Greek for Church - Pl. or singular

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by mnw, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. mnw

    mnw
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    In studying out some verses on local/universal church I have come across some Greek that is beyond my level of understanding.

    In some passages where it translates the word "churches" it looks in the Greek like it should be singular. One such example is Galatians 1:2. Can some of you Greek scholars out there shed any light on the matter?

    Now, I am not sure I want to get into a discussion of the local vs. universal church. In my understanding both exist without contradiction nor compromising one another.

    So, if we could stick to the Greek word at hand I would appreciate it.

    By the way, I just got back from two months in the US and am glad to be home! I loved visiting America and being with over 20 churches, but home is home!
     
  2. Brandon C. Jones

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    I'm not sure about what other passages you're looking at, but why do you think the dative plural form of ekklesia in Gal 1:2 "looks singular?"
     
  3. mnw

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    Thanks Brandon. What resource do you use to view the Greek? The resource I was using only showed it as eccelsia but said nothing of its tense or whether is was singular or plural. So, to me, it seemed like it was singular.

    Thanks again. :)
     
  4. John of Japan

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    It is clearly a plural dative or instrumental because of the alpha-iota-sigma ending. (Remember those noun declensions you memorized in beginning Greek? You said "tense" but I'm sure you simply mis-wrote, since nouns have case but not tense, which is reserved for verbs. :smilewinkgrin: ) Since it has no preposition before it, the case must be dative, with it acting as an indirect object, though this is a greeting and not a full sentence. (It could not be instrumental because there is nothing in the text to act on.)

    I hope this helps. Are there any other usages of "church" or its plural you want to look at?

    Side note: in Japanese, adjectives can have tense just like verbs. But hey, you probably don't want to go there! :laugh:
     
  5. John of Japan

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    Oh, and welcome home from furlough. That can be a killer! Gotta get back to the field to get some "rest," right? :BangHead:
     
  6. mnw

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    Thanks John. It is good to be back home and back on the board. This smiley, :BangHead: aptly describes some elements of furlough/deputation. Whilst on the whole it was a blessing, and I met many wonderful people, I also missed my family, got tried of driving (over 7000 miles) and gained at least 10 lbs (which is a disgrace).

    I think my primary problem is my lack of knowledge of Greek. My other problem is the resource I was using did not show any kind of case/tense. :) Thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt with that mistake... but I don't deserve it. :)

    I just got my Greek-English Interlinear NT out and the difference there is easy to see. I guess that's what I get for not using the right resources.

    The explanations here I think explain the other passages I had seen.

    Just another evidence that sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing...
     
  7. GordonSlocum

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    Noun - Dative case, Feminine gender, Plural Gal. 1:2

    Remember there are three groups of declensions "Alpha" "Omega" and "Consonant"

    Church in Greek is a "Alpha" declension noun.

    That make its as stated Dative Case, Feminine gender and Plural.

    Its a lock

    There you have it.

    The "Omega" declension is found more in the NT than the others, but church is "alpha"
     
    #7 GordonSlocum, Nov 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2006
  8. J. Jump

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    MNW there are several free resources that are available that show all the information you would need. One of the best ones is http://www.scripture4all.org/ at least IMO. I'm sure there are many others. Another resource I use a lot is www.blueletterbible.org.

    If you were already aware of these please accept my apology.
     
  9. GordonSlocum

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    The internet. That is great. Thanks for posting these sites.
     
  10. mnw

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    Thanks for those J. Blue Letter Bible I have used before but not scripture4all. BLB did not seem to mention the case/tense in the verses I looked up, but it looks like the other site will be very helpful in this area.

    Thanks again
     
  11. GordonSlocum

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    If you like you can get the same information in book form:

    "Analytical Greek New Testament"

    Baker Book House
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
     
  12. J. Jump

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    Yeah I don't think it gives cases, at least I haven't found it yet, but it does give verb tenses. If you will hit the "c" button on the left-hand side of the verse that you look up it will pull up a verse break down that gives verse tenses. But the Interlinear Scripture Analyzer is great!
     
  13. John of Japan

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    You got the smiley right! And 10 lbs, is that all?? Short furlough, right? :laugh:

    Do you have e-Sword? If you get one of the Greek modules with a plus sign after it it has letters telling the case and number. In the case of Gal. 1:2 it has N-DPF, meaning noun, dative plural feminine. Not too hard to decipher once you get used to it.

    If you don't have e-Sword, it is a wonderful freebie Bible program with tons of good modules, most of them free. You can download it at: www.e-sword.net

    Happy conjugating!
     
  14. mnw

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    Well, the scales actually said I had gained 15 lbs... but my mother-in-law said they were not that reliable so I deducted 5lbs which makes me feel better. But I think 15lbs may be more accurate. :)

    I thought I had all the E-Sword modules going but none of the ones I have show the plus sign or the details you mentioned. I'll have to check into it further.

    Thanks John.
     
  15. Deacon

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    To complicate matters further there's at least one significant varant noted in Acts 9:31.

    20 chuches in 2 months! ....enjoy your vacation :BangHead:

    Rob
     
  16. GordonSlocum

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    You can get that in book form too. The only thing wrong with it is that we may substitute it for doing it the hard way and in the end we may diminish some of the snap, crackle, and pop in our memory. :thumbs:

    The push and pull of life can rob us of good study time, so to that end we can rejoice in the fact that we have these helps. :godisgood:

    Gordon
     
  17. GordonSlocum

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    Here are the verses in Acts I found. I came up with I think a total of 19

    Acts 5: 11. And great fear came over the whole church - accusative - feminine - singular


    Acts 8:1 And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem - accusative - feminine - singular

    Acts 8: 3. But Saul {began} ravaging the church - accusative - feminine - singular

    Acts 9: 31. So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace nominative - feminine - singular

    Acts 11:22. The news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem - genitive - feminine - singular

    Acts 11:25. And he left for Tarsus to look for Saul; 26. and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. dative - feminine - singular

    Acts 12:1 Now about that time Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to mistreat them. genitive - feminine - singular


    Acts 12:5. So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God genitive - feminine - singular

    Acts 13:1. Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was {there,} prophets and teachers: - accusative - feminine - singular

    Acts 14:23. When they had appointed elders for them in every church - accusative - feminine - singular

    Acts 14:27. When they had arrived and gathered the church together - accusative - feminine - singular

    Acts 15: 3. Therefore, being sent on their way by the church, - genitive - feminine - singular

    Acts 15:4. When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church - genitive - feminine - singular

    Acts 15:22. Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch - dative - feminine - singular

    Acts 15: 41. And he was traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. - accusative - feminine - plural

    Acts 16:5. So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily. - nominative - feminine - plural

    Acts 18:22 . When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and went down to Antioch. - accusative - feminine - singular

    Acts 20:17. From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church. - genitive - feminine - singular

    Acts 20:28. "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. - accusative - feminine - singular
     
    #17 GordonSlocum, Nov 10, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2006

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