Re: 1Co 1.18

Shaughn Daniel (
Sun, 5 May 1996 22:42:10 +0100


> I quite agree with this (APOLLUMENOIS middle, SWZOMENOIS passive). I think
> it would almost be preferable to cite two different verbs (and compounds)
> from the OL- root:
> (AP)OLLUMI, -OLW, -WLESA, -OLWLEKA: destroy, waste, lose
> (AP)OLUMAI, -OLOUMAI, -WLOMHN, -OLWLA: perish, be ruined
> APOLWLA = Latin PERII:"I'm done for!"

[most recent]
>Shaughn, I think that you have a fascinating hypothesis here, but I still
>think that it is dubious precisely for the reason I offered above:
>APOLLUMAI is intransitive. I don't have adequate reference works here with
>me at home, but what I have doesn't seem to show ANY PASSIVE morphology for
>this verb: can you find attested a form such as *APWLOQHN or *APWLOQHSOMAI?

I'm confused again. =(

Question: Why is it APOL(L)UMAI (sp?) and my Gk concordance has APOLLUMI?


Here's a breakdown on Komputerkonkordanz (Aland) the NIV and
Rienecker/Rogers (R/R):

Ro 2.12 APOLOUNTAI (R/R: APOLLUMI; intransitive?) par KRIQHSONTAI
(transitive indicated by DIA): "All who sin apart from the law will also
*perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by
the law."
Ro 14.15 APOLLUE (R/R: APOLLUMI; transitive): "Do not by your eating
*destroy your brother for whom Christ died."
1Co 1.18 APOLLUMENOIS (R/R: APOLLUMI; intransitive?): "For the
message of the cross is foolishness to those who are *perishing, but to us
who are being saved it is the power of God."
1Co 1.19 APOLW (R/R: APOLLUMI; transitive): " 'I will *destroy the
wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.'
1Co 8.11 APOLLUTAI (R/R: APOLLUMI; transitive): "So this weak
brother, for whom Christ died, is *destroyed by your knowledge."
1Co 10.9 APWLLUNTO (R/R: APOLLUMI; transitive): "We should not test
the Lord, as some of them did--and were *killed by snakes."
1Co 10.10 APWLONTO (R/R: APOLLUMI; transitive): "And do not grumble, as
some of them did--and were *killed by the destroying angel."
1Co 15.18 APWLONTO (R/R: APOLLUMI; intransative): "Then those also who
have fallen asleep in Christ are *lost."
2Co 2.15 APOLLUMENOIS (R/R: APOLLUMI; intransitive?): "For we are to
God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are
2Co 4.3 APOLLUMENOIS (R/R: APOLLUMI; intransitive?): "And even if
our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are *perishing."
2Co 4.9 APOLLUMENOI (R/R: APOLLUMI; transitive): "persecuted, but
not abandoned; struck down, but not *destroyed."

It seems that Paul is using two verbs (APOLLUMI and APOL(L)UMAI ?). But
what throws me for a loop is 1Co 10.9f here. APWLONTO in v. 10 would be
from APOL(L)UMAI, no? Interestingly, the variant in v. 9 has APWLONTO (!)
instead of the harder txt reading of APWLLUNTO. Why is it that a simple
solution perishes before my eyes? =(

Louw/Nida have the two verbs:
pf ptc APOLWLWS).

Robertson/Davis (New Short Grammar) #396 are advocating something similar
to what you suggested in the previous quote above (although they are not
suggesting two separate verbs entirely): "Some tenses of the same verb may
be transitive while others are intransitive like ESTHN (intransitive second
aorist active) while ESTHSA (first aorist active) is transitive, both from

Blass/Debrunner/Rehkopf (17.Auf. Grammatik) has a discussion under sec. 92
"Verba auf -NUNAI". To summarize/translate that: In the NT the act. pres.
is equally formed athematically and thematically; in impf. only thematic
construction; and in passive the older athematic construction rules." As an
example of active presence they give the following: AP-OLLUNAI: APOLLUEI Jn
12.25, APOLLUE Ro 14.15, APOLLUWN Ac 9.11. For the passive: APOLLUNTAI Mt
9.17, APWLLUNTO 1Co 10.9.

So here is the problem I see: we've got three roots to choose from
(APOLLUNAI, APOLLUMAI, APOLLUMI) while each verb in itself could vary btwn
transitive and/or intransitive in relation to the tenses in which it is
used. How does one solve that part of the problem?

Secondly, there's the semitic problem to solve: the contrast of
QAL:PIEL:HIPHIL. I cite from Waltke/O'Connor (22.2a): "Consider these
English examples: 'Moses split (cf. Qal) the rock,' 'Moses split up (cf.
Piel) the rock,' and 'Moses split (cf. Hiphil) the rock' (i.e., 'Moses
caused the rock to split'). I don't have a Hb NT here to see how it
understands the Gk tenses and how they are rendered back into the tenses of
Hb, anyone on this? references? commentaries?

> I don't have adequate reference works here with
> me at home, but what I have doesn't seem to show ANY PASSIVE morphology for
> this verb: can you find attested a form such as *APWLOQHN or *APWLOQHSOMAI?

I did a check with Pandora 2.5.2 and TLG D just now. Can someone else with
a PC check this? I'm doubting the program's worth (again! =( ) because it
even fails to find APOLLUMENOIS in the indexing part, but in the searching
part, finds it just fine. The index search should suffice with: APWLOQ in
order to let us know if these morphs occur.

Oh, one last thing: TDNT is quite good on this word, I must say. They have
divided it up into 4 areas: a. "to destroy or kill" b. "to lose or suffer
loss from" (both a and b transitive) c. "to perish" (that is: "with strong
aor. mid. and strong perf act. serves as intr. of a and b") and d. "to be
lost". Oepke, in the part on Paul's usage, suggests that a and b do not
explain the Pauline passages. He slights Luther for choosing "be lost" and
suggests "perish" as the best meaning. But his footnote is grand: "The
active element in 'bd mentioned above should be noted in this connection
[directly with 2Pt 3.9, but could be seen to apply to 1Co as well, I
suppose]; the transl. in some cases might well be "to bring oneself to
eternal destruction"." And that is the point. The concept of "perishing",
although technically an "intransitive", will almost always have
"transitive" force to my mind. Things just don't perish without causes and
these causes in turn are the transitive ideas left behind when the
intransitive form pops up; all of which brings us back to the theological
side again--the dualism of the universe in the mind of Paul, with the
tension of people "bringing themselves to destruction" and God

Shaughn Daniel
Tuebingen, Germany