Monday, September 21, 2009

Mounce on the vocative use of κυριος in John 20:28

Check it out.

10 comments:

Terry Rayburn said...

Isn't grammatically possible that Thomas was just using the nominative as an exclamation, rather than addressing Jesus?

He then would no doubt have followed up with addressing Jesus personally [e.g., "You really ARE alive, kurie! I'm sorry I doubted you. Oh, now everybody's going to call me doubting Thomas."], but it's the exclamation that is recorded?

We do the equivalent in English all the time.

DJP said...

Hey Terry.

Well, I'm sure you know that all sorts of bizarre things can be grammatically possible in any language, that are contextually impossible.

If I'm understanding you, I'd say what I think you're suggesting is contextually — not just unlikely, but — impossible.

The first five Greek words, translated "Thomas answered and said to Him," place it beyond reasonable doubt that Thomas addresses these words to Jesus.

If he isn't, he's taking God's name in vain in a way I think unparalleled in any Biblical passage. If that is what Thomas was doing, Jesus would hardly have pronounced him blessed (v. 29).

And instead of Doubting Thomas we should call him Cussing Thomas.

Terry Rayburn said...

"Thomas answered and said to Him..."

Duh. Thanks.

Terry Rayburn said...

By the way, feel free to ramp up this blog big time.

I know you have nothing else on your plate :)

DJP said...

Yes, Terry, I'll get right on that.

(c;

BTW, I made comments on Mounce's post, but those metas are moderated I think, and it may or may not ever appear.

J.A.W. said...

Hey DJP, your comment is showing up on Mounce's blog at this time. And thanks for keeping THIS blog alive!

the disciple said...

I'll second these suggestions to keep this blog going. I'm learning Greek right now and loving it.

~Mark said...

Me too, and we're using Mounce's book! :) I didn't know he had a blog, I'll have to check it out and tell my professor.

Jonathan G said...

I think most would agree that this could simply just be a nominative used as vocative. One reason it could be different is because most times Jesus is addressed as kurie, the speaker is simply stating Christ's title before they speak. (Kurie, blah blah blah).
However, if we were to make Thomas' statement a complete sentence, it would read "YOU ARE my Lord and my God." The verb is understood. In this case, you grammatically don't use the vocative, so the Nominative makes perfect sense because it’s the object of the copulative verb.
Either way, it doesn’t change the meaning. I just wanted to note this construction is different than most of the vocatives we see.

DJP said...

For some reason, this meta keep attracting spam for (I guess) Asian porn. Who knew they were into Greek? At any rate, I'll close the meta, see if that puts an end to it.