Re: hWN in Acts 1:1

Jonathan Robie (
Tue, 29 Oct 1996 19:13:12 -0500

Randy Leedy wrote:
> Jonathan posted someone's suggestion about a
> partitive genitive. Since he kept the comments anonymous, I don't
> know who I may be butting heads with, but to me it seems wrong to
> construe the pronoun with HRXATO at all. "Began" is the main verb of
> the relative clause, but hWN is the object, not of "began," but of
> "to do and teach."

Thanks for pointing this out. Now that you've said it,it is quite obvious.
Until you said it, it hadn't been. As a matter of fact, your message was
just what I needed to drop this one theory, reread Carl's message, and
understand what was going on. Thanks.

I'm still not sure, however, whether Carl sees this as a settled fact, based
on his prior message. I seem to recall something about foxes sneaking in and
spoiling the vineyards...

> Its early position in the sentence (the common position for relatives, at
> in Koine) somewhat obscures its grammatical function, and a little
> extra thinking is required to figure out the grammatical road map.

Yes. Alas, we little Greeks do lots of thinking. I'm quite sure that I do
much more thinking about a passage than you do, and have much less to show
for it. So I really appreciate your comments about focussing on the subject/
object relationships. I hadn't been, and this is really helpful.

> In summary, Jesus began what? To do and to teach. He did and taught
> what? The things represented by hWN. It seems quite obvious that the
> pronoun is the object of the infinitives, attracted from the
> accusative to agree with the genitive antecedent. Why jump through
> grammatical hoops when there is such a straightforward explanation?

This is very clear and helpful. I've checked it off for now -- but I did it in
pencil since I'm not sure to what extent Carl sees this as a settled issue.


Jonathan Robie
POET Software <--- shockwave enabled!