Acts 17:28 Τοῦ γὰρ καὶ γένος ἐσμέν.

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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Acts 17:28 Τοῦ γὰρ καὶ γένος ἐσμέν.

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 19th, 2017, 6:28 am

cwconrad wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 5:59 am
Stephen Hughes wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 4:11 am
Arat. Phaen. 1 - 2 wrote: τὸν οὐδέποτ᾽ ἄνδρες ἐῶμεν
ἄρρητον:
Are there other places in the New Testament where it looks like an articular adjective is separated by a finite verb?
The question seems oddly phrased. This text is found in the NT, but it is not describable in terms of standard NT Koine usage. The passage is cited from a poem composed in epic dialect; the construction may "look like" an articular adjective separated by a finite verb, but it isn't that: τὸν is a demonstrative pronoun and ἄρρητον is a predicate adjective governed by εῶμεν: "him/that one we do not ever allow (to be) unmentioned."
To phrase it another way;
Is it possible that because we are expecting to find prose grammar in the Koine, that that is what we find? Are there other instances where we could take what appears to us as an article disjointed from its nominal unit, as an epic demonstrative?

I don't expect to find any such examples, except in the μέν ... δέ .... constructions, but I would like to see if reading, and being able to recite poetry had affected the grammatical range of the prose Koine.
0 x


Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

cwconrad
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Re: Acts 17:28 Τοῦ γὰρ καὶ γένος ἐσμέν.

Post by cwconrad » April 19th, 2017, 7:00 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 6:28 am
cwconrad wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 5:59 am
Stephen Hughes wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 4:11 am

Are there other places in the New Testament where it looks like an articular adjective is separated by a finite verb?
The question seems oddly phrased. This text is found in the NT, but it is not describable in terms of standard NT Koine usage. The passage is cited from a poem composed in epic dialect; the construction may "look like" an articular adjective separated by a finite verb, but it isn't that: τὸν is a demonstrative pronoun and ἄρρητον is a predicate adjective governed by εῶμεν: "him/that one we do not ever allow (to be) unmentioned."
To phrase it another way;
Is it possible that because we are expecting to find prose grammar in the Koine, that that is what we find? Are there other instances where we could take what appears to us as an article disjointed from its nominal unit, as an epic demonstrative?

I don't expect to find any such examples, except in the μέν ... δέ .... constructions, but I would like to see if reading, and being able to recite poetry had affected the grammatical range of the prose Koine.
Now the question becomes: "Who, precisely, are we? If you're referring to those of us who are reading these texts today, we certainly differ widely in our experience of reading different kinds of Greek from different eras of antiquity. I think it's true that many of us on B-Greek are not very familiar -- in any meaningful measure -- with Greek texts outside of the Greek NT (and perhaps the LXX) and the relatively brief chronological range that those texts represent. But some of us have urged those seeking to read the GNT that they might have a better understanding of the text of the GNT by reading more widely in extra-Biblical Greek of antiquity. A language is shaped, in considerable measure, by its literary heritage. English speakers who have not themselves read any or much of Shakespeare or of the English Bible read and write English that has been impacted by Shakespeare and the English Bible. I think it's very hard to talk with much precision about what we can -- or should -- "expect" to find in a NT Greek text.
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 Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Acts 17:28 Τοῦ γὰρ καὶ γένος ἐσμέν.

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 19th, 2017, 7:47 am

cwconrad wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 7:00 am
Now the question becomes: "Who, precisely, are we? If you're referring to those of us who are reading these texts today, we certainly differ widely in our experience of reading different kinds of Greek from different eras of antiquity. I think it's true that many of us on B-Greek are not very familiar -- in any meaningful measure -- with Greek texts outside of the Greek NT (and perhaps the LXX) and the relatively brief chronological range that those texts represent. But some of us have urged those seeking to read the GNT that they might have a better understanding of the text of the GNT by reading more widely in extra-Biblical Greek of antiquity. A language is shaped, in considerable measure, by its literary heritage. English speakers who have not themselves read any or much of Shakespeare or of the English Bible read and write English that has been impacted by Shakespeare and the English Bible. I think it's very hard to talk with much precision about what we can -- or should -- "expect" to find in a NT Greek text.
We in the broadest sense is a reference to all readers (and listeners) from the literary creation till our time, includes many such levels of engagement with the language, as you have described. The "me" part of the (greater or narrower) "we", was unaware that he was in fact supposed to be using epic grammar to read this phrase until a few days ago.

My "expectation" has been built up by my training and reinforced by my experience. I'm wondering if that self-confirming process is something that would benefit from being questioned.

No explanation is given in Acts 17:28 for the quote - neither of its grammar or of the significance that "Zeus" here in the Phaenomena does not refer to an anthropomorphic deity of polytheism, but to the pantheistic world-soul of Stoic thinking. Perhaps either it was outside the contour and camber of the Christian message to go into details, or it was knowledge that it could be assumed on the part of the wider hellenistic audience. With thr poems of Homer toping the Times bestseller list of the day, and this Phaenomena coming in at third, the features of epic grammar are likely to be familiar. On a scale of high to low in the pastoral (escapist) erotic fiction, from Theocritus down to Longus, we see many similarities been the lower levels of literature and the Gospels, but even Longus occasionally includes some features from the higher registers of literature. This passage in Acts is a direct quotation, but if there were "inadvertant" inclusions of epic grammar, that might be "expected" in the New Testament too.
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

cwconrad
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Re: Acts 17:28 Τοῦ γὰρ καὶ γένος ἐσμέν.

Post by cwconrad » April 19th, 2017, 10:40 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 7:47 am
cwconrad wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 7:00 am
Now the question becomes: "Who, precisely, are we? If you're referring to those of us who are reading these texts today, we certainly differ widely in our experience of reading different kinds of Greek from different eras of antiquity. I think it's true that many of us on B-Greek are not very familiar -- in any meaningful measure -- with Greek texts outside of the Greek NT (and perhaps the LXX) and the relatively brief chronological range that those texts represent. But some of us have urged those seeking to read the GNT that they might have a better understanding of the text of the GNT by reading more widely in extra-Biblical Greek of antiquity. A language is shaped, in considerable measure, by its literary heritage. English speakers who have not themselves read any or much of Shakespeare or of the English Bible read and write English that has been impacted by Shakespeare and the English Bible. I think it's very hard to talk with much precision about what we can -- or should -- "expect" to find in a NT Greek text.
We in the broadest sense is a reference to all readers (and listeners) from the literary creation till our time, includes many such levels of engagement with the language, as you have described. The "me" part of the (greater or narrower) "we", was unaware that he was in fact supposed to be using epic grammar to read this phrase until a few days ago.
Good: you’re learning something that is by no means insignificant about the original authors and readers/audience of the GNT texts.
Stephen Hughes wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 7:47 am
My "expectation" has been built up by my training and reinforced by my experience. I'm wondering if that self-confirming process is something that would benefit from being questioned.
I don't mean to be patronizing, but to ask that question is to have your answer; every confrontation with a text that confounds your expectations should, among other things, bring you to question your own assumptions. But your readiness to ask questions is itself important: you realize that you don’t already know.
Stephen Hughes wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 7:47 am
No explanation is given in Acts 17:28 for the quote - neither of its grammar or of the significance that "Zeus" here in the Phaenomena does not refer to an anthropomorphic deity of polytheism, but to the pantheistic world-soul of Stoic thinking.
Perhaps you haven’t yet encountered the great “Hymn to Zeus” by the Stoic Chrysippus?
Stephen Hughes wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 7:47 am
Perhaps either it was outside the contour and camber of the Christian message to go into details, or it was knowledge that it could be assumed on the part of the wider hellenistic audience. With thr poems of Homer toping the Times bestseller list of the day, and this Phaenomena coming in at third, the features of epic grammar are likely to be familiar. On a scale of high to low in the pastoral (escapist) erotic fiction, from Theocritus down to Longus, we see many similarities been the lower levels of literature and the Gospels, but even Longus occasionally includes some features from the higher registers of literature. This passage in Acts is a direct quotation, but if there were "inadvertant" inclusions of epic grammar, that might be "expected" in the New Testament too.
I haven’t seen this spelled out anywhere, but it seems to me that much of this could be spelled out. The GNT was composed by authors of a considerable range of cultural backgrounds, but several of those authors were literate to a considerable degree. The GNT was composed during a period when verse was still important and poetic texts were not read like “dime-novels” but committed to memory. Epic dialect was being used by poets like Meleager of Gadara (yes, the same Decapolis city where Jesus confronted the demoniac) in the first century C.E. And in the same area across the Jordan Lucian of Samosata was writing beautiful Attic prose. You’re right to think of the novelists, but these other genres were read too. The author of Titus (1:12) cites Epimenides of Crete in an epic hexameter line that must have been widely known.
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 Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Acts 17:28 Τοῦ γὰρ καὶ γένος ἐσμέν.

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 19th, 2017, 12:52 pm

cwconrad wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 10:40 am
Perhaps you haven’t yet encountered the great “Hymn to Zeus” by the Stoic Chrysippus?
Do you mean Cleanthes of Assos, (successor of Zeno and predecessor of Chrysippus)?

If that is the one, then here is a scan of Blakeney's edition with a commentary and notes published by the SPCK in 1931.

An older translation here.

Until now, no, but now, vaguely yes.

I'm supposing that you saying that I would be benefited also understanding the features of theism exhibited by the Stoics, by looking at an example of how praise (and perhaps prayer) can occur within an ostensibly pantheistic system.
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

cwconrad
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Re: Acts 17:28 Τοῦ γὰρ καὶ γένος ἐσμέν.

Post by cwconrad » April 19th, 2017, 6:29 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 12:52 pm
cwconrad wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 10:40 am
Perhaps you haven’t yet encountered the great “Hymn to Zeus” by the Stoic Chrysippus?
Do you mean Cleanthes of Assos, (successor of Zeno and predecessor of Chrysippus)?

If that is the one, then here is a scan of Blakeney's edition with a commentary and notes published by the SPCK in 1931.

An older translation here.

Until now, no, but now, vaguely yes.

I'm supposing that you saying that I would be benefited also understanding the features of theism exhibited by the Stoics, by looking at an example of how praise (and perhaps prayer) can occur within an ostensibly pantheistic system.
Yes, it is Cleanthes, not Chrysippus. What's interesting is certainly the way Stoics can infuse an intense sort of spirituality into a system that permits allegorical application of a sort of mythical formulation. This governs some of the argument of Paul in Romans 1 also and the Roman conception of natural law.
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 Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Acts 17:28 Τοῦ γὰρ καὶ γένος ἐσμέν.

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 19th, 2017, 10:27 pm

About the ἐσμέν. Whether 1.) Paul used a slightly modified quotation with ἐσμέν instead of εἰμέν, 2.) this was a street-level popular (mis-)quotation, or 3.) the early redaction / transmission of Luke / Acts "standardised" the epic εἰμέν to the Koine form ἐσμέν, from the point of view of this text we have:

How is / Is the versification affected by the change from εἰμέν to ἐσμέν?
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
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Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Acts 17:28 Τοῦ γὰρ καὶ γένος ἐσμέν.

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 19th, 2017, 11:31 pm

cwconrad wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 10:40 am
You’re right to think of the novelists, but these other genres were read too.
The reason I often use the erotic pastoral novels as exemplars is that I speak from my limited reading experience. It just so happened that in the rotating cycle of reading options, both Theocritus Idylls and The Hellenistic Novels came up for me. That, of course, was all in a flurry 25 years ago, but authours being bicycles, it is not too much effort to pick them up and ride / read again. It is only in these last few years that I have began to see perspective and interaction between generi of Greek that I was once a little familiar with.

As you mention, it is interesting to see the definite literary background to the world of the New Testament that to some extent includes, but is different from the Classical canon.

As I am finding, looking at the development of the binary speech styles from the earlier consecutive to the later alternating usage has given me a chance and impetus to engage with a broad range of new and exciting texts.
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

cwconrad
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Re: Acts 17:28 Τοῦ γὰρ καὶ γένος ἐσμέν.

Post by cwconrad » April 20th, 2017, 6:28 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 10:27 pm
About the ἐσμέν. Whether 1.) Paul used a slightly modified quotation with ἐσμέν instead of εἰμέν, 2.) this was a street-level popular (mis-)quotation, or 3.) the early redaction / transmission of Luke / Acts "standardised" the epic εἰμέν to the Koine form ἐσμέν, from the point of view of this text we have:

How is / Is the versification affected by the change from εἰμέν to ἐσμέν?
An interesting question and one on which I must confess I'm confused: εἰμέν is unquestionably secondary to -- contracted from -- ἐσμέν, but εἰμέν is evidently the more common Homeric form. It may very well be that when the text is cited with the form εἰμέν the author knows this is the Homeric form, but I don't know for sure whether that's the case. Metrically it makes no difference, since either form will function here as a trochee before the third-foot caesura in the hexameter line
τοῦ γάρ καὶ γένος εἰμέν: ὁ δ᾽ ἤπιος ἀνθρώποισιν
That is to say, the form εῖμεν displays the diphthong ει which is metrically long as the original εσμ was "long by position."

What we've noted in this discussion, however, is something to bear in mind: some NT authors understood and could cite verse texts in epic dialect.
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 Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Acts 17:28 Τοῦ γὰρ καὶ γένος ἐσμέν.

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 20th, 2017, 1:23 pm

I really feel that I lost the concept of versification in my 51 marks, 1 mark wwasted approach to study. Now in my 50th year, I am a little less headstrong, and if you'd care to set out just this, I might be ready to lsten, if you'd like to explain, I'd be okay.
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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