The onoma rule

John A L Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper presents an unnoticed "rule" governing the presence or absence of the article with in naming-constructions of the type "the name of x is N." It arises from the survival of an archaic pattern with the dative and no article, alongside a newer pattern with the genitive and the article. The "rule" is shown to operate not only in the LXX and NT but in ancient Greek generally, from Homer to Koine Greek. Observance of the "rule" indicates the LXX translators' and the NT authors' familiarity with idiomatic Greek. The "rule" can also contribute to resolving textual questions, notably Luke 1:63.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-421
Number of pages11
JournalNovum Testamentum
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sep 2014


  • Greek grammar
  • Luke 1:63
  • lxx
  • naming-constructions
  • nt


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