Infinitive Subjects of ἐγένετο

Daniel Semler
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Re: Infinitive Subjects of ἐγένετο

Post by Daniel Semler » February 21st, 2019, 11:09 am

Looking further at the ἐγένετο LXX connection I ran across the following which might be of interest.

I went to Muraoka, to his lexicon. He has an entry for καὶ ἐγένετο. I won't quote the whole section as I only have it in hard copy but his opening line is interesting. "καὶ ἐγένετο introduces a time-frame within which a past event took place, and with the second or subsequent verb, often prefixed with a pleonastic καὶ, begins the main sequence of events". He goes on with examples from the LXX. It feels very like the way it behaves in the NT. Discourse marking ? or simply something that became an idiom of sorts for scene setting ? I don't have enough linguistics to know how I would classify this.

Now, to his grammar.

Ok, he has various notes on this where the summary of his thoughts appear above. He suggests that what was originally a likely direct translation of the Hebrew construction became an accepted feature of the writing and occurs where ויהי is not attested in the Hebrew. He also has no issue seeing the NT usage as a Septuagintalism. He makes a distinction between a semiticism as it occurs in the LXX (ie. a rendering of the Hebrew idiom in Greek by translation) and a Septuaginatlism as it occurs in the NT (a style of expression used in the NT presumably due to contact with the LXX text).

Thx
D
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Daniel Semler
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Re: Infinitive Subjects of ἐγένετο

Post by Daniel Semler » February 21st, 2019, 11:50 am

@Jonathan Robie

One more question before I wander off to ponder this a little more. What type of discourse function do you see the infinitive subjects playing ? I note your post originally was about this in particular.

Thx
D
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MAubrey
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Re: Infinitive Subjects of ἐγένετο

Post by MAubrey » February 21st, 2019, 5:24 pm

RandallButh wrote:
February 21st, 2019, 2:01 am
Let's skip point 1 since it was intended to point out the lack of existence and has a ready answer: it was not normally used in classical dialects.

Instead a more fruitful line, even eye-opening, may develop if people try to answer point two. The assumption questioned in point two gets much too much of an easy pass in NT and Luke-Acts studies.
Let's not skip point #1.

But first we do need to legitimately ask the question of what is "standard Greek." The framing of standardness, in a sense, assumes a conclusion that you're pointing out is problematic: that the idea of mimicking the LXX is itself not standard. The foil of the classical dialects is a distraction to the extent that they are already several hundred years past. We certainly do not use Shakespeare as foil for how we define standard English today. All that Jonathan said was that ἐγένετο+INF was good standard Greek. He never said it was classical.

So we have two sources on this front. The papyri and the literary koine. Part of the difficulty is that this construction, as we find it in both the LXX and the NT has a particular function in narrative that isn't readily common in non-narrative texts like letters. Still, I pulled up one papyri example:

Here's P.Oxy 123
Ischurion wrote: 1 Κυρίῳ μου υἱῷ Διονυσοθέωνι
2 ὁ πατὴρ χαίρειν.
3 εὐκαιρη τις καὶ νῦν τοῦ ἀνερχομένου πρὸς ὑμᾶς
4 ἀναγκαῖόν μοι ἐγένετο προσαγορεῦσαι ὑμᾶς.
As for the literary koine, I found a bit more. That there are narrative texts helps. Anyone have thoughts on these? None of these are the sort of discourse marking "and it happened that" sort, but...they still are ἐγένετο+INF.
Paus., Gr. Descr. 3.11.6 wrote:Τισαμενῷ δὲ ὄντι Ἠλείῳ τῶν Ἰαμιδῶν λόγιον ἐγένετο ἀγῶνας ἀναιρήσεσθαι πέντε ἐπιφανεστάτους αὐτόν.
Paus., Gr. Descr. 4.20.8 wrote:τοῦτο μάλιστα αἴτιον ἐγένετο ἐκλειφθῆναι τὴν ἀκρόπολιν·
Paus., Gr. Descr. 7.17.13 wrote:τούτῳ τῷ Οἰβώτα νικήσαντι Ὀλύμπια Ἀχαιῶν πρώτῳ γέρας οὐδὲν ἐξαίρετον παρʼ αὐτῶν ἐγένετο εὕρασθαι·
D. H., Rom. Ant. 2.63.4 wrote:καὶ ἐπειδὴ ἐγγὺς ἐγένετο ἀκοῦσαι ταῦτα αὐτοῦ λέγοντος·
D. H., Rom. Ant. 9.42.2 wrote:οὐ μὴν πολὺν4 κατέσχε χρόνον, ὅπερ αἴτιον ἐγένετο τοῦ μὴ σύμπασαν διαφθαρῆναι τὴν πόλιν·
Appian, Bell. Civ. 3.61 wrote:σαφῶς αἴτιος ἐγένετο μὴ ψηφισθῆναι πολέμιον Ἀντώνιον
Arrian, Anabasis 7.2.2 wrote:ἐπεὶ καὶ ἐς Τάξιλα αὐτῷ ἀφικομένῳ καὶ ἰδόντι τῶν σοφιστῶν τῶν Ἰνδῶν τοὺς γυμνοὺς πόθος ἐγένετο ξυνεῖναί τινα οἱ τῶν ἀνδρῶν τούτων, ὅτι τὴν καρτερίαν αὐτῶν ἐθαύμασε.
Appian, Syriaca 61 wrote:Σελεύκῳ δὲ ἡσθέντι ἔργον μὲν ἐγένετο πεῖσαι τὸν υἱόν
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Infinitive Subjects of ἐγένετο

Post by Jonathan Robie » February 21st, 2019, 7:36 pm

Daniel Semler wrote:
February 21st, 2019, 11:50 am
@Jonathan Robie

One more question before I wander off to ponder this a little more. What type of discourse function do you see the infinitive subjects playing ? I note your post originally was about this in particular.
It often seems to introduce a setting and a new step in the action. I would guess it is a prominent point of departure and development marker. In my printed Bibles, it often comes after a heading. Part of this is simply ἐγένετο substituting for the lack of an aorist form of εἰμι, I am not sure if there's more to it than that.

But I'm no expert in discourse. That's why I am asking here.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

RandallButh
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Re: Infinitive Subjects of ἐγένετο

Post by RandallButh » February 22nd, 2019, 7:30 am

MAubrey wrote:
February 21st, 2019, 5:24 pm
RandallButh wrote:
February 21st, 2019, 2:01 am
Let's skip point 1 since it was intended to point out the lack of existence and has a ready answer: it was not normally used in classical dialects.

Instead a more fruitful line, even eye-opening, may develop if people try to answer point two. The assumption questioned in point two gets much too much of an easy pass in NT and Luke-Acts studies.
Let's not skip point #1.

But first we do need to legitimately ask the question of what is "standard Greek." The framing of standardness, in a sense, assumes a conclusion that you're pointing out is problematic: that the idea of mimicking the LXX is itself not standard. The foil of the classical dialects is a distraction to the extent that they are already several hundred years past. We certainly do not use Shakespeare as foil for how we define standard English today. All that Jonathan said was that ἐγένετο+INF was good standard Greek. He never said it was classical.

So we have two sources on this front. The papyri and the literary koine. Part of the difficulty is that this construction, as we find it in both the LXX and the NT has a particular function in narrative that isn't readily common in non-narrative texts like letters. Still, I pulled up one papyri example:

Here's P.Oxy 123
Ischurion wrote: 1 Κυρίῳ μου υἱῷ Διονυσοθέωνι
2 ὁ πατὴρ χαίρειν.
3 εὐκαιρη τις καὶ νῦν τοῦ ἀνερχομένου πρὸς ὑμᾶς
4 ἀναγκαῖόν μοι ἐγένετο προσαγορεῦσαι ὑμᾶς.
As for the literary koine, I found a bit more. That there are narrative texts helps. Anyone have thoughts on these? None of these are the sort of discourse marking "and it happened that" sort, but...they still are ἐγένετο+INF.
Paus., Gr. Descr. 3.11.6 wrote:Τισαμενῷ δὲ ὄντι Ἠλείῳ τῶν Ἰαμιδῶν λόγιον ἐγένετο ἀγῶνας ἀναιρήσεσθαι πέντε ἐπιφανεστάτους αὐτόν.
Paus., Gr. Descr. 4.20.8 wrote:τοῦτο μάλιστα αἴτιον ἐγένετο ἐκλειφθῆναι τὴν ἀκρόπολιν·
Paus., Gr. Descr. 7.17.13 wrote:τούτῳ τῷ Οἰβώτα νικήσαντι Ὀλύμπια Ἀχαιῶν πρώτῳ γέρας οὐδὲν ἐξαίρετον παρʼ αὐτῶν ἐγένετο εὕρασθαι·
D. H., Rom. Ant. 2.63.4 wrote:καὶ ἐπειδὴ ἐγγὺς ἐγένετο ἀκοῦσαι ταῦτα αὐτοῦ λέγοντος·
D. H., Rom. Ant. 9.42.2 wrote:οὐ μὴν πολὺν4 κατέσχε χρόνον, ὅπερ αἴτιον ἐγένετο τοῦ μὴ σύμπασαν διαφθαρῆναι τὴν πόλιν·
Appian, Bell. Civ. 3.61 wrote:σαφῶς αἴτιος ἐγένετο μὴ ψηφισθῆναι πολέμιον Ἀντώνιον
Arrian, Anabasis 7.2.2 wrote:ἐπεὶ καὶ ἐς Τάξιλα αὐτῷ ἀφικομένῳ καὶ ἰδόντι τῶν σοφιστῶν τῶν Ἰνδῶν τοὺς γυμνοὺς πόθος ἐγένετο ξυνεῖναί τινα οἱ τῶν ἀνδρῶν τούτων, ὅτι τὴν καρτερίαν αὐτῶν ἐθαύμασε.
Appian, Syriaca 61 wrote:Σελεύκῳ δὲ ἡσθέντι ἔργον μὲν ἐγένετο πεῖσαι τὸν υἱόν
Thank you for all of the citations above.
However, it should be readily* apparent that they are NOT like the Semitic egeneto structures in the gospels or LXX. (NB very well: I did not include Acts on purpose. That alone is a story that needs telling or exposure. AKA point #2.)

*All of the quotations have an additional complement in the egeneto head clause that is not like Hebrew or the LXX or NT gospels.

What the list shows is that there is a Greek structure in use that was close enough to Hebrew that may have influenced the choice of ἐγένετο over συνέβη. (συνέβη made it once into Acts. IIRC)
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MAubrey
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Re: Infinitive Subjects of ἐγένετο

Post by MAubrey » February 22nd, 2019, 2:22 pm

RandallButh wrote:
February 22nd, 2019, 7:30 am
Thank you for all of the citations above.
However, it should be readily* apparent that they are NOT like the Semitic egeneto structures in the gospels or LXX. (NB very well: I did not include Acts on purpose. That alone is a story that needs telling or exposure. AKA point #2.)

*All of the quotations have an additional complement in the egeneto head clause that is not like Hebrew or the LXX or NT gospels.

What the list shows is that there is a Greek structure in use that was close enough to Hebrew that may have influenced the choice of ἐγένετο over συνέβη. (συνέβη made it once into Acts. IIRC)
Uhm, see:
MAubrey wrote:
February 21st, 2019, 5:24 pm
None of these are the sort of discourse marking "and it happened that" sort
Beyond that, I'm still primarily talking von Siebenthal. He never made a claim about the kind of narrative ἐγένετο structures we find in the LXX or Acts. His assertion was a bare syntactic one, focusing on verbs and the arguments they take, rather than a claim about discoursee.

And surely the extension from one impersonal verb to another in such narrative contexts is quite simple and highly analogical. We can agree on that, can't we?
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RandallButh
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Re: Infinitive Subjects of ἐγένετο

Post by RandallButh » February 22nd, 2019, 3:33 pm

And surely the extension from one impersonal verb to another in such narrative contexts is quite simple and highly analogical. We can agree on that, can't we?
Ναί, συμφωνῶμεν.

The problem is that we are not getting to point two.

What evidence would support the claim that indefinite subjectless ἐγένετο clauses were being created by Luke to mimic LXX style?
What evidence would counter such view points?

This isn't so hard, but people will only understand if they think through this themselves and do some easy checking.
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RandallButh
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Re: Infinitive Subjects of ἐγένετο

Post by RandallButh » February 26th, 2019, 2:00 am

The problem is that we are not getting to point two.

What evidence would support the claim that indefinite subjectless ἐγένετο clauses were being created by Luke to mimic LXX style?
What evidence would counter such view points?

This isn't so hard, but people will only understand if they think through this themselves, discuss it openly, and do some easy checking.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Infinitive Subjects of ἐγένετο

Post by Barry Hofstetter » February 26th, 2019, 9:11 am

RandallButh wrote:
February 26th, 2019, 2:00 am
The problem is that we are not getting to point two.

What evidence would support the claim that indefinite subjectless ἐγένετο clauses were being created by Luke to mimic LXX style?
What evidence would counter such view points?

This isn't so hard, but people will only understand if they think through this themselves, discuss it openly, and do some easy checking.
Well, for me it's not rocket science. The expression shows up a lot in the LXX. In the NT, it shows up mostly in Luke. Doesn't show up much of anywhere else outside the NT. Combined with certain other stylistic choices that Luke makes, that sound like the LXX, and voila! Is that proof?
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RandallButh
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Re: Infinitive Subjects of ἐγένετο

Post by RandallButh » February 26th, 2019, 3:44 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
February 26th, 2019, 9:11 am
RandallButh wrote:
February 26th, 2019, 2:00 am
The problem is that we are not getting to point two.

What evidence would support the claim that indefinite subjectless ἐγένετο clauses were being created by Luke to mimic LXX style?
What evidence would counter such view points?

This isn't so hard, but people will only understand if they think through this themselves, discuss it openly, and do some easy checking.
Well, for me it's not rocket science. The expression shows up a lot in the LXX. In the NT, it shows up mostly in Luke. Doesn't show up much of anywhere else outside the NT. Combined with certain other stylistic choices that Luke makes, that sound like the LXX, and voila! Is that proof?
Proof of what?
You may have just "proven" (i.e., raised a question) that Luke used sources that incorporated the idiom.

When you say "Luke" did you include Acts?

And if you included Acts, where is an example of the distinctly Hebraic syntax: indefinite-subject ἐγένετο followed by time margin (often ἐν+infinitive) followed by a finite verb (+/- conjunction for the finite verb)?

The "Semitic idiom" (technically Hebrew, not Aramaic) is very frequent in the Gospel. Some have alleged, and many have echoed, that it occurs in Acts.
But I haven't found one in Acts, not one, although there are many non-Hebraic "Greek sounding" examples in Acts. Interesting, no?

NB: In the Gospel, Luke 3:21 is not the Hebraic idiom but a distinctly Grecian syntax where ἐγένετο introduces the main propositions coded in the infinitive. On the other hand, Luke 5:1, 12, and 17 are examples of a Greek calque on the Hebrew idiom.
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