From: Lee R. Martin (email@example.com)
Date: Mon May 26 1997 - 22:33:27 EDT
Jim Beale wrote:
> Thanks for the comments. In reply, I ask:
> But how can John neither act nor be acted upon? I don't understand
> that at all. Wouldn't that be equivalent to saying that there is no
> relation between EME and ELATTOUSQAI???
Philosophically, everything may have a cause, but grammatically, some
events are uncaused. "I grow older every day." In "growing" I neither
act, nor am I acted upon. "When I dropped the glass, it broke." The
glass neither acted nor was acted upon. On the other hand I could use
the passive and say, "The glass was broken by me."
> In John 3:30, the active and the middle/passive occur side-by-side;
> which according to Robertson, is meant to draw attention to the
> distinction (The Big Yellowish One, 805). (He also indicates that
> ELATTOUSQAI is passive, _Word Pictures_, ad loc.) How do you see
> the distinction?
I do not believe the active and the middle side-by-side has anything to
do with drawing attention to the distinction. ELATTOUSQAI is the best
way to say "decrease." The active voice is transitive and would not fit
> >I know this is simplistic but it helps me. Part of the difficulty is
> >the overlap of form and function. Middle,passive, and reflexive are
> >sometimes found in the same form.
> That's the problem all right! I guess we must be ever sensitive to
> the context! (Q. Do you intend to make reflexive a distinct voice
> which is sometimes found in a different form from the middle???)
No, the overlap of forms is in the middle/passive. Reflexive is the
same form as the middle. I'm sure that some people see the reflexive as
a subset of the middle voice. You may remember a post about 6 months
ago when I pointed out that the same is true of the Hebrew Niphal stem,
which may be middle, passive, or reflexive, with no difference in form.
-- Lee R. Martin Adjunct Faculty in Old Testament and Hebrew Church of God School of Theology Cleveland, TN 37311 Pastor, Prospect Church of God
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