Re: GYNAIKAS in accusative

From: David L. Moore (
Date: Tue Apr 30 1996 - 23:19:55 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 appreciate
>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 women...."

        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 Director
Miami, Florida, USA Department of Education Southeastern Spanish District of the Assemblies of God

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