Re: GYNAIKAS in accusative

From: David Moore (
Date: Tue Apr 30 1996 - 17:54:13 EDT

At 01:55 PM 4/30/96 -0700, Patrick Brennan wrote:
>I'm perplexed (my normal state). In 1Tim. 3:11 GYNAIKAS is in the
>accusative. Why? {I don't mean to be too "wordy" : -)} What is it the
>object of? What is the subject? I see the same thing in verse 8 with
>DIAKONOUS in the accusative. I'm learning greek on my own and I
>being able to come to this list and ask questions. Please feel free to
>answer me off list if this is too elementary.

        The key to this construction appears to be the DEI used with
the accusative in v. 2 and in v. 7 (D and the majority include AUTON
which the other MSS probably take as understood). DEI is expressing
something like "it behooves." Although that is not at all contemporary
English, it is an expression that does get at the accusative sense of
the noun which accompanies DEI. The hWSAUTWS in v. 8 and in v. 11
point back to the thoughts expressed in the previous pericope:
"*Similarly*, it behooves deacons..." "*In like manner*, it behooves

        To put it in contemporary English, the most natural way to
translate these constructions may be to treat these accusatives as if
they were nominatives. So we have, "Deacons, likewise, are to be men
worthy of respect..." and, "In the same way, wives are to be women
worthy of respect..." (so NIV). Some such construction seems to best
express the meaning of the Greek here.

David L. Moore

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