to prophecy for a given amount of time.

5. It’s time for me to go back to studying imperfect and aorist active indicative verbs.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Revelation 11: 3 - καὶ δώσω τοῖς δυσὶν μάρτυσίν μου

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 7th, 2014, 8:09 pm

tjrolfs wrote:1. Do not trust free Internet Greek tools to parse accurately.
Or know which ones you can mostly trust, e.g. Morphgnt (http://morphgnt.org/sblgnt/revelation.html#chapter-11), the Global Bible Initiative trees used at biblicalhumanities.org (http://biblicalhumanities.org/sandbox/g ... ation.html), or PROIEL (http://foni.uio.no:3000/users/sign_in). These are really pretty good in general, and it's helpful to have something to check your own understanding.
tjrolfs wrote:Had I just double checked it myself, it would have been obvious (as pointed out multiple times) that τοῖς is Dative Masculine Plural in this case, because μάρτυσίν is decidedly Dative Masculine Plural.
Never use any tool without checking your own understanding. But you can use a tool to develop your own understanding ...
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David Lim
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Re: The word μάρτυρες not σημεῖα is being used

Post by David Lim » July 7th, 2014, 9:37 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:Another thing, if they were not people, they would not be μάρτυρες "witnesses", "martyrs" (the difference between those two definitions being; "witness" - one who relates what they have seen, & "martyr" - one who allows others to see something for themselves), but rather "signs" (closer to the second meaning of μάρτυρες). The Greek word for signs would be σημεῖα, but here it is not, so I think that makes it clear that μάρτυρες is refering to sentient beings capable of individual expression to relate second-hand what they know. cf. the instances in the Book of Revelations where people or the dragon are referred to as σημεῖα "signs" because they are only observed, without making direct contact with the observers.
A closer synonym of "μαρτυς" that could be used for non-people witnesses is "μαρτυριον" or indirectly by "εις μαρτυριον". At least in the LXX+NT I found no instances of "μαρτυς" for a non-person witness. "σημειον" would convey it as more of an observable object, while "μαρτυριον" will convey it as more of something that can express a testimony. Both "μαρτυρες" and "μαρτυρια" can "μαρτυρειν".
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: The word μάρτυρες not σημεῖα is being used

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 7th, 2014, 11:04 pm

David Lim wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:Another thing, if they were not people, they would not be μάρτυρες "witnesses", "martyrs" (the difference between those two definitions being; "witness" - one who relates what they have seen, & "martyr" - one who allows others to see something for themselves), but rather "signs" (closer to the second meaning of μάρτυρες). The Greek word for signs would be σημεῖα, but here it is not, so I think that makes it clear that μάρτυρες is refering to sentient beings capable of individual expression to relate second-hand what they know. cf. the instances in the Book of Revelations where people or the dragon are referred to as σημεῖα "signs" because they are only observed, without making direct contact with the observers.
A closer synonym of "μαρτυς" that could be used for non-people witnesses is "μαρτυριον" or indirectly by "εις μαρτυριον". At least in the LXX+NT I found no instances of "μαρτυς" for a non-person witness. "σημειον" would convey it as more of an observable object, while "μαρτυριον" will convey it as more of something that can express a testimony. Both "μαρτυρες" and "μαρτυρια" can "μαρτυρειν".
Did you find an instance of a μαρτυριον that was not given by a person, angel or God? Could a candelabra or olive tree give a μαρτυριον?

I think like an inanimate equivalent of a μαρτυριον "testimony" is a τεκμήριον "proof", "evidence". Is that a reasonable understanding of mine?
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Revelation 11: 3 - καὶ δώσω τοῖς δυσὶν μάρτυσίν μου

Post by Barry Hofstetter » July 8th, 2014, 7:35 am

tjrolfs wrote:My summary of things learned:

1. Do not trust free Internet Greek tools to parse accurately. One tool indicated to me that the use of τοῖς here, is neuter. Had I just double checked it myself, it would have been obvious (as pointed out multiple times) that τοῖς is Dative Masculine Plural in this case, because μάρτυσίν is decidedly Dative Masculine Plural. This false assumption on my part led me down a completely flawed train of thought, which was followed by ignorant comments and questions on my part.

2. Since μάρτυρες are always (presumptuously) sentient persons and not things, as Stephen pointed out, grammatical gender should also indicate natural gender in this case. Seeing as μάρτυσίν is masculine, and τοῖς is used as the definite article instead of ταῖς, this would indicate that the witnesses here are masculine. So, at least one of the two witnesses needs to be masculine to agree with the grammatical gender. Meaning, it could be two males, or it could be a male and a female.

3. Don’t try and use your brain at 4 AM, or else you might think you can change μάρτυσίν, into dative neuter plural by just making it μάρτοσίν. People may just look at you kind of funny…

4. An object of a verb doesn’t need to be stated, for it to be understood. The surrounding context can determine what the object is. In this case, the text immediately following it —προφητεύσουσιν ἡμέρας χιλίας διακοσίας ἑξήκοντα— shows what is being given to the two witnesses: the enabling to prophecy for a given amount of time.

5. It’s time for me to go back to studying imperfect and aorist active indicative verbs.

Reading this this morning just made me happy. To paraphrase a certain apostle "A teacher is never happier than when his students are learning..." Okay, you are not literally my student, but I'm just as happy as if you were. And surely there is no substitute for learning the language and learning it thoroughly.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Revelation 11: 3 - καὶ δώσω τοῖς δυσὶν μάρτυσίν μου

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 8th, 2014, 9:10 am

Yeah, he thinks systematically, knows what he does and does not know, asks good questions, learns from the conversation and checks his understanding.
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http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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