Re: Dative Direct Objects, Heb 1:6

From: Ray Mattera (
Date: Sat Dec 02 1995 - 01:49:52 EST

Ellen you said:

>Vaughan and Gideon make this comment in their Greek Grammar:
>"Certain verbs take their direct object in the dative case rather than
>the accusative...Verbs that express close personal relations (e.g.
>hupakouw, to obey: diakonew, to serve; proskunew, to worship; akolouQew,
>to follow; pisteuw, to believe, etc.) MAY" (my emphasis) "take their
>objects in the dative case."
>No matter what the extent of our study and
>scrutiny and knowledge of a language, some things still remain a mystery.
>As to why N.T. writers chose one case over the other, we can only speculate.
>Why one writer (or editor?) would use the dative direct object in one spot
>and accusative form immediately after, as in Rev 13, who can know for sure?
>Perhaps they sought a slightly different emphasis, i.e. "give honor to" vs.

>Several hundred years from now linguists might well wonder why someone today
>says, "It's me." rather than "It is I," or why that same person would say,
>"That was sent in behalf of my wife and I" rather than "my wife and me."

Thank you very much for your response. What you stated confirmed my research and
I am grateful to receive independent confirmation from another source. As you
said, languages tend to make their own "rules" as they are used and develop.
Grammars tell us how languages function--they do not tell languages how to
function. Thus one can expect all kinds of "exceptions to the rule" as one
studies the Greek text.

>May I mention also that Moule in his Idiom Book of N.T. Greek says this in
>a footnote: "The Dative and Accusative also overlap mysteriously"?
>I like the word "mysteriously."

Thank you for that quotation. If it is not too troublesome, could you tell me
on what page that footnote is found?

Once again, thank you for your assistance.
Ray Mattera

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