Additional Notes on the Greek Article

J. N. Darby.


Every noun which is not itself a proper name is in direct contrast with this latter; it is the name of what a thing is, not of an individual.

When, in the nature of things, there is ostensibly only one, as sun, moon, heaven, imagination easily personifies them. But as John, Peter, etc., are names of individuals, or become so, so tree, table, glass, etc., is the name of a thing, not of an individual. Such a word, or appellative noun, answers to the question What? Just so a proper name answers to the question Who? I say, "Who, what individual, is that?" The reply is, "Peter, John," etc. If I say, "What is that?" the answer is, "It is a tree, a table," etc., that is what it is.

Habits of language may vary. A language may have an indefinite article, or use the number one for it; and either of these individualizes. Thus in French, un homme, a man; and even in Greek, εἷς (one) is often so used in the New Testament. But the noun in itself states what a thing is — table, chair, etc.

In this lies the whole doctrine of the article, at least the root of it all. The style of language varies as the mind of the people who speak it. An Englishman says "law"; that is, he uses the abstract idea "law" by itself.

French cannot bear this; it must have a positive object before the mind, it cannot deal in abstractions. Hence it can say sans loi, because sans excludes existence, but not par loi. Where the sentence implies existence it cannot use a mere abstract word. It must be toute loi, toute loi quelconque, or something tantamount.

Each nation may insist that its own habits of thought are the best. That does not affect the question which we have to treat.

Whenever a word is merely descriptive of something else, not an individual, it needs no article. So even in French, par bonté. In Latin all is thus abstract. Every noun, when not defined by a pronoun possessive or the like, answers to the question "What?" not to "Who?" It is not individualized. German and Dutch are more like French. Our business now is with the Greek; but the general principle will help us to understand it.

A noun, as elsewhere, is always a quality or kind of being, or answers to "What?" As, for instance, ἄνθρωπος, βιός, οἰκία, etc. The article makes it individual,  ὁ ἄνθρωπος. A similar principle will be found in Hebrew; and its form, when a word is in regimen, shews the individualizing, indicative, character of the article; Ish ha-Elohim, the man of God, that is, a man, that one, that is of God. So we have ha-Adam, that special race, or being, which God had created, and Himself quickened; so ha-nahar the Euphrates; ha-Baal the lord (Baal). Now, in Greek, when once we have taken a noun substantive for what a thing is called, and the article as indicative of individualization, all becomes easy. Νόμος παρεισῆλθε (Rom. 5:20), in English, "law," the thing so called; ὁ νόμος, the law; that is, of Moses. Ἄνθρωπος ἦλθε, What (not who) came? A being that was a man, not an angel. In English we should say "a man";  δι᾽ ἀνθρώπου, by man. In English, either "by a man," or "by man" would do, but better "by man."

86 What follows is striking: ὁ θάνατος; but ἀνάστασις νεκρῶν, anarthrous. The latter — this thing, what is called by that name; the former might have been equally anarthrous, but ὁ points it out as the well-known king of terrors. It is individualized, a being to the mind. Abstractions are the chief difficulty; for the article individualizes. But a thoroughly abstract word is made a unity of (that is individualized) by contrast with all other things possible compared with it. Hence an individual of any kind, and an abstraction, will both have the article. When I say "man," I individualize the kind or race, I sum up qualities which distinguish him from animals, angels, God, etc., with which the mind would compare him. Thus ὁ ἄνθρωπος may be man, that kind of being summed up as an individual being in thought, or a particular individual man, already known. So  ὁ νόμος may be "law," or "Moses's law," or any known law; less familiar here, because  νόμος is more difficult to individualize abstractedly by a tacit comparison with other things: a few particular laws are what we think of, or law simply in its nature, that is, the name for what it is. Law cannot be so abstract a thought — is more positively instituted. With abstract qualities the case is simple. That particular one is, itself, in contrast with all other qualities, ἡ ἀνομία, ἡ ἁμαρτία. I think it will be found that of such words, of those that are in kind familiar to us in detail, we make what is called an abstraction; that is, we sum up the various things as a whole, and it becomes a unity and in Greek has an article: as ἡ ἁμαρτία, ἡ ἀνομία. The principle applies anywhere, but such a word as  νόμος, for example, is less liable to be summed up thus. Species afford facility for this; if accustomed to be viewed as species, they are individualized in contrast with other species. In English every species is not individualized: the word remains a kind of adjective. I say man. I say "the" horse, meaning the horse tribe, and the ox or sheep, that class. God and man are alone, I think, given a personal name thus in English. It is not a set of beings, but a being; it is really a name.

87 Take, now, to illustrate the principle, John 1. Ὁ λόγος is an individual personal being; Θεός a kind of being; πρὸς τὸν Θεόν a personal being; ἐν ἀρχῃ is absolute (ἐν τῃ ἀρχῃ would be a particular beginning, perhaps of all things; but one designated one); ζωὴ ἦν, it is, what was there (ἡ ζωή would have individualized it, and there would have been none anywhere else — that life would have been in Him alone as a whole); then ἡ ζωή, because it is the life mentioned, that is, it is individualized. It is not what, but which life. So τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀληθινόν,* it was the light of men. Here it is clearly individualized, a particular light, and, indeed, the only one owned as of men. In the case of τῃ σκοτίᾳ, it is important. You could not say φῶς φαίνει ἐν σκοτίᾳ because there would be no darkness if the nature (the what) of the thing were in question, but  τῃ σκοτίᾳ is a particular darkness — abstract, no doubt, but what was opposite to the light of men, which was life in Christ the Word. What that found itself in was darkness opposed to it, and which could not comprehend it, the darkness of this world. It is stated mysteriously, but it is that darkness in which the light of men, Christ, shines. That darkness did not comprehend it — no doubt because it was darkness, but the opposite of that light. Whatever is contrasted has an article, for it is thereby a positive object individualized; consequently, as one whole before the mind; hence as above species.

{*See earlier Morrish edition.}

Ἐγένετο ἄνθρωπος sent παρὰ Θεοῦ. What was sent? A man, not an angel; here it is evident. So  παρὰ Θεοῦ is what the being was, he was sent from;  παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ is Greek, but it individualizes God,  παρὰ Θεοῦ characterizes Him. The messenger was a man, but a man sent from God; ὄνομα αὐτῳ  is not "his name was," but "there was a name to him," John. We have, lower down,  τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ: then it is a particular name amongst others. Here what had he? a name, which was John. You could not say, I apprehend, as stating a fact,  ὄνομα αὐτοῦ, because the genitive gives a particular name — his name. It is known that in ordinary cases the possessive pronoun requires the article before the noun. Εἰς μαρτυρίαν, that is what he came for — his mission: what particular testimony it was, he goes on to say. Ὁ κόσμος is the one individual world, clearly.

88 Τὰ ἴδια, οἱ ἴδιοι, I note as being plural, where the plurality itself clearly individualizes, gives positive objects as units to the mind — only it also embraces all of them — τά, οἱ, all the units which bear the name or designation of ἴδια, ἴδιοι.  Ἐξ αἱμάτων, etc., is clearly of what: ἐκ τῶν αἱμάτων would have specified the particular kinds, that is, individualized each kind of blood — probably it is meant to exclude all, if not a mere Hebraism. Ἐκ θελήματος ἀνδρός is noticeable because a genitive very commonly brings an article with it, as giving the particular kind of the governing noun, and so objectively individualizes it (τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων), but here the whole is merely what the thing is, ἐκ marking nature or quality. Their birth was not of that kind, this was not what it was. It is not merely an actual will supposed to exist in the individual man.

Ὁ λόγος σάρξ is a common form of proposition, that individual person or being did now become that.

Τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, there was the particular actual glory which they saw; δόξαν ὡς then, what it was, its quality. This may suffice.

Θεόν stands as a name. Yet involving they saw. Yet even here, where it is used personally and objectively, the article is used; πρὸς τὸν Θεόν, it was somebody He was with; παρὰ Θεοῦ, the quality of His mission. So here ἑώρακε Θεόν, Him, who is truly such; τὸν Θεόν would have been personally, and not have given the force; it would have been the fact. Here it is more in the nature of things.

In John 8 it is ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ, for it was from God Himself [that] He came out. In verse 44, Ye are ἐκ πατρὸς τοῦ διαβόλου; the devil is personal, individual; but they were not out of him personally but characteristically. They had him morally as their father. From the devil as father, the source of what they were.

Τὸ ψεῦδος objectively contrasted with ἡ ἀλήθεια and so individualized; ψεύστης is what he is.

Ἐκ τῶν ἰδίων — of distinct things which are his own.

So περὶ ἁμαρτίας is neither one particular sin, nor as an ideal or abstract whole, but what they could or could not convict Him of.

89 So ἀλήθειαν, speak truth, what characterizes the speaking. Hence, as heretofore observed, in such cases of accusatives after verbs, and of the verb substantive, an anarthrous word is usual.

In John 5:37 we have an instance which might seem strange, φωνὴν αὐτοῦ. It is not properly his voice as one known voice which speaks, but a voice, any voice of his; so εἶδος αὐτοῦ, anything that was his form. It is not one known voice or form, but anything that (what) was that. But τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ (ver. 38) because that is one recognized word. In verse 41, παρὰ ἀνθρώπων, that character of praise,  παρὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων living individuals in fact. So verse 44, δόξαν παρ᾽ ἀλλήλων, but τὴν δόξαν τὴν παρὰ τοῦ μόνου Θεοῦ.

John perhaps tests the principle best, from the peculiarly abstract way in which many things are stated by him. In more narrative books it is simpler.

I quote now some more peculiar forms. Acts 14:3, ἱκανὸν μὲν οὖν χρόνον. Here, clearly, it was not the object to designate one particular, pretty long, time, individualizing it from others — but what the time was; it was a ἱκανὸς χρόνος.

With ἦν and ἐγένετο, as stated, it is the question of what took place; there was a ὁρμή there [ver. 4 and some (ἦσαν) were with the Jews and some with the apostles], verse 5, ὡς δὲ ἐγένετο ὁρμὴ τῶν ἐθνῶν τε καὶ  Ἰουδαίων σὺν τοῖς, etc. The individuals τῶν of both classes.

It is a mistake to think there is never an anarthrous noun followed by an article. When the first noun depends on another word to which it answers, as "What," and the following one is of individuals who refer to that, you will have the first anarthrous, the second not. When the first is an individual whole, dependent on the following genitive, it must have the article, τὸ πλῆθος τῆς πόλεως.

It was the multitude, the one whole multitude of that city, not of another (ver. 4); but ὁρμὴ τῶν ἐθνῶν, etc., because there it is merely what took place, and does not belong wholly and exclusively as an embodied individual to those people.

Verse 8, καί τις ἀνὴρ ἐν Λύστροις ἀδύνατος τοῖς ποσὶν. The man was ἀδύνατος τοῖς ποσίν: his two individual feet, though there is no αὐτοῦ (his); χωλὸς ἐκ κοιλίας μητρὸς (αὐτοῦ), his mother's womb is merely a date to characterize his lameness. The womb is not before us objectively as an existing thing.

Verse 10, εἶπε μεγάλῃ τῃ φωνῃ is somewhat peculiar but accounted for in the same way; μεγάλῃ φωνῃ would do, but simply characterize the manner of εἶπε: τῃ φωνῃ is his voice, raised to a loud pitch, — I have not the character of speaking but Paul's voice; μεγάλῃ φωνῃ is practically one word. Hence the article in the plural, unless there be a limiting word, means all of that kind.

90 Verse 13, ταύρους bulls: τοὺς ταύρους would be individuals designated; and the what is ταύρους that is, all that comes under that name.

All this is not a different principle from the previous paper on it, but goes to the root; the other more to the form. The former is grammatical, this metaphysical.

The noun is always characteristic, or the what of something, even when there is an article. The article indicates an individual, or single object (many if plural) which is that "what." The form of subject and predicate is merely an effect of this. The person "ὁ" or object I call man, the what of the object is an animal. Other words may take the place of the article in individualizing, as τις, πᾶς, πολλοί. Οἱ πολλοί is something else; οἱ gives a number of designated individuals in contrast with one, a number of individuals lost in the designation πολλοί in contrast with some one or few otherwise connected though contrasted with them — οἱ ἡγεμόνες, οἱ πολλοί; πολλοί is, becomes, a qualification, not a mere uncertain number. Hence, as a general rule, an unmentioned individual kind has no article; ἄγγελος, ἄνθρωπος, πρὸς παρθένον. It is what the being is; singular, but known by its character.

When mentioned, the article comes too as a rule, because an individual (now known) is designated.

There is an oracular absence of the article which, though apparently exceptional, only confirms the rule: πνεῦμα ἅγιον: καὶ δύναμις ὑψίστου. It specially characterizes what it was and is, not merely historical of what took place, in which case the article would have been used. The translation (Acts 1:8) is right: "Ye shall receive power, the Holy Ghost coming upon you"; not as in the n duvnamin -->τὴν δύναμιν.


All my experience has confirmed the principle stated elsewhere, that the article is used when the object of the mind is spoken of, and is left out when the word or combination of words is characteristic. This does not at all conflict with its being the notion expressed by the substantive as viewed by the speaker as an individual,* which, as another form of the thought, is correct enough, but gives no expression to the import of the absence of the article. All the particular cases and rules are but reducing expressions under the general principle, often multiplied (as in Middleton) by ignorance of it. I doubt altogether that his notion of the general rule not applying where there is a preposition, or with proper names, etc., has the least truth in it.

{*"The article … was used merely to represent the notion expressed by the substantive, as viewed by the speaker as an individual, one of a class, and distinct from all the other members of that class." Jelf's Gr. Gr., § 446}

Thus, as to abstract nouns* here, the rule only perplexes. I confess I do not understand particularizing an abstract idea: perhaps individualizing or personifying is meant. Ὁ νόμος may be abstract or not. If I have spoken of a particular νόμος, ὁ νόμος realizes that νόμος as an individual; or, as I should say, presents it as a definite object to the mind. If I have no such law mentioned, ὁ νόμος would be "the thing law," law viewed as an object before my mind as such. Abstract nouns are a kind of personification. "Law" does this, "law" does that. If I say διὰ νόμου it is something that happens on that principle; it is only characteristic.

{*"Abstract nouns, when considered as such, do not take the article, as an abstract noun is not capable of individuality; but the article is used sometimes either to define or particularize the abstract." Jelf's Gr. Gr., § 448.}

Anarthrous nominatives* (such as καλὸς γὰρ θησαυρὸς παρ᾽ ἀνδρὶ σπουδαίῳ χάρις ὀφειλομένη, Isocr. p. 8 B: λόγος ἀληθὴς … καὶ δίκαιος ψυχῆς ἀγαθῆς καὶ πιστῆς εἴδωλόν ἐστιν, Id. p. 28 A) express moral characteristics, beings or things that have a certain quality. It is what each is, anything that has this character. It is not an abstraction but a universal, that is, a species which is known by a predicate of each individual that has such a character. There may be many a χάρις, and all sorts of λόγοι not such as these. So πάντων χρημάτων μέτρον ἄνθρωπος (Plat. Theaet. 8) is the character of the measure used. Ὁ ἄνθρωποςwould point out an object, the race viewed as one whole, where some specified individual was not meant (that is, if you please, one individual, real or ideal); it is always a subsisting thing to the mind, about which something is affirmed. Hence, as an abstract noun is an objective personification of the idea, it has the article. But a universal, or species, as in these anarthrous instances, is the character of all the individuals composing it. If a characteristic universal be not seized, it is impossible to understand the omission of the article in Greek.

{*"The subject generally has the article, while the predicate generally is without it … When the subject however is spoken of generally, and indefinitely, it has not the article: Plat. Theaet. 8, πάντων χρημάτων μέτρον ἄνθρωπος  … The subject can also stand without the article as a general notion, while the predicate, as expressing something definite, has it; here the article is demonstrative: Philem. ap. Stob. Floril. Grot. p. 211, εἰρήνη ἐστὶ τἀγαθόν." Jelf's Gr. Gr., § 460. ["Anarthrous," in grammar, means without the article.]}

92 An abstract noun as such has always the article, because it is always the personification of the idea, its reduction to an objective individual. But in so intellectual (or if you please imaginative) a language as Greek, it requires keen perception to see why or why not an article is used. Just so in English: "The daylight came." I am thinking of daylight as a positive substantive thing. "It was already daylight." Here daylight characterizes the state of atmosphere, of surrounding nature, spoken of as day. "It" is the mind's object, "daylight" the state or character of it. I could perfectly well say "Daylight came," and I should think of the state of the scene around me, though the thing characterized is not expressed. We have a strong case in  νόμος παρεισῆλθεν.  Ὁ νόμος would have been the Jewish law: here it would not do either, to say ὁ νόμος for the abstract idea. It was merely the legal principle which characterized the dealings of God, the state of things; but, as "daylight," it means the state in which the world is. This explains εἰρήνη ἐστὶ τἀγαθόν. It is peace, a state of peace. You might have said ἡ εἰρήνη, and then it would have been the thing itself. But τἀγαθόν is not a predicate characterizing εἰρήνη — does not affirm that peace is good, but that peace is the good thing, the one good thing. It is the abstract idea individualized. It would have been ἀγαθή if it had been a predicate.

In Matthew 1:1, (Βίβλος γενέσεως  Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ,) it is the common case of a title, and exceptional; as in English one might say, "Book of Wisdom"; yet were I making a sentence, I should say, "The Book of Wisdom is so and so." It is elliptical. The name of what follows (not anything as to each) is  τὸν  Ἰσαάκ. The article is usually put with known persons, because they are definite objects before the mind. Were one never heard of before, it would be anarthrous; but with the article it would be "that Isaac which you know so well of in Genesis, the well-known Isaac."

93 The same remark applies to Matthew 7:25, 27. It is the well-known rain and floods; the rain came on. I should say in English, "The rain was very heavy on a particular day — the rain spoiled flowers." It is a well-known particular object in nature before the eyes. But it would be better to say, "The rain spoils the flowers," because both become objective. The rain did it. I could say, "Rain spoils flowers." This is aphoristic; which is always anarthrous, because essentially characteristic. If I say, "The rain spoiled," it is again objective — the rain on a given day in my mind. If I say, "It was not heat, it was rain spoiled them," rain becomes characteristic, in contrast with heat, of a state of the weather. It is something of a proper name, but a proper name has not an article when the person is not known or has not been mentioned.

I do not believe that there is any difference as to Κύριος or Θεός, save that they may be proper names. Compare, for Κύριος, Matthew 1:20, 22, 24;  2:15, 19;  3:3;  4:7, 10;  21:9;  23:39;  Mark 11:9;  13:20;  Luke 1:16-17, 32, 38, 45, 58, 66, 68, 76;  2:9, 23, 24, 26, 39;  3:4;  4:8;  5:17;  19:38;  John 1:23;  Acts 2:20, 39;  3:22;  5:9, 19;  7:31, 37; 8:26, 39;  12:7, 23;  13:10-11. Ὁ Κύριος is often not a name but an office, as ὁ χριστός, unless they may have been mentioned before so as to make them a present object here. In Matthew 1:20, Κυρίου is the character of the angel, ἄγγελος is the simple way of saying one when there are many;  ὁ ἄγγελος would not do if there were many, unless followed by a characteristic word, the angel of the Lord; then I think of one to the exclusion, at least then, of all others.

As to Matthew 13:6 (ἡλίου ἀνατείλαντος) I do not accept the ἡλίου being a proper name. It is at sunrise — a characteristic state. I might say "the rising of the sun," as in Mark 16:2; then I have an object. So with γῆ, θάλασσα, κόσμος, οὐρανός, ἡμέρα, ἀνήρ, γυνή, πατήρ, etc.

Again, τὸ ὄρος in Matthew 5:1; 14:23;  Mark 3:13 (cf. Luke 6:12, 17), does not mean some particular mountain well known by this name (as Wetstein and Rosenmuller think); nor "a mountain" (as in the Authorized Version, Campbell, Newcome, Schleusner); but "the mountain" in the sense of the hill-country or highlands, in contrast with "the plain." The same principle accounts for τὴν πέτραν in Matt. 7:24-25; only that this is made more obvious by the expressed contrast in verse 26, of τὴν ἄμμον. Just so with τὴν οἰκίαν, Matthew 9:10; 10:12-13, in contrast with "without" or "the open air," and τῳ ἀγρῳ contrasted with "the city" or "town"; similarly  εἰς τὸ πλοῖον "on board ship" (Matt. 13:2, etc.) in contrast with being "ashore," unless in cases where reference required the article, as perhaps in chapter 4:21; 9:1. In Mark 1:45,  εἰς πόλιν is purposely characteristic (and not a licence because of the preposition, as is commonly said) "into town," any town: so  εἰς ἀγρόν, in chapter 16:12, and  εἰς οἶκον in chapter 2:1, meaning "at home." The article might or might not be used in many cases; but the phrase or thought is never precisely the same.

94 With a proper name as such, one can hardly have an article, save as a reference, and this not immediate, I apprehend. If I say ὁ Ξενοφῶν, it is the well-known man, or the Xenophon I have been speaking about — always as a designated object of thought: why so, it may be a question which only appears afterwards, and hence is anticipative. When the person is named historically, the article disappears; when spoken of as a direct object before the writer's mind, and meant to be so pointed out to the reader, the article is used (as in ordinary appellatives). When not thus referred to or presented, one cannot point out a name as a subject-matter of thought: it is a predicate then and anarthrous as usual.

So  πᾶσα  Ἱεροσόλυμα is not an exceptional case. Ἱερ. is a name, and as such without an article; and the name is necessarily an individual. You cannot gather a name of a city into one as a country or province, like πᾶσα ἡ  Ἰουδαία. By the article a country is brought before the mind as one whole. But if one thinks of a name simply, the article is excluded, a name being not a thing but something said about a thing. The sense in this case is πᾶσα [ἡ πόλις, which city is called] Ἱεροσόλυμα. A river has the article; because from its nature, like a district, it needs this sign of unity as a whole.

Romans 4:13 is a simple case of the general rule, to which I admit no exception for prepositions; διὰ νόμου was the character or way of his getting the promise. So διὰ δικαιοσύνης πίστεως "by righteousness of faith." It was not by law. The case is a very simple one. So in Romans 1:17, ἐκ πίστεως characterizes the revelation, εἰς πίστιν the manner of its reception. God's righteousness is revealed (not merely διὰ but) ἐκ πίστεως, excluding claims of birth, ordinances, works, etc., by faith as the sole ground, εἰς πίστιν, and therefore open to faith wherever found.

95 The abstract noun is more abstract, if that could be said, with an article than without. It is in the essence of its nature, all things foreign to it apart; ἡ ἁμαρτία is "that thing called sin," as such in itself. A being is only what it is, or it is not that being, but another. Hence when it is said ἡ ἁμαρτία ἐστὶν ἡ ἀνομία, they are identical: one of the things before my mind is itself and no more; but the other is the same with it, as itself and no more. This is the effect of an article with an abstract noun.

There are nouns, it may be remarked here, which are generalizations more than abstractions. Thus νόμος: in general, it is a certain particular rule, and becomes a general idea of acting on the principle of a rule. In such cases it is hard to use the article without returning to the particular form which one has generalized. Law gives the idea of an actual concrete thing. Hence I have a mental difficulty to decide in Romans 4:15, whether it is abstract. It would be more naturally abstract law, "the thing law"; but with this word, which is first known as an actual existing objective code, it is difficult, when thus taken by itself, not to return to the particular. When ἡ ἁμαρτία is used, I should have no difficulty.


Objective is before the mind as an object, objective truths for instance. Subjective is the quality of mind by which opinions are formed. Thus I judge respecting God when I judge what He ought to be by what is in my own mind: objectively He is presented in revelation. Now what is objective has the article. It points out the object. (Logically it becomes the subject in a proposition, but this is another matter wholly.) The use of the article and all speech must depend on the view the mind takes of a thing; only where the speech is formed we have to judge what view has been taken.

96 Now the theory propounded is that the object of the mind has the article, the attributives or qualities have not, and that mentally. And here Middleton's theory (which indeed is merely the subject and predicate as to the metaphysical side of it) comes in. Ὁ is the object before the mind, that is, refers to it, explained by the word following in its nature or distinctive character. This forms the subject of a proposition; the predicate without the article (unless reciprocal) is affirmed about it. It is very simple, and has nothing to do with the view one's mind takes of the passage. It is a rule positive, that objects have, attributes or characteristics of objects have not, the article. When I find one, there is an object referred to; when none, it is qualification.

As after εἶχε, I have noticed in my paper (as Middleton also recognizes) verbs "to have" as taking an anarthrous noun. Ἡ γυνή would be some particular woman, or woman kind: that thing, the individual before our eyes or mind; or that thing, woman.

In Greek plays the choruses are noted for leaving out the article, and (unless emphatic) the tragedians before names.

That predicates have the article as apposition seems to me want of critical discernment. The βοῦν is some well-known ox, and then τόν is necessary.*

{*[Compare Donaldson's Gr. Gr. 394 (β) (c), p. 349, ed. 2. Ed.]}

Reasoning from English to Greek, save as arriving at abstract principles, is beside the mark. All verbs of existence (as Middleton recognizes) are (save on some exceptional account) without the article; because I must have, if I say "was," something existing before my mind. To the question "what" (qualification) is answered ἄνθρωπος. Now here ἐγένετο or ἐστί takes the same place as ὁ. I point out objectively, that is, affirm existence. I say what? Ἄνθρωπος. So εἶχε — what? ὄρνιν. Τὴν ὄρνιν is Greek equally, but it is a particular bird, already the object of the mind, that bird; not "what," but individual.

The first line of the Iliad, as Middleton remarks from Apollonius D., is not pure Greek. Μῆνιν ἄειδε, etc. In pure Attic it would be τὴν μῆνιν; but such things do not set aside the rule.

Again, with  τὸν  Ἀλέξανδρον καὶ Φίλιππον, which I cannot now trace,* I should expect to find a mental reference in the writer to the king of Macedonia, or some such object, both names being distinctive or characteristic examples. I do not believe mentally τόν applies to either but may be mere freedom of style — using the article to the first and not for the second as in the same category; so in Acts 15:22. It is only where two agents come under one mental thought that this is the case. And I think in reference to it, Paul and Barnabas, or Alexander and Philip, become a single object to the mind. The idiom unites in the one article either two qualities of the same person or two persons under the same quality.

{*[It occurs in the speech of Aeschines against Ctesiphon, §85. 33 (Orat. Gr. Reiske, 3:615). The use of the article strikingly confirms the positions in the text. For in the section before we have τὸν Φίλιππον, καὶ τὸν  Ἀλέξανδρον where the aim was to set in relief the detailed, distinct, and accumulated calumnies laid to the charge of Demosthenes. Afterwards, where the Macedonian king and his son are only alluded to historically, without any such rhetorical object, no article is employed: ἔπι Φιλίππου ζῶντος πρὶν  Ἀλέξανδρον εἰς τὴν ἀρχὴν καταστῆναι. Lastly, when he wishes to mark Philip and Alexander as a joint object of abuse on the part of Demosthenes, he employs but one article. It is not correct therefore to treat this case as exceptional, though it is so regarded by Middleton (Doctrine of the Greek Art., Rose's ed., 1855, pp. 61, 63, 86). The article thus employed with the first of two proper names indicates the common position (at least pro hac vice) of those named thus together. It is no question of general license, or of neglect, but of strictly regular use, as also with abstract or concrete terms, clauses, etc. — Ed.]}

In the case of a proposition it is evident that the predicate is characteristic of the subject, its genus or category. Man is an animal. Where it is simply "there was," ἦν or ἐγένετο, what is this proposition? The noun answers to "what," just as the predicate does. When I say "was," "something was," what was? A man. In the ordinary proposition I have ὁ ἄνθρωπος as a subject before me; when I say ἐστίν, I wait to know what. If I say ἦν or ἐγένετο, I say What ἦν or ἐγένετο? I answer ἄνθρωπος: it characterizes; it is the nature or category of the thing which exists, or an affirmation about it. Existence is the thing affirmed, or a something existing. "What" comes in the noun, and is anarthrous. If not, then ἄνθρωπος would be the subject, or the proposition reciprocal. If I say ἐστὶν ὁ ἄνθρωπος, it is either man is something else, or it is reciprocal with a previous description and way expressed by οὖτος, σύ, etc. There is an exception where the absolute existing One comes in. I can say ὁ Θεὸς ἦν, ἦν ὁ λόγος. But this distinctly shews that existence is formally included in the affirmation of the verb. This only confirms the principle. I could not say ἔστιν ὁ ἄνθρωπος. I could say ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἦν, because there it is historical, not absolute; that category of being was, καὶ οὐκ ἔστι. So I could say on the sixth day ἐγένετο ὁ ἄνθρωπος, because it is historical: here ὁ ἄνθρωπος is the subject, and existence is affirmed of him. So one might say ἐγένετο ἄνθρωπος: only here ἄνθρωπος becomes predicate, and hence individual, because "was" is one thing that was, and that one thing was man — a man. And this gives such a clear force to ἐν ἀρχῃ ἦν ὁ λόγος: ἐν ἀρχῆ deprives it of created existence, giving ἦν absolute existence, and ὁ λόγος is necessarily an individual. No man takes it for a category of beings.

98 A noun is a mere name, the designation of "what" or character (not proper names of course). Thus house, man, cat, dog, in any language, names "what" a thing is, not an individual: ὁ points out and individualizes. In certain styles (which raise a question), as fables, proverbs, these may in a measure merge, because particular care is there taken to paint a character. Latin is metaphysically special in this and uses all nouns so, as venit homo. Number, unless by special designation, gives individuality, but the genius of the language is to abstract into kind. Greek is more material for individualism as to what is external; that is, ὁ is so. French is still more, which makes it the most exact and the most narrow language in the world, incapable of stating abstractions. It individualizes and materializes everything.   Ἄνθρωπος, ἀνήρ, γυνή, is "what." Man, or a man, is a question of the style of the language. We think it must be a man, that is, we make it precise by a number. Ein Mensch, ein Mann, un homme, un uomo, un hombre, etc.; but in such a sentence it is really what kind of being came, though I may add only one (ein, a, un). In German, unity is secured by emphasis on ein; in French, when it is distinctive, you must add seul, pas un homme being characteristic. You must say pas un seul homme; but un is not less "one" for all that. Ὁ though singular, is not this (though εἶς is so used at any rate in New Testament); it is indicative of personal individuality, and, if an abstraction or a contrasted part, as ἡ ἀγαπή or τὸ σῶμα, is still this; it points out an individual in contrast with others. If there were only one man, I could not say ὁ unless in contrast with what was not man, as ὁ Θεός. Hence  ὁ λόγος Θεὸς ἦν is no diminution of the force of Θεός, but only shews that it is not the whole individual Being in contrast with all others; ὁ Θεός is. Ὁ ἄνθρωπος, a particular known man, or ὁ ἄνθρωπος mankind, are both in contrast with others, that is, individualized or pointed out. So ἡ ἀγαπή does this, ἡ ἀγαπή does that. It is that quality or kind of thing that does it in contrast with others, as πίστις, ἐλπίς. But when these things are names by themselves, existence being in μένει, it is πίστις, ἐλπίς, ἀγαπή, but the greatest of these is ἡ ἀγαπή, here individually contrasted. I know not whether I have brought this out so clearly in my paper, though the principle is there; but so it is.

99 Shades of style may vary. I may say, the renard, a certain renard, or Maitre Renard; but this a question of poetry or descriptive fable.

Βασιλεύς is constantly cited as the instance of an appellative passing into a name. It is not so. Thus, if I remember (why, I cannot say), it is used in the beginning of Homer without one — ὁ γὰρ βασιλῆι> χολωθείς (I cite from memory), meaning Agamemnon. There were many such titles in the East (Tartan for general, and others) which may have led to the use of it in Greek similarly, βασιλεύς being the word translated. — Πᾶν αἶμα is no difficulty. It is every case of blood shed, not all the blood as a whole. So πᾶσα σάρξ. The article gives always the entire of what is said, as it points out one object as one: hence πᾶσα ἡ σάρξ would have been quite false. Ἐν παντὶ χρόνῳ also distributes the time: it was not a continuous whole Peter would speak of, but "at every time."

Again, οἰκοδομή presents no difficulty. It does not mean "a building" but "building." I doubt that it is ever used for "a building"; if so, by accommodation, as in English. Thus πᾶσα οἰκοδομή would be every thing added by an act of building. This being adapted it grows to an entire whole. Indeed it is difficult to say πᾶσα ἡ οἰκοδομὴ αὔξει, and perhaps to this answers  καὶ ὑμεῖς συνοικοδομεῖσθε. I mean the idea — without deciding on the reading.

The other two seeming anomalies are proper names. Now with a proper name as such I doubt you can have an article save as a reference, and then it is not immediate, I apprehend. I say  πᾶσα ἡ  Ἰουδαία, because I think of a country and bring it thus into one whole. But if I think of a name, I cannot use the article: a name is not a thing, but something said about a thing. If I say ὁ Ξενοφῶν, it is the man well known, or that I have been speaking about, Xenophon. I cannot point out a name as a subject of thought, as it is a predicate of a thing. Hence  πᾶσα  Ἱεροσόλυμα not an exceptional case; it is a name, as always, without an article. And the name is necessarily an individual. And I cannot gather the name of a city into one as a country: the sense is πᾶσα ἡ πόλις — which city is called Ἱερ.

100 I apprehend that  πᾶς οἶκος  Ἰσραήλ is similarly circumstanced. Πᾶς ὁ οἶκος would give one the idea of a material house. It is possible the figure might be so carried on; but the dropping of the article shews to me that the figure was dropped, and οἶκος  Ἰσραήλ is as one word. In English we say, "All the house of": the force of the material thing is carried into the figure. But with a name, though we say "all," we have no article; it is "all Israel." We could not say "all the Israel"; we could say "the Israel of God," because we think of all the persons composing it, and assemble them by the "the" into one. Πᾶς ὁ οἶκος would arrest my mind at "house," and Israel be only its name — the name of the house. This is avoided, and  οἶκος  Ἰσραήλ is viewed as a unity carried by the name itself. One of the main points of the article is the gathering a composite thing into unity, making one whole of it to the mind, a name being the name of an individual and allowing by its nature no composite idea. It is one person. This can have no place here. Middleton was right therefore in connecting οἶκος with Ἰσραήλ. I judge that  πᾶς οἶκος  Ἰσραήλ has a peculiar and exceptional reason, from οἶκος being used in opposition. In πᾶς ὁ οἶκος τοῦ  Ἰσραήλ  Israel would not have been itself the house, but it would have been a house belonging to Israel distinct from Israel. Οἶκος would have been distinctly designated as an object, and so separated from Israel; it is πᾶς Israel, but I mean the house, not the person.

We may add that Middleton takes indefiniteness for granted from the absence of the article, though shewing its presence is not always a proof of definiteness. I have no objection to take  ὁ as by itself (it is substantially the same principle, but from not seeing the mental or metaphysical noun M. broke down in prepositions and the like) and the noun, etc., as itself something stated about ὁ. Only the ὁ indicates something clear to the speaker, not yet to the hearer, ὁ being the person or thing I have in my mind, which is γεραιός, and then the hearer knows. When I say ὁ, I say something exists which I am thinking about: what I explain is what follows. Hence ἐστίν etc. meets the case without ὁ, in words of having. If I have, I must have something, and so on. Accounting for omissions is another thing from accounting for the use. Middleton's work did not require it, and he has not done it, save as illustrating the use and his theory; my principle does, and claims to account for every case, save only common and proverbial expressions which affect brevity, as "he is gone down town," they say in America: it is a useful abbreviation, but no question of grammar. "Gone into harbour" may mean a particular one, but it is a state; and so in Greek, εἰς λιμένα, κατὰ πόλιν, of Piraeus and Athens, quoted by Middleton. But these are special cases; not rule, but habit from locality, and found in all languages. I do not find Middleton treat such a case as γυνὴ εἶχε. But I find no omissions which are not explained by the answer to "What?" That is, an attributive or a personal name. With a genitive it is part of the word. In ψυχῆς ὄργανον τὸ σῶμα, ψυχῆς ὄργανον is one idea. You might say τὸ σῶμά ἐστι τὸ ὄργανον τῆς ψυχῆς, but there it would be reciprocal and exclusive, not merely attributive or a qualification. I take up ἄγγελος φαίνεται, ἄνθρωπος ἀπήντησε. Supposing for a moment that it was merely the Greeks not having an indefinite article, accounting for the article's use is not touched, nor the explanation of a multitude of omissions, when it might be by a given principle. But I am not content with this. In good Greek we should have generally τίς, as in Luke. Ἄγγελος Κυρίου I believe may be partly taken as Hebrew language in Matthew 1, 2; but we have in Mark ἄνθρωπος; in Luke ἄνθρωπός τις. I doubt its being strictly good Greek to leave it out, save in proverbs and apologues which affect what is characteristic and abound in such expressions in all languages. Greek has τίς which has the sense of an indefinite article, and uses it; as we see in Luke 7:37 (Mark 5:25, γυνή τις), Mark 5:2, 21, Luke 7:12, etc., Luke 6:17, Acts 6:7, John 12:9, Acts 23 : 9, Mark 7:25, Matthew 9:20. These passages my memory has furnished from scripture, and such have to be accounted for.

101 My conviction is that τίς answers to the indefinite article as to the absence of any word. The difference is this: τίς notes an individual object like ὁ, only generalized like "a," "an." The word by itself answers, as I said, to "what?"  ὁ, τίς, or ὅστις gives one whole individual object. When there is nothing, it is a scene before me, the anarthrous word saying "what" it is. Thus several are with ἰδού, what? γυνή, ὄχλος. The last generally has ὁ as contrasted with individuals, or the particular crowd that followed Jesus. But the article would be given with any known body of people, ὁ δῆμος. We have ὄχλος πολύς, πλῆθος. We have also ἄνθρωπος as in Matthew 4:4, 13:28, 31. A concordance will furnish many others.

102 The result of the use of these words to my mind confirms the principle: ὁ is a whole, a particular individual, τίς an individual separated in thought from others. The absence of the article simply in the nominative is always characteristic, not individual. In Luke it is generally τίς, and better Greek. Ὄχλος τις could hardly be, because it is a confusion of individuals, a crowd, and can scarcely be individualized; ὁ suits, for it is a known pointed out crowd. When I say ἄνθρωπος τις, I separate that man from others; so ἄγγελός τις, I think of other angels, etc. When I say, ἄνθρωπος, ἄγγελος, γυνή, I think of the kind of being.

Hence in proverbs, parables, fables, which describe, it is more usual to omit the article, unless they read as if a real history. Chat échaudé is the kind of thing, un chat échaudé is an individual cat. English has not this unless very rarely in proverbs. If I say ἄγγελος, it is not ἄνθρωπος or other means employed. If I say  ἄγγελός τις it is distinct from other angels. I do not know that I have discussed this form of its application, but it is the same principle. The absence of the article gives kind or attributives, not an objective individual, though it may be such. Grammarians must not make a rule for what is merely the shortening tendency of habits of speech. All aphorisms or substantive statements as such are anarthrous. Perhaps brevity occasioned it; but in fact they are in their very nature essentially characteristic and only so — it is their object. Chat échaudé craint l'eau froide. Chat échaudé characterizes the thing which fears even cold water; l'eau froide is not grammatical, it would be de l'eau froide.

So πάντων χρημάτων μέτρον ἄνθρωπος is all essentially characteristic; were it τῶν χρημάτων, it would be a certain set of things. So here of ἄνθρωπος: the being that has this character or title is measure of all things. Here a measure would do in English, or the, because it is merely characteristic, no object: in fact, it is the predicate. Man is not here looked at as a person; it means humanity, or what man is.

Take again Isocr. page 8, B, καλὸς θησαυρὸς παρ᾽ ἀνδρὶ σπουδαίῳ χάρις ὀφειλομένη: Id. page 28, A, λόγος ἀληθὴς καὶ νόμιμος καὶ δίκαιος ψυχῆς ἀγαθῆς καὶ πιστῆς εἴδωλόν ἐστι.* In all these cases the phrases express moral characteristics, and are not viewed as objects of the mind. It has the force of anything that has this character — a χάρις ὀφ. — λόγος ἀληθής, any one which is such. This is not an abstraction but a universal; that is, a species which is known by a character, a predicate of each individual which has such a character. There may be all sorts of λόγοι, but not such as this. Ὁ points out an object, an individual if you please, a real subsisting thing to the mind about which I affirm something. An abstract noun (not a universal) is an objective personification of the idea, and hence as such would have the article; but a universal, or species, is the character of all the individuals composing it. Its being in the place of the predicate changes nothing. When I say ἄνθρωπος, it is evidently such; it is the character of all the beings of the species. It is this character which makes it a μέτρον; the individual man is — that would not be characteristic. And when I put the article, it ceases to be characteristic and becomes an object; ὁ ἄνθρωπός ἐστι ζῶον λογικόν. I personify the whole race in order to predicate something about it. This would not do for an aphoristic sentence. See the multitude of sentences in James of this character.

{*[Compare Jelf's Gr. Gr., § 460. — Ed.]}

103 Matthew 14:25 furnishes also a usage from abbreviation as in English. "I had fourth watch": regular English would give "the fourth watch" contrasted with the third. But this is needless; it is the short characteristic of a known object. Quakers say, "fourth day," "third month," not "the." It is the same principle but more obscurely. So as to Matthew 22:38. The Jews measured the commandments to make out righteousness; as ποία ἐντολὴ μεγάλη says the young man (which has this well-known character). The Lord answers, not by formally comparing this with other commandments, but by so characterizing it. I do not think He means a first and great, though the grammar would bear it, but an absolute characteristic. This is first and great; but δευτέρα only by δευτέρα, the commandment so to be characterized. But this is brief familiarity of language, not grammatical distinction.

Ἐν ἀρχῃ, John 1:1, is evident; ἐν τῃ ἀρχῃ would at once lead me to the beginning of something; whereas ἐν ἀρχῃ is characteristically (that is, universally and absolutely) such. This form of thought is rare in English, but is found "in measure," "in part," but only where it has become from use characteristic and abstract. In Greek it is much more common, particularly with ἐν, as also with ἐκ. When a word in English is used characteristically, the form is found, particularly in characteristic words, "in anger," "in pain"; but we say "in a bad temper," because it is one kind of temper.

104 I should rather suppose Acts 7:36 to be used as a proper name; the rather as we have ἐν τῃ ἐρήμῳ in the same passage. Αἰγύπτῳ and ἐρυθρᾳ are as articles, that is, indicate an object, as a name sufficiently does.

In John 4:37, I apprehend, ὁ ἁληθινός must be taken as an attribute of ὁ λόγος, not as a predicate; "in this is the true word" [verified]; whereas in 1 Peter 5:12 it is the usual form. In the former ἐστίν has the sense of subsists. I find Winer and Middleton both take it so.

If we cannot seize characteristic universals, we shall never get at the use of the article.

As to the article in τοῦ μηνός it is no way difficult; it is like the month, has the force of each, and points out a particular month, inasmuch as it is each one. Distinctive parts would have the article as in contrast with another part: as "a half" is only a quantity, "the half" is in contrast with the other half. Contrast always has it. A class would bear no article; it is an idea, not an existence, being a predicate of something else, as πατήρ is a character, not an existing one pointed out. So ἄνθρωπος, Θεός, though the words may become by an article a specifically existing object. Words joined by a conjunction are also persons joined to some idea by the article, or the same person as  ὁ Θεὸς καὶ σωτήρ. These are qualities of the one who is ὁ. It is sometimes irregular in form; as, when there are two ambassadors, ὁ is with the first only, but the reason remains the same.

I do not deny that there is a difference when the adjective is first and when the noun is first, though it is hardly apparent sometimes. It is so in French, but the object, c'est un temps rude, is in contrast with doux or agréable; while un rude temps is but one idea. I apprehend it is the same in Greek. I doubt the exactitude of Hermann's rule, that in οἱ οἰκτροὶ παῖδες  the principal stress is on οἰκτροι, in οἱ π. οἱ οἰκτροί it is rather on παῖδες. For in ὁ ποιμὴν ὁ καλός there is emphasis on καλός. In the phrase ὁ κ. π. there is no emphasis anywhere, only distinction from one not καλός. So in τὸ ἅγιον πν. it is the Holy Spirit, not another; but τὸ πν. τὸ ἅγιον brings ἅγιον into relief.

105 As for the expression τῳ ἁμαρτωλῳ (Luke 18:13), it is evidently distinctive, as if I should say; Who is the sinner of the world? The publican answers, I am. He is the sinner. It is contrast, but so characterized in comparison with all others.