History of εις and εν

Biblical Greek morphology and syntax, aspect, linguistics, discourse analysis, and related topics
Post Reply
Jacob Rhoden
Posts: 163
Joined: February 15th, 2013, 8:16 am
Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Contact:

History of εις and εν

Post by Jacob Rhoden »

I recall reading some time ago (probably in a commentary) about a transition or confusion between these two prepositions. It came up in discussion today following our first year greek class on prepositions, so I decided to research a little more about this to refresh my memory. The main dictionaries that I have access to don't mention this issue. Within the journal's I have access to, I can only find a JBL article from 1966, "A NOTE CONCERNING THE USE OF ΕΙΣ AND EN IN MARK".

So I wonder where one would look to find more information about this?
Adam Thomas
Posts: 5
Joined: May 22nd, 2017, 6:22 am

Re: History of εις and εν

Post by Adam Thomas »

I'm sure others will have more to add, but Murray Harris has an extended section on this in his Prepositions and Theology in the Greek New Testament, Chapter 8, pp 84ff.
Jacob Rhoden
Posts: 163
Joined: February 15th, 2013, 8:16 am
Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Contact:

Re: History of εις and εν

Post by Jacob Rhoden »

Thanks. That looks like an interesting read.
serunge
Posts: 41
Joined: May 23rd, 2011, 11:07 am
Location: Bellingham, WA
Contact:

Re: History of εις and εν

Post by serunge »

One of the big problems with the grammars' treatment is a naive treatment of some principles. For example, εν is not supposed to occur with verbs of motion, that would be εις, right? Typically that is true, except when the εν prepositional phrase occurs at the beginning of the clause and sets the parameter within which the motion occurs, though the same sense can be acheived by placement at the end of the clause too. The point is, they are not interchangeabe in the Koine period; each evokes a different conceptualization of the action. The other place where there is confusion has to do with metaphorical usage, where there is no movement. Instead the movement implicit in εις signifies a change in state or a shift of some kind.

There is an article by a LXX scholar addressing this issue, questioning much of the conflation (attached). There is increasing overlap and finally absorption by εν, but that is much later in the history. Many of the apparent conflations can be explained using the principles mentioned above. Too many wrongly begin there without acknowledging the wider historical data showing the change happened much later.

Another chunk (this goes for many other prepositions too) can be accounted for as mismatches with English regarding the preferred metaphor used for a particular concept. For example, do a concordance search on the concept of prayer, especially προσευχή. When it is used to refer generically to the concept (as opposed to specific prayers of an individual), it occurs with prepositions using the container metaphor: εν, εις, εκ, δια. There is a consistency to it, across authors, as though prayer is more like a space or an authority one operates in much like doing something "in the name of X" uses the same container metaphor. However, because of the mismatch with English's preferred metaphorical representation, we end up with an instrumental use of εν because we don't conceptualize prayer as a space. In other words, many of the descriptions of Greek prepositions are Anglo-centric, multiplying senses that are in fact better understood as mismatches between the languages. These mismatches are even found between British, Australian, and American English if you look at prepositional usage. Here is a link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvBfdCRQAtU to a paper I gave a while back applying these ideas to εν.
Attachments
Soisalon-Soininen _Alleged_Interchangeability of εις and εν.pdf
(135.56 KiB) Downloaded 214 times
Steve Runge
Jacob Rhoden
Posts: 163
Joined: February 15th, 2013, 8:16 am
Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Contact:

Re: History of εις and εν

Post by Jacob Rhoden »

Thanks for sharing that article, it is extremely helpful. Much appreciated.

PS: I’m looking forward to reading your discourse book. It’s is on the top of my ‘Things I’m going to read when I finish my thesis’ stack at home :D
Bill Ross
Posts: 244
Joined: August 12th, 2012, 6:26 pm

Re: History of εις and εν

Post by Bill Ross »

I tried the link to the article but it was broken. I found this as an alternative:

https://www.google.com/books/edition/Th ... frontcover
What I lack in youth I make up for in immaturity.
Jean Putmans
Posts: 64
Joined: August 3rd, 2018, 1:01 am
Location: Heerlen; Netherlands
Contact:

Re: History of εις and εν

Post by Jean Putmans »

Maybe this might be helpful:

Ruben Videira Soengas:
THE OVERLAP OF ΕIΣ AND ἘΝ IN THE NEW TESTAMENT:
NEITHER SYNONYMOUS, NOR ALWAYS DISTINCT

(https://www.academia.edu/29835731/THE_O ... S_DISTINCT)

A couple of years ago on the Basis of Zerwick 1993 (Zerwick, Max Grosvenor, Mary A : Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament) I made a list of occurrences of εισ instead of εν and εν instead of εισ (probably I missed some, but at least one has some examples).

εισ (instead of εν):
Mt 2:23; 4:13, 5:22, 10:9, 10:16, 14:3
Mk 1:1, 5:14, 6,8, 10:10, 12:3, 13:17, 14:9
Lk 1:20, 4:44, 7:30, 8:34, 11:7, 21:37
Jn: 8:7, 20:7

Acts: 2:5, 2:31, 7:5, 8:23, 9:21, 20:16, 21:13, 23:11, 25:4
2Thess: 2:4

εν (instead of εισ)¨
Mk 1:15,
Lk 1:17, 4:1, 10:3, 17:6, 19:13,
Jn 5:5

Acts: 13:5

Rom: 2:5, 5:5
1Thess: 4:7

Rev: 11:10


Sometimes they are variants

Mk 2:1 RP2005: εισ οικον εστιν <> NA28: εν οικω εστιν
Mt 27:5 RP2005: εν τω ναω <> NA28: εισ τον ναον

Schwyzer-Brugmann-Debrunner Vol. II, 1950, Page 454-461 (German Edition: is there an English Translation?); Robertson 1934 (Robertson, A.T.: A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, Page 584-596) both treat the historical development εν-ενσ (=εισ).

Regards

Jean
Jean Putmans
Netherlands
gotischebibel.blogspot.com
Post Reply

Return to “Greek Language and Linguistics”