I have only received one substantive response to my Eugenius postings at CARM. Here is my King James Version Only interlocutor’s response to part of part 1 (the original is here):
Let’s return to Smyth, your key grammarian, and lets take what looks to be your key example (albeit, in a limited sense.)
And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives,
the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God
with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;
Originally Posted by Barry Hofstetter
Luke 19:37 …ηρξαντο απαν το πληθος των μαθητων χαιροντες αινειν τον θεον φωνη μεγαλη περι πασων ων ειδον δυναμεων…
“the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen…”
Here πλῆθος (plethos) is neuter singular and is referred to by χαίροντες (chairontes, rejoicing) a masculine plural participle, so once again a neuter substantive is referenced by a masculine (plural) participle..
For a quasi-rigorous exposition, you surprisingly omitted including the grammar for των μαθητων (of the disciples).
On the road (Austin, TX currently ) my time is limited, library closing, so let’s start with a simple question, just using the English equivalent. (And feel free to tweak anything I write here in quick-mode.)
“the whole multitude of the disciples … they had seen…”
Alternatively, the same inspired Greek writer could have grammatically used phrases with the meanings:
“the whole multitude .. they had seen”
“the disciples .. they had seen”
Let’s take the middle one. “the whole multitude .. they had seen”. Do you have any doubt that in that expression the pronoun would be neuter, referring to the multitude?
Similarly “the disciples .. they had seen” – here do we agree that our pronoun would be masculine, not because the disciples were men, but because the word for disciples is masculine.
(Please allow us to go step-by-step, it is the helpful methodical way. Although you are welcome to give value-added in your exposition.)
And here is my response:
Smyth is not my “key grammarian.” He is a standard reference, and I cited him in particular in order to show the fact that masculine modifiers with neuter substantives are a regular feature of the language. Nor is Luke 19:37 a “key example.” It is one of many, but it helpfully illustrates the point.
I didn’t mention τῶν μαθητῶν (of the disciples) for the same reason that I didn’t mention τὸν θεόν (God). It doesn’t affect the grammatical point.
“Of the disciples” is in the genitive case dependent on “the crowd.” It functions essentially as an adjective here, determining the consistency of the crowd, i.e., that it consists of disciples. For the word to modify disciples, it also would have to be in the genitive case, χαιρόντων. Now, Luke could have so had the participle modify the word disciples, and no one would have batted an eye. It would have been good Greek, and the sense would have been the same. But Luke, writing good idiomatic Greek, instead writes the word in the nominative case, and so shows that he is thinking of the word πλῆθος, crowd. He puts it in the masculine plural because the crowd does indeed consist of disciples, grammatically masculine, and it’s also good Greek to indicate mixed groups in the masculine. That’s where the ad sensum comes in. He could just as easily have omitted the genitive, written his nominative masculine plural participle, and it would have been just as good, idiomatic Greek. Of course there are plenty of examples where just such a thing occurs. Here’s another example also using the word “crowd” and a qualifying genitive:
Acts 5:16 συνηρχετο δε και το πληθος των περιξ πολεων εις ιερουσαλημ φεροντες ασθενεις…
There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks…
Here crowd is modified by the masculine plural participle φέροντες, bringing. The qualifying genitive phrase “out of the cities round about Jerusalem,” is actually feminine, since “cities,” πόλεων, is a grammatically feminine word.
Here’s a slightly different type of example to show that it’s not peculiar to having a crowd and a genitive plural:
Rom 2:14 οταν γαρ εθνη τα μη νομον εχοντα φυσει τα του νομου ποιη ουτοι νομον μη εχοντες εαυτοις εισιν νομος
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves
In this case “Gentiles” is neuter plural, and the pronoun referring back to them, “these” is masculine plural. There is no qualifying genitive to offer any confusion.
You need simply to accept the fact that masculine adjectives/pronouns/participles can and do modify neuter substantives, in plain contradiction to Eugenius’ claim.