βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν

Grammar questions which are not related to any specific text.
jdhadwin
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Joined: August 25th, 2015, 12:48 pm

βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν

Post by jdhadwin » September 26th, 2015, 1:54 pm

Hello again everyone.
Ἐπεὶ τί ποιήσουσιν οἱ βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν εἰ ὅλως νεκροὶ οὐκ ἐγείρονται τί καὶ βαπτίζονται ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν
Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?
~1st Corinthians 15:29
After looking at the word ὑπὲρ (ὑπέρ), I found that it is rendered in a couple of different ways. Clearly, here the translators have determined that it means "for" (on behalf of). But I'm very curious why they wouldn't follow the precedent they set in Matthew 10:24 when they rendered μαθητὴς ὑπὲρ τὸν διδάσκαλον as "disciple above his master" and δοῦλος ὑπὲρ τὸν κύριον "servant above his lord."
Οὐκ ἔστιν μαθητὴς ὑπὲρ τὸν διδάσκαλον οὐδὲ δοῦλος ὑπὲρ τὸν κύριον αὐτοῦ
The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
~Matthew 10:24
Clearly the disparity between the two potential meanings is HUGE. Imagine if Matthew 10:24 had been interpreted as "The disciple is not for his master, nor the servant for his lord." ––Nonsense, right! That just would not be true.

Likewise, it seems clear to me that the baptism of a living person on behalf of a dead person is complete nonsense, just as much as it would be nonsense to say that a disciple is not for his master, etc. However, what makes perfect sense is "Else what shall they do which are baptized above the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized above the dead?" This would also produce the meaning that (in my opinion) better fits the surrounding context of 1st Corinthians 15, without injecting a completely random subject that is not found anywhere else in scripture whatsoever (baptism on behalf of the dead), which English versions currently do.
ἔσχατος ἐχθρὸς καταργεῖται ὁ θάνατος
πάντα γὰρ ὑπέταξεν ὑπὸ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ ὅταν δὲ εἴπῃ ὅτι πάντα ὑποτέτακται δῆλον ὅτι ἐκτὸς τοῦ ὑποτάξαντος αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα
ὅταν δὲ ὑποταγῇ αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα τότε καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ υἱὸς ὑποταγήσεται τῷ ὑποτάξαντι αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα ἵνα ᾖ ὁ θεὸς τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν
Ἐπεὶ τί ποιήσουσιν οἱ βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν εἰ ὅλως νεκροὶ οὐκ ἐγείρονται τί καὶ βαπτίζονται ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν

~1st Corinthians 15:26-29
It seems obvious to me that the intention was to point out that, if "death" were not to be destroyed in the end, then what advantage have the baptized over and above the dead? Thus, if there were no resurrection (and it were not as Paul said in v26), if "death" were not to be destroyed in the end, then why do we deny our flesh and endure tribulations without yielding, etc. Why not just eat, drink and be merry? Ah, of course, because, death will be destroyed.
τί καὶ ἡμεῖς κινδυνεύομεν πᾶσαν ὥραν
καθ᾽ ἡμέραν ἀποθνῄσκω νὴ τὴν ἡμετέραν καύχησιν ἣν ἔχω ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν
εἰ κατὰ ἄνθρωπον ἐθηριομάχησα ἐν Ἐφέσῳ τί μοι τὸ ὄφελος εἰ νεκροὶ οὐκ ἐγείρονται Φάγωμεν καὶ πίωμεν αὔριον γὰρ ἀποθνῄσκομεν
~1st Corinthians 15:30-32
Would you guys say that I've given this a fair assessment?

Thanks,

~John
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timothy_p_mcmahon
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Joined: June 3rd, 2011, 10:47 pm

Re: βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν

Post by timothy_p_mcmahon » September 26th, 2015, 3:04 pm

jdhadwin wrote:But I'm very curious why they wouldn't follow the precedent they set in Matthew 10:24 when they rendered μαθητὴς ὑπὲρ τὸν διδάσκαλον as "disciple above his master" and δοῦλος ὑπὲρ τὸν κύριον "servant above his lord."
Let me satisfy your curiosity. ὑπὲρ governing the accusative means 'beyond, above' or such. ὑπὲρ governing the genitive means 'concerning, on behalf of' or the like. You're trying to take the accusative meaning and import it into the use of ὑπὲρ with the genitive.
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cwconrad
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Re: βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν

Post by cwconrad » September 26th, 2015, 3:06 pm

jdhadwin wrote:Hello again everyone.
Ἐπεὶ τί ποιήσουσιν οἱ βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν εἰ ὅλως νεκροὶ οὐκ ἐγείρονται τί καὶ βαπτίζονται ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν
Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?
~1st Corinthians 15:29
After looking at the word ὑπὲρ (ὑπέρ), I found that it is rendered in a couple of different ways. Clearly, here the translators have determined that it means "for" (on behalf of). But I'm very curious why they wouldn't follow the precedent they set in Matthew 10:24 when they rendered μαθητὴς ὑπὲρ τὸν διδάσκαλον as "disciple above his master" and δοῦλος ὑπὲρ τὸν κύριον "servant above his lord."
Οὐκ ἔστιν μαθητὴς ὑπὲρ τὸν διδάσκαλον οὐδὲ δοῦλος ὑπὲρ τὸν κύριον αὐτοῦ
The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
~Matthew 10:24
Clearly the disparity between the two potential meanings is HUGE. Imagine if Matthew 10:24 had been interpreted as "The disciple is not for his master, nor the servant for his lord." ––Nonsense, right! That just would not be true.

Likewise, it seems clear to me that the baptism of a living person on behalf of a dead person is complete nonsense, just as much as it would be nonsense to say that a disciple is not for his master, etc. However, what makes perfect sense is "Else what shall they do which are baptized above the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized above the dead?" This would also produce the meaning that (in my opinion) better fits the surrounding context of 1st Corinthians 15, without injecting a completely random subject that is not found anywhere else in scripture whatsoever (baptism on behalf of the dead), which English versions currently do.
ἔσχατος ἐχθρὸς καταργεῖται ὁ θάνατος
πάντα γὰρ ὑπέταξεν ὑπὸ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ ὅταν δὲ εἴπῃ ὅτι πάντα ὑποτέτακται δῆλον ὅτι ἐκτὸς τοῦ ὑποτάξαντος αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα
ὅταν δὲ ὑποταγῇ αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα τότε καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ υἱὸς ὑποταγήσεται τῷ ὑποτάξαντι αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα ἵνα ᾖ ὁ θεὸς τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν
Ἐπεὶ τί ποιήσουσιν οἱ βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν εἰ ὅλως νεκροὶ οὐκ ἐγείρονται τί καὶ βαπτίζονται ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν

~1st Corinthians 15:26-29
It seems obvious to me that the intention was to point out that, if "death" were not to be destroyed in the end, then what advantage have the baptized over and above the dead? Thus, if there were no resurrection (and it were not as Paul said in v26), if "death" were not to be destroyed in the end, then why do we deny our flesh and endure tribulations without yielding, etc. Why not just eat, drink and be merry? Ah, of course, because, death will be destroyed.
τί καὶ ἡμεῖς κινδυνεύομεν πᾶσαν ὥραν
καθ᾽ ἡμέραν ἀποθνῄσκω νὴ τὴν ἡμετέραν καύχησιν ἣν ἔχω ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν
εἰ κατὰ ἄνθρωπον ἐθηριομάχησα ἐν Ἐφέσῳ τί μοι τὸ ὄφελος εἰ νεκροὶ οὐκ ἐγείρονται Φάγωμεν καὶ πίωμεν αὔριον γὰρ ἀποθνῄσκομεν
~1st Corinthians 15:30-32
Would you guys say that I've given this a fair assessment?

Thanks,

~John
In this forum we don't talk about translation questions as such and we don't talk about doctrinal issues -- our focus is on the Greek text and the Greek language. In that regard, I suggest that you note that in one instance ὑπὲρ is construed with an accusative and in the other instance it is construed with a genitive; check the lexicon and note the different sense of the preposition when used with these grammatical cases.
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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)

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

Re: βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν

Post by jdhadwin » September 26th, 2015, 7:26 pm

timothy_p_mcmahon wrote:Let me satisfy your curiosity. ὑπὲρ governing the accusative means 'beyond, above' or such. ὑπὲρ governing the genitive means 'concerning, on behalf of' or the like. You're trying to take the accusative meaning and import it into the use of ὑπὲρ with the genitive.
Well thanks for pointing out that genitive/accusative difference. I thought the final genitive phrase was encapsulated within the accusative prompts τί. Does that make sense? The question being "Ἐπεὶ τί ποιήσουσιν οἱ βαπτιζόμενοι" what? τί what? The answer is the genitive phrase "ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν". And "εἰ ὅλως νεκροὶ οὐκ ἐγείρονται τί" what? The answer is the same genitive phrase, "βαπτίζονται ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν"

cwconrad wrote:In this forum we don't talk about translation questions as such and we don't talk about doctrinal issues -- our focus is on the Greek text and the Greek language. In that regard, I suggest that you note that in one instance ὑπὲρ is construed with an accusative and in the other instance it is construed with a genitive; check the lexicon and note the different sense of the preposition when used with these grammatical cases.

I really thought this was a grammar question (especially seeing as it was answered by timothy_p_mcmahon pointing out Grammar and not by translating). I'm not sure how it has been deemed a matter of translation.

Nevertheless, I have plenty that I'd like to say in response, but I do not want to say anything that frustrates the sensitive policies of the forum, nor do I want to be seen as bucking the system or disrespecting your exciting group. I think probably just that I'm too beginner, isn't that more of the problem? Honestly, unless we just speak all Greek all the time, no English at all, then how can we discuss Greek on an English speaking website without doing some translation? How could I have asked this question in a more appropriate way that fits the policies of the forum?

Sincerely,

~John
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timothy_p_mcmahon
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Re: βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν

Post by timothy_p_mcmahon » September 26th, 2015, 9:02 pm

jdhadwin wrote:I thought the final genitive phrase was encapsulated within the accusative prompts τί. Does that make sense?
Actually, it doesn't – at least, not to me. The only issue relevant to your original proposal is the case of the object of ὑπὲρ. The meaning of ὑπὲρ is determined by the case it governs. Nothing else in the sentence changes that.
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Wes Wood
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Re: βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν

Post by Wes Wood » September 26th, 2015, 11:12 pm

jdhadwin wrote:Nevertheless, I have plenty that I'd like to say in response, but I do not want to say anything that frustrates the sensitive policies of the forum, nor do I want to be seen as bucking the system or disrespecting your exciting group. I think probably just that I'm too beginner, isn't that more of the problem? Honestly, unless we just speak all Greek all the time, no English at all, then how can we discuss Greek on an English speaking website without doing some translation? How could I have asked this question in a more appropriate way that fits the policies of the forum?
I would be genuinely surprised if anyone here has a problem with you being "too beginner," but nearly all of the regular participants on this forum are capable of interacting with the Greek text as Greek. One of the goals of the 'Beginners Forum' is to help students, formal or informal, acquire the skills needed to do the same. I am willing to work with you directly, either on the forum or behind the scenes, if this is a goal you are seriously interested in pursuing. Fair warning: I am likely among the least proficient with Greek of the members on the forum, but I am confident I help you through an introductory grammar. P.M. me if you are interested.
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Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

jdhadwin
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Re: βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν

Post by jdhadwin » September 26th, 2015, 11:20 pm

timothy_p_mcmahon wrote:
jdhadwin wrote:I thought the final genitive phrase was encapsulated within the accusative prompts τί. Does that make sense?
Actually, it doesn't – at least, not to me. The only issue relevant to your original proposal is the case of the object of ὑπὲρ. The meaning of ὑπὲρ is determined by the case it governs. Nothing else in the sentence changes that.
Sorry about that. I thought that phrases could be thought of as receiving the action of the verb. I thought of ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν as a phrase that received the action of the verb. I was thinking that (ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν) = τί at the beginning of v29 and that τί = (βαπτίζονται ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν) at the end of v29. I just thought that it was a phrase whose contents declare a genitive relationship to the nominative, while the phrase as a whole received the action accusatively. From what you're saying, that is just never done in Koine. Right?
Wes Wood wrote:I would be genuinely surprised if anyone here has a problem with you being "too beginner," but nearly all of the regular participants on this forum are capable of interacting with the Greek text as Greek. One of the goals of the 'Beginners Forum' is to help students, formal or informal, acquire the skills needed to do the same. I am willing to work with you directly, either on the forum or behind the scenes, if this is a goal you are seriously interested in pursuing. Fair warning: I am likely among the least proficient with Greek of the members on the forum, but I am confident I help you through an introductory grammar. P.M. me if you are interested.
Thanks a million Wes. Will do!

Thanks all,

~John
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timothy_p_mcmahon
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Re: βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν

Post by timothy_p_mcmahon » September 27th, 2015, 12:56 am

jdhadwin wrote:I thought of ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν as a phrase that received the action of the verb. I was thinking that (ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν) = τί at the beginning of v29 and that τί = (βαπτίζονται ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν) at the end of v29. I just thought that it was a phrase whose contents declare a genitive relationship to the nominative, while the phrase as a whole received the action accusatively. From what you're saying, that is just never done in Koine. Right?
Right. Or in any other language I've ever researched.

ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν is an adverbial prepositional phrase. It modifies βαπτίζονται. It gives further information on how or under what circumstances the action of βαπτίζονται takes place. τί means "why?" It's also adverbial to βαπτίζονται.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν

Post by Barry Hofstetter » September 27th, 2015, 7:12 am

John, just a note of encouragement. Many of the participants on this list have literally decades of working with Greek, do or have taught Greek on a regular basis, and very cheerfully love to help beginners see it for themselves. It would be a good idea to accept what they say and and add it to your growing knowledge of the language. Occasionally we get folks who insist that they are right no matter what, even when it is an obvious error that the individual could check from any beginning grammar. I'm happy to say that you do not seem to be such a person... :D
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε

jdhadwin
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Re: βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν

Post by jdhadwin » September 27th, 2015, 3:11 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:John, just a note of encouragement. Many of the participants on this list have literally decades of working with Greek, do or have taught Greek on a regular basis, and very cheerfully love to help beginners see it for themselves. It would be a good idea to accept what they say and and add it to your growing knowledge of the language. Occasionally we get folks who insist that they are right no matter what, even when it is an obvious error that the individual could check from any beginning grammar. I'm happy to say that you do not seem to be such a person... :D
Thanks Barry,

I very much appreciate the encouragement :) I'm still at such a beginning stage that I'm actually still learning how to look this stuff up and check it in a beginner's grammar book, lol. Because my motivation for learning Greek is based on investigating biblical things, I have exegetically developed several hypotheses (only in English) about the meaning of certain harder/confusing scriptures, and I need to learn Greek to put those hypotheses to rest. I will never stand by a bad hypothesis when it is proven inadequate by the original Greek. Yet, if the scripture still does not make exegetical sense to me, I will still search for a different hypothesis that could harmonize the verse in question with the full context of all scripture. If there isn't one, then I'll have to change my doctrine. I know that you guys don't talk about all that stuff here, but I thought it might be courteous to reveal why the cogs are turning the way they are inside my head.

I'm going to get some help privately and learn a bit more before I post publicly again :)

Thanks again,

~John
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