ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν

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Stirling Bartholomew
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ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » February 16th, 2018, 7:08 pm

Been reading The Hebrew Gospel and the Development of the Synoptic Tradition Eerdmans (2009) James R. Edwards, waiting on ILL request for his Luke commentary. Edwards suggests that Luke may have used a Hebrew source for portions of his gospel. Source-criticism is of course off-topic. The focus here is on ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν. Not a very common expression. I found it once in Maccabees and twice in Jonah. Mark and Luke use it in different contexts. Is this translation Greek, a Septuagintism, a Hebraism, semitism or just ordinary Koine? Cognate noun-verb pairs are found in classical Greek texts.
οὔ νύν τοι  εικὲς οὐδὲν ἦν τοῦ σώματος νοῦσον μεγάλην νοσέοντος μηδὲ τὰς φρένας
ὑγιαίνειν (Herodotus 3.33)
‘It is not unlikely then that when his body was grievously afflicted his mind too should be
diseased’[1]
Mark 4:41 καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν καὶ ἔλεγον πρὸς ἀλλήλους· τίς ἄρα οὗτός ἐστιν ὅτι καὶ ὁ ἄνεμος καὶ ἡ θάλασσα ὑπακούει αὐτῷ;

Luke 2:9 καὶ ἄγγελος κυρίου ἐπέστη αὐτοῖς καὶ δόξα κυρίου περιέλαμψεν αὐτούς, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν.

1Mac. 10:8 καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν, ὅτε ἤκουσαν ὅτι ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐξουσίαν συναγαγεῖν δύναμιν.

Jonah 1:10 καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν οἱ ἄνδρες φόβον μέγαν καὶ εἶπαν πρὸς αὐτόν Τί τοῦτο ἐποίησας; διότι ἔγνωσαν οἱ ἄνδρες ὅτι ἐκ προσώπου κυρίου ἦν φεύγων, ὅτι ἀπήγγειλεν αὐτοῖς.

Jonah 1:10 וייראו האנשׁים יראה גדולה

Jonah 1:16 καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν οἱ ἄνδρες φόβῳ μεγάλῳ τὸν κύριον καὶ ἔθυσαν θυσίαν τῷ κυρίῳ καὶ εὔξαντο εὐχάς.

Jonah 1:16 וייראו האנשׁים יראה גדולה
[1]COGNATE OBJECTS AND CASE IN THE HISTORY OF GREEK
Chiara Gianollo & Nikolaos Lavidas
University of Stuttgart, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

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Re: ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν

Post by cwconrad » February 17th, 2018, 6:24 am

Yes, I remember that we used oo bandy names like "cognate accusative" for expressions of this sort. I've always thought these were better understood as "adverbial" accusatives -- accusatives used to add specificity to the verb in question. Perhaps Wallace has some special name for this accusative usage (the proposition being, "If you give something a name, you have mastered it.") Beginners seem to get the sense that verbs are regularly transitive and that accusative nouns used with them are regularly "objects" affected by the verbal action. Perhaps one of the hardest things for a language learner to come to terms with is the difference between the experience represented by language and the linguistic expression intended to represent that experience.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν

Post by Barry Hofstetter » February 17th, 2018, 7:27 am

I think the parallel with Herodotus, and I remember seeing a few similar examples from time to time, though I can't at this point remember specifics, proves that it is not particularly a Semitic expression.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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RandallButh
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Re: ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν

Post by RandallButh » February 17th, 2018, 12:18 pm

Mark and Luke use it in different contexts. Is this translation Greek, a Septuagintism, a Hebraism, semitism or just ordinary Koine? Cognate noun-verb pairs are found in classical Greek texts.
Distinguishing all of the above is more a part of literary criticism and cannot be determined without multiple tests.

For example, if a translated Greek phrase shows up in the LXX and it is used by a later writer it may or may not be borrowed from the Greek Septuagint. Did the later writer write directly in Greek? Did the writer use sources? Is there any evidence of non-Septuagintal Hebraisms in the later writer and source(s)? It is the overall pattern that is necessary in order to evaluate.

Another example, cognate noun+verb structures can occur in Greek, but is this structure isolated or does it occur in a writing with observable or admitted Semitic influence?

One warning is in store for NT Greek--not everything reported as consensus is valid or factual. A classic example is the Hebraic impersonal εγενετο structure in Luke-Acts. It is widely reported that it occurs in both Luke and Acts while in fact it only occurs in Luke and the Acts examples are a different structure. The data were mis-handled by many because it made Markan priority an easier sell. (Admitted back in Sparks 1943, though not admitting to mishandling the data.) A similar type of "consensus" occurs with the word εβραιστί, where readers are often assured that it means Jewish-Aramaic, when in fact there is no unambiguous example attested. Such data are sometimes drowned over by an echo effect--if enough people repeat something in published secondary sources, people assume there must be some substance to the (bogus) data. See Buth Notley edd, Language Environment in First Century Judaia, Brill 2014.
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » February 17th, 2018, 4:01 pm

Thank you Carl and Barry, you're replies helped me focus the question. The so called cognate accusative isn't peculiar to Hebrew. However expressions similar to ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν show up in authors downstream of the Septuagint.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » February 17th, 2018, 4:44 pm

RandallButh wrote:
February 17th, 2018, 12:18 pm

... if a translated Greek phrase shows up in the LXX and it is used by a later writer it may or may not be borrowed from the Greek Septuagint. Did the later writer write directly in Greek? Did the writer use sources? Is there any evidence of non-Septuagintal Hebraisms in the later writer and source(s)? It is the overall pattern that is necessary in order to evaluate.

Another example, cognate noun+verb structures can occur in Greek, but is this structure isolated or does it occur in a writing with observable or admitted Semitic influence?
Randall,

I agree with everything above. I used all the same filters. Was unable to reach a conclusion about this particular expression. I should clarify that James Edwards does not cite ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν or cognate noun/verb pairs in his discussion Hebraisms in Luke's gospel.

Postscript: source criticism isn't my focus here.
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Re: ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν

Post by MAubrey » February 17th, 2018, 5:21 pm

Even if it is original with the LXX, once a Greek speaker uses it in a non-translation text, it becomes Greek. Loan constructions happen just like loan words do.
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RandallButh
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Re: ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν

Post by RandallButh » February 18th, 2018, 3:40 am

The phrase in Mark 4 ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν is something of a toss-up. Literarily this is possibly from a shared source that goes back to the non-canonical Hebrew gospel. (Papias mentioned this gospel though conflated it with canonical Matthew.) If so, then it would be a Hebraism. However, it may also represent Mark's editing of the shared source, and if so, it would be a Septuagintalism and an example of "Jewish Greek."

The phrase in Luke 2 is in a passage heavy with Hebraisms and including non-LXX Hebraisms. (I've got an old JBL article on the magnificat [1985?] that explains one of the non-LXX's.) So it is very likely coming from a Greek source where it was a Hebraism from a Hebrew source.

My two cents.
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RandallButh
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Re: ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν

Post by RandallButh » February 18th, 2018, 3:47 am

MAubrey wrote:
February 17th, 2018, 5:21 pm
Even if it is original with the LXX, once a Greek speaker uses it in a non-translation text, it becomes Greek. Loan constructions happen just like loan words do.
Michael, that becomes emet and true if it is picked up by other authors and it actually enters the language or a dialect of the language (Jewish Greek). If emet is picked up by other English authors then at that time it becomes English, otherwise I just used a loan-word from Hebrew while writing English.
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