Re: Acts 2:14 (GNT) *Staqeis* de o Petros

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Nov 05 1996 - 08:44:28 EST

At 9:16 PM -0600 11/4/96, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>STAQEIS is an aorist passive participle of ISTHMI, to stand. What is the
>force of this participle? I notice that translations differ on this
>Acts 2:14 (GNT) Staqeis de o Petros sun tois endeka ephren thn fwnhn autou
>kai apefqegxato autois: andres Ioudaioi kai oi katoikountes Ierousalhm
>pantes, touto umin gnwston estw kai enwtisasqe ta rhmata mou.
>Acts 2:14 (NASU) But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his
>voice and declared to them: "Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem,
>let this be known to you and give heed to my words.
>c.f. NIV "then Peter stood up", NKJV "standing up with the eleven", NRSV
>"standing with the eleven", NASB "taking his stand with the eleven", WEY
>"together with the eleven", Young's "having stood up with the eleven", ICB
>"but Peter stood up with the 11 apostles".

It is "obvious" that STAQEIS here is a "passive deponent," i.e. it is
passive in form only, intransitive in meaning. I say it is "obvious," but I
don't find this treated very carefully in any of the grammars or lexica
that I have handy. It's in BDF at #97(1). In effect, there are forms
equivalent in meaning, the "third aorist" ESTHN and the "aorist passive"
ESTAQHN. The former is older and much more widely prevalent, the latter
found often enough in Hellenistic Greek. But there is no difference
whatsoever in meaning. The syntactic sequence here of aorist ptc. + verb in
a narrative tense is bread-and-butter Greek narrative: in English we tend
to use a compound predicate: "He stood and raised his voice and spoke to
them; Greek tends rather to subordinate the first of these verbs--and
sometimes more than one--into a participle: "After standing he raised his
voice and spoke to them."

>Acts 2:12 (GNT) existanto de pantes kai dihporoun, allos pros allon
>legontes: ti qelei touto einai;

Jonathan, I think you've discovered, unwittingly or (I think) wittingly, a
marvelous new signature quote. Understand it of a class of students of
Greek confronting a new construction: I translate it loosely (some will
say: all too loosely) thus: "And they were all dumbfounded and scratched
their heads in bewilderment, and said to each other: 'What the hell does
this mean?'"

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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