David Lim wrote:I do not consider what other people say as evidence unless it can be verified, and it does not matter who they are.
To some extent, yes that is the case, but at the same time, opinions are kind of like textual variants, though. They must be weighed, not counted. How much do yours weight?
Depends on your weighing scale I suppose.
Anyway opinions of the structure of text are not textual variants. Of course they must be weighed. For example if anyone claims that every Greek phrase can be conveyed with a string of only Greek articles, you should give that opinion zero weight because it is not a text itself and there are no texts that support it at all. Neither should we weigh what anyone says simply according to who he is, but according to each of his statements individually. BDF could be accurate for the most part yet incorrect on that particular point for whatever reason.
Stephen Carlson wrote:
David Lim wrote:As it stands, BDF's claim that "οτι" is always used to translate certain interrogatives in the LXX is completely false, so I have no reason to believe that it is a reliable source.
I'm afraid you've misunderstood BDF. The claim is:
BDF § 300(2)(b) wrote:(b) In the LXX this ὅ τι always renders interrogative pronouns meaning ‘why’ such as מָה, לָמָּה, מַדּוּעַ.
What this means is that whenever you find a direct question ὅ τι ("this ὅ τι") in manuscripts of the LXX, the corresponding Hebrew source always has the listed interrogative pronouns. BDF even cites the passages where they believe this occurs (2 Km 7:7 B, etc.).
This is circular logic. It is equivalent to saying, "whenever you find an instance in which my interpretation is correct, you will find that indeed it is correct." Therefore I did not even think of this as what BDF was saying. Moreover, here is the "passage where they believe this occurs" that you quote:
[2 Sam 7]  εν πασιν οις διηλθον εν παντι ισραηλ ει λαλων ελαλησα προς μιαν φυλην του ισραηλ ω ενετειλαμην ποιμαινειν τον λαον μου ισραηλ λεγων τι οτι ουκ ωκοδομηκατε μοι οικον κεδρινον
Which, as I said before, shows that the interrogative is never omitted because "οτι" cannot function as an interrogative.
Stephen Carlson wrote:Unfortunately, your attempt to test BDF's statement showed that you got the implication in the wrong direction, as if they were claiming that every time the Hebrew had one of these interrogatives, ὅ τι is always to translate it. Moreover, you did not address each and every example in the manuscripts of the LXX that BDF cited, so your verification was incomplete. Indeed, some of these are variant readings which are not found in online versions of the LXX, so your computer won't find them.
Yes, indeed you may say that my verification was incomplete in the absolute sense, but it was complete enough to draw reasonable conclusions. I reject instances with any textual variants because we cannot conclude anything when we do not know the original text. To prove that "οτι" can really be used as an interrogative, you need to find examples where there are no textual variants and no interrogative anywhere
Stephen Carlson wrote:Furthermore, of those passages that you happened to consider earlier in the thread (e.g. Jer 22:28), you asserted that the Greek was not rendering the Hebrew accurately, which begs the very question under discussion.
I do not think that anyone doubts that the LXX does not always render the extant Hebrew text word-for-word-literally. If it is reasonably certain that it does not in some place, then it is unsound to claim that it is and then to draw inferences based on that very shaky assumption.
Stephen Carlson wrote:Since you've apparently misunderstood BDF, devised the wrong test for its actual claim, failed to examine all the passages it actually cited, and begged the question in the ones that you did examine, I think BDF's deservedly high reputation is intact (for the moment).
Whether BDF deserves a high reputation I do not know. One thing I know: its statement is invalid.
Iver Larsen wrote:David,
I appreciate your desire to see data. I agree that the sentence is not normal Classical or indeed normal Koine Greek, but Greek with a Semitic influence. That is why it is helpful to look at the Hebrew OT and the LXX for parallels. You did a commendable job of that in an earlier post.
It seems most likely that the underlying text is or corresponds to Hebrew lamma לְמָה.
Let me take you back to 2 Sam 7:7 and the parallel 1 Chronicles 17:6:
Text translated from Hebrew: Why have you not built me a house of cedar?
LXX: λέγων ὅτι oὐκ ᾠκοδομήκατέ μοι οἶκον κέδρινον
You said that this could be understood differently as if it was to mean: saying that you have not built me a house of cedar. That is true, It could be construed in this way. However, since we know the Hebrew, we know this is not the correct interpretation of the Semitic Greek. Here ὅτι is actually ὅ τι, and it means "Why?"
The fact that it could be understood differently because there was an earlier interrogative implies that we cannot use it as evidence for a claim that "οτι" means "why". Also, if you noticed some of the examples of the Hebrew interrogative that I listed and marked as paraphrases do not have the word "οτι" to begin with, showing that we cannot use the Hebrew text to conclude the meaning of the LXX, since it would result in nonsensical conclusions if we insist that the Hebrew interrogative must have been rendered in those cases.
Iver Larsen wrote:You also quoted Gen 12:18-19 where we have a host of questions.
καλέσας δὲ Φαραω τὸν Αβραμ εἶπεν Τί τοῦτο ἐποίησάς μοι; ὅ τι οὐκ ἀπήγγειλάς μοι ὅτι γυνή σού ἐστιν; 19 ἵνα τί εἶπας ὅτι Ἀδελφή μού ἐστιν;
(Then) Farao having called Abraham said: What is this you have done to me? For what reason did you not report to me that she is your wife? For what purpose did you say: "She is my sister"?
Hebrew prefers direct speech, but they are often turned into indirect or semi-direct speech, so the difference between direct and indirect speech becomes blurred in this kind of Semitic Greek.
Indeed the LXX often does not render what are questions in the Hebrew text as questions. It does not imply that there is a blurring of direct and indirect speech in the LXX, but simply implies that we cannot expect the Hebrew interrogative to be rendered and thus we do not need to find any word on which to place the burden of interrogation.
Iver Larsen wrote:Let us also look at Deut 5:25:
But now, why should we die? (NIV)
Here the Hebrew lamma follows an adverb which is not easy to translate.
LXX: καὶ νῦν μὴ ἀποθάνωμεν
The LXX translator did not render the "why" in order to produce a more idiomatic version in Greek.
I am not saying that Jesus used this particular Hebrew adverb before the "why", only that it is possible in Hebrew to place an adverb before the "why".
The claim is that "οτι" can be an interrogative, and not only that but even after an adverb. Deut 5:25, as you agree, has "οτι" that is not even used as an interrogative. So it is irrelevant whether there is an adverb in the Hebrew text.
Iver Larsen wrote:
Beasley-Murray gives six translational options, and variants as well. He acknowledges the proponents of each understanding and discusses their merits in a brief discussion on pages 125-126 to which the student is referred. The translational options he identifies are these:
'Why do I speak to you at all?'
'Primarily what I am telling you.'
'(I am) from the beginning what I tell you.'
'(I am) what I have been telling you from the beginning.'
'I told you at the beginning that which also I am speaking to you (now).'
'I am the beginning, that which I am saying to you.'
The last of these is based on the Latin versions, which rest on a misunderstanding of the Greek, and needs no consideration. The second-last is the rendering of Bruce (194) and is based on the Papyrus Bodmer II (P66) reading, not on the text as given in the UBS edition.
So, we discard the last two. Numbers 3 and 4 add the words "I am" whiuch are not in the text, nor are they implied, so we can discard those.
Numbers 2, 3 and 4 all completely ignore the emphatic adverb καὶ which makes them highly dubious.
Only number one takes καὶ into consideration as long as we adjust to "Why (for what reason) do I even speak to you at all?" The words "even" and "at all" support one another to give added emphasis.
So, Mark, this is really the simplest interpretation that is also able to account for all the words in the text as well as the word order once we accept the Semitic flavour of a Greek text translated from Hebrew (or Aramaic)
We cannot discard the second last option, which is actually the most accurate paraphrase. The fourth option, as you said, omit the "και", but means essentially the same thing though not quite explicitly. The third option is clearly incorrect for the reasons I gave earlier, that is, if the adverb modifies "ειμι", "ειμι" should be explicit. The first is invalid unless someone provides the evidence I asked for, since it is only based on opinions so far and the phrase would have been easily understood in the sense of the second last option. Also, as I said earlier I did not see evidence in LSJ that "την αρχην" can be used as an adverb modifying the entire sentence. So these two make me highly dubious of any such rendering.