Squinting Modifiers

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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jdhadwin
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Joined: August 25th, 2015, 12:48 pm

Re: Squinting Modifiers

Post by jdhadwin » August 30th, 2015, 3:03 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
κατα-καυχάομαι, -ῶμαι [in LXX: Za 10:12 (הָלַךְ hith.), Je 50:11 (עָלַז), Je 50:38 (הָלַל)* ;]

1. to boast against, exult over: c. gen., Ro 11:18, Ja 2:13; seq. κατά, c. gen., Ja 3:14 (T, om. κατά).
2. seq. ἐν, to glory in (Za., l.c., Je 27:38).†
[NT: 12x]
With meaning (1), the thing that is boasted against or exulted over is in the genitive, not the nominative.
So if I am understanding this correctly:
  • 1. If κατακαυχᾶται is to be understood as definition #1, then the meaning of κατακαυχᾶται ἔλεος κρίσεως must be "mercy boasts against judgment", because #1 requires that we are boasting against a genitive, and κρίσεως is the only genitive.
    2. If κατακαυχᾶται is to be understood as definition #2, then the meaning of κατακαυχᾶται changes to "to glory in" and does not have to be used on a genitive.
Is that right?

Therefore, we might look at Romans 11:18 a little differently with this in mind?
μὴ κατακαυχῶ τῶν κλάδων εἰ δὲ κατακαυχᾶσαι οὐ σὺ τὴν ῥίζαν βαστάζεις ἀλλ᾽ ἡ ῥίζα σέ
Do not boast against the branches, but if you glory not in the root, you bear not the root.
~Romans 11:18
κατακαυχῶ refers to a genitive, therefore it is meaning #1, "to boast against".
κατακαυχᾶσαι does not refer to a genitive, therefore it is meaning #2, "to glory in"

Isn't this a good translation according to the lexicon?
Jonathan Robie wrote:Perhaps this is a better way to ask that last question ...

τίς κατακαυχᾶται τίνος; κατακαυχᾶται ἔλεος κρίσεως ἤ κατακαυχᾶται ἐλέους κρίσις;

If I made any mistakes in that, I hope someone will correct me. If not, perhaps working through that question will help you understand how cases work in Greek. What is the case of τίς? τίνος? ἔλεος? ἐλέους? κρίσις? κρίσεως? Can you puzzle out what the entire question means? Extra credit if you can write out an answer.
τίς (nominative)
κατακαυχᾶται
τίνος; (genitive)
κατακαυχᾶται
ἔλεος (nominative)
κρίσεως (genitive)

κατακαυχᾶται
ἐλέους (genitive)
κρίσις; (nominative)

You asked:
Which boasts against which: 1) κατακαυχᾶται ἔλεος κρίσεως or 2) κατακαυχᾶται ἐλέους κρίσις?
Answer:
  • 1) Mercy boasts against judgment
    2) Judgment boasts against mercy
Thanks a million!

~John
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jdhadwin
Posts: 29
Joined: August 25th, 2015, 12:48 pm

Re: Squinting Modifiers

Post by jdhadwin » August 30th, 2015, 3:13 pm

Before I can give a definitive answer as to whether James 2:13 is mercy boasting over judgment or judgment boasting over mercy, I'd need you to answer whether I interpreted the lexicon correctly with regard to κατακαυχᾶσαι and the absence of a genitive. If κατακαυχᾶσαι can switch meanings to "glory in" in the absence of a genitive, then I would have to think hard about the possibilities in James 2:13.

Of course I think that even though it is also true that "judgment is merciless to one without mercy and boasts against mercy through judgment," it seems that this text specifically says that:

Mercy boasts against judgment.

Both are true depending on the context, but I'm only interested in being certain about how to read the text. It's sort of confusing.

Thanks Jonathan,

~John
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Squinting Modifiers

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 30th, 2015, 7:20 pm

jdhadwin wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:
κατα-καυχάομαι, -ῶμαι [in LXX: Za 10:12 (הָלַךְ hith.), Je 50:11 (עָלַז), Je 50:38 (הָלַל)* ;]

1. to boast against, exult over: c. gen., Ro 11:18, Ja 2:13; seq. κατά, c. gen., Ja 3:14 (T, om. κατά).
2. seq. ἐν, to glory in (Za., l.c., Je 27:38).†
[NT: 12x]
With meaning (1), the thing that is boasted against or exulted over is in the genitive, not the nominative.
So if I am understanding this correctly:
  • 1. If κατακαυχᾶται is to be understood as definition #1, then the meaning of κατακαυχᾶται ἔλεος κρίσεως must be "mercy boasts against judgment", because #1 requires that we are boasting against a genitive, and κρίσεως is the only genitive
So far so good. Incidentally, you have to go up to the very beginning of the file to see the list of abbreviations, which is important for understanding parts of this. For this particular definition, you need to know these abbreviations:

Code: Select all

c.	= cum (with).
gen.	= genitive.
om.	= omit, omits.
seq.	= sequente (followed by).
Here's the first definition:
1. to boast against, exult over: c. gen., Ro 11:18, Ja 2:13; seq. κατά, c. gen., Ja 3:14 (T, om. κατά).
So it is followed by a genitive in Ro 11:18, Ja 2:13 and followed by κατά with the genitive in Ja 3:14. That last bit, (T, om. κατά), says that Tischendorf's edition doesn't use κατά.

Code: Select all

T	= Tischendorf.
jdhadwin wrote:2. If κατακαυχᾶται is to be understood as definition #2, then the meaning of κατακαυχᾶται changes to "to glory in" and does not have to be used on a genitive.[/list]

Is that right?
Not quite. Here's that definition again:
2. seq. ἐν, to glory in (Za., l.c., Je 27:38).†
In Romans, it is not followed by ἐν.
jdhadwin wrote:Therefore, we might look at Romans 11:18 a little differently with this in mind?
μὴ κατακαυχῶ τῶν κλάδων εἰ δὲ κατακαυχᾶσαι οὐ σὺ τὴν ῥίζαν βαστάζεις ἀλλ᾽ ἡ ῥίζα σέ
Do not boast against the branches, but if you glory not in the root, you bear not the root.
~Romans 11:18
No ....
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

jdhadwin
Posts: 29
Joined: August 25th, 2015, 12:48 pm

Re: Squinting Modifiers

Post by jdhadwin » August 30th, 2015, 8:11 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
jdhadwin wrote:2. If κατακαυχᾶται is to be understood as definition #2, then the meaning of κατακαυχᾶται changes to "to glory in" and does not have to be used on a genitive.[/list]

Is that right?
Not quite. Here's that definition again:
2. seq. ἐν, to glory in (Za., l.c., Je 27:38).†
In Romans, it is not followed by ἐν.
jdhadwin wrote:Therefore, we might look at Romans 11:18 a little differently with this in mind?
μὴ κατακαυχῶ τῶν κλάδων εἰ δὲ κατακαυχᾶσαι οὐ σὺ τὴν ῥίζαν βαστάζεις ἀλλ᾽ ἡ ῥίζα σέ
Do not boast against the branches, but if you glory not in the root, you bear not the root.
~Romans 11:18
No ....

Okay, now I totally get it. For some reason I glossed right over the seq. ἐν part of the second definition. I suppose all those abbreviations are good in that they eliminate about 1,500 additional pages or more, but man it's almost as easy to follow as regular expressions.

#1) It also appears that the lexicon implies that when κατακαυχάομαι is not with a genitive or when it does not follow κατά with a genitive, then we should perhaps translate it as "boast" instead of "boast against". Would you agree? It appears that that is what has been done in Romans 11:18 after the use of κατακαυχᾶσαι, which the KJV translators translated just as "boast", in the absence of a genitive.
#2) Or, when κατακαυχάομαι is in the absence of a genitive, but IS in the presence of a negative modifier like οὐ, could it be translated "boast not against"?
#3) Otherwise, the κλάδων (from the first instance of "κατακαυχῶ τῶν κλάδων") would have to be thought to be implied after κατακαυχᾶσαι instead of being explicitly stated a second time, meaning that it would have to be "boast against," in every instance of this verse.
#1:
μὴ κατακαυχῶ τῶν κλάδων εἰ δὲ κατακαυχᾶσαι οὐ σὺ τὴν ῥίζαν βαστάζεις ἀλλ᾽ ἡ ῥίζα σέ
Do not boast against the branches. But whether you boast, you bear not the root, but the root bears you.

#2:
μὴ κατακαυχῶ τῶν κλάδων εἰ δὲ κατακαυχᾶσαι οὐ σὺ τὴν ῥίζαν βαστάζεις ἀλλ᾽ ἡ ῥίζα σέ
Do not boast against the branches. But if you boast not against the root you bear, then the root bears you.

#3
μὴ κατακαυχῶ τῶν κλάδων εἰ δὲ κατακαυχᾶσαι οὐ σὺ τὴν ῥίζαν βαστάζεις ἀλλ᾽ ἡ ῥίζα σέ
Do not boast against the branches. But if you boast against the root you do not bear, the root boasts against you.
~Romans 11:18
I'm sorry to cause such a ruckus with all these, but I'm not sure how to interpret the lexicon with regard to the absence of a genitive. It seems more than likely that #1 is closest to what the translators chose.

What do you think?

~John
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Squinting Modifiers

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 30th, 2015, 8:59 pm

jdhadwin wrote:Okay, now I totally get it. For some reason I glossed right over the seq. ἐν part of the second definition. I suppose all those abbreviations are good in that they eliminate about 1,500 additional pages or more, but man it's almost as easy to follow as regular expressions.
At least regular expressions use a standard notation ...
jdhadwin wrote:#1) It also appears that the lexicon implies that when κατακαυχάομαι is not with a genitive or when it does not follow κατά with a genitive, then we should perhaps translate it as "boast" instead of "boast against". Would you agree? It appears that that is what has been done in Romans 11:18 after the use of κατακαυχᾶσαι, which the KJV translators translated just as "boast", in the absence of a genitive.
Yes, that's it.
#1:
μὴ κατακαυχῶ τῶν κλάδων εἰ δὲ κατακαυχᾶσαι οὐ σὺ τὴν ῥίζαν βαστάζεις ἀλλ᾽ ἡ ῥίζα σέ
Do not boast against the branches. But whether you boast, you bear not the root, but the root bears you.
Bingo. There's another possibility: perhaps κατακαυχᾶσαι implies the same objects in view from the previous clause: "Do not boast agains the branches. If you do boast (against th branches), it is not you who bears the branches, but the branches that bear you."

I do think it's often helpful to consult a few reliable translations after you work out the meaning of a text, they can go a long way toward correcting mistakes. And good technical commentaries like Meyer, Expositor's Greek, and Robertson's Word Pictures consistently point out things I may have missed.
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

jdhadwin
Posts: 29
Joined: August 25th, 2015, 12:48 pm

Re: Squinting Modifiers

Post by jdhadwin » August 30th, 2015, 9:09 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
jdhadwin wrote:Okay, now I totally get it. For some reason I glossed right over the seq. ἐν part of the second definition. I suppose all those abbreviations are good in that they eliminate about 1,500 additional pages or more, but man it's almost as easy to follow as regular expressions.
At least regular expressions use a standard notation ...
jdhadwin wrote:#1) It also appears that the lexicon implies that when κατακαυχάομαι is not with a genitive or when it does not follow κατά with a genitive, then we should perhaps translate it as "boast" instead of "boast against". Would you agree? It appears that that is what has been done in Romans 11:18 after the use of κατακαυχᾶσαι, which the KJV translators translated just as "boast", in the absence of a genitive.
Yes, that's it.
#1:
μὴ κατακαυχῶ τῶν κλάδων εἰ δὲ κατακαυχᾶσαι οὐ σὺ τὴν ῥίζαν βαστάζεις ἀλλ᾽ ἡ ῥίζα σέ
Do not boast against the branches. But whether you boast, you bear not the root, but the root bears you.
Bingo. There's another possibility: perhaps κατακαυχᾶσαι implies the same objects in view from the previous clause: "Do not boast agains the branches. If you do boast (against th branches), it is not you who bears the branches, but the branches that bear you."

I do think it's often helpful to consult a few reliable translations after you work out the meaning of a text, they can go a long way toward correcting mistakes. And good technical commentaries like Meyer, Expositor's Greek, and Robertson's Word Pictures consistently point out things I may have missed.
Thank you so much... and especially for all these great references. I have some work to do for sure :)

~John
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