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Jordan Kurecki

1 Corinthians 7:36 and Greek Case/Gender

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1 Corinthians 7:36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.

So, I have been looking at this passage and studying whether or not a father has authority to forbid his daughter from marrying. Looking at this passage has created some problems.

the word man is a masculine gender and nominative case, the word virgin is a feminine gender and accusative case, however... here's where my mind is boggling, the phrase "pass the flower of her age" is one Greek word, it's an adjective, however... it's a MASCULINE gender and a NOMINATIVE case.... my question to the Greek scholars is this... what is the significance of this and how should it affect the interpretation of this passage? My Greek is extremely limited, I have only taken one semester, but if someone could help me out with this I would appreciate it.

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2 hours ago, Jordan Kurecki said:

1 Corinthians 7:36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.

So, I have been looking at this passage and studying whether or not a father has authority to forbid his daughter from marrying. Looking at this passage has created some problems.

the word man is a masculine gender and nominative case, the word virgin is a feminine gender and accusative case, however... here's where my mind is boggling, the phrase "pass the flower of her age" is one Greek word, it's an adjective, however... it's a MASCULINE gender and a NOMINATIVE case.... my question to the Greek scholars is this... what is the significance of this and how should it affect the interpretation of this passage? My Greek is extremely limited, I have only taken one semester, but if someone could help me out with this I would appreciate it.

Actually, according to the best lexical research that I have been able to do, the construction of the Greek adjective "uperakmos" (translated in the King James translation as "pass the flower of her age") is able to serve either as a masculine OR as a feminine, with the usage to be determined by the context.

Contextually, I believe that 1 Corinthians 7:36 is translated accurately in applying the Greek adjective unto a daughter.  The immediate context encompasses 1 Corinthians 7:36-38.  1 Corinthians 7:36 covers a single case, which concludes with an acceptable marriage.  1 Corinthians 7:37 then covers a contrasting case, which concludes with an acceptable non-marriage.  Finally, 1 Corinthians 7:38 summarizes both cases, the first half referring unto the case of 1 Corinthians 7:36 and the second half referring unto the case of 1 Corinthians 7:37.  Now, in 1 Corinthians 7:38 both cases are referenced through the usage of the verb meaning "to give in marriage."  Even so, FATHERS are those who "give in marriage" or not; thus I would conclude that the context of the passage is about the authority of fathers to give their daughters in marriage or not.

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49 minutes ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Actually, according to the best lexical research that I have been able to do, the construction of the Greek adjective "uperakmos" (translated in the King James translation as "pass the flower of her age") is able to serve either as a masculine OR as a feminine, with the usage to be determined by the context.

Contextually, I believe that 1 Corinthians 7:36 is translated accurately in applying the Greek adjective unto a daughter.  The immediate context encompasses 1 Corinthians 7:36-38.  1 Corinthians 7:36 covers a single case, which concludes with an acceptable marriage.  1 Corinthians 7:37 then covers a contrasting case, which concludes with an acceptable non-marriage.  Finally, 1 Corinthians 7:38 summarizes both cases, the first half referring unto the case of 1 Corinthians 7:36 and the second half referring unto the case of 1 Corinthians 7:37.  Now, in 1 Corinthians 7:38 both cases are referenced through the usage of the verb meaning "to give in marriage."  Even so, FATHERS are those who "give in marriage" or not; thus I would conclude that the context of the passage is about the authority of fathers to give their daughters in marriage or not.

Ok now what about the fact that the adjective is also in the nominative case? Virgin is accusative. 

Edited by Jordan Kurecki

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32 minutes ago, Jordan Kurecki said:

Ok now what about the fact that the adjective is also in the nominative case? Virgin is accusative. 

The adjective is in the nominative case because it is what we would grammatically call a predicate adjective.  In the Greek the construction is a dependent clause beginning with the word "if" (Greek -- "ean"), then the singular Greek being verb "e," which assumes a pronominal subject either of "he" or "she," then the adjective (a predicate adjective, since it follows a being verb and modifies the subject of the verb) "past the flower of age" (Greek -- "uperakmos").  The translators joined the Greek being verb with the meaning the adjective to provide the verb "pass."  (that is -- "be past").

For further information, the Greek adjective "uperakmos" is the joining of the Greek pronoun "uper" (meaning "over, beyond, above, more than") and the Greek noun "akme" (meaning "top point, highest peak, full bloom, full maturity").  If this Greek adjective applies unto a female in the context of 1 Corinthians 7:36-38, then it would refer unto the prime of her maturity.  If this adjective applies unto a male in the context of 1 Corinthians 7:36-38, then it would most likely refer unto the fullness of his passions.

Now, as I have indicated in my previous post, I believe that the context would indicate an application unto a virgin daughter.

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle

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1 hour ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

The adjective is in the nominative case because it is what we would grammatically call a predicate adjective.  In the Greek the construction is a dependent clause beginning with the word "if" (Greek -- "ean"), then the singular Greek being verb "e," which assumes a pronominal subject either of "he" or "she," then the adjective (a predicate adjective, since it follows a being verb and modifies the subject of the verb) "past the flower of age" (Greek -- "uperakmos").  The translators joined the Greek being verb with the meaning the adjective to provide the verb "pass."  (that is -- "be past").

For further information, the Greek adjective "uperakmos" is the joining of the Greek pronoun "uper" (meaning "over, beyond, above, more than") and the Greek noun "akme" (meaning "top point, highest peak, full bloom, full maturity").  If this Greek adjective applies unto a female in the context of 1 Corinthians 7:36-38, then it would refer unto the prime of her maturity.  If this adjective applies unto a male in the context of 1 Corinthians 7:36-38, then it would most likely refer unto the fullness of his passions.

Now, as I have indicated in my previous post, I believe that the context would indicate an application unto a virgin daughter.

Ok. I am following your explanation of the predicate nominative, in fact, as I was reading it I was starting to remember being taught that.

I am however still fuzzy on the explanation of the gender. My Interlinear that has parsing tells me the adjective is in the feminine.

You said that the gender can be feminine or masculine depending upon the context, but if it was describing the virgin, wouldn't the Greek adjective "pass the flower of her age" have to be feminine, I thought adjectives had to match in gender with the noun they are describing? 

Edited by Jordan Kurecki

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12 hours ago, Jordan Kurecki said:

I am however still fuzzy on the explanation of the gender. My Interlinear that has parsing tells me the adjective is in the feminine.

You said that the gender can be feminine or masculine depending upon the context, but if it was describing the virgin, wouldn't the Greek adjective "pass the flower of her age" have to be feminine, I thought adjectives had to match in gender with the noun they are describing? 

In order to answer this question, I will need to teach a little bit of Greek grammar.

Greek nouns are generally classified under three different declensions.  "A Manuel Grammar of the Greek New Testament," by Dana and Mantey, says the following on page 35 -- "Nouns which have 'a' as their characteristic stem ending are assigned to the first declension.  Those with 'o' as the characteristic stem ending are in the second declension.  The third declension includes nouns whose stems end in a consonant, or in 'I,' 'u,' or 'eu'."  (Note that wherein I have presented italicized vowels in quotation marks, Dana and Mantey have actually employed Greek letters.)

At this point I would focus your attention upon the first and the second declension nouns.  Concerning the first declension nouns, Dana and Mantey say the following on pages 35-36 -- "The nouns of this declension are usually FENIMINE, though a few are masculine.  The stem ends in 'a,' but this 'a' is frequently found in contract, or modified form." (emphasis added by Pastor Scott Markle)  Concerning the second declension nouns, Dana and Mantey say the following on page 36 -- "The nouns in this declension are MASCULINE and NEUTER, with A FEW FEMININES.  There are two sets of terminations, ONE for masculine AND feminine and another for neuter." (emphasis added by Pastor Scott Markle)

Now, best that I can discern, the Greek noun for "virgin" is a SECOND declension noun, as per the "--on" ending for the accusative case.  As noted above, these declension nouns are USUALLY masculine or neuter nouns, but a FEW are feminine nouns with the same declension endings as the masculine nouns of this declension.  So then, the Greek noun for "virgin" is a second declension noun that is one of the few FENIMINE second declension nouns.  This this noun carries the SAME declension endings as the masculine second declension nouns.  How does this impact our understand concerning the predicate adjective for "pass the flower of age"?  If that adjective refers to the man in this context, then it would carry the masculine declension of the second declension nouns.  If that adjective refers to the female virgin in this context, then it would carry the feminine declension of the second declension noun.  However, grammatically the masculine declension of the second declension noun and the feminine declension of the second declension noun are the SAME.  Thus the declension of the predicate adjective itself CANNOT in this context reveal the gender and application of the adjective.  Rather, this gender and application MUST be discerned through the context flow of thought.

As I have presented in a previous posting, I believe that the context bears out the application of the predicate adjective unto the female virgin, and that the male personage of the context is her father (as per the relation of 1 Corinthians 7:38, as well as per the far greater knowledge and wisdom of the King James translators than mine concerning the Greek language, wherein they translated it as applicable unto the female virgin).

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6 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

In order to answer this question, I will need to teach a little bit of Greek grammar.

Greek nouns are generally classified under three different declensions.  "A Manuel Grammar of the Greek New Testament," by Dana and Mantey, says the following on page 35 -- "Nouns which have 'a' as their characteristic stem ending are assigned to the first declension.  Those with 'o' as the characteristic stem ending are in the second declension.  The third declension includes nouns whose stems end in a consonant, or in 'I,' 'u,' or 'eu'."  (Note that wherein I have presented italicized vowels in quotation marks, Dana and Mantey have actually employed Greek letters.)

At this point I would focus your attention upon the first and the second declension nouns.  Concerning the first declension nouns, Dana and Mantey say the following on pages 35-36 -- "The nouns of this declension are usually FENIMINE, though a few are masculine.  The stem ends in 'a,' but this 'a' is frequently found in contract, or modified form." (emphasis added by Pastor Scott Markle)  Concerning the second declension nouns, Dana and Mantey say the following on page 36 -- "The nouns in this declension are MASCULINE and NEUTER, with A FEW FEMININES.  There are two sets of terminations, ONE for masculine AND feminine and another for neuter." (emphasis added by Pastor Scott Markle)

Now, best that I can discern, the Greek noun for "virgin" is a SECOND declension noun, as per the "--on" ending for the accusative case.  As noted above, these declension nouns are USUALLY masculine or neuter nouns, but a FEW are feminine nouns with the same declension endings as the masculine nouns of this declension.  So then, the Greek noun for "virgin" is a second declension noun that is one of the few FENIMINE second declension nouns.  This this noun carries the SAME declension endings as the masculine second declension nouns.  How does this impact our understand concerning the predicate adjective for "pass the flower of age"?  If that adjective refers to the man in this context, then it would carry the masculine declension of the second declension nouns.  If that adjective refers to the female virgin in this context, then it would carry the feminine declension of the second declension noun.  However, grammatically the masculine declension of the second declension noun and the feminine declension of the second declension noun are the SAME.  Thus the declension of the predicate adjective itself CANNOT in this context reveal the gender and application of the adjective.  Rather, this gender and application MUST be discerned through the context flow of thought.

As I have presented in a previous posting, I believe that the context bears out the application of the predicate adjective unto the female virgin, and that the male personage of the context is her father (as per the relation of 1 Corinthians 7:38, as well as per the far greater knowledge and wisdom of the King James translators than mine concerning the Greek language, wherein they translated it as applicable unto the female virgin).

THanks for your responses. at the very least this is helping me realize I need more Greek and Hebrew training.

I am starting Hebrew 1 probably tomorrow. I have already taken a semester of Hebrew, but I think I forgot everything except a few letters. 

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