μελλω και ειναι και εσεσθαι

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David Lim
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Joined: June 6th, 2011, 6:55 am

μελλω και ειναι και εσεσθαι

Post by David Lim » July 20th, 2011, 9:50 am

I noticed something interesting, that "εσεσθαι" when used in a verb-chain is only used after a form of "μελλω", and that "ειναι" when used in a verb-chain is never used after any form of "μελλω". Also, in the new testament I found no construction with "μελλω" and a future infinitive. Are these observations true and is there some reason?
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δαυιδ λιμ

cwconrad
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Re: μελλω και ειναι και εσεσθαι

Post by cwconrad » July 20th, 2011, 10:20 am

You might have noted also that all the instances of ἔσεσθαι in the GNT are in Acts. The usage is distinct to Luke -- or to the author of Acts, whoever that may be. You might check μέλλωι in LSJ; usage with the future infinitive is common in older Greek, but the verb μέλλω has much broader usage in earlier literature. In later Greek it comes to be simply an auxiliary verb used with an infinitive (normally a present infinitive) to form a future tense. I suppose one might say it's a halfway-house between the inflected future tense forms (ἐλεύσομαι, λή(μ)ψομαι, κτλ.) and the later Greek θὰ + subjunctive = θέλω ἵνα + subjunctive.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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