Re: have

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Fri Aug 22 1997 - 06:42:12 EDT

At 10:59 AM -0500 8/22/97, Rick Strelan wrote:
>Is there any substantial difference between ECEIN and hUPARCEIN? Take, for
>example, the use of the two verbs in Acts 3:6.

Yes, inasmuch as the "substance" is in the one instance material, in the
other non-material. Yet there does appear to be deliberate word-play here.


I think that what I'd say is that English idiom may use "have" (or "have
got") for OUC hUPARCEI MOI and ECW without distinction, but that there are
significant differences in the fundamental senses of the two (apart from
the fact that one is impersonal, the other personal). hUPARCEIN really
means something like "be available as a resource" or German "zur Verfuegung
stehen," while ECW more properly means "to hold (in one's hand)." Yet
clearly in Acts 3:6 the two phrases are substantially synonymous; if
there's a difference, it seems to me that there's a partitive notion
implicit in hUPARCEI that comes out in what would seem to me to be American
English current idiom: "I haven't got any money, but what I have got I'll
give you." I think the difference is--with deliberate irony?--indicated in
the previous verse's participial expression, PROSDOKWN TI PAR' AUTWN
LABEIN, "expecting to get something from them"--i.e., "to get" as "to
receive in hand." There's clearly a play upon the distinction between
material things of value that can be exchanged and capacity to bestow
something of non-material value. I think that American English "get" and
"have got" must drive new learners of English up the walls.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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