Understanding names in Koine Greek

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PhillipLebsack
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Joined: January 17th, 2018, 10:31 am

Understanding names in Koine Greek

Post by PhillipLebsack » June 3rd, 2018, 8:52 pm

Hi. I've come across a certain translation of the NT that transliterates Πετρος as "Petros" into the english, and in every instance "Πετρος" occurs, regardless of the case/inflection, it is transliterated into english as "Petros" instead of Peter.

My question is, was "Petros" really how we should understand his actual Greek name? Or Should it be understood as "Πετρ" (Peter), and the inflection grammatical only? I understand that "Petros" is the NSM (most basic form) of the name... But the "os" ending is strictly grammatical and actually has nothing to do with the name itself right? Is this how the ancients would have understood it?

Thanks!

Robert Emil Berge
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Joined: August 24th, 2016, 1:34 pm

Re: Understanding names in Koine Greek

Post by Robert Emil Berge » June 3rd, 2018, 9:31 pm

No. For most people it would be meaningless to talk about the ending as grammatical, and the idea of a noun without its ending wouldn't make much sense, I think. I don't know where the shortened forms of the names in English come from, but I'm guessing it comes from French, where the case endings of Latin words and names were reduced, since they weren't needed anymore. If you could ask an ancient Greek what the man's name was, he'd answer Petros, and they wouldn't have any clue at all what you'd mean by the most basic form Petr, unless he were really into grammar, perhaps.

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Understanding names in Koine Greek

Post by Stephen Carlson » June 3rd, 2018, 9:48 pm

Robert Emil Berge wrote:
June 3rd, 2018, 9:31 pm
If you could ask an ancient Greek what the man's name was, he'd answer Petros, and they wouldn't have any clue at all what you'd mean by the most basic form Petr, unless he were really into grammar, perhaps.
Yes, and in fact the "nominative" case gets its name because it's the case you use to state your name.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

PhillipLebsack
Posts: 55
Joined: January 17th, 2018, 10:31 am

Re: Understanding names in Koine Greek

Post by PhillipLebsack » June 20th, 2018, 10:21 am

Kind of looks like Smyth says otherwise.

https://ibb.co/nFjsLJ

Barry Hofstetter
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Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Understanding names in Koine Greek

Post by Barry Hofstetter » June 20th, 2018, 10:38 am

PhillipLebsack wrote:
June 20th, 2018, 10:21 am
Kind of looks like Smyth says otherwise.

https://ibb.co/nFjsLJ
Smyth is giving a grammatical explanation which analyzes the forms and makes sense to us. An ancient speaker of the language would not necessarily have thought of it in the same way. The ancient grammarians have some sense of this, but an ancient speaker who was not grammatically sensitive would have simply thought of the stem and its ending as one word.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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