Help with classifying prepositional phrase

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WAnderson
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 5:18 pm

Help with classifying prepositional phrase

Post by WAnderson » October 28th, 2014, 8:21 pm

I’m wondering how to classify the prepositional phrase ek tōn hepta in Acts 21:8, Φιλίππου τοῦ εὐαγγελιστοῦ ὄντος ἐκ τῶν ἑπτά (“Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven” NASB). It seems to me the best choices are: genitive of relationship, genitive of source, or partitive, but I'm not sure. What would you say, and why?

Also, is “partitive” an exclusive category; ie, could it be both partitive and also, for example, genitive of relationship?

Note that BDAG (p. 297, 4δ) says that εκ here has the sense, “belong to someone or someth[ing].”
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Help with classifying prepositional phrase

Post by Stephen Carlson » October 28th, 2014, 8:42 pm

Others may complain about the utility of classifying prepositional phrases and cases. In this case, I'd say it is a pretty clear example of a partitive. Philip is part of a larger group, the seven.

When dealing with prepositions, I'd prefer to deal with the different lexical senses the preposition has for the case it governs, rather than try to fit the bare case categories for a genitive to the preposition. So I'm not sure it's wise to look at the genitive categories and try to force-fit them to the preposition ἐκ. In any event, a genitive of relationship is for things family relationships like "sister of the bride." They are part of the same family or group, but the genitive of relationship names another member of the group, while a partitive names the group itself. When the relationship is with a biological parent, you should see some overlap with a genitive of source.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Help with classifying prepositional phrase

Post by Barry Hofstetter » October 29th, 2014, 5:57 am

What Stephen said. I would add that it's practically a textbook example of the preposition ἐκ used in the partitive sense. To emphasize further, it is a category error to look for the use of the genitive when a preposition is involved -- one rather looks to the usage of the preposition.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

WAnderson
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 5:18 pm

Re: Help with classifying prepositional phrase

Post by WAnderson » October 29th, 2014, 4:25 pm

Thank you for the help. So as I was studying this out further, I can see the same phrase is used in a few other places as well. Everywhere else it seems to be translated as partitive except Rv. 17:11 (καὶ αὐτὸς ὄγδοός ἐστιν, καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἑπτά ἐστιν ), where it's translated different ways. NASB seems to translate as partitive ("one of the seven"), but not ESV ("belongs to the seven") or ASV/KJV ("of the seven"). This is why I find translating prepositions a bit frustrating. Barry said, "it is a category error to look for the use of the genitive when a preposition is involved -- one rather looks to the usage of the preposition." Well, the usage in the above ref. seems to be exactly as in Acts 21:8, so why the differences in translation?
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Help with classifying prepositional phrase

Post by Stephen Carlson » October 29th, 2014, 6:35 pm

Both "belongs to" and "of" in English have partitive senses. I wouldn't worry about these differences in English translations. If you understand what the Greek is doing, then you can see what is going on in the English translations.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

WAnderson
Posts: 52
Joined: July 4th, 2011, 5:18 pm

Re: Help with classifying prepositional phrase

Post by WAnderson » October 30th, 2014, 3:51 am

Thanks for the clarification. Question ... is there a good basic book on prepositions you (or any others here) would recommend, not too advanced, just a good overview.
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cwconrad
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Re: Help with classifying prepositional phrase

Post by cwconrad » October 30th, 2014, 7:23 am

WAnderson wrote:Thanks for the clarification. Question ... is there a good basic book on prepositions you (or any others here) would recommend, not too advanced, just a good overview.
Attention has recently been called in this forum to a new "Interpretive Lexicon of New Testament Greek" (http://www.zondervan.com/interpretive-l ... ment-greek), which promises an easier access to "the range of translation possibilities for a wide variety of the smallest and most difficult words in the Greek New Testament to translate" -- a promise that it's easy to be skeptical about. I doubt that there's any "royal road" to the Greek prepositions; I think they have to be learned by attention to their usage in the course of much reading.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Help with classifying prepositional phrase

Post by Barry Hofstetter » October 31st, 2014, 8:01 am

cwconrad wrote:
WAnderson wrote:Thanks for the clarification. Question ... is there a good basic book on prepositions you (or any others here) would recommend, not too advanced, just a good overview.
Attention has recently been called in this forum to a new "Interpretive Lexicon of New Testament Greek" (http://www.zondervan.com/interpretive-l ... ment-greek), which promises an easier access to "the range of translation possibilities for a wide variety of the smallest and most difficult words in the Greek New Testament to translate" -- a promise that it's easy to be skeptical about. I doubt that there's any "royal road" to the Greek prepositions; I think they have to be learned by attention to their usage in the course of much reading.
Amen, brother Carl. Probably the best books on prepositions would be BDAG and LSJ. Just look up the prepositions under the entries, and have fun.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

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