John 9:6 Position/Referent of αὐτοῦ

Forum rules
Please quote the Greek text you are discussing directly in your post if it is reasonably short - do not ask people to look it up. This is not a beginner's forum, competence in Greek is assumed.
Post Reply
Louis L Sorenson
Posts: 709
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 9:21 pm
Location: Burnsville, MN, USA
Contact:

John 9:6 Position/Referent of αὐτοῦ

Post by Louis L Sorenson » June 13th, 2011, 10:42 pm

John 9.6 ταῦτα εἰπὼν ἔπτυσεν χαμαὶ καὶ ἐποίησεν πηλὸν ἐκ τοῦ πτύσματος καὶ ἐπέχρισεν αὐτοῦ τὸν πηλὸν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς

A student in my class took αὑτοῦ as referring to τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς. The position seems odd, I took it as referring to 'his clay' meaning the 'clay Jesus made'. It seemed to me that αὐτοῦ needs to be inside of the prepositional phrase somewhere. But there is a textual variant where some manuscripts add τοῦ τυφλοῦ after ὀφθαλμοὺς. Ι have not checked, but it seems this would happen because they thought αὐτοῦ was ambiguous and needed a counterbalance if it were meant to refer to Jesus.

Is there some place where data on out of place pronouns can be found?

Could αὐτοῦ refer to the blind man?

Could αὐτοῦ be ἑαυτοῦ? I'm a little confused as to when ἑαυτοῦ is prescribed.

I doubt it could mean 'there' 'there...the clay...upon the eyes"

I see there is an email chain in the archives in 2000 http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-gr ... 14320.html
0 x



cwconrad
Posts: 2110
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
Contact:

Re: John 9:6 Position/Referent of αὐτοῦ

Post by cwconrad » June 14th, 2011, 6:06 am

Louis L Sorenson wrote:John 9.6 ταῦτα εἰπὼν ἔπτυσεν χαμαὶ καὶ ἐποίησεν πηλὸν ἐκ τοῦ πτύσματος καὶ ἐπέχρισεν αὐτοῦ τὸν πηλὸν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς

A student in my class took αὑτοῦ as referring to τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς. The position seems odd, I took it as referring to 'his clay' meaning the 'clay Jesus made'. It seemed to me that αὐτοῦ needs to be inside of the prepositional phrase somewhere. But there is a textual variant where some manuscripts add τοῦ τυφλοῦ after ὀφθαλμοὺς. Ι have not checked, but it seems this would happen because they thought αὐτοῦ was ambiguous and needed a counterbalance if it were meant to refer to Jesus.

Is there some place where data on out of place pronouns can be found?

Could αὐτοῦ refer to the blind man?

Could αὐτοῦ be ἑαυτοῦ? I'm a little confused as to when ἑαυτοῦ is prescribed.

I doubt it could mean 'there' 'there...the clay...upon the eyes"

I see there is an email chain in the archives in 2000 http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-gr ... 14320.html
Yes, I was just looking at the Nov 2000 thread to which you refer. I agreed then with a view expressed by Stephen Craig Miller that αὐτοῦ here might be a genitive complement to ἐπέχρισεν. I think that's possible, but Mike Aubrey has been working with the position of pronouns -- especially enclitics, and Stephen Carlson blogged on a dissertation on the subject on his blog just yesterday (http://hypotyposeis.org/weblog/2011/06/ ... greek.html). On the other hand, αὐτοῦ in our text in question is not an enclitic but displays the same strange behavior of positioning that is observed with μου and σου. So I'm not sure what is involved here. I've noted in classical Greek that partitive genitives tend to be positioned quite early and in advance of the major elements of the predicate -- Jason Hare just yesterday elsewhere in this forum cited Xenophon's Anabasis 1.1.2 καὶ τῶν Ἑλλήνων ἔχων ὁπλίτας ἀνέβη τριακοσίους, where τῶν Ἑλλήνων precedes the participle ἔχων. I'm thinking now that what's involved here is more than a matter of enclitics or a genitive construed with the compound verb ἐπέχρισεν: I don't understand it yet, but I think there's something very common here in the positioning of a genitive modifier well in advance of its head noun.

I don't think that αὐτοῦ is for ἑαυτοῦ at all: it's the blind man's eyes on which the mud is smeared, not Jesus' own eyes.
0 x
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Stephen Carlson
Posts: 2831
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: John 9:6 Position/Referent of αὐτοῦ

Post by Stephen Carlson » June 14th, 2011, 8:57 am

If αὐτοῦ is some kind of (partitive) object of the verb, then it's certainly in the right place in the sentence.

On the other hand, John 9:11 Ὁ ἄνθρωπος ὁ λεγόμενος Ἰησοῦς πηλὸν ἐποίησεν καὶ ἐπέχρισέν μου τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς suggests that the αὐτοῦ of v.6 is to be construed with τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς (note here the accusative object for ἐπιχρίω).
0 x
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

cwconrad
Posts: 2110
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
Contact:

Re: John 9:6 Position/Referent of αὐτοῦ

Post by cwconrad » June 14th, 2011, 10:02 am

sccarlson wrote:If αὐτοῦ is some kind of (partitive) object of the verb, then it's certainly in the right place in the sentence.

On the other hand, John 9:11 Ὁ ἄνθρωπος ὁ λεγόμενος Ἰησοῦς πηλὸν ἐποίησεν καὶ ἐπέχρισέν μου τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς suggests that the αὐτοῦ of v.6 is to be construed with τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς (note here the accusative object for ἐπιχρίω).
Another thought has occurred to me, but it's sort of a stab in the dark. What if the αὐτοῦ in John 9:6 ... καὶ ἐπέχρισεν αὐτοῦ τὸν πηλὸν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς is a "disjunctive pronoun" equivalent to a dative, as in French one might write: " ... et appliqua lui la boue sur les yeux." In Modern Greek the genitive has absorbed the ancient dative. I don't know when that change carried through, but we certainly have genitive pronouns with verbs which in ancient Greek regularly took true datives.
0 x
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Jim
Posts: 1
Joined: June 19th, 2011, 1:33 am

Re: John 9:6 Position/Referent of αὐτοῦ

Post by Jim » June 19th, 2011, 1:51 am

If the genitive pronoun precedes its articular noun instead of following it, then perhaps that is the emphatic position, and perhaps it refers to the spit of the Son of God that is used to make the clay, "ITS clay," to emphasize the fact that more important of the two ingredients (spit and dirt) of the clay that is spread on the blind man's eyes to give him sight is the Son's own spit. Maybe (or maybe not) the implication is that if it was anyone else's spit, then it would not give sight to the blind man.
0 x

Post Reply

Return to “New Testament”