In Acts 5:3, what is the function of σε?

Bill Ross
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In Acts 5:3, what is the function of σε?

Post by Bill Ross » May 12th, 2020, 2:29 pm

mGNT Acts 5:3 εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Πέτρος Ἁνανία διὰ τί ἐπλήρωσεν ὁ Σατανᾶς τὴν καρδίαν σου ψεύσασθαί σε τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον καὶ νοσφίσασθαι ἀπὸ τῆς τιμῆς τοῦ χωρίου
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: In Acts 5:3, what is the function of σε?

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 12th, 2020, 6:22 pm

Here's the phrase it is part of:
ψεύσασθαί σε τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον
σε is the accusative subject of the infinitive ψεύσασθαί.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Bill Ross
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Re: In Acts 5:3, what is the function of σε?

Post by Bill Ross » May 12th, 2020, 7:03 pm

Thanks Jonathon.

Isn't the accusative, by definition, always the direct object?
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MAubrey
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Re: In Acts 5:3, what is the function of σε?

Post by MAubrey » May 12th, 2020, 7:18 pm

Bill Ross wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 7:03 pm
Isn't the accusative, by definition, always the direct object?
Normally, but not always.Infinitive verbs always take the accusative case for their subjects.

Consider in English:

I wanted her to eat the apple.

The pronoun 'her' is the object of 'wanted', but the subject of the English infinitive 'to eat', it takes the normal case of object pronouns though here. The situation is similar to Greek, but Greek has extended that pattern to all occurrences of a infinitive subject, not just ones where the infinitive is subordinate to another verb.
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Bill Ross
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Re: In Acts 5:3, what is the function of σε?

Post by Bill Ross » May 12th, 2020, 7:22 pm

Ah, thanks. All clear now.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: In Acts 5:3, what is the function of σε?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » May 13th, 2020, 10:08 am

Bill Ross wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 7:03 pm
Thanks Jonathon.

Isn't the accusative, by definition, always the direct object?
As Michael said, not always. That is one function of the accusative in Greek. You also have the accusative as the object of prepositions, you have the accusative of duration and various other adverbial uses. Here, it's important to remember that the subject of an infinitive regularly goes into the accusative case (unless it is the same as the subject of the main verb, then it goes into the nominative).
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Bill Ross
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Re: In Acts 5:3, what is the function of σε?

Post by Bill Ross » May 13th, 2020, 10:24 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 10:08 am
Bill Ross wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 7:03 pm
Thanks Jonathon.

Isn't the accusative, by definition, always the direct object?
As Michael said, not always. That is one function of the accusative in Greek. You also have the accusative as the object of prepositions, you have the accusative of duration and various other adverbial uses. Here, it's important to remember that the subject of an infinitive regularly goes into the accusative case (unless it is the same as the subject of the main verb, then it goes into the nominative).
Thank you Barry.

To pose this as a question in my own mental language...

Does an accusative subject always trace back to a main verb in the nominative? @MAubrey used as an example this sentence which features what in Koine would be the nominative, "I":
I wanted her to eat the apple.
If, as I might instinctively do, we recoil at an accusative without a nominative subject somewhere, can we imagine a similar situation similar to MAubrey's example but without "I"? Where there is no provided nominative, are we inexorably driven we supply one from context?
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Re: In Acts 5:3, what is the function of σε?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » May 13th, 2020, 11:29 am

No, the subject of the main verb in the English example provided by Michael is "I" and the subject of the infinitive is "her." If the subject were the same it would be something like "I wanted to eat an apple." As in English, so in Greek, if the subjects are the same the subject of the infinitive is regularly omitted, but if expressed, goes into the nominative (or if there is a predicate noun or adjective referring to the subject).
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Bill Ross
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Re: In Acts 5:3, what is the function of σε?

Post by Bill Ross » May 13th, 2020, 11:44 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 11:29 am
No, the subject of the main verb in the English example provide by Michael is "I" and the subject of the infinitive is "her." If the subject were the same it would be something like "I wanted to eat an apple." As in English, so in Greek, if the subjects are the same the subject of the infinitive is regularly omitted, but if expressed, goes into the nominative (or if there is a predicate noun or adjective referring to the subject).
Okay, but in koine as in English, this would not be a valid sentence:

Her to eat the apple.

Right? An accusative subject without a Prior nominative, implied or explicit is an error, correct?
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: In Acts 5:3, what is the function of σε?

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 13th, 2020, 12:20 pm

Bill Ross wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 11:44 am
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 11:29 am
No, the subject of the main verb in the English example provide by Michael is "I" and the subject of the infinitive is "her." If the subject were the same it would be something like "I wanted to eat an apple." As in English, so in Greek, if the subjects are the same the subject of the infinitive is regularly omitted, but if expressed, goes into the nominative (or if there is a predicate noun or adjective referring to the subject).
Okay, but in koine as in English, this would not be a valid sentence:

Her to eat the apple.

Right? An accusative subject without a Prior nominative, implied or explicit is an error, correct?
That's not true. Here's an example from John 3:7, it can stand alone as a complete sentence.

δεῖ ὑμᾶς γεννηθῆναι ἄνωθεν

What is almost true is that every complete sentence must have a finite verb, and an infinitive is not a finite verb. (Sometimes a verbless clause can play the role of a clause with a finite verb).

The attached file contains a bunch of infinitives that have accusative subjects. Pick a bunch of these sentences and see if you can identify the subject for each infinitive you choose. Think about the relationship between each infinitive and other verbs in the sentence. Incidentally, what Greek grammars do you have?
Attachments
infinitivesWithSubjects.pdf
(694.53 KiB) Downloaded 18 times
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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