Re: Acts 1:1 - WN: what kind of genitive?

Carl W. Conrad (
Sun, 27 Oct 1996 15:08:20 -0600

At 3:56 AM -0600 10/27/96, Carlton L. Winbery wrote:
>Jonathan Robie wrote;
>>What kind of genitive is used for hWN in hWN HRXATO hO IHSOUS in Acts 1:1?
>>Here's the text:
>>Acts 1:1 (GNT) Ton men prwton logon epoihsamhn peri pantwn w Qeofile wn
>>hrxato o Ihsous poiein te kai didaskein
>I would say that the hWN is used with the adjective PANTWN even though they
>are separated by the vocative W THEOFILE. Thus hWN is used with the
>preposition PERI as an adverbial genitive of reference "concerning all the
>things (neut) which Jesus began to do and teach." Hence the relative
>pronoun functions within the clause as an adverbial genitive of reference.

I don't think I'd explain it quite the same way; this appears to me to be
an instance fo a typical classical Attic practice: putting the relative
pronoun in the case of the antecedent. It is so common that we were (I and
my generation?) taught to call it "attraction of the relative pronoun into
the case of the antecedent. "Logically, of course, the hWN should be hA
(assuming that PANTWN is neuter plural).

I have nothing meaningful to add to the question of the order of POIEIN TE
KAI DIDASKEIN. I would only say that the combination is "uralt": Homer's
Glaukos in Iliad 6 tells Diomedes that his father sent him to Troy to be
(if I recall the phrase rightly) an EPEWN hRHTWR PRHKTHR TE ERGWN, a
"speaker of words and a doer of deeds," and the antithesis of LOGOI and
ERGA becomes a cliche' beginning in the last half of the fourth c. BCE.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR