Saturday, September 5, 2020

Is the Granville Sharp Rule refuted by the text of Psalm 35:23?

Does the Syntax of Septuagint in Psalm 35:23 that uses the Definite Article with each of the two words for God Refute the Granville Sharp Rule

"...ὁ θεός μου καὶ ὁ κύριός μου..."(Psalm 35:23)

 


In the Granville  Sharp Rule, when two singular, personal, non-proper substantives of the same case joined by kai are governed by a single article, the same person is usually being referred to.  We see this in Titus 2:13. 

Titus 2:13, “tou megalou theou kai soteirous 'eimon Yeisou christou.”

Tou = Article, Genitive, Singular
Theou = Noun, Genitive, Singular
Kai = Conjunction (Copulative Kai)

Soteirous = Noun, Genitive, Singular

 "When the copulative kai connects two nouns of the same case, if the article ho or any of its cases precedes the first of the said nouns or participles, and is not repeated before the second noun or participle, the latter always relates to the same person that is expressed or described by the first noun or participle"(A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, p. 147).

The Greek grammar makes it very clear that Jesus Christ is God and Savior.  When a single article govern two singular, personal, non-proper substantives of the same case that are joined by kai, they frequently refer to the same person.

However, some people who deny that Christ is God use the  Septuagint  (LXX) text of Psalm 35:23 to show that the Granville Sharp Rule cannot be trusted because the said verse uses the definite article with each of the two words for God. Perhaps, those who use this argument will also say that their reasoning is valid since New Testament and Septuagint both use Koine Greek.

Is it the way to analyze this logic?

Hence the two nouns + possessive suffixes refer to a single individual.  The Septuagint translation (Psalm 35:23) uses the definite article with each of the two words for God, but  the overall situation is clear that one individual is being addressed.  The LXX offers a very literal translation of the two phrases (noun + possessive). 

The LXX translators don’t always follow the rules of ordinary spoken Greek.  As so often, translators often have to make a decision about whether to be closer to the original or to the patterns of the target language. The Granville Shrap Rule that I cite obtains holds for ordinary Greek.

The Greek of the LXX and the New Testament are both “koine,” and therefore both differ from the Greek of Thucydides or Plato, but the Greek of Plutarch and Philo is also “koine” and their Greek is distinct from most of the LXX and the New Testament.  Some of these differences are matters of vocabulary, the use of various moods, and complexity of sentences.  There are generally observed patterns in the use of articles, but also variations. The Greek of the LXX varies too and the stages of translation of the LXX show different sensitivities to the grammatical patterns of the source language, generally Hebrew, but also Aramaic. So saying that two texts are both “koine” Greek tells you something, but leaves a lot of questions open.

Sharp verbalized six principles of syntax involving the Greek article and the Rule I is: 

"When two personal nouns of the same case are connected by the copulative και, if the former has the definitive article, and the latter has not, they both relate to the same person..."(Wallace, Daniel, Granville Sharp’s Canon and Its Kin: Semantics and Significance, Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers; First printing Edition, 2008, p. 50).


 

By the way, it does not preclude the possibility of ὁ  A +  ὁ B construction referring to the same person as is the case with John 20:28.

There are places in which both nouns have the article even though the referent is one person (e.g., John 20.28). Rather than this being an argument against Sharp’s rule it actually strengthens it: if the same referent can be for two articular nouns joined by καί, then how much more will the TSKS construction do this?

"In addition, Sharp added a significant point to his fifth rule (εις-S-Kai-S is equivalent to the first rule, as in Eph 4:6 (this rule, however, is not as inviolable as his first rule, as patristic evidence clearly reveals); as well as one to his sixth rule (in John 20:28 Thomas’ confession of ό κύριός μου και ό θεός μου applied to one person, in exception to the general rule: “both these distinct titles... were manifestly addressed, αυτω, to that one person, Jesus, to whom Thomas replied, as the text expressly informs us” (Wallace, Daniel, Granville Sharp’s Canon and Its Kin: Semantics and Significance, Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers; First printing Edition, 2008, p. 51).

 

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