ὁ Ἰησοῦς· The article with proper names

ὁ Ἰησοῦς· The article with proper names

Postby Thomas M Campbell » January 6th, 2012, 4:51 pm

Hello all
new member today.

Please excuse the capitals:

Confused is how I feel: Greek New Testament has Ο ΙΗΣΟΥΣ for Jesus, but I cannot understand this.
Does it therefore make sense to write O MAPK for Mark the Evangelist? Or O PETROS for Peter?

I would be glad of some assistance

Thank you
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Re: ὁ Ἰησοῦς· The article with proper names

Postby Stephen Carlson » January 6th, 2012, 8:55 pm

Yes, Greek often uses the article with proper names. It tends to use the article more often than English does, and this is one of the cases where they differ.

Stephen
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ὁ Ἰησοῦς· The article with proper names

Postby Louis L Sorenson » January 7th, 2012, 12:36 am

Tom,

What grammar are you learning from? Perhaps I can point you in the right direction. We host one of the best grammars for the NT here on the B-Greek site. It can be found at

http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/project/funk-grammar/pre-alpha/lesson-5.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/project/funk-grammar/pre-alpha/lesson-.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/project/funk-grammar/pre-alpha/lesson-35.html

But looking through that grammar, and even Mounce, I don't see a direct discussion of the article and names. In Daniel Wallace's Greek Grammar, Beyond the Basics, which is a grammar on syntax only, He discusses the use of the article under the absence of the article p. 245, 1) Proper Names.

Here is what he says....
By the nature of the case, a proper name is definiete without the aricle. If we read Παῦλος we do not think of translating it as "a Paul." Further, the use of the art. w. personal names is varied; as a general rule the presence of the art. w. a personal name indicats that the pers. is known; the absence of the art. simply names him.... This rule, however is subject to considerable modification....)BDAG s.v. ό, ἡ, τό , ΙΙ. 2. b.
Robertson add to this:

(see A.T. Robertson's full quote below)

The difficulty with the article with proper names is twofold: (1) English usage does not correspond to it, and (2) we still cannot achieve 'explanatory adequacy' with reference to the use of the article with proper names - that is we are unable to articulate clear and consistent principle as to why the article is used in a given instance. (For example, although sometimes it is due to anaphora, there are too many exceptions to make this a major principle.) What we can say, however, is that a proper name, with or without the is definite.

Here is A.T. Roberson's section on the article. It can be found at http://www.letsreadgreek.org/resources/atrgrammar/ on page 759. Here is the portion Wallace quotes

3. With Proper Names. This seems rather odd to us in English,
since the proper name itself is supposed to be definite enough.
But at bottom the idiom is the same as with other substantives.
We do not use the article with home, husband, wife, church,
unless there is special reason to do so. The word itself is usually
sufficient. We must rid ourselves of the notion that any substan-
tive requires the article. But, just because proper names are so
obviously definite, the article was frequently used where we in
English cannot handle it. But this is very far from saying that
the article meant nothing to the Greek
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Re: ὁ Ἰησοῦς· The article with proper names

Postby David Lim » January 7th, 2012, 1:52 am

Thomas M Campbell wrote:Confused is how I feel: Greek New Testament has Ο ΙΗΣΟΥΣ for Jesus, but I cannot understand this.
Does it therefore make sense to write O MAPK for Mark the Evangelist? Or O PETROS for Peter?


Normally, a noun in Koine Greek is declined according to 1 of 5 cases (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive, vocative) and either singular or plural. It also has an inherent gender (which is arbitrary except for some words for humans or animals), which affects which declension is used. Jesus' name is only partially declinable, having been borrowed from the Hebrew word "Yeshua" (Joshua) and transliterated into "ΙΗΣΟΥ". To this stem was added "Σ" for the nominative and "Ν" for the accusative. Therefore we get "ΙΗΣΟΥΣ" in the nominative used for the name of Jesus. Mark's name has a normal second declension, thus the nominative is "ΜΑΡΚΟΣ", the accusative is "ΜΑΡΚΟΝ", the dative is "ΜΑΡΚΩ", the genitive is "ΜΑΡΚΟΥ" and the vocative is "ΜΑΡΚΕ". The name of Peter is likewise declined "ΠΕΤΡΟΣ" / "ΠΕΤΡΟΝ" / "ΠΕΤΡΩ" / "ΠΕΤΡΟΥ" / "ΠΕΤΡΕ".

The use of the article with names seems rather haphazard and dependent on whether it sounds better, varying with the author, but usually used when resuming a reference to the same person mentioned a while previously. In Funk's Grammar there is a very brief mention of it at http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/project/f ... on-49.html, I supposed because there is no really clear reason for the presence or absence of the article with proper names.
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Re: ὁ Ἰησοῦς· The article with proper names

Postby Jason Hare » January 7th, 2012, 8:29 am

David,

David Lim wrote:Jesus' name is only partially declinable, having been borrowed from the Hebrew word "Yeshua" (Joshua) and transliterated into "ΙΗΣΟΥ".

This is your opinion, since the Greek name Ἰησοῦς was used throughout the Septuagint to translate יהושע (Yehoshua), and ישוע (Yeshua) appeared late in the Tanach and is also translated in the same way. There's certainly no way to be sure what Jesus' Hebrew or Aramaic name may have been, so this should be stated as an opinion for the sake of those who read the forum and would come away with the impression of authority from our posters' contributions.

David Lim wrote:The use of the article with names seems rather haphazard and dependent on whether it sounds better, varying with the author, but usually used when resuming a reference to the same person mentioned a while previously. In Funk's Grammar there is a very brief mention of it at http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/project/f ... on-49.html, I supposed because there is no really clear reason for the presence or absence of the article with proper names.

This is the more relevant portion of your post, I think. The link you provided does touch on the question being discussed, and it reduces this use of the article to grammatical need — on the one hand to signal a return to the same person who was spoken of before, and on the other hand to indicate case in a non-declinable name (such as the example with Philip and Nathaniel).

Very nice link! But, again, you probably gave too much information for this specific question in your first paragraph. Don't you think we should, as Louis has done, first attempt to find out what the participant is studying from, if anything? Our goal should be to get them to engage some textbook, any textbook of worth, to begin to study Greek seriously — not to inundate them with information about declensions and cases and exceptions... unless this is what their question touched on. Here, the question was specifically about the use of the article, so try to focus your answer on that and then give a nudge in the direction of formal study.

Know what I mean?

Your second paragraph was great, with the link and the focus on answering the question. Very nice! :)
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Re: ὁ Ἰησοῦς· The article with proper names

Postby Jason Hare » January 7th, 2012, 9:06 am

I've moved this thread away from the "What does this text mean?" subforum, since it is not asking about the meaning of a given text. I've moved it to the "Beginners Forum > Other." I hope this is appropriate.
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Re: ὁ Ἰησοῦς· The article with proper names

Postby Jason Hare » January 7th, 2012, 9:09 am

Thomas,

I'd be interested in where you learned that the name Ἰησοῦς (Jesus) often appears with the article in the Greek text, as ὁ Ἰησοῦς. If it was from perusing the text of the Greek New Testament, then surely you would come across other names with the article. Did you find this online somewhere?

Have you given any thought to a semi-serious study of the Greek language? Would you like some suggestions for beginners?

Regards,
Jason
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Re: ὁ Ἰησοῦς· The article with proper names

Postby Thomas M Campbell » January 7th, 2012, 11:10 am

Hello again everyone.

Phew! lots of stuff toi be going on with there.

Well, I remember some twenty odd years back, browsing through a library copy of a Greek-English interlinear Bible. For some reason I was
intrigued with the way the definite article was used with the name Jesus, and I think also Peter. I took it that in the case of Peter the use of the article was
on account of an object: 'the' stone, but 'the' Jesus? I went off down many paths from that point on, but only just recently did it surface again.

I have been studying the 1611 King James Bible, and became engrossed in certain aspects of that book. I won't go into it here, but let's say certain anomolies
cause me to be concerned that something seems not correct in the translations and even the internal graphics.

My studies took me, of all places, to Shakespeare. Of course there are plenty of biblical references in Shakespeare, but I was thinking that the 1611 Bible was made around the same era. To get to the point: The front title of the King James 1611 Bible has the four evangelists, one to each corner, each holds a pen, each has by him his symbol. Mark has his lion by him, but there's one thing missing: Mark has no ink well.

Stupid, I know, but things like that bother me.

Thanks to all for the input,

Regards for now.
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Re: ὁ Ἰησοῦς· The article with proper names

Postby David Lim » January 7th, 2012, 11:28 am

Jason Hare wrote:
David Lim wrote:Jesus' name is only partially declinable, having been borrowed from the Hebrew word "Yeshua" (Joshua) and transliterated into "ΙΗΣΟΥ".

This is your opinion, since the Greek name Ἰησοῦς was used throughout the Septuagint to translate יהושע (Yehoshua), and ישוע (Yeshua) appeared late in the Tanach and is also translated in the same way. There's certainly no way to be sure what Jesus' Hebrew or Aramaic name may have been, so this should be stated as an opinion for the sake of those who read the forum and would come away with the impression of authority from our posters' contributions.


Actually I thought I was stating a widely-accepted derivation of the name, as I have no particular opinion of my own.

Jason Hare wrote:
David Lim wrote:The use of the article with names seems rather haphazard and dependent on whether it sounds better, varying with the author, but usually used when resuming a reference to the same person mentioned a while previously. In Funk's Grammar there is a very brief mention of it at http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/project/f ... on-49.html, I supposed because there is no really clear reason for the presence or absence of the article with proper names.

This is the more relevant portion of your post, I think. The link you provided does touch on the question being discussed, and it reduces this use of the article to grammatical need — on the one hand to signal a return to the same person who was spoken of before, and on the other hand to indicate case in a non-declinable name (such as the example with Philip and Nathaniel).


The article when present does of course indicate the case, but I do not see clear evidence that the presence of the article is influenced by whether the name is declinable. In other words there is hardly any grammatical necessity for the article with a proper name. And by the way "φιλιππος" (Philip) is actually declinable haha. ;)
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Re: ὁ Ἰησοῦς· The article with proper names

Postby Jason Hare » January 7th, 2012, 11:36 am

David Lim wrote:The article when present does of course indicate the case, but I do not see clear evidence that the presence of the article is influenced by whether the name is declinable. In other words there is hardly any grammatical necessity for the article with a proper name. And by the way "φιλιππος" (Philip) is actually declinable haha. ;)

Notice that I didn't say that it was only with non-declinable names, but I was referring to the link that you posted which said that this was one of its uses, and it makes sense.

714. The article as a signaler of ease (gender, number). In §§125-129 it was observed that the article often serves to signal the case (gender, number) of the head and attributives in nominal clusters. In addition to its utilitarian function when used with fully inflected items, it is especially helpful in the case of indeclinables:

(9) εὑρίσκει Φίλιππος τὸν Ναθαναήλ Jn 1:45
Philip finds Nathaniel

In (9) the article marks the indeclinable name Ναθαναήλ as accusative and therefore as the object of the verb. Although Φίλιππος is declinable, the article makes the structure of this sentence immediately clear. In signaling case the article contributes to grammatical lucidity. Bl-D §260(2).


I was referring to a point in the link that you provided. I didn't state anything new myself. Funk was referring to several functions that the article might serve, and this was one of them. Not once will you find in my comment the idea that this explains all instances of the article with a proper name.
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