Re: 3rd-person imperatives in the Lord's Prayer

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Thu Aug 14 1997 - 09:22:32 EDT

At 07:43 AM 8/14/97 -0400, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>At 6:45 AM -0400 8/14/97, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>>2. This seems similar to the indefinite plural, but it is singular. BDR does
>>not mention anything about singular versus plural in this usage - were both
>>forms used in prayer?
>I'm having a memory lapse about the "indefinite plural" (and I'm assuming
>you're not talking about 3rd-singular verbs used with neuter plural
>subjects?). Which is to say, I don't know what you mean: each of the
>subjects in these clauses is in fact singular.

Zerwick uses the term "indefinite plural" for uses like AFRON, TAUTH THi
NUKTI THN PSUCHN SOU *APAITOUSIN* APO SOU (Lk 12:20). Literally, it says
something like "fool, this night *they* will ask to have your soul back from
you". Who "they" is isn't clear, which is why it is called the "indefinite"
plural, kind of like "they say that nobody is perfect" in English.

If hAGIASQHTW is a true passive, then there is no need to look for a
subject. The subject of ELQETW is clear - the kingdom is to come. But who is
the implied subject for GENHQHTW? are we asking God to bring about his will?
or are we asking that his will "come about", without specifying a subject?


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

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