Announcement

Collapse

Biblical Languages 301 Guidelines

This is where we come to delve into the biblical text. Theology is not our foremost thought, but we realize it is something that will be dealt with in nearly every conversation. Feel free to use the original languages to make your point (meaning Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic). This is an exegetical discussion area, so please limit topics to purely biblical ones.

This is not the section for debates between theists and atheists. While a theistic viewpoint is not required for discussion in this area, discussion does presuppose a respect for the integrity of the Biblical text (or the willingness to accept such a presupposition for discussion purposes) and a respect for the integrity of the faith of others and a lack of an agenda to undermine the faith of others.

Forum Rules: Here
See more
See less

The Apocalypse of John, by Charles C. Torrey

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Apocalypse of John, by Charles C. Torrey

    This is a non-debate, non-cabala, non-esoterica, and non-gematria (except as occurs in the text of Rv 13:18) thread.

    I specifically request that Geert van den Bos not post in this thread or in any other thread that I may start.

    I propose to confine myself to factual information; however, if anyone wishes to take exception to what I may present herein, please do so in a debate thread started for that purpose.

    The purpose of this thread is solely to transcribe, in an extensive series of posts, Charles C. Torrey's The Apocalypse of John.
    Preliminary Remarks

    In the interest of clearness it will be well to preface the discussion of language and date with some observations regarding the origin and character of the book. These remarks, though brief and miscellaneous, are important as furnishing the background of the argument which is to follow. They are for the most part not new, inasmuch as they repeat conclusions which have already been stated here and there by others; but in their aggregate they present a picture which differs considerably from that given in the standard commentaries and other textbooks. They are here given as briefly as possible, since further evidence of their validity will appear in the course of the main investigation.

    As is well known, the Apocalypse of John was not accepted at once as a member of the Christian canon; that is, it was not pronounced divinely inspired scripture. Initial easygoing acceptance of the new "Johannine" material was soon followed by a storm of dissent. There was a period of hesitation and controversy about the author of the book and the nature of its attestation.

    In the second century a good beginning was made. Justin Martyr gave the new apocalypse recognition. Thereafter, in successive periods of rejection and acceptance, the controversy continued. Jerome, whose opinion always carried weight, proposed to put the apocalypse between the canonical scriptures and the Apocrypha. In the sixth century the objection to admitting Revelation to the canon seems to have quieted down. So the condition continued until the Reformation, with no significant change.

    In general, the Eastern Church rejected the apocalypse, while the Western churches accepted it. In the Eastern provinces apocalypses were all too familiar; in the West this peculiar form of book was not so well known. The case of the Syriac-speaking East is typical. Neither Nestorians nor Jacobites took any satisfaction in the Revelation of John, nor did it ever have a place in the Peshitta. On the other hand, the Western versions are excellent, both the Old Latin and the Vulgate.

    In the manuscript tradition, worthy of notice is the faithfulness with which the Greek solecisms are retained. Aside from the cursive manuscripts, the book has half a dozen uncials (a most forlorn group).

    As a mighty source of inspiration the Apocalyse was prized by the early Church from the beginning. Aside, however, from the heavenly mysteries unveiled and the ordinary properties of an apocalypse, this book is of extraordinary interest in its historical setting. The little Christian Church has gone forth to play a new and strange part in the world. Rome has conquered all kings and countries, but is about to perish. A frightful "beast," the Roman emperor Nero (Rev. 13:18), has subjected the Christians to a bloody persecution, but he soon "goes into perdition" (see below).

    To be continued...
    Last edited by John Reece; 04-12-2014, 06:11 PM.

  • #2
    Continued from last post above ↑

    Continuation of Charles C. Torrey's Introduction to The Apocalypse of John:
    Beyond the general features of the portrayal there is a local touch of especial interest to the people of the coast of Asia. This is the mention of Patmos, an island in the Aegean Sea, as the place where the seer ("I, John") was given his revelation.

    The book is a unity, in no sense composite. Detailed proof, quite unanswerable, will be found in H. B. Swete's Apocalypse of St. John (1906), in the admirable chapter entitled "Unity of the Apocalypse," pp. xlii-l. Whoever will examine this evidence, and in the light of it read the Apocalypse itself, must see that the book was written continuously by a single author. Both plan and progress are sufficiently evident, while some repetitions and slight inconsistencies are due partly to the writer's habitual freedom in the use of symbolism (discussed below) and partly to shifting aspects of the subject matter; "an apocalypse is neither history nor homily." We see everywhere the same mind at work, the same remarkable way of using the Old Testament without direct quotation, the same unique disregard for Greek grammar (this to be explained later). Discoveries of ill-fitting joints, suggesting composition, are purely imaginary. The "abysmally stupid" and "dishonest" editor who according to R. H. Charles, Revelation of St. John I, l-liv, wrought such havoc in Revelation owes his existence, I think, to an extensive misunderstanding of the book.

    To be continued...

    Comment


    • #3
      Continued from last post above ↑

      Continuation of Charles C. Torrey's Introduction to The Apocalypse of John (Yale University Press, 1958):
      The Apocalyptist's manner of using the Old Testament scriptures is unique and very significant. The great amount of such use is also remarkable. In each of the three longest books of the New Testament, Matthew, Luke, Acts, much space is given to material taken from the Hebrew Bible; in Revelation, a comparatively brief writing, the amount is considerably greater than in all three taken together. "Of the 404 verses of the Apocalypse there are 278 which contain references to the Jewish scriptures" (Swete, p. cxxxv). The Hebrew apocalyptic writers, Daniel, Ezekiel, and Zechariah, are laid under especially constant consideration: Isaiah (notably), and other prophets and the Psalter are much used, and there are frequent references to the Pentateuch. But with all of this, there is nowhere any formal citation of scripture! Not even Daniel is ever mentioned. The words of the sacred text, all through Revelation, are not given in their original form, but with such variation or addition that they become the writer's own. The same is true of the numerous episodes, scenes, and symbols which are reproduced. The explanation is to be found in the consciousness of the writer that he himself (i.e., the Apostle whom he impersonates) is one of the Israelite prophets (Rev. 19:10 and 22:6-9), moving among them, sharing their experiences and their verbal messages to the chosen people. This claim is made so frequently, and with such marked emphasis, that it needs to be given much attention. Like Isaiah and Jeremiah, John the prophet has his book ― and, like Daniel and Ezekiel, his symbolic creatures and significant numbers, "times," etc. Outstanding among the tokens of the prophet is his testimony to Jesus the Messiah (Rev. 19:10). Here the evangelists and the Christian writers are expressly included. Even more significant is his conspicuous avoidance of quotation, whether from the earlier prophets (since he is one in his own right) or from the Old Testament writers, who of course were all prophets. His own "prophecy" is as truly and directly inspired scripture as are those of Ezekiel and Daniel (see below on the date of the book).*
      *We therefore should not expect to see, and in fact do not see, in this book any metric passage from the Hebrew scriptures, such as are the regular thing in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the first half of Acts. Such a passage would unmistakably be a direct quotation, and this is studiously avoided. The fact is the more noticeable because of the Apocalyptist's own poetic gift.

      The contrast here with the O.T. quotations in the Four Gospels is fundamental. No one of the four evangelists made any claim of inspiration, though this claim was at once made for them by the Nazarene Church. In Mark, Matthew, and John, and to a less extent in Luke, the direct quotations of scripture were given in the original Hebrew, not in the Aramaic of their context. In Revelation, on the contrary, the Hebrew language was not used at all, except in the terms Abaddon and Har Magedon (Har Mōʿed), expressly designated as Hebrew. For the Apocalyptist the language of the New Dispensation of the Christian Church was Aramaic only. It is most significant that the numerous hymns and doxologies sung or recited by the saints and angels in heaven, in chapter after chapter of the book, are composed in Aramaic (wherever it is possible to decide), not in Hebrew; though the writer could have used either language.

      To be continued...
      Last edited by John Reece; 03-08-2014, 11:03 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Continued from last post above ↑

        Continuation of Charles C. Torrey's Introduction to The Apocalypse of John (Yale University Press, 1958):
        The chief sources ― perhaps the only sources ― of the Apocalypse are three in number: the O.T. scriptures, current eschatology, Jewish and Christian, all of it based on the Old Testament; and the writer's own creative mind. The view of the now popular "fragment hypothesis" that the book is essentially composite, largely made up of extracts from unknown apocalypses, has already been pronounced untenable, and evidence will be furnished; while the fact that no literary use of any of the known (extra-canonical) apocalypses can be shown of itself would discredit the strange theory. Swete (p. cliii) after quoting Charles to the effect that the "writer or writers" of Revelation were "steeped in Jewish apocalyptic literature," goes on to say that while parallels with some of the pseudepigrapha can be shown (and he lists a number of the passages), they merely indicate the New Testament writer's familiarity with the apocalyptic ideas of his time, but give little or no clear evidence of his dependence on Jewish sources other than the books of the Old Testament. Gunkel's famous attempt, in his Schöpfung und Chaos, to find in Revelation Babylonian and other pagan mythology, aside from the familiar traces in the Old Testament, was a conspicuous failure.

        The Apocalyptist's originality certainly ought not to be questioned in such of his portrayals as those in 5:1-8, or 11:3-13, or 12:13-17, merely because of their strangeness. We know of no writer endowed with a livelier and more fertile imagination than the author of this book, and in the astonishing array of scenes and symbols his own mental habit can everywhere be seen. His fancy is sometimes too exuberant, as in his description of the locusts(!) in 9:7-11, but his deep earnestness and triumphant faith relieve the impression made by pictures that are characteristically bizarre. Bousset, Die Offenbarung des Johannes (1906), pp. 143-8, has some fine words of appreciation of the author's originality, in spite of the constant search for "Quellen."

        To be continued...

        Comment


        • #5
          Continued from last post above ↑

          Continuation of Charles C. Torrey's Introduction to The Apocalypse of John (Yale University Press, 1958):
          It is well understood that the churches of the first three chapters are only seven, though the province contained other important churches, simply because of the place this sacred number held in the writer's theology. (Swete notes, p. cxxx, that mention of the number seven occurs fifty-four times in the book.) An important result of his faith in the number is his postulate of seven Roman emperors in 17:10; see below.

          The church of Ephesus, the first of the seven, had―and aimed to have―a leading part in the apostolic tradition; see [Torrey], Documents, chapter I. The spread of the John legend from this center is given brief mention below in the section on the date of the book. A guess may be permitted here as to the way in which the legend arose.

          There is some good reason to believe that the Fourth Gospel was brought to Ephesus by a Christian fugitive from Palestine, soon after the middle of the first century. It was written in Aramaic; it is fair to say that this has been conclusively demonstrated, in view of the summing up by Professor J. De Zwaan in JBL, 57 (1938), 155-71. Eventually brought to light, it was rendered into Greek, and the translator added chapter 21. No trace of the Gospel aside from the Ephesian copy is known. It purported to embody the tradition of John the son of Zebedee, the "beloved disciple."

          It is natural to suppose that in due time a belief therefore arose in the following form: "John came to Ephesus to be the head of its church, but soon disappeared from the city." No one had sure recollection of him. "He must have been banished at once, under Nero." The island of Patmos was the most likely place of banishment, and it was taken for granted that he died there. He was the John who had had a part in every important scene of the Messiah's life. The tradition consistently represented him as holding a foremost place in the affection of the Master. He and James, the two sons of Zebedee, together with Peter constituted the leading group of the disciples of Jesus. Here, obviously, was a man to whom the Most High might have been expected to entrust a revelation of the future. In this belief a member of the church of Ephesus―a man of splendid faith and religious fervor, and with extraordinary gifts of imagination, understanding of Hebrew scripture, and insight into the circumstances of his time―wrote the Revelation of John the Apostle. This was the year 68, as will be shown. It was later than this that the Ephesian church professed to have the Apostle's oral tradition.

          To be continued...

          Comment


          • #6
            Continued from last post above ↑

            Continuation of Charles C. Torrey's Introduction to The Apocalypse of John (Yale University Press, 1958):
            The churches founded by Paul had all the same beginning, in the synagogues of the cities which he visited. It was a doctrine many centuries old and (to a Jew) admitting of no exception, that the gospel was to be brought to the Gentiles through the chosen people. In every case Paul went first to the Jews in every city, bringing them the news of their Messiah, a gospel based at every point on the Hebrew scriptures. They would have listened to no other. He of course addressed them in their own language, the Aramaic: otherwise he would have had no hearing. Even so, he could be sure of plenty of opposition.

            It is strange that modern scholars should have taken it for granted, without adequate proof and in disregard of history, that the Israelites of the Dispersion abandoned their native tongue and their Hebrew scriptures when they left Semitic territory. The record of the Jewish people down to the present day shows plainly the contrary.* They could have preserved neither their Judaism not their solidarity as a community if they had failed to retain their own language and their writing in Hebrew characters; cf. the writing of Yiddish even in modern times. The Jews of Asia Minor formed no exception to the rule. Aramaic was the language they used among themselves in all affairs of life, religious or secular. As to religion, the members of the Jewish branch of each of the Christian churches in this early time felt themselves, as the nearest heirs to the Messianic promises, to be the inner circle, the preferred stock of the new community. They also constituted the great majority. The testimony given by the seven imaginary letters written in Aramaic and addressed to leading Asiatic churches is of very great interest.

            It is needless to dwell here on the fact that every chapter in the Apocalypse is both Jewish and Christian.
            *In a little monograph entitled Aramaic Graffiti on Coins of Demanhur (New York, American Numismatic Society, 1937) the present writer showed from unequivocal evidence afforded by papyri, ostraca, and graffiti that the Jews of Egypt in the third and second centuries B.C employed Aramaic (contrary to the prevailing opinion) in their business transactions among themselves. Incidentally, it may be remarked here that the LXX translation was made with the main purpose of propaganda, not because the Egyptian Jews themselves had need of it―though even Jewish writers take, very naturally, the opposite view.

            To be continued...

            Comment


            • #7
              Continued from last post above ↑

              Continuation of Charles C. Torrey's Introduction to The Apocalypse of John (Yale University Press, 1958):
              One fact which has had a great influence in preventing a true understanding of the Book of Revelation, and of the Gospels as well, is the present false conception of the Jewish doctrine of salvation, the place of the gōyim in the Messianic hope. See the documented discussion in the writer's Our Translated Gospels, pp. xxv-xxix. Charles, I, 189, in introducing his comment on chapter 7, remarks that "owing to the apparently Jewish or Jewish-Christian character of verses 1-8, and the universalistic character of verses 9-17, critics have for the most part decided against the unity of the chapter." But the Jews' eschatology had always been universalistic since the prophecy of Second Isaiah, who originated the great conception, declaring it with emphasis (in 48:6f.) to be a new doctrine. On the other hand, the Jews were of course (Matt. 19:28) to play a leading role in the New Age. The division in Revelation at 7:9 corresponds exactly, though in reverse order, to the division in Isa. 49 at verse 14. The parallel is striking and deserves study. The first half ot the chapter in Isaiah had dealt solely with the rescue of the Gentiles; in the latter half the prophet sets forth the glory of the chosen people in the coming day.

              The Hebrew prophecies were not to be set aside, least of all by our Apocalyptist. Bousset, on 21:24 (p. 451), objects that this verse is not consistent with the preceding picture of the heavenly Jerusalem. Swete, on 22:2, feels the same difficulty. It is true that the idea of the heavenly city "ist niche rein durchgeführt" [is not cleanly/neatly executed/implemented] (Bousset, p. 454, who accordingly supposes "eine schriftlich fixierte Quelle" [a source that is set forth in writing]). But the Second Isaiah had predicted new heavens and a new earth, and had told very definitely, in several places, what was destined to occur on the latter. No Hebrew prophecy was more precious, and there is no reason why it should have hampered the Apocalyptist in the making of his symbolic pictures. Considerations of strict logical―or chronological―consistency could have little weight with a man of his mental habit in a work of this nature.

              To be continued...
              Last edited by John Reece; 03-12-2014, 02:20 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Continued from last post above ↑

                Continuation of Charles C. Torrey's Introduction to The Apocalypse of John (Yale University Press, 1958):
                The relation to the Gospels, and especially to the Gospel of Matthew, is a matter of great importance. It is treated in sufficient detail in the commentaries, and the conclusions are well known; it is unnecessary here to do more than summarize. The Apocalypse makes distinct allusion to the Gospel; there can be no question of dependence in the other direction.

                Swete, who treats the matter on pp. clvi ff., thinks the formula "He who has an ear, let him hear" the most remarkable instance (cf. Matt. 11:15) and names the following parallels as "fairly certain": 3:3, derived from Matt. 24:43; 3:5, from Matt. 10:32; 13:10, from Matt. 26:52.

                Bousset notes these and other parallels to the Gospels (e.g., p. 241) and on p. 225 terms the borrowing from Matthew in Rev. 3:5 "unverkennbar" ["unmistakable" -JR].

                Charles, I, lxxxiv, note 6: "The dependence of 3:3, 16:15, on Matt. 24:42, 43, 46, is obvious." On p. lxvi he says this more emphatically, collects other parallels, and concludes that "our author used Matthew." Concerning 3:5 he agrees with Swete and Bousset that there is a clear reminiscence of Matt. 10:32.

                The bearing of this upon the date of the Gospel is plain. Since Revelation was composed in the year 68 (the evidence being overwhelming) the date of Matthew falls in the middle of the century, the time conjectured in The Four Gospels and Our Translated Gospels and supported in Documents [all books authored by Torrey -JR].

                The same commentators discuss also the question of Revelation's dependence on Luke and John, and all three express the same confidence as in the case of Matthew. Mark, almost completely superseded by Matthew, would hardly be heard from in Revelation. A strong case for dependence on John could probably be made out, now that it is established that both works were written in Aramaic. Evidence from Greek diction of course disappears, for the most part.

                The conventional date assigned to the Apocalypse, the reign of Domitian (81-96) has no valid evidence in its favor, as will appear. The late date seemed absolutely necessary because of the accepted date of the Gospels, especially Matthew) which unquestionably belong to an earlier stage of Christian development. In the search for a historical setting of Revelation near the end of the century, an apparent footing was found in a late outcropping of the Nero redivivus excitement, which in its original form plays a prominent part in the book. A pseudo Nero made his appearance in Parthia in or about the year 79 and raised a considerable commotion. Book IV of the Sibylline Oracles, completed at just this time, predicts his invasion of the Romain domain at the head of a great Parthian army; and the prediction inevitably recalls the passage in Rev., chapter 17, where the beast "whose death-stroke was healed" (13:3, 12, 14) leads an army to capture and destroy Rome. The Parthian pretender appeared, however, long after the rise of the redivivus doctrine, which was in the year 68, and there is very good ground for the belief that Sibylline Book IV made direct use of our Apocalypse in the time of Domitian. Revelation has nothing to do with Parthia, but the Sibylline poet easily made the combination. It is important to note that whenever material connected with Rev. was borrowed, the borrowing was done by the pagan writer. See further, below, in the section dealing with the date of the Apocalypse.

                To be continued...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Continued from last post above ↑

                  Continuation of Charles C. Torrey's Introduction to The Apocalypse of John (Yale University Press, 1958):
                  One other subject may be touched upon before coming to the language of the book. A very striking feature of the Apocalypse is the amount of lyric verse it contains. In chapter after chapter, and often more than once in a single chapter, the vision pauses for a brief chorus sung by angels or other heavenly beings, by the army of martyrs (15:3), or again by all created things (5:13). These doxologies and little songs of triumph are all in strict metrical form. They are generally not printed as poetry in our texts and translations, and thus the reader loses some of the impression originally created. A large part of the Apocalypse is in rhythmical form after the manner of the O.T. prophecies; to what extent the rhythm is in a definite literary mode, or occasionally becomes truly metrical, it may some day be possible to determine. The lyrical outbursts, however, are not patterned on Hebrew prophecy, but are a new feature. We seem to have here a bit of the early Christian hymnology, that of the Jewish-Christian congregations.

                  The meters employed in the songs are the same as are used in the Hebrew scriptures, but the language here is Aramaic, not Hebrew. Easily recognized are both the line of 3│3 metric accents and that of 3│2, and the manner of their use has in it nothing new. The lyrical interludes were presumably all composed by the Apocalyptist himself for the places which they occupy. Interesting evidence of his close attention to strophic form will be given in the note on 15:3f., the Song of Moses and the Lamb."
                  Last edited by John Reece; 03-15-2014, 09:24 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Continued from last post above ↑

                    Continuation of Charles C. Torrey's Introduction to The Apocalypse of John (Yale University Press, 1958):
                    The Language

                    The language of the "Revelation of John" has offered one of the most perplexing problems of biblical study. Its author is, on the one hand, a master of Greek and a man of learning: on the other hand, one who writes in an idiom which is not Greek but Semitic, and whose work swarms with major offenses against Greek grammar.

                    As for the mastery of Greek, it seems at the outset to be shown by the vocabulary of the book. See the details given in Swete's Apocalypse of St John, pp. cxv ff. It is a large vocabulary containing many unusual words, all handled with certainty: employing a great variety of verbs and verbal compounds, all so used as to give the precise shade of meaning desired in each case. As modern commentators agree, the author of the book was a master of Hebrew and made his own translations for that language in his multitudinous allusions to the Old Testament. These translations, without exception, are the work of a scholar who evidently was at least as thoroughly at home in Greek as in Hebrew. They are as accurate, concise, and skillfully fashioned, word on word, as those of any translator. They are very instructive material inviting special study, even after the admirable work of Charles in his great commentary.*
                    *This work, The Revelation of St. John by R. H. Charles, two thick volumes published by the International Critical Commentary series in the year 1920, is an inexhaustible mine of information on nearly all matters concerning this apocalypse. Frequent reference will be made to it in the following pages.

                    To be continued...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Continued from last post above ↑

                      Continuation of Charles C. Torrey's Introduction to The Apocalypse of John (Yale University Press, 1958):
                      To all appearance, thus far, the Greek of Revelation is the work of a linguist of skill and erudition; why, then, the astonishing "offenses against grammar"? This peculiarity has been a source of great interest and perplexity since the earliest times. The fact is so familiar that it is hardly necessary to quote from the scholars, ancient and modern, who have been nonplused by this "Greek." The present state of critical opinion, however, may be illustrated by a few examples.

                      The explanation of undue haste on the part of the Greek writer has not infrequently been offered. Under pressure of time, or in agitation, it is said, the man not perfectly at home in the language he was writing put down barbarisms which he would afterward have corrected if he had the opportunity to revise his manuscript. Bousset (p. 160) sees gross carelessness―"grobe Nachlässigheit"―in the syntax of 1:13 and 14:14, for example.

                      Examination shows this theory to be untenable in the face of such "slips" (!) as those in 1:4, 1:15, 14:19, 17:4, 19:20, and 21:9. There is no sort of carelessness that could possibly produce all those unnatural combinations.

                      To be continued...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Continued from last post above ↑

                        Continuation of Charles C. Torrey's Introduction to The Apocalypse of John (Yale University Press, 1958):
                        Norden, Agnostos Theos, p. 382, has a different explanation. The flouting of Greek grammar was deliberately undertaken in contempt of Hellenism: "sichtlich mehr aus Demonstration gegen alles Hellenische als aus Unfähigkeit, da er dieselben Strukturen, die er gelegentlich barbarisiert, an anderen Stellen regulär braucht." [visibly more out of demonstration against all things Hellenistic than from inability since the same structures he occasionally butchers he also uses normally in other places -JR]

                        It is plain, however, that the author was not an enemy of Hellenism, nor of the Greek language. It was his interest in Hellenism and his wish to see the divine message spread abroad in the Greek tongue that led him to undertake the work. What he actually strove against, as will appear, was the foreign idiom which could hide from view the true text, the inspired words, if in any way these could be kept in sight.

                        To be continued...
                        Last edited by John Reece; 03-18-2014, 02:08 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Continued from last post above ↑

                          Continuation of Charles C. Torrey's Introduction to The Apocalypse of John (Yale University Press, 1958):
                          A third explanation, in which the great majority of scholars of the present day have felt compelled to take refuge, sees in the barbarisms of the book neither carelessness nor chauvinism, but rather ignorance. This is the view held by Charles in his commentary. He says of the Apocalyptist, after mentioning "the unbridled license of his Greek constructions," pp. cxliii f.:
                          ... while he writes in Greek, he thinks in Hebrew, and the thought has naturally affected the vehicle of expression. ... But this is not all. He never mastered Greek idiomatically―even the Greek of his own period. To him very many of its particles were apparently unknown, and the multitudinous shades of meaning which they expressed in the various combinations into which they entered were never grasped at all, or only in a very inadequate degree.

                          In view of the facts already stated, this theory seems quite untenable. In regard to the strange Greek constructions Norden, quoted above, truly says that in every case of a barbarism the correct usage appears elsewhere in the book. There is no lack of knowledge of Greek idiom. As for the Greek particles, the manner of their use or absence is like what we see throughout the Greek Bible. Here also there is no proof of ignorance. Charles' explanation it decidedly less plausible than the others.

                          There is excellent reason, however, for one conclusion he reaches―expressed in similar words by many before him―namely, that "the linguistic character of the Apocalypse is absolutely unique." The grammatical monstrosities of the book, in their number and variety and especially in their startling character, stand alone in the history of literature. It is only in the Greek that they are apparent, for it is the form, not the sense, that is affected.

                          To be continued...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Continued from last post above ↑

                            Continuation of Charles C. Torrey's Introduction to The Apocalypse of John (Yale University Press, 1958):
                            A few of the more striking solecisms are exhibited here in English translation, so that any reader may see their nature.

                            1:4. "Grace to you, and peace, from he who is and who was and who is to come" (all nom. case).

                            1:15. "His legs were like burnished brass (neut. gend., dative case) as in a furnace purified (fem. gend., sing. no., gen. case)"

                            11:3. "My witnesses (nom.) shall prophesy for many days clothed (accus.) in sackcloth."

                            14:14. "I saw on the cloud one seated like unto a son-of-man (accus.), having (nom.) upon his head a golden crown."

                            14:19. "He harvested the vintage of the earth, and cast it into the winepress (fem.), the great [winepress] (masc.) of the wrath of God."

                            17:4. "A golden cup filled with abominations (gen.) and with unclean things (accus.)."

                            19:20. "The lake of blazing fire ("fire," neut.; "blazing," fem.).

                            20:2. "And he seized the dragon (accus.), the old serpent (nom.), who is the Devil and Satan and bound him."

                            21:9. "Seven angels, holding the seven bowls (accus.) filled (gen.) with the seven last plagues."

                            22:5. "They have no need of lamplight (gen.) nor of sunlight (accus.)."

                            To be continued...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Continued from last post above ↑

                              Continuation of Charles C. Torrey's Introduction to The Apocalypse of John (Yale University Press, 1958):
                              This apparent linguistic anarchy has no explanation on the Greek side. It is hardly surprising that to some readers it should have seemed open defiance of grammar, to others a symptom of mental aberration. Nevertheless there is method to it all. The more grotesque these barbarisms, the more certain it is that they are not due to lack of acquaintance with Greek. Each of the rules broken in the passages here cited is faithfully observed in many other places and shown to be perfectly familiar. Thus in the first of the examples, 1:4, immediately after apò ho ōn kai ho ēn kai ho erchómenos [ἀπὸ ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος] follows kaì apò tōn heptà pneumátōn [καì ἀπὸ τῶν ἑπτὰ πνευμάτων]. There is a reason, which can be shown, why the former of the two phrases was not put in the genitive case.

                              To be continued...

                              Comment

                              widgetinstance 221 (Related Threads) skipped due to lack of content & hide_module_if_empty option.
                              Working...
                              X