Luke 2:33 Subject-Verb Concord

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Re: Luke 2:33 Subject-Verb Concord

Postby David Lim » February 17th, 2013, 10:08 pm

David Lim wrote:
Tony Pope wrote:[To add to the above, in BDF §135, see examples in the small print at 1(d).

Do you mind stating the "small print"?

Okay, BDF 135.1(d) gives Acts 5:21,29, Matt 17:3 and John 12:22, all of which are not periphrastic and support my explanation, especially Acts 5:21. Do you have any examples of periphrastic verbs with mismatching number?
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Re: Luke 2:33 Subject-Verb Concord

Postby Tony Pope » February 19th, 2013, 7:48 am

David Lim wrote:Do you mind stating the "small print"? The Net Bible says "The participle is plural, while the finite verb used in the periphrastic construction is singular, perhaps to show a unity in the parents’ response (BDF §135.1.d: Luke 8:19).", but Luke 8:19 doesn't have the same kind of construction. I agree that "καὶ ἡ μήτηρ" is an added subject, but I don't see why the participle must be part of a periphrastic instead of simply further detail: "his father was there, and his mother as well, and they were marveling over ...".

David Lim wrote:Okay, BDF 135.1(d) gives Acts 5:21,29, Matt 17:3 and John 12:22, all of which are not periphrastic and support my explanation, especially Acts 5:21. Do you have any examples of periphrastic verbs with mismatching number?


I'm curious to know what you would accept as a periphrastic verb with mismatching number. I don't happen to know of any other possible examples, but I don't see Luke 2.33 should be rejected as such because of lack of concord. I would like to see other reasons for rejecting it as a periphrastic construction. And indeed there may be such -- I, for one, am not insisting on it either way.

Would you disagree with C. F. D. Moule An Idiom-Book of New Testament Greek, p. 17 (can be viewed on google), who treats 2.33 among others as periphrastic without discussion but is inclined to regard 2.8 differently?
Luke 2.8 Καὶ ποιμένες ἦσαν ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ τῇ αὐτῇ ἀγραυλοῦντες ...

How do you take Luke 1.10 καὶ πᾶν τὸ πλῆθος ἦν τοῦ λαοῦ προσευχόμενον ἔξω ...
and 1.21 Καὶ ἦν ὁ λαὸς προσδοκῶν τὸν Ζαχαρίαν καὶ ἐθαύμαζον ἐν τῷ χρονίζειν ... ?
And why?
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Re: Luke 2:33 Subject-Verb Concord

Postby David Lim » February 20th, 2013, 12:10 pm

Tony Pope wrote:
David Lim wrote:Do you mind stating the "small print"? The Net Bible says "The participle is plural, while the finite verb used in the periphrastic construction is singular, perhaps to show a unity in the parents’ response (BDF §135.1.d: Luke 8:19).", but Luke 8:19 doesn't have the same kind of construction. I agree that "καὶ ἡ μήτηρ" is an added subject, but I don't see why the participle must be part of a periphrastic instead of simply further detail: "his father was there, and his mother as well, and they were marveling over ...".

David Lim wrote:Okay, BDF 135.1(d) gives Acts 5:21,29, Matt 17:3 and John 12:22, all of which are not periphrastic and support my explanation, especially Acts 5:21. Do you have any examples of periphrastic verbs with mismatching number?


I'm curious to know what you would accept as a periphrastic verb with mismatching number. I don't happen to know of any other possible examples, but I don't see Luke 2.33 should be rejected as such because of lack of concord. I would like to see other reasons for rejecting it as a periphrastic construction. And indeed there may be such -- I, for one, am not insisting on it either way.

I would accept something that has to be taken as periphrastic verb (is the only finite verb and cannot be taken as an existential statement, such as in Luke 2:26,51).

Tony Pope wrote:Would you disagree with C. F. D. Moule An Idiom-Book of New Testament Greek, p. 17 (can be viewed on google), who treats 2.33 among others as periphrastic without discussion but is inclined to regard 2.8 differently?
Luke 2.8 Καὶ ποιμένες ἦσαν ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ τῇ αὐτῇ ἀγραυλοῦντες ...

I don't really get why you mention his differing take of Luke 2:33 with Luke 2:8? In my opinion both are simply existential statements and not periphrastic. In both it is a statement about the presence of some people, just like in Luke 2:36.

Tony Pope wrote:How do you take Luke 1.10 καὶ πᾶν τὸ πλῆθος ἦν τοῦ λαοῦ προσευχόμενον ἔξω ...
and 1.21 Καὶ ἦν ὁ λαὸς προσδοκῶν τὸν Ζαχαρίαν καὶ ἐθαύμαζον ἐν τῷ χρονίζειν ... ?
And why?

The second I read as periphrastic, because nothing in its context causes me to expect an existential statement "and there was the people" as it was mentioned earlier.
The first is less clear, but based on the parallel structure with the second it is likely that the writer conceived of it periphrastically too. So I presume there would be an emphasis on "παν το πληθος" in reading, so there would be no reason to hear "ην" as the finite verb.

Anyway these are just my thoughts. What do you think?
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Re: Luke 2:33 Subject-Verb Concord

Postby Stephen Carlson » February 20th, 2013, 2:12 pm

David Lim wrote:I would accept something that has to be taken as periphrastic verb (is the only finite verb and cannot be taken as an existential statement, such as in Luke 2:26,51).


I'm curious why your test for periphrasis is "cannot be taken as an existential statement" rather than "more likely periphrastic than existential." Lots of statements seems ambiguous appear either reading, so I'm wondering why your test has a bias against periphrasis.
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Re: Luke 2:33 Subject-Verb Concord

Postby Tony Pope » February 20th, 2013, 6:28 pm

David Lim wrote:
Tony Pope wrote:How do you take Luke 1.10 καὶ πᾶν τὸ πλῆθος ἦν τοῦ λαοῦ προσευχόμενον ἔξω ...
and 1.21 Καὶ ἦν ὁ λαὸς προσδοκῶν τὸν Ζαχαρίαν καὶ ἐθαύμαζον ἐν τῷ χρονίζειν ... ?
And why?

The second I read as periphrastic, because nothing in its context causes me to expect an existential statement "and there was the people" as it was mentioned earlier.
The first is less clear, but based on the parallel structure with the second it is likely that the writer conceived of it periphrastically too. So I presume there would be an emphasis on "παν το πληθος" in reading, so there would be no reason to hear "ην" as the finite verb.

Anyway these are just my thoughts. What do you think?

If I read you correctly, Zechariah's entering the temple to burn incense implies the presence of the people outside, so it makes little sense to read ἦν as "there was/were". But why is this different from 2.33? Joseph and Mary are already in the picture in verse 27, so it doesn't seem to me appropriate for Luke to say in 33 "there were the parents, marvelling ..." or "the parents were there, marvelling ..."

I just realized Nicolas Bailey spends pp. 194-206 of his doctoral dissertation on presentational clauses on this very question. Somewhat surprisingly (to me) he also regards Luke 2.8 as "probably" periphrastic (p. 204). But it's clear that those learned souls who have expressed their opinions on many of the verses are not in agreement.
http://dare.ubvu.vu.nl/handle/1871/15504 (N.B. quite heavy on linguistic terminology.)
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Re: Luke 2:33 Subject-Verb Concord

Postby David Lim » February 21st, 2013, 9:02 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
David Lim wrote:I would accept something that has to be taken as periphrastic verb (is the only finite verb and cannot be taken as an existential statement, such as in Luke 2:26,51).


I'm curious why your test for periphrasis is "cannot be taken as an existential statement" rather than "more likely periphrastic than existential." Lots of statements seems ambiguous appear either reading, so I'm wondering why your test has a bias against periphrasis.

No I didn't mean it as a test for periphrasis. Tony asked what I would accept as a periphrastic verb with mismatching number. As you mention, there is apparently quite a large grey area, so I simply wanted an example that could not be existential and yet had mismatching number, otherwise Luke 2:33 would be the only candidate we have.

Tony Pope wrote:If I read you correctly, Zechariah's entering the temple to burn incense implies the presence of the people outside, so it makes little sense to read ἦν as "there was/were". But why is this different from 2.33? Joseph and Mary are already in the picture in verse 27, so it doesn't seem to me appropriate for Luke to say in 33 "there were the parents, marvelling ..." or "the parents were there, marvelling ..."

In Luke 2:33, it seems to me that the writer is purposely stating clearly that Joseph was there, along with Jesus' mother, so that he was a witness to the prophecy.

Tony Pope wrote:I just realized Nicolas Bailey spends pp. 194-206 of his doctoral dissertation on presentational clauses on this very question. Somewhat surprisingly (to me) he also regards Luke 2.8 as "probably" periphrastic (p. 204). But it's clear that those learned souls who have expressed their opinions on many of the verses are not in agreement.
http://dare.ubvu.vu.nl/handle/1871/15504 (N.B. quite heavy on linguistic terminology.)

Thanks for the link! I read Luke 2:33 as not periphrastic because its grammatical structure is the usual one for existential statements (like Luke 2:36, 4:33, 5:29) and the mismatching number just confirms it to me.
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Re: Luke 2:33 Subject-Verb Concord

Postby Stephen Carlson » February 21st, 2013, 9:20 am

David Lim wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:
David Lim wrote:I would accept something that has to be taken as periphrastic verb (is the only finite verb and cannot be taken as an existential statement, such as in Luke 2:26,51).


I'm curious why your test for periphrasis is "cannot be taken as an existential statement" rather than "more likely periphrastic than existential." Lots of statements seems ambiguous appear either reading, so I'm wondering why your test has a bias against periphrasis.

No I didn't mean it as a test for periphrasis. Tony asked what I would accept as a periphrastic verb with mismatching number. As you mention, there is apparently quite a large grey area, so I simply wanted an example that could not be existential and yet had mismatching number, otherwise Luke 2:33 would be the only candidate we have.


I don't see how the lack of number concord has to do with whether an existential or periphrastic is the better interpretation. I think the existential interpretation is rather poor in Luke 2:33 but not impossibly so, so the test does matter here.

David Lim wrote:
Tony Pope wrote:If I read you correctly, Zechariah's entering the temple to burn incense implies the presence of the people outside, so it makes little sense to read ἦν as "there was/were". But why is this different from 2.33? Joseph and Mary are already in the picture in verse 27, so it doesn't seem to me appropriate for Luke to say in 33 "there were the parents, marvelling ..." or "the parents were there, marvelling ..."

In Luke 2:33, it seems to me that the writer is purposely stating clearly that Joseph was there, along with Jesus' mother, so that he was a witness to the prophecy.


I think this is an over-interpretation. I don't see ἐκεῖ in the text of Luke 2:33. I just see ἦν. Sure, an initial ἦν can be translated "there was," but the "there" is merely an explicative; it does not mean the same as "was there."

David Lim wrote:
Tony Pope wrote:I just realized Nicolas Bailey spends pp. 194-206 of his doctoral dissertation on presentational clauses on this very question. Somewhat surprisingly (to me) he also regards Luke 2.8 as "probably" periphrastic (p. 204). But it's clear that those learned souls who have expressed their opinions on many of the verses are not in agreement.
http://dare.ubvu.vu.nl/handle/1871/15504 (N.B. quite heavy on linguistic terminology.)

Thanks for the link! I read Luke 2:33 as not periphrastic because its grammatical structure is the usual one for existential statements (like Luke 2:36, 4:33, 5:29) and the mismatching number just confirms it to me.


No. All the other examples you cite feature indefinite noun phrases, but the noun phrases in Luke 2:33 have the article. Besides, Bailey's thesis is about information structure not grammatical (syntactic?) structure, so concepts such as definiteness are vitally important and have to be taken into account. I don't recall if Bailey said anything about the number concord, furthermore.
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Re: Luke 2:33 Subject-Verb Concord

Postby David Lim » February 21st, 2013, 11:47 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:All the other examples you cite feature indefinite noun phrases, but the noun phrases in Luke 2:33 have the article. Besides, Bailey's thesis is about information structure not grammatical (syntactic?) structure, so concepts such as definiteness are vitally important and have to be taken into account. I don't recall if Bailey said anything about the number concord, furthermore.

Wait, are you saying that Anna in "ην αννα προφητις θυγατηρ φανουηλ εκ φυλης ασηρ αυτη προβεβηκυια" is indefinite?
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Re: Luke 2:33 Subject-Verb Concord

Postby Stephen Carlson » February 22nd, 2013, 4:41 am

David Lim wrote:Wait, are you saying that Anna in "ην αννα προφητις θυγατηρ φανουηλ εκ φυλης ασηρ αυτη προβεβηκυια" is indefinite?


Sorry, anarthrous. Discourse new.
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