Sporadic theological and historical musings by Edgar Foster (Ph.D. in Theology and Religious Studies and one of Jehovah's Witnesses).
Can you demonstrate any use of the "Jesus" or variants thereof that are ever used as anything other than a proper name. (Cf Josephus).Wouldn't the definite article be better understood as "this Jesus" ?
I personally don't know of any uses of "Jesus" in Greek other than the term being used as a proper name. AT Robertson also has a good discussion on the Greek article in his big grammar, but Porter and Wallace supply more current explanations. While context has to play a factor in answering your question, I don't think we can usually expect Jesus with the definite article to mean "this Jesus." See John 20:29-31.
Joh 20:31 ταυτα δε γεγραπται ινα πιστευσητε οτι ο Ιησους εστιν ο Χριστος ο υιος του θεου και ινα πιστευοντες ζωην εχητε εν τω ονοματι αυτουAs the summation of an account of the life of Jesus among a culture where that name was fairly common why would you discount this a being read as "this Jesus being THE anointed" ?
According to the text I'm using, 20:31 does not have the article, but why? Jn 20:29, 30 both have it and other instances of the article with Jesus' name can easily be produced. Neither WH nor NA28 have the article for Ιησους in 20:31. So, to answer your question, the verse doesn't have the article but it's not required in view of the context. Without the article, that makes it more likely that we're not going to undertand the verse as "this Jesus." However, even if the article were present, we'd normally treat the construction as a mere use of the proper name (in English, "Jesus" as opposed to this or the Jesus). In NT Greek, I would usually expect to see a demonstrative if thee writer meant "this" even though the article can function as a demonstrative. See 1 Jn 2:22.
I am quoting from ABP & it does have the article in 31 but I do not find this in my separate lists of textual variants so could be an error - I am quite surprised if that is the case.http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=3408688&fileId=S0028688500015563This may shed some light but I do not have access to it.At this point in the book of John, must we not consider the original target audience? The believer or the non believer?
I have not found the definite reading in any of the Greek texts I consulted, but errors do sometimes happen. I also cannot access the Cambridge link, but if the John 20:29-30 (which does have the article) were meant to be understood as demonstrative, I would expect a construction similar to what we see in Acts 2:32, 36, both of which have demonstratives with the definite article. So while the original target audience is essential for understanding a text, and I think it was addressed to believers, I also believe examples are instructive. I'm not trying to be overly prescriptive when it comes to grammar, but NT Greek usually makes a demonstrative construction evident as we see with the verses in Acts.
I'm going to abstrain from a full-blown discussion of why John's Gospel was written, although the question is interesting. But the OP was about how the Greek article generally functions. However, there is an article here by D.A. Carson: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3260824?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contentsI might have access to it, but I'll have to check later. See a more recent article by Carson here: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30041065?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
I just do not think that this publication provides good examples to demonstrate the usage of the definite article & the choices appear to be theological rather than syntactical. I have access to the Jstor so I will read as time permits.
Just skipping to his conclusions, I can see that he still has in mind the evangelistic.http://s3.amazonaws.com/tgc-documents/carson/2005_John_20.30-31.pdf
http://s3.amazonaws.com/tgc-documents/carson/2005_John_20.30-31.pdfThe earlier writing.
Carson deals with the fourth gospel's purpose rather than the definite article, right? I might read some of his work today.
Too many threads again - I was referring to the reference work scanned for this post. I will try to be more specific in future.
Just notice that I quoted the same link twice the earlier should have been:-http://s3.amazonaws.com/tgc-documents/carson/1987_purpose_John_20.31.pdf
I understand your criticism of the picture, but most of what they write is not controversial, but it's often repeated in other works on Greek. I also wonder how the examples are theological. The only example I see that might border on being theological is Jn 1:1, which most works understand say is definite ("in the beginning") anyway. One last thing about this book is that it focuses more on verbs than anything else. Its discussion of the Greek article was not meant to be extensive.
Here is AT Robertson's long discussion on the article, including how it's used for Jesus in the NT. See https://books.google.com/books?id=sRojAQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=at+robertson+greek+article&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiSofuLk_jMAhUF5SYKHSXED-4Q6AEIHDAA#v=snippet&q=proper%20names&f=false
I can hardly be expected to put to much store by a book published in 1919 using the historical method. Is there anything more upto date?
You would be surprised at how many people still use Robertson, Burton, and Alford. I mainly use Daniel B. Wallace for my syntactical work or Brooks and Winbery, and Richard A. Young. Max Zerwick is also good.See also http://www.greek-language.com/Palmer-bibliography.html
Here's Wallace on proper names and the Greek article, but even he quotes Robertson, althogh he doesn't stop there. See https://books.google.com/books?id=XlqoTVsk2wcC&pg=PA246&lpg=PA246&dq=greek+definite+article+and+proper+names&source=bl&ots=DyGdsa4C_H&sig=X5FfK7tT_Al3qBHBEXtw98RA2w0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwimp6_H9_rMAhXE6iYKHfaYD444ChDoAQgnMAI#v=onepage&q=greek%20definite%20article%20and%20proper%20names&f=false
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