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 Study Notes from the New Testament Greek

By Bob Jones, Northside Bible Church, Jacksonville Florida

Greek Synonyms

Greek Terms

Greek Article "The"

Conditional Sentences

Greek Prepositions

Granville Sharp Rule

Rules concerning the Greek conjunction "and" and the article "the"

And The "Granville Sharp Rule Number One"

EXAMPLES:

1. If BOTH the nouns connected by "kai" are articular (both have the article "the"), the two nouns are SEPARATE AND DISTINCT from each other.
(Reference: A. T. Robertson "A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, Pub by Hodder & Stoughton, Fourth Edition, 1923, Chapter XVI)

   a. Acts 17:18 "..the Epicureans and Stoics.." This text in the Textus Receptus has BOTH substantives articular, and therefore the two nouns are separate and distinct. We know that the followers of Epicurus met in a garden and the followers of Zeno met on the porch and they have opposite schools of practical philosophy. In the Textus Receptus, they are separate and distinct.

   b. Acts 23:7 "..the Pharisees and Sadducees..", Again, this text in the Textus Receptus has BOTH substantives articular, but the second article is missing in the Nestle text. In this text, there is "dissension between" the Pharisees and Sadducees, and hence, the TWO articles. They are stated here to be separate and distinct in the Textus Receptus.

   c. Luke 15:9 "The friends and neighbors" In this text, "the friends and the neighbors" are stated here to be separate and distinct in the Textus Receptus.

2. If NEITHER noun connected by "kai" is articular, the nouns are just being sequentially listed.
(Reference: A. T. Robertson "A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, Pub by Hodder & Stoughton, Fourth Edition, 1923, Chapter XVI)

   a. Rom. 1:14 " I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise". "Greeks and Barbarians, wise and unwise", all anarthrous, listed sequentially.

   b. Heb. 12:18 "For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest". "Blackness, and darkness, and tempest", all anarthrous, listed sequentially.

   c. Acts 13:1 "prophets and teachers", both anarthrous, listed sequentially.

3. If ONLY THE FIRST NOUN has the definite article, some sort of unity of the two nouns is in view:
(Reference: A. T. Robertson "A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, Pub by Hodder & Stoughton, Fourth Edition, 1923, Chapter XVI)

   a. For SINGULAR nouns in this construction, we have a consistent rule, the GRANVILLE SHARP rule number one. Sharp's Rule number one is quoted below from Sharp's Book titled "Remarks on the uses of the Definitive Article in the Greek Text of the New Testament, Containing Many New Proofs of the Deity of Christ, From Passages Which are Wrongly Translated in the Common English Version":

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Granville Sharp's Rule number one: "When the copulative "kai" connects two nouns of the same case [viz. nouns (either substantive or adjective, or participles) of personal description respecting office, dignity, affinity, or connection, and attributes, properties or qualities, good or ill,] 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: i.e. it denotes a farther description of the first-named person;"

Sharp's first rule requires that the nouns be "personal", (they must refer to a person, not a thing), "common epithets", (not proper names), and in the "same case", and SINGULAR in number, and that the FIRST noun is ARTICULAR (has the article), and the SECOND is ANARTHROUS (doesn't have the article), in which case, the second noun is a FURTHER DESCRIPTION of the first noun.

Granville Sharp's rule number one is unique in it's consistency. After a century of scrutiny, this rule remains without exception. The primary impetus of Granville Sharp's work in the late 1700's was to demonstrate that the Greek text of the New Testament proves the Deity of Christ.

Examples of rule number one from Granville Sharp's book:

   a. 2 Thess. 1:12, the KJV reads "the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ". God "theos" here is articular, and Christ "christou" is anarthrous. Both nouns are in the same case, and therefore should read "the grace of Jesus Christ, our God and Lord".

   b. Titus 2:13, the KJV reads "the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ". God "theos" here is articular, and Christ "christou" is anarthrous. Both nouns are in the same case, and therefore should read "our great God and Savior Jesus Christ".

The Granville Sharp Rule and Plural Substantives

The Granville Sharp rule number one, as stated above, only applies absolutely, in every occurrence, to singular, personal, and non-proper nouns.

BUT, Granville Sharp himself, on page 13 of his book, under Rule number one, states:

"There is no exception or instance of the like mode of expression, that I know of, which necessarily requires a construction different from what is here laid down, EXCEPT the nouns be proper names, or plural in the number; in which cases there are many exceptions; though there are not wanting examples, even of plural nouns, which are expressed exactly agreeable to this rule ." So, even in the case of "proper names" and the "plural number", there are many exceptions to the rule for the plurals, but I agree with Sharp that there are also examples of the plurals which DO agree with Sharp's rule number one.

I believe that in MOST of the plural TSKS (The, Substantive, Kai, Substantive) constructions in the Textus Receptus Greek New Testament, that match Sharp's rule number one, the second (anarthrus) noun is a further description of the first (articular) noun. (There are many missing definite articles in the Nestle, WH and other Greek texts, so there are many MORE instances in the Textus Receptus where the plural TSKS constructions match Sharp's rule number one)

Examples that I find of the plural TSKS constructions that match Sharp's rule number one:

   a. In Eph 4:11, God gave the church "pastors and teachers". The first noun "pastors" has the article, and the second "teachers" doesn't, so "teachers" is a further description of "pastors", not a separate category of individuals. This Greek construction means "pastors who are teachers", or "pastor - teachers". There is the gift of "teacher", in 1 Cor. 12:28, but, all of God's true "pastors" must be also "teachers", meaning that they also have the gift of communication. The man who considers himself a "pastor only", and LEADS the sheep all over the countryside, but doesn't FEED them, violates some 22 New Testament passages that exhort the man of God to "teach the Word".

-----> I would think that Eph. 4:11 is the very first example of the plural "TSKS" constructions that Mr. Granville Sharp would point to in illustrating that His rule number one is "agreeable" also to plural constructions.

-----> Sharp stated, concerning his rule number one, "there are not wanting examples, even of plural nouns, which are expressed exactly agreeable to this rule."

-----> The Greeks even had a name for the construction "pastors and teachers" of Eph. 4:11 as referring to one gift and one person. E.W. Bullinger, in his book "Figures of speech used in the Bible", states that the ancient Greeks had more that 200 "figures of speech". He states that in modern times, men tend to say "oh, that's just a figure of speech", but that the unusual form in the scriptures (figura) is never used except to add force and emphasis to the truths being conveyed.

Bullinger lists and discusses his examples of nearly 200 forms of figures of speech in the Scriptures, and it is amazing how often the discussion of Granville Sharp constructions matches Bullinger's English examples.

One of his "figures" is the "hendiadys", (from "hen" meaning "one, "dia" meaning "by", and "dis" meaning "two". Two words, but one thing meant. Bullinger lists Eph. 4:11 as "pastors who are also teachers", an example of an "hendiadys".

-----> Add to this the fact that the noun "pastor" (poimenas, shepherd) is never used anywhere else in the N.T. (at least, not in the TR) except referring to Jesus Himself or to literal shepherds.

-----> Jesus in His post-resurrection discourse with Peter in John Chapter 21 verses 15-17 asks Peter 3 times "do you love me?" (agapas, agapas, phileis), Peter replies "philO" 3 times (probably because Peters actions have not been demonstrating "agape"), and Jesus replies "feed my little lambs", "shepherd my sheep", and "feed my sheep". The replies of Jesus describe a combination "pastor-teacher".

-----> In 1 Peter 5:1 - 3, First, Peter states that he is also an "elder" (presbuteros), (that makes him an "apostle who is also an elder", by the way). Then Peter, in verse 2 & 3 tells the elders to feed the flock of God and be overseers (episkapas), not being lords over the flock, but examples. Again, a pastoral example, with emphasis on "feeding".

-----> My best Greek reference books and my most trusted commentators, such as Vincent, Hodge, Kenneth Wuest, and Dr. Boyce Blackwelder, take the plural TSKS of Eph 4:11 to be one of the plural TSKS constructions that Sharp meant when he stated, concerning his first rule, that there are examples: "even of plural nouns, which are expressed exactly agreeable to this rule ."

-----> All of this confirms to me that the TSKS construction of "the pastors and teachers" in Eph 4:11 does, in fact fit Sharp's rule number one, and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that if we could ask Mr. Granville Sharp himself to give us examples of some of the plural TSKS constructions, that he considered "agreeable" to his first rule, his first example would be Eph 4:11.

    b. Matthew 2:4, King Herod called together all the "Chief Priests and Scribes" to ask where the child Jesus was to be born. "Chief Priests" has the definite article, and Scribes does not, so, it's "Chief Priests WHO WERE ALSO Scribes". This makes perfect sense to me! Chief Priest is a religious office, and Scribe is a business profession. To find an answer from scripture, Herod called in the professional scribes who continually transcribed scripture, who also held an office of Chief Priest, the most likely people to know the answer! Matt. 17:10 and 1 Cor. 1:20 speak of the scribe's authority to interpret the scriptures. In Neh. 8:1-9 & 12:26, Ezra is a priest who is also a scribe. And in Neh. 12:1 & 7, Ezra is the Chief Priest who is also a scribe.

   c. Matt 5:20, "The scribes and Pharisees", TSKS.

----- > In Acts 23:9, we actually have a record of , "The scribes who were of the Pharisees part".

-----> In Matthew 22:34-36, Jesus is asked the question about the greatest commandment, and the the person who asks is identified as one of the Pharisees. In Mark 12:28, Mark identifies the same man as one of the scribes. So, the man who questioned Jesus must have been a "scribe who was also a Pharisee".

In Matt. 5:20, we have a supremely powerful statement made by Jesus to bring conviction and the need of a Savior to the hearts of the hearers. The "Scribe" repeatedly copied the Scriptures, so the scribe would most likely know what the Scriptures SAID. The Pharisees were the most "religious" people in the Bible. (even tithing one out of every ten leaves of their spice plants, Matt. 23:23). So, when Jesus tells the people that their righteousness must EXCEED that of the "scribes who were also Pharisees", he is stating that it is utterly impossible without Him, the Savior. (Rom. 3:21 & 22, we must have the righteousness of God which is imputed by faith in Jesus Christ.)

   d. Matt. 27:41, "The scribes and elders", TSKS, "The scribes who were also elders". The elders of Israel, who were members of the Sanhedrin, or Great Council, were the mature leaders of Israel. Many of them were scribes by present or former occupation. Ezra, for example, was a scribe, AND a high priest, and was in charge of the "elders" of Israel in Neh. 12:26, Ezra 7:10, 13, & 25, and Ezra 10:2, & 10-16. Being both "scribes", with vast experience copying the Scriptures, AND elders of Israel in their responsibility, considerably compounded their guilt.

   e. In Luke 14:3 we have "The lawyers and Pharisees (TSKS) which I take to mean "lawyers who were also Pharisees". In Matt 22:34 & 35, we find Pharisees who were gathered together, and one of them, a Pharisee who was actually a lawyer also, questioned Jesus. Lawyer is a secular occupation, Pharisee is a religious belief. Couldn't we have any one of the secular occupations combined in a person or persons with any of the religious beliefs?

   f. In Acts 15:2, 4, 6, 22, & 23, and Acts 16:4, we find "Apostles and Elders", both in the TSKS construction, referring to Apostles who were also elders at that time, and in the TSKTS construction, referring to Apostles as a group and elders as a separate group.

In Acts 15:2, we find the TSKS construction, the "apostles who were also elders". Paul and Barnabus are appointed to go to Jerusalem and meet with the "apostles who were also elders", who were in ultimate charge of the "ekklesia", the "called out ones", in Jerusalem, to speak to them about the issue of legalism.

Wouldn't each of the 12 apostles, who were primarily itinerant, be "apostles who are also elders", when they were in charge of a local church?

In 1 Pet. 5:1 The Apostle Peter states that he was also an elder at that time. That made him an "apostle who was also an elder".

When an apostle left a church, wouldn't there be a man, or two or more, who were the most spiritually mature, who were left in charge of the church, and wouldn't they be "elders"?

Wouldn't the "ekklesia", the called out ones, at Jerusalem, at the point of Acts chapter 15, be most likely made up of many individual congregations from all over the city?

We even have evidence in Acts 8:14, that there were indeed "apostles", plural at Jerusalem.

When all the congregations at Jerusalem had an important meeting, such as this legalism issue, and they all gathered together, wouldn't many "elders" be present, along with the apostles who were currently residing in Jerusalem and very likely in charge of some, or all, of the local churches around the city?

Then, it isn't ridiculous to me, for this TSKS construction in Acts 15:2 to mean there were "apostles who were also elders" at Jerusalem, and that Acts 15:2 is stating, specifically, who Paul and Barnabus were going to meet with in Jerusalem; those who were ultimately in charge, "the apostles who were also elders" at Jerusalem.

Acts 15:4, TSKTS, both nouns articular, meaning that Paul and Barnabus were received by the Jerusalem ekklesia, and the Jerusalem elders and by the apostles who resided at Jerusalem.

(Also, notice in Acts 15:5, that during the meeting, a "Pharisee who was also a Christian" rises up and states his belief that the church should practice circumcision and keep the Law of Moses.)

Acts 15:6, TSKTS, both nouns articular, All the apostles (both itinerant and resident) and all the Jerusalem elders get in a huddle about this matter.

Acts 15:22, TSKTS, both nouns articular, it seemed good to All the apostles (both itinerant and resident) and to all the Jerusalem elders, along with the whole Jerusalem ekklesia, to send chosen men from among them to Antioch.

Acts 15:23, TSKTS, they sent letters from the Jerusalem ekklesia to Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia. The greeting of the letters stated "Greetings from the apostles (all the apostles at the meeting, both itinerant and resident) and the elders (all the Jerusalem elders) and the brethren (adelphoi, from the same womb, in other words all the rest of the born again children of God in Jerusalem, no matter what their status)."

Acts 16:4, TSKTS, Paul, Silas, and Timothy deliver the decrees that all the apostles (itinerant and resident) and all the Jerusalem elders settled on in their huddle. (Note: in Acts 16:4, the Nestle Greek text is TSKS, the second article is missing.)

In these six passages, Acts 15:2, 4, 6, 22, & 23, and Acts 16:4 "Apostles and Elders" is only in the TSKS construction in verse 2 in the Textus Receptus, where the "apostles who were also elders", those who were ultimately responsible in Jerusalem, were viewed from afar.

   g. Eph. 2:20 "..the apostles and prophets.." Again, only the first substantive is articular (TSKS) in both the Nestle and TR texts. God's Holy Apostles were also also prophets, were they not? Isn't the foundation of the Church the Apostles who are also prophets? Surely the prophets of Eph 2:20, who are the foundation of the Church, the "called out ones", are not the Old Testament prophets, but New Testament prophets, wouldn't you agree? I do not believe that there have been any true prophets of God since the last of the twelve Apostles died, but the Apostles who wrote the New Testament were certainly Apostle-prophets.

Plural TSKS constructions that match Sharp's first rule, but where an identical referent cannot reasonably be in view:

I am compiling a list of the plural TSKS constructions in the Textus Receptus text that are sent to me, or that I read, that match Sharp's first rule, but where the second noun does not appear to be a further description of the first noun. So far, each one falls into one of the two following categories:

1. Plural nouns in the Textus Receptus, in the TSKS construction, matching Sharp's rule number one, where the second noun CANNOT BE a further description of the first noun, the two groups appear to be united for some mutual purpose.

2. The TSKTS construction (separate and distinct) in the Textus Receptus, where the second article is missing in the Nestle, WH, and other Greek texts.

Category 1. Plural TSKS where the nouns are united:
(Reference: A. T. Robertson "A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, Pub by Hodder & Stoughton, Fourth Edition, 1923, Chapter XVI)

When we find plural nouns in the TSKS construction, matching Sharp's rule number one, and the second noun CANNOT BE a further description of the first noun, the two groups are united for some mutual purpose.

   a. Matt. 3:7, 16:1, 6, 11 & 12: TSKS, "The Pharisees and Sadducees". Since Pharisee and Sadducee are opposing religious beliefs and one cannot be both at the same time, A.T. Robertson and others take these plural TSKS passages, where the second noun obviously cannot be a further description of the first noun, to be "groups treated as one", (see page 787 of Robertson's "A Grammar of the Greek New Testament") Stated four times by Jesus in these 4 verses of Matthew's Gospel, only the first substantive is articular in both the Nestle and TR texts, and the Pharisees and Sadducees are first revealed as "joined together" in their opposition to Christ, and are one and the same in the issue, which is the "leaven" they promulgated.

   b. Matt. 16:21, TSKSKS "The elders and chief priests and scribes". I would take this passage also to refer to three groups united in their opposition to Christ.

   c. Acts 17:12, TSKS "The Greek women and men". These two plural groups are now united in their belief in Christ.

Category 2. Missing articles in the Nestle, WH, and other Greek texts:

   a. Luke 15:9 "The friends and the neighbors" Both nouns articular in the Textus Receptus, indicating separation and distinction between the two, but the second article is missing in the Nestle text.

   b. Luke 21:12, "the synagogues and the prisons". This also is TSKTS, separate and distinct, in the TR, but the second article is missing in the Nestle, WH, and other Greek texts.

   c. Luke 22:4, "The chief priests and the captains", both articular in the TR, but missing the second article in the Nestle, WH and other Greek texts.

   d. Acts 17:18"..the Epicureans and the Stoics.." This text in the Textus Receptus has BOTH substantives articular, and therefore the two nouns are separate and distinct. We know that the followers of Epicurus met in a garden and the followers of Zeno met on the porch and they have opposite schools of practical philosophy. In the Textus Receptus, they are separate and distinct. The second article is missing in the Nestle, WH, and other Greek texts.

  e. Acts 23:7 "..the Pharisees and the Sadducees..", Again, this text in the Textus Receptus has BOTH substantives articular and the second article is missing in the Nestle text. In this text, there is "dissension between" the Pharisees and Sadducees, and hence, the TWO articles. They are stated here to be separate and distinct in the Textus Receptus, but the second article is missing in the Nestle, WH, and other Greek texts.

Impersonal Nouns connected by "kai":

Kenneth Wuest, in his book "Bypaths in the Greek New Testament", gives us an important example of the combination of impersonal nouns, connected by "kai", only the first of which is articular:

In Acts 2:23, the statement concerning Jesus going to the Cross "Him being delivered by the determinate council and foreknowledge of God", is another example of the first noun being articular and the second being anarthrous. "Council" is the Greek word "boule", meaning "decree", and "foreknowledge" is "prognosis", or "to know before". These two impersonal nouns are connected by the conjunction "kai", or "and". They are also in the same case, and "boule" has the article, and "prognosis" doesn't. This construction means that the "decree", or "determinate will" of God is not separate from the "foreknowledge" of God, but that the "foreknowledge" of God ARISES from His decree.

The major significance of this passage is that it reminds us of the fact that nothing can be "foreknown", until it is first made certain by the "decree" of God! There is nothing to "foreknow" until the immutable decree of God makes it certain.

Everywhere we see the "foreknowledge" of God mentioned in the New Testament, we must remember that God does not make any decisions according to His "foreknowledge", but that His "foreknowledge" is the RESULT of His decree.

As A. T. Robertson states in his comprehensive work, "A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research", on page 756, "The article [the] is never meaningless in the Greek".

When we see two nouns in the New Testament, connected by "and", (kai), we must check the Greek text to know if the nouns are merely being listed (no articles), or separate and distinct from each other (both articular), or if the first noun is articular and the second noun is anarthrous, thereby uniting the two nouns, or adding a further description to the first noun.

Granville Sharp Rules Number Seven and Eight, by Bob Jones

Bob Jones

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