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Clarification of Greek Syntax in Matt. 2:10

Abram K-J

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Wallace calls Matt. 2:10 a cognate accusative:

ἐχάρησαν χαρὰν μεγάλην σφόδρα=they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy (Wallace's translation)


Am I right that this is ambiguous, as the adverb σφόδρα could actually be modifying χαρὰν μεγάλην (for a translation of, "they rejoiced with an exceedingly great joy")?


Further, is the latter translation the right way to read what the syntax module suggests at this point (attached), since it seems to suggest that σφόδρα is an adjunct to μεγάλην, and that μεγάλην σφόδρα is an adjunct to χαρὰν?



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Hi Abram,


Interesting. Check BDAG. It cites Matt 2:10 as an example of use with an adjective, rather than with a verb. And the KJV supports that use too. Now the NASB seems to support Wallace's view. What's odd given his association with the NET bible is what it says : "Matt. 2:10 When they saw the star they shouted joyfully.15" And in particular note 15 is interesting saying this "Matthew 2:10
15 tn Grk “they rejoiced with very great joy.”"


So I don't think its ambiguous at all :)


And as to the syntax diagram, I'm no expert but I read it the way you describe. But Marco would have to comment on whether that was the intent or not.


I had a quick look in Wallace's grammar. I don't think his description of the cognate accusative is directed at σφόδρα but at χαρὰν and his text could have rendered it : "they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy" without damage to the cognate accusative. Or at least so I would think though I have only enough Greek to be dangerous and mostly so to myself. Actually looking back on my mail this is basically what note 15 in NET says.




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I agree with Daniel.


The cognate accusative is there, and it is reflected in that χαρὰν μεγάλην is tagged as a Complement, and not as an Adjunct, as it would if it had been a dative instead of an accusative.


As for σφόδρα, as an Adverb it may modify a Verb, or an Adjective, or another Adverb. The position of the Adverb seems to indicate that it modifies the Adjective μεγάλην, rather than the Verb.


I would just add that the tags usually follow BDAG.

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Great--thanks, Marco (and Daniel)! That is all as I had suspected. Wallace's translation had thrown me off a bit.

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