Re: Verbal adjectives: how much verbal force?

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Sun Mar 09 1997 - 20:34:09 EST

At 04:28 PM 3/9/97 -0600, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>I think I'd say that the forms below have lost their verbal force, EXCEPT
>for BLHTEON, which is used exactly as it is in Classical Attic. In Attic
>the -TOS forms had a sense, "able to be (x)ed," i.e. they were passive and
>involved a sense of possibility, whereas the -TEOS forms were passive and
>involved a sense of the obligatory nature of the action indicated by the
>verb. My favorite examples of the classical usage of the -TOS forms are in
>the two major divisions in Plato's "Figure of the divided line": hORATON
>GENOS and NOHTON GENOS, the "visible" (= "able to be seen") and
>"intelligible" (= "able to be entertained by the NOUS") categories. seems that you say they lost their verbal sense,
but then go on to allude to verbal senses that they have.
I'm aware that the primary sense is adjectival, but even
you allude to "passive verbal sense", etc.

>>2Tim 3:16 (GNT) pasa grafh *qeopneustos* kai wfelimos pros didaskalian,
>>pros elegmon, pros epanorqwsin, pros paideian thn en dikaiosunh,
>Here I'd say that QEOPNEUSTOS is adjectival. Incidentally, it is this same
>PIE element which became the perfect passive participle. I'd say that
>"inspired" here could be understood as equivalent to a perfect passive
>participle but is really quite simply adjectival with a passive verbal

So it *does* have a passive verbal sense, which means that it has not
completely lost its verbal sense, right?

>>Matt 3:17 (GNT) kai idou fwnh ek twn ouranwn legousa: houtos estin
>>ho huios mou ho *agaphtos*, en hw eudokhsa.
>This is similar--if any thing even clearer that it's adjectival, used
>attributively with the repeated article.

Primarily adjectival, but isn't there a passive verbal sense here, too?
That he is loved?

>>And for trivia buffs, here's the one use of -TEOS:
>>Luke 5:38 (GNT) alla oinon neon eis askous kainous *blhteon*.
>>Luke 5:38 (NASU) "But new wine *must* *be* *put* into fresh wineskins.
>>The -TEOS implies "must be", so BLHTEON here means "must be put".
>As noted already, this conforms to one of the common Attic constructions:
>it is in the n. sg. with an implicit ESTI, and curiously, OINON NEON is the
>direct object of the passive verbal adjective. The alternative construction
>in Attic would have been to make the "new wine" the subject and make the

Any idea what this unusual construction might mean? (I know this isn't
fair; it is much easier to ask this question than to answer it!)

>Actually DUNATOS is a -TOS verbal adjective also, from DUNAMAI, but it has
>long since ceased to have real verbal force; the adjective DUNATOS means
>"able" or "possible." In classical Attic, ADUNATOS is used substantivally
>for a "cripple." In fact, there's a celebrated short civil court speech of
>Demosthenes written on behalf of a cripple who is fighting to continue
>getting his public support allowance from the Athenian government; it's

I believe that Perry Mason was named after PERI TOU ADUNATOU ;->



Jonathan Robie
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