Re: Accusative absolute

Carlton Winbery (
Fri, 17 Jan 1997 18:50:38 +0400

Randy Leedy wrote;
>Why am I always on the wrong side of these questions? Both Carl and
>Carlton apparently take Eph. 1:18 (PEFWTISMENOUS TOUS OFQALMOUS) as
>something other than an accusative absolute. How else can it be
>Perhaps it works to take the pctp as circumstantial to the following
>EIDENAI and therefore its understood subject to be the accusative of
>general reference UMAS, with OFQALMOUS an accusative of reference
>(i.e. "you having been enlightened in the eyes of your heart"). But
>it sure looks a lot easier to me to take the construction as
>accusative absolute ("the eyes of your heart having been
>enlightened"). I'd like to hear the reasons for doing otherwise.
>It seems to me that if the ptcp. were to be taken as circumstantial
>to EIDENAI, it should follow the EIS TO rather than precede it. While
>I'm at it, I take Carlton's example from Acts as another clear
>instance; he described it as "the nearest thing," and I'd like to
>know what keeps it from being "the real thing" in his view.
The key question in an absolute construction is its relatedness to a main
clause. Basically it is "unrelated" (except in thought) to a main clause.
In the case of Eph. 1:18 James Brooks and I had different ideas. It the
relatedness is to the preceeding clause, it looks a bit more like an
absolute, but even there the indirect object of the verb is the owner of
the heart which is enlightened. If the following clause is the one related
(per NRSV), then it is clearly circumstantial.

Carlton L. Winbery
Fogleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
Fax (318) 442-4996
Phone (318) 487-7241