From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Mon Jun 02 1997 - 06:57:15 EDT

At 08:50 PM 6/1/97 -0700, Micheal Palmer wrote:
>In a earlier post about Romans 9:22 Jonathan wrote:
>>Chrysostom said that the perfect participle was to be interpreted as middle
>>in this verse, and took the second interpretation. Wallace says that
>>Chrysostom's view "has little to commend it", and goes on to say, for
>>instance, that middle-passive is always to be taken as passive in the
>>perfect tense.
>I haven't checked the reference to Wallace's grammar (I have the early
>edition which had no index). Does he actually say this so boldly? I find it
>a little surprising since I know him to be a very careful exegete and a
>skilled grammarian.

I also have the early edition with no index, and the paragraph I'm talking
about is on page 418 of mine. Here is what he says - the second point he
makes is the one I mentioned above:

"The middle view has little to commend it. First, grammatically, the direct
middle is quite rare and is used almost exclusively in certain idiomatic
expressions, especially where the verb is used consistently with such a
notion (as in the verbs for putting on clothes). This is decidedly not the
case with KATARTIZW: nowhere else in the NT does it occur as a direct
middle. Second, in the perfect tense, the middle-passive form is always to
be taken as a passive in the NT (Luke 6:40; 1 Cor 1:10; Heb 11:3) - a fact
that, in the least, argues against an idiomatic use of this verb as a direct
middle. Third, the lexical nuance of KATARTIZW, coupled with the perfect
tense, suggests something of a "done deal." Although some commentators
suggest that the verb means that the vessels <italics>are ready</italics>
for destruction, both the lexical nuance of complete preparation and the
grammatical nuance of the perfect tense are against this. Fourth, the
context argues strongly for a passive and completed notion..."

As for his second and third points, KATARTIZW seems to take a middle sense
in 1 Cor 1:10, where it also occurs as a middle-passive perfect participle:

1Cor 1:10 (GNT) Parakalw de umas, adelfoi, dia tou onomatos tou kuriou hmwn
Ihsou Cristou, ina to auto leghte pantes kai mh h en umin scismata, hte de
*kathrtismenoi* en tw autw noi kai en th auth gnwmh.


P.S. In church yesterday, I finally figured out how to understand the
phrase, "please be seated". Ever since I was a child, this phrase has
puzzled me (who was going to seat me, and if someone else was going to do
it, why phrase it as a request?). Is this an example of a real middle in

Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703

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