1 John 2:27

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David Lim
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1 John 2:27

Post by David Lim » November 11th, 2011, 11:43 pm

[1 John 2:27] και υμεις το χρισμα ο ελαβετε απ αυτου εν υμιν μενει και ου χρειαν εχετε ινα τις διδασκη υμας αλλ ως το αυτο χρισμα διδασκει υμας περι παντων και αληθες εστιν και ουκ εστιν ψευδος και καθως εδιδαξεν υμας μενειτε εν αυτω
(1) I took "ου" to negate "χρειαν ..." rather than "εχετε". There is essentially no difference between "you have no need ..." and "you do not have need ..." but I have always been wondering whether my understanding of the grammar is correct.
(2) I understood "ως το αυτο χρισμα διδασκει υμας περι παντων και αληθες εστιν και ουκ εστιν ψευδος και καθως εδιδαξεν υμας μενειτε εν αυτω" to mean "as the same anointing teaches you about all [things] and is true and is not [a] lie, and just as [it] taught you, you will remain in him" / "because the same anointing teaches you about all [things] and is true and is not [a] lie, and indeed because [it] [has always] taught you, you will remain in him", where "ως ..." and "καθως ..." describe the reason and circumstance in which "you will remain in him". Is this right?
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cwconrad
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Re: 1 John 2:27

Post by cwconrad » November 12th, 2011, 9:37 am

David Lim wrote:
[1 John 2:27] και υμεις το χρισμα ο ελαβετε απ αυτου εν υμιν μενει και ου χρειαν εχετε ινα τις διδασκη υμας αλλ ως το αυτο χρισμα διδασκει υμας περι παντων και αληθες εστιν και ουκ εστιν ψευδος και καθως εδιδαξεν υμας μενειτε εν αυτω
(1) I took "ου" to negate "χρειαν ..." rather than "εχετε". There is essentially no difference between "you have no need ..." and "you do not have need ..." but I have always been wondering whether my understanding of the grammar is correct.
"You have no need" is English, not Greek. In Greek that sense would be something like "οὐκ ἔχετε οὐδεμίαν χρείαν." οὐ is an adverb, it cannot qualify a noun. Moreover, χρείαν ἔχειν is an idiomatic phrase equivalent to the more formal sort of expression οὐ χρὴ ὑμᾶς + inf.
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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)

David Lim
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Re: 1 John 2:27

Post by David Lim » November 12th, 2011, 11:06 am

cwconrad wrote:
David Lim wrote:
[1 John 2:27] και υμεις το χρισμα ο ελαβετε απ αυτου εν υμιν μενει και ου χρειαν εχετε ινα τις διδασκη υμας αλλ ως το αυτο χρισμα διδασκει υμας περι παντων και αληθες εστιν και ουκ εστιν ψευδος και καθως εδιδαξεν υμας μενειτε εν αυτω
(1) I took "ου" to negate "χρειαν ..." rather than "εχετε". There is essentially no difference between "you have no need ..." and "you do not have need ..." but I have always been wondering whether my understanding of the grammar is correct.
"You have no need" is English, not Greek. In Greek that sense would be something like "οὐκ ἔχετε οὐδεμίαν χρείαν." οὐ is an adverb, it cannot qualify a noun. Moreover, χρείαν ἔχειν is an idiomatic phrase equivalent to the more formal sort of expression οὐ χρὴ ὑμᾶς + inf.
Oh I see. In this case would the formal expression be something like "ου χρη τινα διδασκειν υμας"? But then in Matt 9:13 "ελεον θελω και ου θυσιαν" seems to mean "I want mercy and not sacrifice" where "ου" modifies "θυσιαν", and "ο αθετων ουκ ανθρωπον αθετει αλλα τον θεον" in 1 Thes 4:8 and "ουκ ακροατης επιλησμονης γενομενος αλλα ποιητης εργου" in Jam 1:25 also have "ουκ" preceding the noun instead of the verb seemingly in contrast with the other noun. Moreover 1 Pet 3:21 has "βαπτισμα ου σαρκος αποθεσις ρυπου αλλα συνειδησεως αγαθης επερωτημα εις θεον" where "ου" seems to modify "σαρκος αποθεσις ρυπου". So is it really impossible for "ου" to modify a noun clause? Anyway what do you think about (2)?
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cwconrad
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Re: 1 John 2:27

Post by cwconrad » November 12th, 2011, 3:46 pm

The formal phasing here might likely be οὐ χρὴ οὐδένα διδάσκειν ὑμᾶς -- but it’s clear that χρείαν ἔχειν + inf. is a standard idiom in NT Koine Greek.

I would, in fact, still want to say that a negative adverb doesn’t qualify a noun; rather it qualifies either the verb (whether explicit or implicit in ellipsis) or the entire predicate. I think there is ellipsis of a verb in all the verses that you’ve cited:

Matt 9:13 ἔλεος θέλω καὶ οὐ θυσίαν
I would understand this as elliptical for ἔλεον θέλω καὶ οὐ (θέλω) θυσίαν

1 Thes 4:8 ... ὁ ἀθετῶν οὐκ ἄνθρωπον ἀθετεῖ ἀλλὰ τὸν θεὸν
I would understand this as elliptical for .. ἀλλ’ (ἀθετεῖ) τὸν θεόν.

James 1:25 … οὐκ ἀκροατὴς ἐπιλησμονῆς γενόμενος ἀλλὰ ποιητὴς ἔργου
I would understand this as elliptical for … ἀλλὰ (γενόμενος) ποιητὴς ἔργου

1 Pet 3:21 σῴζει βάπτισμα, οὐ σαρκὸς ἀπόθεσις ῥύπου ἀλλὰ συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς ἐπερώτημα εἰς θεόν
again I would understand this as elliptical for ὃ οὐκ (ἐστι) σαρκὸς ἀπόθεσις ῥύπου ἀλλὰ (ὅ ἐστι) υνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς ἐπερώτημα εἰς θεόν …

With respect to (2) it seems to me that there are several possibilities of construing the clauses in relationship to each other. Your text is unpunctuated; there are alternative punctuations based upon alternative construals of the elements. I won’t offer any judgment on that.
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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)

Mark Lightman
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Re: 1 John 2:27

Post by Mark Lightman » November 12th, 2011, 4:21 pm

Carl wrote:
Matt 9:13 ἔλεος θέλω καὶ οὐ θυσίαν
I would understand this as elliptical for ἔλεον θέλω καὶ οὐ (θέλω) θυσίαν
I like the procedure Carl has followed here. If one can clear up a meta-language hair-split (whether οὐ "modifies" the verb or the noun, a question which David has already said has no effect on the meaning,) by paraphrasing the Greek, one ought to do this first. If this does not work, you can increase the dosage to some English meta-language.
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David Lim
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Re: 1 John 2:27

Post by David Lim » November 13th, 2011, 12:10 am

cwconrad wrote:The formal phasing here might likely be οὐ χρὴ οὐδένα διδάσκειν ὑμᾶς -- but it’s clear that χρείαν ἔχειν + inf. is a standard idiom in NT Koine Greek.
Yes I thought that it was odd for "ου" to negate "χρειαν" but it never occurred to me that "χρειαν εχειν" was idiomatic. Thanks!
cwconrad wrote:I would, in fact, still want to say that a negative adverb doesn’t qualify a noun; rather it qualifies either the verb (whether explicit or implicit in ellipsis) or the entire predicate. I think there is ellipsis of a verb in all the verses that you’ve cited:

Matt 9:13 ἔλεος θέλω καὶ οὐ θυσίαν
I would understand this as elliptical for ἔλεον θέλω καὶ οὐ (θέλω) θυσίαν

1 Thes 4:8 ... ὁ ἀθετῶν οὐκ ἄνθρωπον ἀθετεῖ ἀλλὰ τὸν θεὸν
I would understand this as elliptical for .. ἀλλ’ (ἀθετεῖ) τὸν θεόν.

James 1:25 … οὐκ ἀκροατὴς ἐπιλησμονῆς γενόμενος ἀλλὰ ποιητὴς ἔργου
I would understand this as elliptical for … ἀλλὰ (γενόμενος) ποιητὴς ἔργου

1 Pet 3:21 σῴζει βάπτισμα, οὐ σαρκὸς ἀπόθεσις ῥύπου ἀλλὰ συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς ἐπερώτημα εἰς θεόν
again I would understand this as elliptical for ὃ οὐκ (ἐστι) σαρκὸς ἀπόθεσις ῥύπου ἀλλὰ (ὅ ἐστι) υνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς ἐπερώτημα εἰς θεόν …
Oh okay. I did think an ellipsis could explain all except the last one, because it seemed as if "βαπτισμα" was in apposition to "ου σαρκος αποθεσις ρυπου αλλα συνειδησεως αγαθης επερωτημα εις θεον", and thus the phrase would be a noun clause. I asked because it seemed that "ου" always immediately precedes what it negates except for intervening post-positives or some particles, and when I understood it that way it always made sense, so I was wondering if there are any examples where this understanding is clearly wrong.
cwconrad wrote:With respect to (2) it seems to me that there are several possibilities of construing the clauses in relationship to each other. Your text is unpunctuated; there are alternative punctuations based upon alternative construals of the elements. I won’t offer any judgment on that.
I construed the sentence based on the unpunctuated text, and at first found it difficult to identify the relationships between the clauses, so I just decided to ask. Thanks anyway!
Mark Lightman wrote:I like the procedure Carl has followed here. If one can clear up a meta-language hair-split (whether οὐ "modifies" the verb or the noun, a question which David has already said has no effect on the meaning,) by paraphrasing the Greek, one ought to do this first. If this does not work, you can increase the dosage to some English meta-language.
I agree, but it is just in case there are situations in which there is actually a difference in meaning, so I thought I might as well ask since it has been some time that I have not been able to answer my question. Thanks for your advice though!
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cwconrad
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Re: 1 John 2:27

Post by cwconrad » November 13th, 2011, 7:43 am

Just a final comment (assuming that this discussion has more or less run its course):

(1) It seems to me that a couple factors were at play here in the process of construing the elements of a clausal sequence whose essential meaning was not in doubt: ellipsis is a standard feature of most discourse (at least in the languages that I know something about): reiterating the understood structural parts of phrases and clauses is uneconomical; it's tedious and boring; but when we go about analyzing texts, I think we're obliged to acknowledge the role of implicit elements that aren't stated. Another factor is the peril of drawing conclusions about grammatical structure of an original-language text from the word-order of a target-language translated text -- ellipsis especially can make the overt form of a text misleading.

(2) David, in the second part of your question, you have acknowledged that you were interpreting an unpunctuated clausal sequence. Punctuation really is a very helpful editorial device, but at the same time it provides a solution to the problem of alternative interpretations of an ambiguous syntactic chain. The text you provided (ως το αυτο χρισμα διδασκει υμας περι παντων και αληθες εστιν και ουκ εστιν ψευδος και καθως εδιδαξεν υμας μενειτε εν αυτω) lacks both diacritical marks and punctuation (but at least, thank God, it's divided into words!). When analyzing it, one must figure out whether it's a string of independent clauses linked by three καὶ's or whether one or more of these καὶ's is adverbial; one must figure out the function of the initial ὡς clause in relation to the following clause, and one must figure out the function of the κάθως clause in relation to what preceded and what follows. There really are some alternative possibilities, more of them in an unpuncuated text. In a critical text it's often interesting and helpful to note the alternative punctuations and alternative understandings of a textual sequence that those different punctuations indicate. I personally think that careful writing can and should obviate the sort of ambiguities that befuddle interpreters -- although careful writing can also deliberately create ambiguities and display an author's intent to beguile the reader. So, in clausal sequences like this, it can be instructive to see how different editor/punctuatorss and translators have resolved the potential ambiguities of the sequence.
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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)

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