Thanks for that. I suppose that is a different sense of "call" from what I was thinking - actually. Let me think my reactions to this out loud, so that you could criticise them more easily.Andrew Chapman wrote:On λέγειν BAGD has at II 3. call, name with double accusative, and quite a long section including active uses, eg:
- τί με λέγεις ἀγαθόν; [Mark 10:18]
Δαυὶδ λέγει αὐτὸν κύριον [Mark 12:37]
πατέρα ἴδιον ἔλεγεν τὸν θεόν [John 5:18]
In regard to your first example - Mark 10:18, I can think of three different phrases in Greek with three quite different senses that could have been translated with the same "Why do you call me good?":
- (1) Using the Greek verb λέγειν as the text actually is seems to have the sense to make a claim or assert something for a particular instance "say that he is", even "consider to be", "hold and opinion and express it", τί με λέγεις ἀγαθόν; "Why do you say that I am good?". In English that sort of one-off claim is perhaps best expressed in the present continuous "Why are you calling me good?" "What gives you the idea that I'm good, so you would say that?"
(2) That is different from an appellation like ἐπικαλεῖν which if Mark 10:18 were to have had that τί με *(ἐπι)καλεῖς* [this is not in the text of Mark] ἀγαθόν; "Why do you call me good?" would have perhaps had the effect that "henceforth Jesus was known as 'good teacher' ".
(3) The sense of λέγειν does not seem to overlap with ὀνομάζειν "get a single name by which someone can be called", If the Greek had have read τί με ὀνομάζεις* [this is not in the text of Mark] ἀγαθόν; it could also have been translated as "Why do you call me 'Good'?" (Hello Mr. Good - cf. Roger Hargreaves' Mr Men series).
Your third one πατέρα ἴδιον ἔλεγεν τὸν θεόν from John 5:18 "He called God his father in the specific sense of "father", not just in the general way that we call him "Father" - like what Jacob and Ishmael could call Abraham rather than what we call Abraham." "When he was saying God was his father, he meant it in the literal sense!" "He had more in mind when he said God was his father than he was letting on publically / than the majority of his hearers would have understood." So again, the sense is "to think about something and then to express the idea" - the words are the tip of the thinking's iceberg. In my mind, the translation "call" gives the impression that at some point he did not do that - which is not what I think the Greek means. "He was calling God his father." was something that was coming from a deep conviction of Jesus' - I think that the Jews are acknoledging that Jesus held a deep conviction (which they evidently disagreed with) - but the English strikes me as conveying their incredulity but the λέγειν conveys more of Jesus conviction. I think that ἴδιος here doesn't mean, "in the literal sense of the word" but that is a good way to convey a good part of the sense of the overal statement.
There is an obvious pattern of usage there, don't you think?
Yes, τί is logically the next quandry. Familiarity (with the English word "What ... ?") is an opiate that dulls the senses here, I think, and the clear distinction in English between "What ... ?" and "Why ...?" blinkers one to prefering the τί = "What ...?" fork of the road. The adverbial "what" of "What do you want me to do?" is quite different from the nominal/adjectival "what" of "What do they call you?", but they are expressed by the same "what". The Greek word τί covers an even broader interrogative sense, by covering the usage of what is expressed in English by "Why ... ?". Familiarity with English, could make one's first thought go to the "What", but as in the way that we naturally hold back from taking what as either adverbial or nominal/adjectival until we are a bit of a way into the sentence, so too with the Greek τί - so deciding how to take it "What", "What", or "Why" is dependent on what we have already been discussing.Andrew Chapman wrote:I don't understand the τί. Unless you make it a 'why', in which case we would have 'Why do you want (that I should make) this one you are talking about the King of the Jews?', which now makes grammatical sense to me, but on the face of it not much other sense.
I agree. The communication between Pilate and the Jewish leaders doesn't seem to have been smooth. Even if we go with the understanding that is in all English translations, what I have designated as the second possibility, "whom you call (hold to be) the King of the Jews" then that doesn't seem to make anymore than grammatical sense either.Andrew Chapman wrote:, but on the face of it not much other sense.