John 8:25

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Scott Lawson
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John 8:25

Post by Scott Lawson » February 18th, 2012, 3:58 pm

Ὅστις as a direct interrogative is confined in the Christian Greek Scriptures to the neuter ὅτι. (BDF §§ 300) It is used to introduce a direct question with the meaning “why.” Though Blass feels the use of ὄτι as a direct interrogative is “quite incredible”, Robertson finds Blass’ remark to be impossible to justify in the light of the facts. (R.729)
In John 8:25 W.H., Nestle and Michael Holmes print as a question, Τὴν ἀρχὴν ὅτι καὶ λαλῶ ὑμῖν; (M. Holmes prints ὅ τι!) Taken as a direct question, with Τὴν ἀρχήν equaling ὅλως (BDAG ἀρχή 1a, BDF §§ 300, 2 introducing a direct question) and used adverbially to mean at all, we get, ‘Why am I even speaking to you at all?’

Robertson, however, does admit that there may be ellipsis and suggests, “Why do you reproach me that (ὄτι) I speak to you at all?” (R. 730) Thus ὄτι may be taken as a relative.

As Robertson says, “It is a very difficult passage at best.”

Τί δόκειτε ὑμεῖς;
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Scott Lawson

David Lim
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Re: John 8:25

Post by David Lim » February 19th, 2012, 12:57 am

Scott Lawson wrote:Ὅστις as a direct interrogative is confined in the Christian Greek Scriptures to the neuter ὅτι. (BDF §§ 300) It is used to introduce a direct question with the meaning “why.” Though Blass feels the use of ὄτι as a direct interrogative is “quite incredible”, Robertson finds Blass’ remark to be impossible to justify in the light of the facts. (R.729)
In John 8:25 W.H., Nestle and Michael Holmes print as a question, Τὴν ἀρχὴν ὅτι καὶ λαλῶ ὑμῖν; (M. Holmes prints ὅ τι!) Taken as a direct question, with Τὴν ἀρχήν equaling ὅλως (BDAG ἀρχή 1a, BDF §§ 300, 2 introducing a direct question) and used adverbially to mean at all, we get, ‘Why am I even speaking to you at all?’

Robertson, however, does admit that there may be ellipsis and suggests, “Why do you reproach me that (ὄτι) I speak to you at all?” (R. 730) Thus ὄτι may be taken as a relative.

As Robertson says, “It is a very difficult passage at best.”

Τί δόκειτε ὑμεῖς;
I think "ελεγον ουν αυτω συ τις ει και ειπεν αυτοις ο ιησους την αρχην οτι και λαλω υμιν" simply means "therefore they said to him, who are you? and Jesus said to them, that which also I speak to you [from] the beginning", in other words, "that which I spoke to you in the beginning and also speak to you now". I also have not seen "οτι" used as an interrogative. Do you have any clear examples?
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Scott Lawson
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Re: John 8:25

Post by Scott Lawson » February 19th, 2012, 2:48 am

David Lim wrote:I also have not seen "οτι" used as an interrogative. Do you have any clear examples?
Robertson cites 1 Chronicles 17:6 as an example, ὅτι οὐκ ὠκοδομήσατέ μοι οῖκον κέδρινον; (R. 729)

He also points out that Mark 2:16 is accepted by W.H. and Nestle as interrogative. (R. 730)
Mark 2:16 … ἔλεγον τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ Ὄτι μετὰ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν καὶ τελωνῶν εσθίει;

Mark 9:11 καὶ ἐπηρώτων αὐτὸν λέγοντες Ὅτι λέγουσιν οἱ γραμματεῖς ὅτι Ἠλείαν δεῖ ἐλθεῖν πρῶτον;

Robertson points out that the second ὅτι is clearly a conjunction making the first all the more remarkable so that ‘Why’ is the natural and obvious idea. (R. 730)

Mark 9:28 ...οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ κατ’ ιδίαν ἐπηρώτων Ὅτι ἡμεῖς οὐκ ἠδυνήθημεν ἐκβαλεῖν αὐτό;
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Scott Lawson

David Lim
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Re: John 8:25

Post by David Lim » February 19th, 2012, 8:56 am

Scott Lawson wrote:
David Lim wrote:I also have not seen "οτι" used as an interrogative. Do you have any clear examples?
Robertson cites 1 Chronicles 17:6 as an example, ὅτι οὐκ ὠκοδομήσατέ μοι οῖκον κέδρινον; (R. 729)

He also points out that Mark 2:16 is accepted by W.H. and Nestle as interrogative. (R. 730)
Mark 2:16 … ἔλεγον τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ Ὄτι μετὰ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν καὶ τελωνῶν εσθίει;

Mark 9:11 καὶ ἐπηρώτων αὐτὸν λέγοντες Ὅτι λέγουσιν οἱ γραμματεῖς ὅτι Ἠλείαν δεῖ ἐλθεῖν πρῶτον;

Robertson points out that the second ὅτι is clearly a conjunction making the first all the more remarkable so that ‘Why’ is the natural and obvious idea. (R. 730)

Mark 9:28 ...οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ κατ’ ιδίαν ἐπηρώτων Ὅτι ἡμεῖς οὐκ ἠδυνήθημεν ἐκβαλεῖν αὐτό;
Could it be that in all these cases there is an ellipsis meaning "[why is it] that ..."? Also I noticed that a variant of Mark 2:16 reads "... ελεγον τοις μαθηταις αυτου τι οτι μετα των τελωνων και αμαρτωλων εσθιει και πινει", which seems to indicate that "οτι" is not inherently interrogative otherwise the interrogative "τι" would not be used together with it.
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Mark Lightman
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Re: John 8:25

Post by Mark Lightman » February 19th, 2012, 11:32 am

Scott asked: Τί δόκειτε ὑμεῖς
Well, since you asked...

1. As to the substance of the verse, I agree with David Lim. I don’t see anything at all unusual about the syntax, and I see no reason to punctuate it as a question, or to apply what must be an unusual meaning of τὴν ἀρχήν as “at all.” Robinson/Pierpont does not do this, and I’m a little surprised Holmes (hi, Michael) does. I’m not sure if Holmes ever made the leap to the new-and-improved B-Greek, but if so, maybe he can explain his thinking here.

As usual, Bambas makes the verse a little more clear to English speakers:
Ὅ τι σᾶς {equals ὑμῖν} λέγω ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς.
2. But I’m glad that you, Scott, brought up this business about ὅτι as an interrogative pronoun. I’ve read through the Gospel of Mark dozens of times, and never noticed that yes, in a few places, he uses ὅτι as essentially the equivalent of διά τί? In the examples from Robertson that Scott gives, for example
Mark 2:16 … ἔλεγον τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ Ὄτι μετὰ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν καὶ τελωνῶν εσθίει;

You can sort of see how the usage evolved. They said to his disciples: (where ὅτι merely equals the colon plus quotation marks) “Is he eating with sinners and tax collectors?” really means WHY is he eating with sinners and tax collectors? But in at least some of the examples, ὅτι is no longer merely introducing a direct statement which happens to be a question, but really does seem to function as a true interrogative like τί, διά τί, and εἰς τί I’m wondering therefore whether we should punctuate this thus:

Mark 2:16 … ἔλεγον τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ «ὅ τί μετὰ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν καὶ τελωνῶν εσθίει;» They said to his disciples: “In respect to which thing, ( ὅ) why (τί) is he eating with sinners and tax collectors?” i.e. why is eating with tax collectors?

I guess I’m mildly curious how rare this usage is outside of Mark.
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Scott Lawson
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Re: John 8:25

Post by Scott Lawson » February 19th, 2012, 12:36 pm

David Lim wrote:Could it be that in all these cases there is an ellipsis meaning "[why is it] that ..."? Also I noticed that a variant of Mark 2:16 reads "... ελεγον τοις μαθηταις αυτου τι οτι μετα των τελωνων και αμαρτωλων εσθιει και πινει", which seems to indicate that "οτι" is not inherently interrogative otherwise the interrogative "τι" would not be used together with it.
BDF indicates that Blass evidently viewed ὅτι as an abbreviation for τί ὅ τι and that the variants for ὅτι; τί ὅτι, διὰ τι (διότι) mean ‘why’ and were introduced because ΟΤΙ was ambiguous in scriptio continua. And while Robertson admits that it is possible to view ὅτι as an abbreviation or ellipsis for τί ὅτι he maintains that it is more probable that it is here regarded as tantamount to an interrogative (τί ὅτι or διὰ τὶ).
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Scott Lawson

Scott Lawson
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Re: John 8:25

Post by Scott Lawson » February 19th, 2012, 12:58 pm

Mark Lightman wrote: guess I’m mildly curious how rare this usage is outside of Mark.
Mark! Did I get the accent right in δοκειτε?

BDF indicates that the use of ὅτι as a direct interrogative is especially Markan and that variants are corrections introduced from parallel passages thus bringing the Greek of Mark closer to classical standards. It also points out that in the LXX ὅτι is always used to render certain Hebrew interrogative pronouns (which I cannot print out) meaning ‘why’.
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Scott Lawson

Stephen Carlson
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Re: John 8:25

Post by Stephen Carlson » February 19th, 2012, 2:36 pm

Scott Lawson wrote:Did I get the accent right in δοκειτε?
No, it should be δοκεῖτε because it is an epsilon-contract verb.

Stephen
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Scott Lawson
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Re: John 8:25

Post by Scott Lawson » February 19th, 2012, 3:41 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:No, it should be δοκεῖτε because it is an epsilon-contract verb.
Stephen,

Thanks so much.

Scott
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Scott Lawson

David Lim
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Re: John 8:25

Post by David Lim » February 19th, 2012, 9:14 pm

Scott Lawson wrote:
David Lim wrote:Could it be that in all these cases there is an ellipsis meaning "[why is it] that ..."? Also I noticed that a variant of Mark 2:16 reads "... ελεγον τοις μαθηταις αυτου τι οτι μετα των τελωνων και αμαρτωλων εσθιει και πινει", which seems to indicate that "οτι" is not inherently interrogative otherwise the interrogative "τι" would not be used together with it.
BDF indicates that Blass evidently viewed ὅτι as an abbreviation for τί ὅ τι and that the variants for ὅτι; τί ὅτι, διὰ τι (διότι) mean ‘why’ and were introduced because ΟΤΙ was ambiguous in scriptio continua. And while Robertson admits that it is possible to view ὅτι as an abbreviation or ellipsis for τί ὅτι he maintains that it is more probable that it is here regarded as tantamount to an interrogative (τί ὅτι or διὰ τὶ).
Thanks for the information!
Scott Lawson wrote:BDF indicates that the use of ὅτι as a direct interrogative is especially Markan and that variants are corrections introduced from parallel passages thus bringing the Greek of Mark closer to classical standards. It also points out that in the LXX ὅτι is always used to render certain Hebrew interrogative pronouns (which I cannot print out) meaning ‘why’.
Hmm I did not find any parallel passage from which the Byzantine variant in Mark 2:16 could be taken. The parallels are:
[Matt 9:11] "δια τι μετα των τελωνων και αμαρτωλων εσθιει ο διδασκαλος υμων"
[Mark 2:16] "[τι] οτι μετα των τελωνων και αμαρτωλων εσθιει και πινει"
[Luke 5:30] "δια τι μετα των τελωνων και αμαρτωλων εσθιετε και πινετε"
So it does seem that there was no harmonisation of Mark 2:16. But can you give the references for places where the Hebrew interrogative pronoun was rendered using "οτι" in the LXX?
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