Ἐμοὶ ἐκδίκησις (Romans 12:19)

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cwconrad
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Re: Ἐμοὶ ἐκδίκησις (Romans 12:19)

Post by cwconrad » September 4th, 2015, 3:24 pm

Danny King wrote:Carl, when I first thought it should be translated "Vengeance is for me", I was thinking of the Dative of Advantage, i.e., an advantage (or like you say, privilege) reserved only for God. Do you think this applies?
In a word: No. As we've already noted, it's a citation from Dt 32:35 and the parallel clause to Ἐμοὶ ἐκδίκησις, here in Rom 12:19 and again in Heb 10:30 is ἐγὼ ἀνταποδώσω: "It my job to avenge; I'll do the repaying."

The dative of advantage (perhaps better termed "dative of advantage and disadvantage" points to the person whose interests are affected positively or negatively.
Smyth §1481 wrote:Dative of Advantage or Disadvantage (dativus commodi et incommodi).—The person or thing for whose advantage or disadvantage, anything is or is done, is put in the dative. The dative often has to be translated as if the possessive genitive were used; but the meaning is different.

ἐπειδὴ αὐτοῖς οἱ βάρβαροι ἐκ τῆς χώρᾱς ἀπῆλθον after the barbarians had departed (for them, to their advantage) from their country T. 1. 89, ἄλλο στράτευμα αὐτῷ συνελέγετο another army was being raised for him X. A. 1. 1. 9, ἄλλῳ ὁ τοιοῦτος πλουτεῖ, καὶ οὐχ ἑαυτῷ such a man is rich for another, and not for himself P. Menex. 246 e, στεφανοῦσθαι τῷ θεῷ to be crowned in honour of the god X. H. 4. 3. 21, Φιλιστίδης ἔπρᾱττε Φιλίππῳ Philistides was working in the interest of Philip D. 9. 59, τὰ χρήματʼ αἴτιʼ ἀνθρωποῖς κακῶν money is a cause of misery to mankind E. Fr. 632, οἱ Θρᾷκες οἱ τῷ Δημοσθένει ὑστερήσαντες the Thracians who came too late (for, i.e.) to help Demosthenes T. 7. 29, ἥδε ἡ ἡμέρᾱ τοῖς Ἕλλησι μεγάλων κακῶν ἄρξει this day will be to the Greeks the beginning of great sorrows 2. 12, ᾱ̓́ν τίς σοι τῶν οἰκετῶν ἀποδρᾷ if any of your slaves runs away X. M. 2. 10. 1..
Wallace's grammar is not without its virtues. One of the principal complaints voiced here from time to time is that it seems composed not so much with a view to helping us to understand the Greek as Greek but rather with a view to helping us understand the Greek in terms of English grammar, perhaps with a view to translation into English. That may sound odd, but it has often seemed that the Greek text has been explained in such a way as to help us see what the Greek author would have said if it were being said in English.
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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)

Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: Ἐμοὶ ἐκδίκησις (Romans 12:19)

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » September 5th, 2015, 10:19 am

Jonathan Robie wrote: I think Wallace and Mounce have both written very useful books, but I also think their categories are a weak point in their grammars.
My own take is that this is much more of a problem in Wallace than in Mounce. Mounce is for those who are beginning from English and transitioning to Greek. Assuming one has chosen this approach (grammar / translation as the starting point), I think you need those transitional stepping stones.
Jonathan Robie wrote: Another problem is that the categories are described as though you should look at a particular use of a feature, read through the list of possibilities, and pick one. It's much better to get a feeling for what the syntactic feature means inherently, in Greek, and how it interacts with the rest of the sentence.
Well said! And a personal heads up for me. It is a process of development, isn’t it? At some stage one should be removing the training wheels and looking more and more to the text itself. No doubt the balance of how that plays out will differ amongst us, but however it happens it must happen if one is to read the Greek as Greek.
Danny King wrote: I did basic Greek with Mounce and Black. I much prefer Black to Mounce. I don't think Mounce is a good choice as a first time book for a beginner learning on his own. It's confusing and the material is all over the place. … The main reason I'm learning Greek is to understand the technical commentaries and it's a tragedy for me to find that commentators are not on the same page as my reference text.
I have a love – hate relationship with Mounce, as I think any instructor does with any Introductory text. In the end, though, Mounce is my choice as the best first year text out there if one has decided to begin with the grammar/translation approach. I do not think that approach is the ideal one, but given all the contraints, I think it works best for my situation. My major complaint about Mounce is that everywhere he gives the impression that if you just get all these rules of derivation and analysis down pat, then you’ll be able to sail through the Biblical Greek text. But, as so many here have said so eloquently, that is nonsense and misleading. Mounce serves me very well in my situation and with my very insistent caveats all along the way.

Danny, I would exhort you to look again at your reason for learning Greek. If you care about the text, which obviously you do, then there is a joy and satisfaction in reading it in the original language just because it is the language of the authors. The text is worthy of that attention, will repay richly those who so approach it, and to quote the great Puritan John Owen:
John Owen wrote:… those languages (Hebrew & Greek) possess
a weight of their own – a vividness which
brings home to the understanding fine shades of
meaning with power which cannot survive the
passage into another tongue. - John Owen
cwconrad wrote:Wallace's grammar is not without its virtues. One of the principal complaints voiced here from time to time is that it seems composed not so much with a view to helping us to understand the Greek as Greek but rather with a view to helping us understand the Greek in terms of English grammar, perhaps with a view to translation into English. That may sound odd, but it has often seemed that the Greek text has been explained in such a way as to help us see what the Greek author would have said if it were being said in English.
Like so many others, I have found the layout and the presentation in Wallace friendly and accessible, but your point is well taken. Hidden beneath its virtues are some serious blemishes. Ain’t that so often the way?
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