Infinitive Subjects of ἐγένετο

S Walch
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Re: Infinitive Subjects of ἐγένετο

Post by S Walch » February 26th, 2019, 5:13 pm

Well yeah, I've certainly "jumped the gun" a bit on this one.

Just done my own search in Acts, and found nothing like "indefinite-subject ἐγένετο followed by time margin (often ἐν+infinitive) followed by a finite verb (+/- conjunction for the finite verb)".

The only thing close enough was one that had two infinitives (Acts 14:1). Other places seemed to use a participle in place of the finite verb.

One thing I also noticed was the use of Ἐγένετο δέ/καὶ ἐγένετο as an introduction to a new event.

In Luke, καὶ ἐγένετο occurs 22 times (out a total of 29 occurrences of καὶ ἐγένετο) as introducing a new event, but in Acts this happens in no instance. The usage of καὶ ἐγένετο is also somewhat meagre (6 times: Acts 2:2; 5:5, 11; 7:29; 10:23; 21:30).

Ἐγένετο δέ on the other hand is used 15 times in Luke as introducing a new event, (out of a total 17 uses), and 15 times in Acts as introducing a new event (out of a total 20 uses).

Comparing this to the LXX (Swete edition; Rahlfs likely different), use of καὶ ἐγένετο as opposed to Ἐγένετο δέ is nearly 10/1 (though not always introducing a new event - 571 instances to 58 instances respectfully).

In the search I've been doing on Perseus, I've yet to come across a single instance of καὶ ἐγένετο (at the mo, out of 10 different authors); Ἐγένετο δέ has occurred a few times (resent search in Dio Chrysostom - twice in Discourse 20, but neither as introducing a new event), but not nearly in the same frequency as seen in Lxx, Luke or Acts.

I'm sure I'll find καὶ ἐγένετο somewhere in a Greek author, but nothing like the frequency seen in the LXX or Luke I suspect.

@RandallButh reading "between the lines", so to speak, of your posts, and the mention of the Hebraic idiom in the GoL (and not Acts), would you therefore be thinking that the instances in the GoL of the Hebraic idiom and not in Acts are not because Luke was attempting to "mimic Septuagint style" (yes, my words), but rather because he was quoting/reporting (or perhaps, is translating a quote) from a Hebraic source?

This would make more sense for the GoL, as Luke himself states that καθὼς παρέδοσαν ἡμῖν οἱ ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς αὐτόπται καὶ ὑπηρέται γενόμενοι τοῦ λόγου, ἔδοξε κἀμοὶ παρηκολουθηκότι ἄνωθεν πᾶσιν ἀκριβῶς καθεξῆς σοι γράψαι, as opposed to Acts which is more or less Luke's own composition, and not relating what others have told him/written down for him to translate. Hence the more idiomatic non-translational Greek of Acts.

Have I understood this correctly, or am I misreading what you seem to be implying?
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Tony Pope
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Re: Infinitive Subjects of ἐγένετο

Post by Tony Pope » March 6th, 2019, 5:28 am

An interesting article by W. G. Most entitled 'Did St. Luke Imitate the Septuagint?' was published in Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Vol 15 1982 30-41, and is also available at https://www.catholicculture.org/culture ... orknum=221

Most claims the evidence shows that Luke was using Hebrew sources and preserving their grammatical structure in translation.
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RandallButh
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Re: Infinitive Subjects of ἐγένετο

Post by RandallButh » March 6th, 2019, 7:50 am

@RandallButh reading "between the lines", so to speak, of your posts, and the mention of the Hebraic idiom in the GoL (and not Acts), would you therefore be thinking that the instances in the GoL of the Hebraic idiom and not in Acts are not because Luke was attempting to "mimic Septuagint style" (yes, my words), but rather because he was quoting/reporting (or perhaps, is translating a quote) from a Hebraic source?


Basically, yes.

Luke uses three kinds of indefinite ἐγένετο (+/- time/location phrase) structures in the Gospel, (1) introducing a finite verb clause (2) introducing a finite verb clause with καί and (3) introducing an infinitive clause as the main event clause. Only the first two mimic the Hebraic structure and are seemingly foreign to Greek.

In Acts there is only type (3), the NON-Hebraic, Greek-friendly structure, similar to the Greek structure with indefinite συνέβη + infinitive main event.

Type (3) can be called Luke's personal structure. The data is monolithic and clear, yet it is often blurred or mis-communicated in otherwise reputable authors (e.g. Turner in Grammar NT Greek, 3-4, Fitzmyer, AB in Luke and Acts, et al. elsewhere and frequently), as if all the gospel structures also appeared in Acts. Is this an example of self-deception in many an author, or what? If they want to deny any follow up or ignore possible implications, they could state that: "Hmm, for some strange reason Luke turns off the specifically Hebraic structure after the Gospel, but continues to use the 'Greek' structure even more frequently." Messing up the data needs to be called out and has been called out, but mostly the field hasn't cared. It's against the "Narrative." It could imply that Luke had a major NON-Markan source, probably already in Greek, that went back to a Hebrew proto-gospel. Maybe Papias was right, the Jerusalem Church had a written Hebrew gospel document (though that does not explain our canonical Greek Matthew).
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Ken M. Penner
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Re: Infinitive Subjects of ἐγένετο

Post by Ken M. Penner » June 12th, 2019, 8:10 am

Those following this thread might be interested in the 2018 tesina by Sarah Gildea, "The Ἐγένετο Phrases and ἐν ταῖς ἡµέραις in the Gospel of Luke"
From the conclusion:
Sarah Gildea wrote:What had been overlooked was the connection between the Ἐγένετο forms and the ἡµέρα phrases. Confusion also arose when comparing the grammar in the gospel to Acts; they are two separate books written with different ends. The gospel is an introduction, whereas Acts is a continuation. Luke as a tendency to use the Ἐγένετο and ἡµέρα phrases in his gospel when revealing a new eschatological/soteriological content. Since there is no new eschatological content in Acts, the phrases were rarely used. The LXX, especially the prophetic literature, provided Luke with the model for the use of the Ἐγένετο phrases, and combined with a time expression, Luke communicated a theology through the placement of these phrases, forming a gospel that was Christological and eschatological but also may have sounded somewhat apocalyptical for his contemporary readers. In fact, no new eschatological revelation takes place in the gospel without the use of the identified Ἐγένετο forms. These phrases in turn demonstrate to the reader the authors' hermeneutical design.
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Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

RandallButh
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Re: Infinitive Subjects of ἐγένετο

Post by RandallButh » June 12th, 2019, 11:36 am

Her phrase "Since there is no new eschatological content in Acts, the phrases were rarely used" shows that she didn't have an full or accurate understanding of the philology and the three separate constructions.

There are ZERO Hebraic structures in Acts, not "rarely used".
But there were about 16 examples on the non-Hebraic/Greek εγενετο + infinitive 'subject'. That is quite a significant number, beyond "rarely".
These two observations would undermine her theologizing. (PS: she cited my 2014 work but not previous work nor did she interact with my conclusions there or previously.)

So she did a lot of work but doesn't appear to have fully understood what she read.
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