Apposition and EGEIRETAI

From: A K M Adam (
Date: Sat Aug 17 1996 - 13:35:26 EDT

Two responses; first:

>Beginner that I am, the first time I read "humeis ek tou patros tou diabolou
>este", I parsed it as "you are from the father of the devil". Try again.

The second phrase is in apposition to the first--that is, it modifies the first by further specifying it.
Appositive phrases agree in case with the noun that they're modifying. The most familiar instance is
the greeting of Paul's letters: PAULOS APOSTOLOS KTL. The second noun, APOSTOLOS, is associated
with PAULOS simply by agreeing in case and it further defines who this Paul guy is.

In the example given, "the devil" further defines who "the father" is. Apposition in the genitive case
is especially tricky since it is liable to the kind of ambiguity that tripped you up.

The phrase in question interests me more because John omits the possessive genitive pronoun here.

And two:

> In my CCATT morphological database, EGEIRETAI is marked as present
> passive
> indicative in John 13:4, "egeiretai ek tou deipnou"...
> What does the use of the passive mean in this context?

I *would* have said that the EGEIRETAI in question was the middle form, with the sense of "get up."
Bauer gives only present and active usages for EGEIRW, however, and Bill Mounce's Morphological
Analysis parses it as passive, too, although the definition of EGEIRW lists middle forms that fit the
context better than a passive construction.

Perhaps (to revive a sleeping horse) this is one of those instances when active/middle/passive
differences are secondary to transitive/intransitive differences.

Grace and peace,
A K M Adam
Princeton Theological Seminary

"To translate is human; to parse, divine"

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