Friday, April 24, 2009

McCarthy vs Wallace 5

The previous post in this series started a discussion on expressions using en episemo with a following noun referring to a place. I also commented that, as far as I know, the expression en episemo with the noun omitted, does not actually exist, apart from one occurrence judged to be accidental.

But now I want to look at the core of Wallace and Burer's argument, that episemos followed by the genitive means "among," but followed by en plus the dative means "to."

They write (I have reformatted their text for easier reading),
    In TAM 2.905.1 west wall. coll. 2.5.18 we read the description of a man who is

      “not only foremost in his own country,
      but also well known to the outside population”

      (οὐ μόνον ἐ]ν̣ τ̣ῇ [π]α̣τρίδι πρώτου,
      ἀλ̣λὰ [καὶ ἐν τῷ ἔθ]νει ἐπισή̣μου
      ). (54)

    Here the person who is ἐπισή̣μου is called such only in relation to outsiders (πρώτου is used in relation to his own countrymen). It is not insignificant that en plus the dative personal noun is used: the man is well known to a group of which he is not a member.

      54 ἔθνει here evidently refers to outsiders—that is, a group to which this man does not belong. This is evident from the strong contrast between the two phrases (οὐ μόνον. . . ἀλ̣λὰ καὶ,), with the man’s fame receiving the laudatory note with the ascensive καὶ, hinting that such a commendation is coming.


I want to explore this. First, the following is the identical citation that I was able to find in the TAM database, along with a literal translation produced by using the LSJ lexicon.

    Καλ[λιάδου οὐ μόνον ἐ]ν̣ τ̣ῇ [π]α̣τρίδι πρώτου,
    ἀλ̣λὰ [καὶ ἐν τῷ ἔθ]νει ἐπισή̣μου καὶ διαπρεποῦς
    TAM II:905, 2:15

    Calliades, not only in the native town, first,
    but also in the nation, prominent and distinguished.
What can legitimately explain the translation by Wallace and Burer? Why did they translate patris as "own country" and then ethnos as "the outside population?" I have used the first and standard translation of these words in the LSJ, "native town" and "nation." What lexicon did Wallace and Burer use to establish their meanings?

Wallace and Burer introduce the notion of an "ascensive kai" in the notes. They say that οὐ μόνον. . . ἀλ̣λὰ καὶ is enough evidence to establish that Calliades is among the first group, but the second group are outsiders. Repsectfully, I feel that they fall short of success.

In fact, it is only in the plural form, ta ethne, that it is common for this word ethnos to refer to "other" nations, or the gentiles. There is no possible way that the phrase, as it appears in this line, can refer to "outsiders."

In their article, Wallace and Burer conclude,
    episemos followed by en plus personal datives does not connote membership within the group, but simply that one is known by the group. Thus, the inscriptions, like biblical and patristic Greek, supply a uniform picture of episemos with personal nouns: when followed by en, the well-known individual is outside the group.
Clearly they have not proven this. There is not one piece of evidence for this. My difficulty with the argument goes far beyond the status of Junia. If this article is the standard for exegesis today, what does this mean overall ?

It is easily shown that an adjective followed by the genitive, and an adjective followed by en plus the dative, create constructions of similar meaning. Wallace and Burer suggest that this is not the case with episemos, since it involves words of perception. Episemos, in Greek, however, is not a word of perception.

These details provide some context for my saying,
    "It is very painful for me to constantly have to watch people make simple grammar mistakes, as well as not look in the lexicons, as Dr. Grudem admits."
In this case, of course, Grudem did not write this article. But he has admitted to not looking in the lexicon for his work as well.

I admit that it is intemperate and not politically savvy to have said what I said, in that way. However, I still think that there are some accountability issues here that have not been addressed. This article forms the basis for the translation decision regarding Romans 16:7 for two, and perhaps more, influential Bibles.


J. K. Gayle said...

I admit that it is intemperate and not politically savvy to have said what I said, in that way.Not that any of us better persons wants to let you off the hook, but I think you're in very good company: I'm thinking now of intemperate and not politically savvy persons such as Jesus, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mariam of Magdala - that very first post-resurrection Apostle who had to deliver the message to cowardly and unbelieving men, Stephen and Joan of Arc, Paul the Apostle, and perhaps Junia the Apostle if anyone ever listened to her.

mike said...

Sue, if you want to see some other exegetical howlers, look up Ephesians 5:21 and its surrounding verses in the scripture index of Wallace's grammar.

I find it very interesting that Wallace only tends to make these kinds of mistakes while discussion the issue of women.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I have never seen his grammar. I suppose I culd find it in the library at Regent.