Re: questions about AORIST PASSIVE

From: Randy Leedy (
Date: Fri Nov 15 1996 - 08:30:47 EST

Thanks to Lee Martin for putting up the post I had in mind: listing
the intransitive usage of the passive voice of EGEIRW in Matthew.
This topic has gotten "air time" in my classes on Matthew and Acts
this semester. The conclusion I tentatively reached about these forms
with reference to Christ's resurrection is that they can be either
transitive (truly passive) or intransitive. The evidence for the
transitive use is clear: the preaching in Acts identifies God as the
active agent of the resurrection by using the active voice of EGEIRW
with God as the subject and Jesus as the object. But is this a
sufficient basis to exclude the other possibility? What forbids our
allowing for the other possibility as well, just as we sing on Easter
Sunday: "Up from the grave He arose."

I'd like to see some additional argumentation on why EGEIROMAI
*cannot* equal ANISTAMAI with reference to the resurrection just as
it does, for example, with reference to getting up in the morning.
I'd like to see arguments based on the language of the actual
contexts, or else on theological grounds, not simply citations from
the lexica.

By the way, EGEIRW is not the only verb where the exact meaning of
the passive voice is theologically significant. A former pastor of
mine liked to observe that all the references to conversion have the
people as either object of an active verb or subject of a passive. My
view is tentatively the same as with EGEIRW: it is true to say that
"people turn from their sins" as well as to say that "they are turned
from their sins" (cf. Acts 3:26). To choose one and reject the other
seems to me to be both a grammatical and a theological error.

In Love to God and Neighbor,
Randy Leedy
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC

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