THE GRANVILLE SHARPE RULE OF GREEK GRAMMAR

II) THE RULE ITSELF

In NT Greek, there is a rule called the Granville Sharpe construction: In Titus 2:13, the Greek word "kai" ("and") connects the two nouns such that one article is used for both nouns. This means that the appositive, Jesus Christ, must be referring to both "God" and "Savior."

Winer Scmeidel (_Grammatik_, pg. 158) : "Grammar demands that one person be meant". A.T. Robertson (_Word Pictures In The New Testament_, Vol. 6, pg. 147): "One person not two." Others that agree - Moulton (_Grammar_, Vol. 3, pg. 181), Dana and Mantey (_A Manual Grammar of New Testament Greek_, pg. 147).

II) GREEK CONSTRUCTION

The same Greek construction is found in - 2PE 1:11 "...our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2PE 2:20 "...the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,..." 2PE 3:2 "...the Lord and Savior". 2PE 3:18 "...our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...."

In fact, EVERY occurrence of this Greek construction, when there are singular nouns describing persons, uses the two nouns to refer to the same person. In the Greek, this grammatical construction connects the two nouns with the word "and" (kai) in between, while placing a definite article "the" before the first noun but not the second. Bowman maintains that every time this construction appears when using singular nouns and common ones denoting persons (brother, Savior, Lord, Son, Father, etc.), both nouns refer to just one person. Josh McDowell and Bart Larson (Jesus: A Biblical Defense of His Deity (San Bernardino, CA: Here's Life Publishers, 1983), p. 26) call this a "Granville Sharpe construction" because one article refers to both nouns inseparably.

The NWT (New World Translation of the Jehovah's Witnesses), has the incorrect rendering of this passage, evident because it violates what Greek grammarians call Granville Sharp's rule.[1] "Sharp's rule states that when two singular personal nouns (such as God and Savior) of the same case (as we have here) are connected by `and' (the Greek word is kai), and the modifying article `the' (the Greek word is ho) appears only before the first noun, not before the second, both nouns must refer to the same person. In this passage, `God' and `Savior' are connected by `and.' Also, `the' appears only before `God.' Therefore, `God' and `Savior' must refer to the same person--Jesus...In an exhaustive study, C. Kuehne found SharpUs rule to be without demonstrable exception in the entire New Testament. Thus, honest and unbiased scholarship requires that the words in these verses must be translated 'our God and Savior, Jesus Christ'" (John Ankerberg, The Facts on Jehovah's Witnesses, pp. 22-23). A few of the eminent Greek scholars who will confirm this rendering include P.W. Schmiedel, J.H. Moulton, A.T. Robertson, and Blass-Debrunner.

III) COMMENTS

A) Dr. Wilkin's comments:

Notice that... the Granville Sharp rule only applies when you have two nouns in the same case connected by kai where there is an article with the first noun only, then the second noun "always relates to the same PERSON that is expressed or described by the first noun or participle" (Dana and Mantey, p. 147).

And the reason why this rule is so specific (person with an article followed by kai and then a noun without an article which is in the same case as the first noun) is because the rule only always works in that specific case. This doesn't mean that there aren't other cases where there are two nouns joined by kai where the kai means "even," or "that is" and modifies the first noun. However context, not some rule, brings this out.