After I wrote my little post about the need to depending on and building on the past grammars, I realized that I should do that more than I have thus far. So I’ve been going through the 25 or so Greek grammars that I own to see what they say about the Genitive case and its syntax. And thus far, what I’ve found has confirmed my own independent studies of the relationship between the genitive and its head noun.
In general one may note that the genitive usually comes after the limiting substantive, as τὴν γέενναν τοῦ πυρός (Mt. 5:22), but the genitive comes first if it is emphatic like Ἑλλήνων πολὺ πλῆθος (Ac. 14:1) or if there is sharp contrast like τὸν συστρατιώτην μου, ὑμῶν δὲ ἀπόστολον (Ph. 2:25). In Eph. 6:9 both genitives precede, καὶ αὐτῶν καὶ ὑμῶν ὁ κύριος. If the article is used with both words we may have the usual order, as τὴν πανοπλίαν τοῦ θεοῦ (Eph. 6:11), or less often the classic idiom, as τὸν τῆς πίστεως ἀρχηγόν (Heb. 12:2). Sometimes indeed the article may be repeated, as ὁ λόγος ὁ τοῦ σταυροῦ (1 Cor. 1:18). Αὐτοῦ usually comes after the noun in the Synoptics, as τὴν ἄλωνα αὐτοῦ (Lu. 3:17), but John sometimes puts αὐτοῦ first (1:27; 9:6; cf. σου in 9:10, σου οἱ ὀφθαλμοί). Sometimes a word intervenes between the substantive and the genitive as in ἤμεθα τέκνα φύσει ὀργῆς (Eph. 2:3). Cf. also Ph. 2:10; Ro. 9:21, etc. But note εἰς ἀλεύρου σάτα τρία (Mt. 13:33).
A.T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (Logos, 1919; 2006), 502; my emphasis.
I’m a little disappointed that he does provide any comment on the significance of the “classicl idiom” τὸν τῆς πίστεως ἀρχηγόν, the repetition of the article with the Genitive NP ὁ λόγος ὁ τοῦ σταυροῦ, or the hyperbaton structure at Ephesians 2:3 (ἤμεθα τέκνα φύσει ὀργῆς). But these are the kinds of places where we can still make advances in Greek syntax, yes?
Even still, this is encouraging information that I’m heading in the right direction. As I go through Moulton, Winer, Zerwick, Funk, BDF, and others, I might post some more quotes on the Genitive.