Luke 14:18, πάντες ἀπὸ μιᾶς

In Jesus’ story in Luke 14:18, a servant is sent to invite the guests for a feast, but none of them want to come. In response, Luke writes, καὶ ήρξαντο πάντες ἀπὸ μιᾶς παραιτεῖτσθαι (“and all unanimously began to make excuses”). The use of the feminine singular genitive μίας is confusing. There is no syntactical reason for it. According to I. Howard Marshall, “ἀπὸ μιᾶς is probably a Greek phrase (sc. γρώμης) meaning ‘unanimously’ . . . rather than a literal translation of [the Aramaic] min hada, ‘all at once, immediately'” (p. 588 from Marshall, The Gospel of Luke, NIGTC, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1978).

At Greek tutorial last night, students were asking about μίας, and I had no clue what to say other than, “Check BDAG and see if πάντα or ἀπό works with μία in any idiomatic ways.” If Marshall is write, that appears to be the case.

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Filed under Greek Grammar, Two Year GNT

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