Nominative and Object from Complement
Understanding the article is essential for biblical exegesis, and our summary here is especially shortened. Be sure to see Wallace's full grammar on the article, especially his discussion of "Colwell's Rule" and "Granville Sharp's Rule," and his discussion of the absense of the article. Some of the following categories overlap.
The article is not a true pronoun in Koine Greek, even though it derived from the demonstrative. But in many instances it can function semantically in the place of a pronoun.
1. Personal Pronoun [he, she, it]
The article is often used in the place of a third person personal pronoun in the nominative case. It is only used in this way with the men...de construction or with de alone (Thus, o men ... o de or simply o de)
2. Relative Pronoun [who, which]
Sometimes the article is equivalent to a relative pronoun in force. This is especially true when it is repeated after a noun before a phrase (e.g., a gen. phrase).
3. Possessive Pronoun [his, her]
The article is sometimes used in contexts in which possession is implied. The article itself does not involve possession, but this notion can be inferred from the presence of the article alone in certain contexts.
[Wallace classifies all of the following categories except the last as subcategories of the "individualizing article."] The individualizing article particularizes, distinguishing otherwise similar objects; the generic (or categorical) article is used to distinguish one category of individuals from another.
4. Simple Identification
The article is frequently used to distinguish one individual from another.
5. Anaphoric (Previous Reference)
The anaphoric article is the article denoting previous reference. The first mention of the substantive is usually anarthrous because it is merely being introduced. But subsequent mentions of it use the article, for the article is now pointing back to the substantive previously mentioned.
6. Deitic ("Pointing" Article)
The article is occasionally used to point out an object or person which/who is present at the moment of speaking. It typically has a demonstrative force.
7. Par Excellence
The article is frequently used to point out a substantive that is, in a sense, "in a class by itself." It is the only one deserving of the name. For example, if in late January someone were to say to you, "Did you see the game?" you might reply, "Which game?" They might then reply, "The game! The only game worth watching! The BIG game! You know, the Super Bowl!" This is the article used in a par excellence way.
8. Monadic ("One of a Kind" or "Unique" Article)
The article is frequently used to identify monadic or one-of-a-kind nouns, such as "the devil," "the sun," "the Christ."
9. Well-Kown ("Celebrity" Article)
The article points out an object that is well known, but for reasons other than the above categories (i.e., not anaphoric, deitic, par excellence, or monadic). This it refers to a well-known object that has not been mentioned in the preceding context (anaphoric), nor is considered to be the best of its class (par excellence), nor is one of a kind (monadic).
10. Abstract (the Article with Abstract Nouns)
Abstract nouns by their very nature focus on a quality. However, when such a noun is articular, that quality is "tightened up," as it were, defined more closely, distinguished from other notions.
11. Generic (Categorical) Article [as a class]
While the individualizing article distinguishes or identifies a particular object belonging to a larger calss, the generic article distinguishes one class from another. This is somewhat less frequent than the individualizing article (though it still occurs hundreds of times in the NT). It categorizes rather than particularizes.
The article can turn almost any part of speech into a noun: adverbs, adjectives, prepositional phrases, particles, infinitives, participles, and even finite verbs. As well, the article can turn a phrase into a nominal entity. This incredible flexibility is part of the genius of the Greek article.
When the article is used as a grammatical function marker, it may or may not also bear a semantic force. But even when it does bear such a force, the grammatical (structural) use is usually prominent.
12. To Denote Adjectival Positions
Especially when the article is used to denote the second attributive position would we say that it has almost not semantic meaning.
13. With Possessive Pronouns
Almost invariably the article is used when a possessive pronoun is attached to the noun.
14. In Genitive Phrases
In genitive phrases both the head noun and the genitive noun normally have or lack the article ("Apollonius' canon").
15. With Indeclinable Nouns
The article is used with indeclinable nouns to show the case of the noun.
16. With Participles
The article before the participles functions both as a substantiver and as a function marker. The presence of the article indicates a substatival (or adjectival) function for the participle. Of course, the participle can also often be substantival or adjectival without the article, though there is the greater possibility of ambiguity in such instances.
17. With Demonstratives
The article is used with the demonstratives in predicate position to indicate attributive function.
18. With Nominative Nouns
Normally a subject will have the article (unless it is a pronoun or proper noun).
19. To Distinguish Subject from Predicate Nominative and Object from Complement
Generally speaking, the subject will be distinguished from the predicate nominative by having the article.
E. Absence of the Article
It is not necessary for a noun to have the article in order for it to be definite. But conversely, a noun cannot be indefinite when it has the article. Thus it may be definite without the article, and it must be definite with the article. When a substantive is anarthrous, it may have one of three forces: indefinite, qualitative, or definite. [Be sure to read Wallace on the significance of the absence of the article and study his many exegetically significant examples. The following is significantly shortened.]
An indefinite noun refers to one member of a class, without specifying which member. For example, in John 4:7 we have "A woman from Samaria." The anarthrous gune is indefinite, telling us nothing about this particular woman.
A qualitative noun places the stress on quality, nature, or essence. It does not merely indicate membership in a class of which there are other members (such as an indefinite noun), nor does it stress individual identity (such as a definite noun). It is akin to a generic noun in that it focuses on the kind. Further, like a generic, it emphasizes class traits. Yet, unlike generic nouns, a qualitative noun often has in view one individual rather than the class as a whole.
A definite noun lays the stress on individual identity. It has in view membership in a class, but this particular member is already marked out by the author. [Wallace lists many examples.]
A. Anarthrous Pre-Verbal Predicate Nominatives (Involving Colwell's Rule)
1. Statement of the Rule: a definite nominative that precedes the verb is usually anarthrous.
2. Clarification of the Rule: the converse is not true; anarthrous preverbal PNs are usually qualitative. theos in John 1:1c is probably qualitative (thus, not identifying the logos with the person of o theos, but stressing that their natures are the same: "What God was, the Word was" [NEB]).
B. The Article with Multiple Substantives Connected by Kai (Granville Sharp Rule and Related Constructions)
1. Statement of the Granville Sharp Rule: both substantives (nouns, particples, adjectives) refer to the same person in the article-substantive-kai-substantive (TSKS) construction when:
Example: Eph 1:3 o qeoV kai pathr
2. Validity of the Rule Within the New Testament: always valid; Titus 2:13 & 2Pet 1:1 impacted. Exceptions outside the NT are capable of linguistic explanation and do not affect the christologically significant texts.
3. TSKS Constructions Involving Impersonal, Plural, and Proper Nouns
a. Proper Names: always distinct individuals (e.g., "the Peter and James")
b. Plural Personal Constructions: three different sematic groups possible: (1) distinct, (2) identical, (3) overlap (three subgroups). This breaks down:
c. Impersonal Constructions: three different semantic groups possible: (1) distinct, (2) identical, (3) overlap (three subgroups). All are represented, though #2 (identical) is rare. Affects Acts 2:23; 20:21; 2Thess 2:1; etc.
The Adverbial Use of the Adjective
Usually reserved for special terms
The Independent or Substantival Use of the Adjective
H. Reflexive Pronouns: enautou (of myself), seautou (of yourself), eautou (of himself), eautwn (of themselves); used to highlight the participation of the subject in the verbal action, as direct object, indirect object, intesifier, etc.
I. Reciprocal Pronouns: allhlwn (of one another) used to indicate an interchange between two or more groups; thus, always plural.
Edition: Feb 10,2009