"upon this rock" in Matthew 16:18

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Stephen Hughes
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Re: "upon this rock" in Matthew 16:18

Post by Stephen Hughes » October 24th, 2017, 11:46 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 6:03 am
And then context, culture, history, and other things help guide our understanding of which possibilities are most likely.
Perhaps, theology (our own or Biblical) and belief (the Faith).
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Jonathan Robie
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Re: "upon this rock" in Matthew 16:18

Post by Jonathan Robie » October 24th, 2017, 12:35 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 11:29 am
Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 6:01 am
I don't want this to get lost - Timothy is correct here, and this is the one direct response to the question in the OP.

ταυτη is not referring back to anything, it refers to πετρα. For WAYK folks, it's analogous to this dialogue:

τί ἐστιν τοῦτο;
αὕτη ἐστιν ἡ ἐπιστολή.
Jonathan, I question your assertation about it referring to πέτρα.

I think it agrees with πετρα in number, case and gender, when it functions syntactically here as a demonstrative adjective with πέτρα or in apposition to πέτρα. In your example, αὕτη is used syntactically as demonstrative pronoun referring back to what was before, viz. the thing that the questioner was gesturing towards. That is a good illustration of a different syntax.
I don't want to quibble too much about metalanguage, but I think the reference is semantic rather than syntactic. Syntactically, αὕτη ἐστιν ἡ ἐπιστολή or ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ does not necessarily imply a reference unless the context does.

If Jesus were pointing to a physical rock on the ground when he said ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ, nobody would ask what he was referring to by looking at what he had said previously. It's not the syntax. Which is why the syntax doesn't answer the question here.
Stephen Hughes wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 11:29 am
The demonstrative adjective in Matthew 16:18 lends its demonstrative force to πέτρα. In effect it is saying "there was a πέτρα just mentioned, and I'm gunna build my Church on it."
I don't think that's syntactic. When he says "on this rock", everyone thinks, "what rock?", and they have to think about what he just said to look for an answer. And ταύτῃ agrees with πέτρᾳ in the phrase ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ, it doesn't syntactically agree with whatever Jesus meant.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Jonathan Robie
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Re: "upon this rock" in Matthew 16:18

Post by Jonathan Robie » October 24th, 2017, 12:39 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 11:46 am
Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 6:03 am
And then context, culture, history, and other things help guide our understanding of which possibilities are most likely.
Perhaps, theology (our own or Biblical) and belief (the Faith).
The syntax of English doesn't answer all questions we have about English texts. The syntax of Greek doesn't answer all questions we have about Greek texts. Human beings do interpret these texts differently, even when we have the same grasp of the language.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: "upon this rock" in Matthew 16:18

Post by Stephen Hughes » October 24th, 2017, 1:09 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 12:35 pm
Syntactically, αὕτη ἐστιν ἡ ἐπιστολή or ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ does not necessarily imply a reference unless the context does.
I agree. I said the referent was found independent of the syntax. There is another level of understanding that shouldn't be ignored
Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 12:35 pm
If Jesus were pointing to a physical rock on the ground when he said ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ, nobody would ask what he was referring to by looking at what he had said previously.
Gesturing is a non-verbal communicative strategy. Any bodily movement made with the intent of conveying meaning is a speech act.

The point of my penultimate post was to point out the error in this statement:
Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 12:35 pm
ταυτη is not referring back to anything, it refers to πετρα.
It is incorrect. ταυτη doesn't refer to πετρα. It agrees with πετρα. (Agreement is a feature of syntax.) ταύτη ἡ πέτρα refers to something or somebody, which or who is either literally or metaphorically a rock.

To put it another way, without the ταύτη, we would not be wondering whether the rock was Jesus, Peter's confession or Peter himself (or any other tongue-in-cheek grammatically possible suggestions).
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Jonathan Robie
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Re: "upon this rock" in Matthew 16:18

Post by Jonathan Robie » October 24th, 2017, 1:15 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 1:09 pm
The point of my penultimate post was to point out the error in this statement:
Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 12:35 pm
ταυτη is not referring back to anything, it refers to πετρα.
It is incorrect. ταυτη doesn't refer to πετρα. It agrees with πετρα.
Yes, I used the wrong word.
Stephen Hughes wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 1:09 pm
(Agreement is a feature of syntax.) ταύτη ἡ πέτρα refers to something or somebody, which or who is either literally or metaphorically a rock.
Yup.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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