repetition or omission of the preposition

Grammar questions which are not related to any specific text.

repetition or omission of the preposition

Postby davidmccollough » June 10th, 2014, 10:51 am

Does the non-repetition of a preposition followed by two nouns joined by καί require that the two nouns form a hendiadys? I am looking at John 3:5 γεννηθῇ ἐξ ὕδατος καὶ πνεύματος.

Nigel Turner, Syntax, states that in John's gospel, he has 15 opportunities to repeat the preposition, but does so only 8 times.

Turner's results seem to contradict G. B. Winer who states: "When two or more substantives dependant on the same preposition immediately follow one another joined together by a copula, the preposition is most naturally repeated, if the substantives in question denote things which are to be conceived as distinct and independent … but not repeated, if the substantives fall under a single category."

A. T. Robertson, contra Winer, states that "one cannot properly insist on any ironclad rule" regarding repetition of prepositions.

I would like to ask if anyone here has any insight into this question. Does non-repetition of the preposition mandate a hendiadys?

David J. McCollough
davidmccollough
 
Posts: 19
Joined: June 27th, 2012, 5:33 am

Re: repetition or omission of the preposition

Postby davidmccollough » June 10th, 2014, 10:54 am

Page numbers:

Nigel Turner, Syntax, 275.

A.T. Robertson, Grammar, 566.

Winer, Grammar, 419-420.
davidmccollough
 
Posts: 19
Joined: June 27th, 2012, 5:33 am

Re: repetition or omission of the preposition

Postby Wes Wood » June 10th, 2014, 12:10 pm

I may be showing my ignorance here, but wouldn't a hediasdys lead to a translation something like "waterly spirit?" My understanding of this issue, and I am among the least knowledgable people on the forum, is that in these instances where two nouns are joined by a single preposition the two nouns form a single phrase governed by the original preposition. Example: The robot was made of metal and circuitry. In this example metal and circuitry are distinct components but there is some basic relationship between them in that they both make up the robot. My understanding in regards to your other question is that prepositions in these phrases are often repeated for emphasis or to mark some form of distinction/unrelatedness.

Smyth Pg. 386

Repetition and Omission of Prepositions, Etc.
1667a: For the sake of emphasis or to mark opposition and difference, a preposition is repeated with each noun dependent on the preposition: κατα τε πολεμον και κατα την αλλην διαιταν in the pursuit of war and in the other occupations of life P. Tim. 18c.

1667b: A preposition is used with the first noun and omitted with the second when the two nouns (whether similar or dissimilar in meaning) unite to form a complex: περι του δικαιου και αρετης 'concerning the justice of our cause and the honesty of our intentions' T.3.10

I hope this helps.
"We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves."
-Galileo Galilei
Wes Wood
 
Posts: 198
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: repetition or omission of the preposition

Postby davidmccollough » June 10th, 2014, 12:44 pm

Thank you,Wes. I think you are right with your analogy. David Sansone, approaching the problem from the angle of classical Greek, emphasizes that in a hendiadys, either term can be subordinated to the other. But, both concepts must be grasped at one time. Thus, to apply his principle to John 3:5, if the phrase “water and spirit” were a hendiadys, neither “spiritual water” alone, nor “watery Spirit” alone, would be appropriate. It must be both simultaneously. “It is this reciprocal quality that I find, with only a very few exceptions, to be characteristic of hendiadys in Greek" (David Sansone, “On Hendiadys in Greek,” Glotta 62 Band 1./2. H. (1984), 16-25; 21).

Thank you for the Smyth reference. περὶ τοῦ δικαίου καὶ ἀρετῆς ‘concerning the justice of our cause and the honesty of our intentions’ T.[Thucydides] 3.10. These seem to remain distinct ideas and do not blend together like the water-Spirit seems to do. Both ideas are related, but not fused. Cornelis Bennema seems to have such an understanding of John 3:5 - “the metaphorical birth of water-and-Spirit probably describes two different, although related, activities under one single concept, and not one activity or two identical activities" (Cornelis Bennema, The Power of Saving Wisdom: An Investigation of Spirit and Wisdom in Relation to the Soteriology of the Fourth Gospel (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2007 [Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002]), 169-170).

All the best,

David
davidmccollough
 
Posts: 19
Joined: June 27th, 2012, 5:33 am

Types of examples

Postby Stephen Hughes » June 10th, 2014, 12:47 pm

You may like to differentiate types of prepositions in the examples you are looking at.
davidmccollough wrote:Does the non-repetition of a preposition followed by two nouns joined by καί require that the two nouns form a hendiadys? I am looking at John 3:5 γεννηθῇ ἐξ ὕδατος καὶ πνεύματος.

Some verbs are used with a particular preposition out of habit. This example that you've given seems one where the preposition is frequently associated with the verb to give the name of the mother. That would, most probably, be the basic construction of that verb. ἐκ with things other than mothers would be an extended (metaphorical - I hate to use that word in relation to spiritual things) usage.

There are other types of prepositions that could be used, that would be used to give a new variation in meaning, but not one that is commonly used with a particular verb. Look, for example, at
Galatians 4:23 wrote:Ἀλλ’ ὁ μὲν ἐκ τῆς παιδίσκης κατὰ σάρκα γεγέννηται, ὁ δὲ ἐκ τῆς ἐλευθέρας διὰ τῆς ἐπαγγελίας.
The ἐκ is used in its grammatically natural way, to express the mother. The other two prepositions are used incidently as adverbial phrases to make points that are only relevent in this discussion in Galatians and are not going to be expected to be used with this verb.

The difference in types of prepositions - regularly occuring and incidental - is a good thing to make when you are looking at them. And for my opinion about THIS verb, I guess it would be too strange to have ἐκ twice whether or not it was referring to separated or togethered things metaphorically (I hate the adverb of that word here too), so not much relevence could be drawn from it only occuring once with two nouns.
"αἴκα" (The Spartan Ephor's reply to Philip II of Macedon) is even better than "nuts" (General Anthony McAuliffe reply to General Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz).
Stephen Hughes
 
Posts: 1217
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am
Location: China

Re: repetition or omission of the preposition

Postby davidmccollough » June 10th, 2014, 1:38 pm

Thank you very much! That makes a lot of sense.
davidmccollough
 
Posts: 19
Joined: June 27th, 2012, 5:33 am


Return to Grammar Questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest