Re: Accusative Absolute

Randy Leedy (
Mon, 20 Jan 1997 16:44:21 -0500

Carl re-posted

>>>I agree that this is closer and I agree with Carlton about what it
must mean, but regarding its structural linkage to the rest of the
sentence, I think I would make it dependent upon hHGHMAI in vs. 2 and
parallel to the first object of hHGHMAI, EMAUTON MAKARION--"I deem
myself fortunate..."--and then, "(because I deem) you especially
knowledgeable about ... "

Well, first of all, I'm sorry that I missed this on the first go.
Second, I'm not sure I buy it. I wouldn't call it impossible, but it
sure seems awkward to bring HGHMAI back into this clause, in view of
this clause's introductory MALISTA and its own participle ONTA. But
perhaps my sense of grammatical propriety is not as well educated as
I like to think, so I'll not make a ruckus.

As long as we're on the "other-than-genitive absolute" topic, I'll
put up another idea to be shot down, which is that there is such a
thing as a dative absolute. I see a good many constructions that look
for all the world like absolutes to me, except that they're not in
the genitive. Since the nominative and the accusative are being shot
down, perhaps this dative can be shot down as well. Matt 8:23--KAI
assume that the response will be that this is not a dative absolute
since Jesus is already in the governing clause in the dative. But my
answer would be that the repetition of AUTWi invalidates this claim;
the first one is unnecessary if the construction is not an absolute
(cf. Mt. 21:23, where DIDASKONTI is a simple circumstantial ptcp
modifying AUTWi in the governing clause).

If this construction can be rejected on that basis as an example of
the dative absolute, then what do we do with Matt. 5:1? Do we say
that KAQISANTOS AUTOU is not a genitive absolute because AUTOU
(separate word) is in the main clause? If we're going to maintain
that Matt. 5:1 is a genitive absolute, then I can't see how we'll
avoid calling 8:23, a precise parallel other than the case, a dative

I have appreciated the responses to my inquires on this topic.

Randy Leedy

P.S. In support of Carl's view of Eph. 1:18, I recall Mark
EXHRAMMENHN...THN CEIRA is a very close parallel to PEFWTISMENOUS
TOUS OFQALMOUS, both functioning as objects of a verb signifying
something to do with possession, and both involving body parts. So
I'm nearly ready to adopt Carl's understanding of this particular