ὅσα in John 16:23

How do I work out the meaning of a Greek text? How can I best understand the forms and vocabulary in this particular text?
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ὅσα in John 16:23

Postby Mike Burke Deactivated » November 3rd, 2012, 12:18 am

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance identifies oèsov as a personal pronoun, and defines it as follows:

1.) as great as, as far as, how much, how many, whoever

And I find that very confusing.

Is it a plural personal pronoun (like the Elizabethan "Ye"), or does it signify some ambiguous number (as in "how many," "whoever")?

How should we understand it in a passage like John 16:23?

Is Jesus saying that God will give believers whatever they ("ye," plural) may ask in His name, or that God will give the least one of them (whoever) whatever he might ask in His name?

Very confused here.

Please help.
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Re: oèsov in John 16:23

Postby timothy_p_mcmahon » November 3rd, 2012, 3:56 am

Not quite sure where you're getting oèsov, but I'm assuming that somehow represents the form οσα which occurs in the verse.

First thing: dump the dictionary in the back of Strong's Concordance. Keep the concordance part if you like, although a computer search program is probably more efficient. But rip out the 'dictionary' pages and burn them. Seriously, it's that bad.

οσα is not a personal pronoun. It's a correlative pronoun. It's a plural form, but its plurality has nothing to do with the subject of the verb: οσα is the verb's object, not its subject. It refers to the things requested, not to the person(s) making the request. "Whatever [things] you request" or "As many [things] as you request" or such would be a woodenly literal translation.

As to whether you understand the subject of the verb ("you") to be collective (whatever y'all ask together) or distributive (whatever any one of y'all asks) in sense, that's up to you as the interpreter. The Greek verb doesn't imply it either way.
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Re: oèsov in John 16:23

Postby David Lim » November 3rd, 2012, 10:24 am

I second what Timothy says about the dictionary (not to say the versions of it floating around the internet). "οσος" is a correlative pronoun that specifies a quantitative correlation ( as many as / as much as / as large as ). "οσα" is the accusative neuter plural of it, which implies "as many [things] as".

Anyway here is the Byzantine text (the Alexandrian text does not have "οσα") and my even more wooden translation:
[John 16:23]
και εν εκεινη τη ημερα εμε ουκ ερωτησετε ουδεν αμην αμην λεγω υμιν οτι οσα αν αιτησητε τον πατερα εν τω ονοματι μου δωσει υμιν
and in that day, you (pl.) will not ask me anything. amen, amen, I say to you that, as many [things] as you (pl.) shall request the father in my name, [he] will give to you.
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Re: oèsov in John 16:23

Postby Mike Burke Deactivated » November 3rd, 2012, 10:43 am

David Lim wrote:...Anyway here is the Byzantine text (the Alexandrian text does not have "οσα") and my even more wooden translation:
[John 16:23]
και εν εκεινη τη ημερα εμε ουκ ερωτησετε ουδεν αμην αμην λεγω υμιν οτι οσα αν αιτησητε τον πατερα εν τω ονοματι μου δωσει υμιν
and in that day, you (pl.) will not ask me anything. amen, amen, I say to you that, as many [things] as you (pl.) shall request the father in my name, [he] will give to you.

Thank you.

Is that last "you" (He will give to you) plural?
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Re: oèsov in John 16:23

Postby David Lim » November 3rd, 2012, 11:18 am

Mike Burke wrote:
David Lim wrote:...Anyway here is the Byzantine text (the Alexandrian text does not have "οσα") and my even more wooden translation:
[John 16:23]
και εν εκεινη τη ημερα εμε ουκ ερωτησετε ουδεν αμην αμην λεγω υμιν οτι οσα αν αιτησητε τον πατερα εν τω ονοματι μου δωσει υμιν
and in that day, you (pl.) will not ask me anything. amen, amen, I say to you that, as many [things] as you (pl.) shall request the father in my name, [he] will give to you.

Thank you.

Is that last "you" (He will give to you) plural?


Yes it is the 2nd person dative plural pronoun. (See http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/project/f ... on-19.html.) Have you started on a grammar? :)
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Re: oèsov in John 16:23

Postby Mike Burke Deactivated » November 4th, 2012, 12:26 am

Thank you.
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Re: ὅσα in John 16:23

Postby Jason Hare » November 9th, 2012, 8:03 am

I've changed the subject of the thread to reflect ὅσα instead of whatever was written there. I hope this is OK with the rest of you. - Jason
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Re: ὅσα in John 16:23

Postby cwconrad » November 9th, 2012, 9:07 am

Jason Hare wrote:I've changed the subject of the thread to reflect ὅσα instead of whatever was written there. I hope this is OK with the rest of you. - Jason


It might also better have been moved to the subtopic "Vocabulary" or to "What does this text mean" with the title changed to "Jn 16:23 ὅσα". Newbies seem to post messages almost willy-nilly into new topics without paying much attention to the rather well-structured framework of the BG Forum as a whole or of the Beginners Forum.
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