Re: Questions about AORIST PASSIVE

Carl W. Conrad (
Thu, 14 Nov 1996 21:51:00 -0600

At 11:14 PM -0600 11/14/96, Lee R. Martin wrote:
>Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>> I have no quarrel with the essential sense of the NASB translation here,
>> but I do think there's a difference of perspective between EGEIRW and
>> ANISTAMAI, and I think the former verb is really transitive, the latter
>> intransitive.
>Dear Carl, In Matthew alone, the passive of EGEIRW is used 18 times
>intransitively, not counting the 10 or so references to Jesus'
>resurrection (either in the future or the past). 2:13; 2:14; 2:20; 2:21;
>8:15; 8:26; 9:6; 9:7; 9:19; 9:25; 11:11; 12:42; 17:7; 24:7; 24:11;
>24:24; 25:7; 26:46. A couple of these may be questionable, but not all
>of them.

Well, sir, I think that you and I both have right on our own side in this
argument: (a) you are quite right: EGEIROMAI is indeed used in an
intransitive sense equivalent to ANISTAMAI; but (b) when the verb EGEIRW is
used of the act of resurrection it is transitive, and the form HGERQH
should be understood as "was raised."

You have certainly done your homework well!

Mt 2:13/14: EGERQEIS aor pass ptc in sense = ANASTAS
Mt 2:20/21: EGERQEIS " " " " " " "
Mt 8:15: HGERQH " " 3sg " " " ANESTH
Mt 8:26: EGERQEIS " " ptc " " " ANASTAS
Mt 9:6/7: EGERQEIS " " " " " " "
Mt 9:19: EGERQEIS " " " " " " "
Mt 9:25: HGERQH " " 3sg " " " ANESTH
Mt 11:11: EGHGERTAI pf m 3sg " " " GEGENNHTAI/GEGONE
Mt 12:42: EGERQHSETAI fut pass 3sg in sense = ANASTHSETAI
Mt 17:7: EGERQHTE aor pass imp in sense = ANASTHTE
Mt 24:7: EGERQHSETAI fut pass 3sg in sense = ANASTHSETAI
Mt 24:11: EGERQHSONTAIfut pass 3sg in sense = ANASTHSONTAI
Mt 24:24: EGERQHSONTAIfut pass 3sg in sense = ANASTHSONTAI
Mt 25:7 HGERQHSAN aor pass 3pl in sense = ANESTHSAN
Mt 26:46 EGEIRESQE pre mid imp in sense = ANISTASQE

Without exception all of these are intransitive (or perhaps reflexive, if
that is the more precise sense of the middle voice forms; with the sole
exception of Mt 11:11, the sense in each of these passages is "rise up"
>from a recumbent or seated position or "depart from a settled place of
residence." The clear exception is Mt 11:11, where the sense is "come into
existence." Perhaps Mt 24:11 and 24 are different also, as their sense is
"appear, emerge into view." Nevertheless I'll grant that all of these are
intransitive and most of them could readily be replaced by a corresponding
form of ANISTAMAI.

On the other hand, however, I would still argue that when the verb
EGEIRW/EGEIROMAI is used of resurrection from the dead, it is without
exception transitive and has either an explicit or implicit agent--God--as
responsible for the resurrection. Which is to say: HGERQH, when it denotes
the restoration of life to one who is dead, is not intransitive but
passive. And while it is true that the ANESTH does appear later as an
intransitive designation of Jesus's resurrection (the Easter formulae:
XRISTOS ANESTH/ANESTH ALHQWS), yet the earlier formulation appears to be
"God has raised him" or "He has been raised (by God)." For what it's worth
(I can't push this too hard after expressing less than total faith in L-N
earlier today!), Louw & Nida appear to hold this view also: #23.94 "EGEIRW;
EKSEGEIRW, ANISTHMI (active): to cause someone to live again after having
once died -- to raise to life, to make live again." The index in vol. 2
indicates several senses for EGEIRW, including those two (or three) in the
passages above, but "raise to life" is only #23.94 and is transitive.

Regards, cwc

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