Sunday, October 11, 2015

On the Construction of Titus 2:13 by Ezra Abbot

On the Construction of Titus 2:13 by Ezra Abbot

On the omission of the Article before SWTHROS HMWN.
[From the Journal of the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis, 1881]

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Middleton's rule is as follows: "When two or more attributives joined by a copulative or copulatives are assumed of [assumed to belong to] the same person or thing, before the first attributive the article is inserted; before the remaining ones it is omitted.

By attributes he understands adjectives, participles, and nouns which are "significant of character, relation, or dignity."
He admits that the rule is not always applicable to plurals (p. 49); and. again, where the attributes "are in their nature plainly incompatible." "We cannot wonder," he says, "if in such instances the principle of the rule has been sacrificed to negligence, or even to studied brevity....The second article should in strictness be expressed; but in such cases the writers knew that it might be safely understood" (pp. 51,52).

The principle which covers all the cases coming under Middleton's rule, so far as that rule bears on the present question, is, I believe, simply this: The definite article is inserted before the second attributive when it is felt to be needed to distinguish different subjects; but when the two terms connected by a copulative are shown by any circumstance to denote distinct subjects, the article may be omitted, for the excellent reason that it is not needed.*

[ftn., See the remarks (by Andrews Norton) in the American edition of Winstanley's Vindication of Certain Passages in the Common Eng. Version of the N. T., p. 45ff.; or Norton's Statement of Reasons, etc., 2d ed. (1856), pp. 199-202.]

Middleton's rule, , with its exceptions, applies to the English language as well as the Greek. Webster (Wm.) remarks in his Syntax and Synonyms of the Greek Testament -
"In English, the Secretary and Treasurer means one person; the Secretary and the Treasurer means two persons. In speaking of horses, the black and white horse means the piebald, but the black and the white horse mean two different horses." (pp. 35, 36)

But this rule is very often broken when such formal precision of expression is not felt to be necessary. If I should say, "I saw the President and Treasurer of the Boston and Albany Railroad yesterday," no one, probably, would doubt that I spoke of two different persons, or (unless perhaps Mr. G. Washington Moon) would imagine that I was violating the laws of the English language. The fact that the two offices referred to are generally or always in such corporations held by different persons would prevent any doubt as to the meaning. Again, the remark that "Mr. A. drove out to-day with his black and white horses" would be perfectly correct English and perfectly unambiguous if addressed to onw who knew that Mr. A. had only four horses, two of them black and the other two white.

Take an example from the New Testament. In Matt. xxi. 12 we read that Jesus "cast out all those that were selling and buying in the temple," TOUS PWLOUNTAS KAI AGORAZONTAS. No one can reasonably suppose that the same persons are described as both selling and buying. In Mark, the two classes are made distinct by the insertion of TOUS before AGORAZONTAS; here it is safely left to the intelligence of the reader to distinguish them.

In the case before us, the omission of the article before AGORAZONTAS seems to me to present no difficulty, - not because SWTHROS is made sufficiently definite by the addition of HMWN (Winer), for, since God as well as Christ is often called "our Saviour," H DOXA TOU MEGALOU QEOU KAI SWTHROS HMWN, standing alone, would most naturally be understood of one subject, namely, God, the Father; but the addition of IHSOU CRISTOU to SWTHROS HMWN changes the case entirely, restricting the SWTHROS HMWN to a person or being who, according to Paul's habitual use of language, is distinguished from the person or being whom he designates as O QEOS, so that there was no need of the repetition of the article to prevent ambiguity. So in 2 Thess. i. 12, the expression KATA THN CARIN TOU QEOU HMWN KAI KURIOU would naturally be understood of one subject, and the article would be required before KURIOU if two were intended; but the simple addition of IHSOU CRISTOU to KURIOU makes the reference to the two distinct subjects clear without the insertion of the article.

But the omission of the article before the second of two subjects connected by KAI is not without effect. Its absence naturally leads us to conceive of them as united in some common relation, while the repetition of the article would present them to the mind as distinct subjects of thought. The differences between the two cases is like the differences between the expressions "the kingdom of Christ and God" and "the kingdom of Christ and of God" in English. The former expression would denote one kingdom, belonging in some sense to both; the latter would permit the supposition that two distinct kingdoms were referred to, though it would not require this interpretation. The repetition of the preposition, however, as of the article, brings the subjects seperately before the mind. In the present case, the omission of the article before SWTHROS, conjoining the word closely with QEOU, may indicate that the glory spoken of belongs in one aspect to God and in another to Christ (comp. Eph. v. 5); or that the glory of God and the glory of Christ are displayed in conjunction (comp. 2 Thess. i. 12, KATA THN CARIN TOU QEOU HMWN KAI KURIOU '1. X.; Luke ix. 26).

There may still be another reason for the omission of the article here before SWTHROS HMWN, or perhaps I should say, another effect of its absence.
It is a recognized principle that the omission of the article before an appellative which designates a person tends to fix the attention on the quality or character or peculiar relation expressed by the appellative, while the insertion of the article tends to throw into the shade the inherent meaning of the term, and to give it the force of a simple proper name. For example EN TW UIW would simply mean "in (or by) the Son," or "his Son"; but the omission of the article (EN UIW) emphasizes the significance of the term UIOS-by one who is a Son," and in virtue of what the designation expresses is far above all "the prophets." (Comp. T. S. Green, Gram. of the N. T., 2d ed., pp. 47 f., 38 f.) So here the meaning may be, "the appearing of the glory of the great God and a Saviour of us," one who is our Saviour, "Jesus Christ"-essentially equivalent to "of the great God and Jesus Christ as our Saviour" (comp. Acts xiii. 23); the idea suggested being that the salvation or deliverance of Christians will be consummated at the second advent, when Christ "shall appear, to them that wait for him, unto salvation." Comp. Phil. iii. 20, 21, "For our citizenship is in heaven, from whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, EX OU KAI SWTHRA APEKDECOMEQA KURION IHSOUN CRISTON, who shall change the body of our humiliation,"etc.; Rom. viii. 23, 24, xiii. 11; 1 Thess. v. 8, 9; Heb. ix. 28; 1 Pet. i. 5. The position of SWTHROS HMWN before IHSOU CRISTOU, as well as the absence of the article, favors this view; comp. Acts xiii. 23; Phil. iii. 20, and contrast Tit. i. 4.

The points which I would make, then, are that the insertion of the article before SWTHROS was not needed here to show that the word designates a subject distinct from TOU MEGALOU QEOU; and that its absence serves to bring out the thoughts that, in the event referred to, the glory of God and that of Christ are displayed together, and that Christ then appears as Saviour, in the sense that the salvation of Christians, including what St. Paul calls "the redemption of the body," is then made complete. There are conceptions which accord with the view which the Apostle has elsewhere presented of the second advent.

But as many English writers still assume that the construction of Tit. ii. 13 and similar passages has been settled by Bishop Middleton, I will quote in conclusion a few sentences, by way of caution from one of the highest authorities on the grammar of the Greek Testament, Alexander Buttman. He says:-

"It will probably never be possible, either in reference to profane literature or to the N. T., to bring down to rigid rules which have no exception, the inquiry when with several substantives connected by conjunctions the article is repeated, and when it is not. ...From this fact alone it follows, that in view of the subjective and arbitrary treatment of the article on the part of individual writers (cf. /124, 2) it is very hazardous in particular cases to draw important inferences affecting the sense or even of a doctrinal nature, from the single circumstance of the use or omission of the article; see e.g. Tit. ii. 13; Jude 4; 2 Pet. i.1 and the expositors of these passages." (Gram. of the N. T. Greek, / 125, 14; p. 97, Thayer's trans.)

Note B. (See p. 441 n.*)

The Use of EPIFANEIA and Kindred Terms with Reference to God.

It has already been observed that the expression used In Tit. ii. 13 is not EPIFANEIAN TOU MEGALOU QEOU but EPIFANEIAN THS DOXHS TOU MEGALOU QEOU, and that the reference of the title " the great God " to the Father accords perfectly with the representation elsewhere in the New Testament that the glory of God, the Fathert, as well as of Christ, will be displayed at the second advent. This reference, therefore, presents no difficulty.
But the weakness of the argument against it may be sti1l further illustrated by the use of the term EPIFANEIA and kindred expressions in Josephus and other Jewish writings. It will be seen that any extraordinary manifestation of divine power, whether exerted directly or through an Intermediate agent, is spoken or as an EPIFANEIA of God.
I. For example, the parting of the waters of the Red Sea is described as the "appearing" or "manifestation" of God." MWUSHS DE ORWN THN EPIFANEIAN TOU QEOU, K.T.L. (Joseph. Ant. ii. 16. § 2.)
2. Speaking of the journey through the wilderness, Josephus says : "The cloud was present, and, standing over the tabernacle, signified the appearing of God," THN EPIFANEIAN TOU QEOU (Ant. iii. 14. § 4.)
3. Josepbus uses both H PAROUSIA TOU QEOU and H EPIFANEIA [TOU QEOU] in reference to a miraculous shower of rain (Ant. xviii. 8. (al. 10) § 6).
So a violent thunder storm, which deterred the army of Xerxes from attacking Delphi, is described by Diodorus Siculus as H TWN QEON EPIFANEIA (Bibl. Hist. xi. 14). Comp. Joseph. Ant. xv. 11. (al. 14)§ 7, where , H EPIFANEIA TOU QEOU is used in a simIlar way. Observe also how, in Herod's speech (Ant. xv. 5. (al. 6) § 3), angels are spoken of as bringing God EIS EPIFANEIAN to men.
4. In reference to the miraculous guidance of Abraham's servant when sent to procure Rebecca as a wife for Isaac, the marriage is said to have been brought about UPO QEIAS EPIFANEIAS, where we might say, "by a divine interposition." (Joseph. Ant.i. 16. § 3.)
5. After giving an account of the deliverance of Elisha from the troops sent by Ben-hadad to arrest him, which were struck with blindness, Josephus says that the king "marveled at the strange event, and the appearing (or manifestation) and power of the God of the Israelites (THN TOU QEOU ISRAHLITHS EPIFANEIAN KAI DUNAMIS), and at the prophet with whom the Deity was so evidently present for help." (Ant. ix. 4. § 4.) Elijah had prayed that God would "manifest" (EPIFANEIA) his power and presence (PAROUSIA). (Ibid. § 3.)
6. In Josephus, Ant. v. 8. §§ 2, 3. the appearance of an angel sent by God is described as "a sight of God," EK THS OYESQE TON QEON...TOU QEOU AUTOIS ORAQHNAI.
7. In 2 Macc. iii. 24, in reference to the horse with the terrible rider, and the angels that scourged Heliodorus, we read, O TWN PNEUMATWN KAI PASHS EXOUSIAS DUNASTHS EPIFANEIAN MEGALHN EPOIHSEN, and In ver. 30. TOU PANTOKRATOROS EPIFANENTOS KURIOU,  the Almighty Lord having appeared," and farther on, ver. 34. Heliodorus is spoken of as having been "scourged by him, UP AUTOU, i.e. the Lord, according to the common text, retained by Grimm and Keil. But here for UP AUTOU, Fritzsche reads EX OURANOU, which looks like a gloss (comp. ii. 21,EX OURANOU GENOMENAS EPIFANEIAS).

8. The sending of a good angel is described as an EPIFANEIA TOU QEOU, 2 Macc. xv, 27, comp. vv. 22, 23. Observe also that in 2 Macc. xv, 34 and 3 Macc. v. 35 TON EPIFANH KURION or QEON does not mean "the glorious Lord (or God) " as it has often been misunderstood, but EPIFANHS designates God as one who manifests his power in the deliverance of his people, a present help in time of need, " the interposing God (Bissell). Compare the note of Valesius (Valois) on Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. ii. 6. § 2.

9. See also 2 Macc. xii, 22 EK THS TOU TA PANTA EFORWNTOS EPIFANEIAS GENOMENHS EP' AUTOUS; comp. 2 Macc. xi. 8, 10, 13.

10. "They made application to him who...always helpeth his portion [his people] MET' EPIFANEIAS  2 Macc. xiv. 15.

11. In 3 Macc. v. 8, we are told that the Jews "besought the Almighty Lord to rescue them from imminent death META MEGALOMEROUS EPIFANEIAS," and again, ver. 51, "to take pity on them META EPIFANEIAS." The answer to the prayer is represented as made by the intervention of angels (vi. 18).
In ch. i. 9, God is spoken of as having glorified Jerusalem EN EPIFANEIA MEGALOPREPEI.

12. In the Additions to Esther, Text B, vii. 6 (Fritzsche, Libr. Apoc.
V. T. p. 71), the sun and light in Mordecai's dream are said to represent the EPIFANIA TOU QEOU "appearing" (or manifestation) "of God" in the deliverance of the Jews.

13. In the so-called Second Epistle of Clement of Rome to the Corinthians, c. 12, § 1, we read: "Let us therefore wait hourly [or betimes, Lightf.] for the kingdom of God in love and righteousness, because we know not the day of the appearing of God, THS EPIFANEIAS TOU QEOU." The TOU QEOU, employed thus absolutely must, I think, refer to the Father, according to the writer's use of language. This consideration does not seem to me invalidated by c. 1, § 1, or by the use of EPIFANEIA in reference to Christ, c. 17; but others may think differently.

The use of the term EPIFANEIA in the later Greek classical writers corresponds with its use as illustrated above. Casaubon has a learned note on the word in his Exercit. ad. Annales Eccles. Baronianas II. xi., Ann. I., Num. 36 (p, 185, London, 1614), in which be says: " Graeci scriptores EPIFANEIA appellaut apparitionem numinis quoquo tandem modo deus aliquis suae praesentiae signum dedisse crederetur." (Comp. his note on Athanaeus, xii. II. al. 60.) Wesseling in his note on Diodorus Siculus, i. 25, repeats this, and adds other illustrations from Diodorus, namely; iii. 62; iv. 82 [v. 62?]; xi. 14; and xiv. 69 (a striking example). See also the story of the vestal virgin in Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. ii. 68 (cf. 69), and of Servius Tullius, ibid., iv. 2. Other examples are given by Elsner, Obss. Sacr. on 2 Pet. i. 16, and by the writers to whom he refers. But it is not worthwhile to pursue this part of the subject further here. One who wishes to do so will find much interesting matter in the notes of the very learned Ezechiel Spanheim on Callimachus, Hymn. in Apoll. 13, and in Pallad. 101, and in his Dissertationes de Praestantia et Usu Numismatum antiquorum, ed. nova, vol. i. (London, 1706), Diss. vii., p. 425 sqq.

I will only add in conclusion: If Paul could speak of the first advent of Christ as an EPIFANEIA of the grace of God (see EPEFANH, Tit. ii. 11; iii. 4), can we, in view of all that has been said, regard it as in the least degree strange or unnatural that he should speak of his second advent as an
EPIFANEIA of the glory of God?

Note C. (See p. 444)

On the Expression, TOU MEGALOU QEOU.

There is no other passage in the New Testament in which this expression occurs, the reading in the "received text" in Rev. xix. 17 having very slender support. But the epithet "great" is so often applied to God in the Old Testament and later Jewish writings, and is so appropriate in connection with the display of the divine power and glory in the event referred to, that it is very wonderful that the use of the word here should be regarded as an argument for the reference of the QEOS to Christ on the ground that "God the Father did not need the exalting and lauditory epithet MEGAS," as Usteri says (Paulin. Lehrbegriff, 5te Aufl., p. 326). It might be enough to answer, with Fritzsche, "At ego putaveram, Deum quum sit magnus, jure etiam magnum appelari" (Ep. ad Rom. ii. 268). But the following references show how naturally Paul might apply this designation to the Father: Deut. viii. 21 (Sept. and Heb.), x. 17; 2 Chron. ii. 5(4)l Neh. i. 5, vii. 6, ix. 32, Ps. lxxvii. 13, lxxxvi. 10; Jer. xxxii. 18, 19; Dan. ii. 45, ix. 4; Psalt. Sal. ii. 33; 3 Macc. vii. 2. Comp. TOU MEGISTOU QEOU, 3 Macc. i. 16, iii. 11, v. 25, vii. 22, "the great Lord," Ecclus. xxxix. 6, xlvi. 5; 2 Macc. v. 20, xii. 15. So very often in the Sibylline Oracles. I have noted thirty-one examples in the Third book alone, the principal part of which was the production of a Jewish writer in the second century before Christ.

Though all will agree that God, the Father, does not "need" exaltating epithets, such epithets are applied to him freely by the Apostle Paul and other writers of the New Testament. For example, he is called by Paul "the incorruptible God," "the living God," "the invisible God," "the living and true God," "the blessed God,"; and since there is no other place in which the Apostle has unequivocally designated Christ as QEOS, much less QEOS with a high epithet, it certainly seems most natural to suppose that O MEGAS QEOS here designates the Father. The Bishop of London (in the "Speakers Commentary") appeals to 1 John v. 20, where he assumes that Christ is designated as "the true God." But he must be aware that this depends on the reference of the pronoun OUTOS, and that many of the best expositors refer this to the leading subject of the preceeding sentence, namely, TON ALHQINON ; so, e.g., Erasmus, Grotius, Wetstein, Michaelis, Lucke, De Wette, Meyer, Neander, Huther, Dusterdieck, Gerlach, Bruckner, Ewald, Holtzmann, Braune, Haupt, Rothe, C. F. Schmid, Gess, Reuss, Alford, Farrar, Westcott, and Sinclair (in Ellicott's N. T. Comm.); and so the grammarians Alt, Winer, Wilke, Buttman, and Schirlitz; comp. also John xvii. 3. So doubtful a passage, and that not in the writings of Paul, but John, can hardly serve to render it probable that Paul has here applied the designation O MEGAS QEOS to Christ rather than to God, the Father.

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