Re: Romans 1:21 EN DIALOGISMOIS: instrumental or locative?

From: Jim Beale (
Date: Thu Sep 04 1997 - 16:47:39 EDT

At 6:29 PM -0500 9/4/97, Carl W. Conrad wrote:

>>I'm not sure how to resolve this question. It's not even clear that
>>it should be resolved since it seems to me the locative (non-telic
>>end) and the instrumental (means) are identical. The means of vain
>>thinking is identical with the end of vain thinking. Self-deception
>>is the means to being self-deceived. The presence of self-action
>>makes me suspect that a middle voice is lurking in the bushes. But
>>I don't see one!
>Nice, Jim. Here we go with the problem of ends and means again! But
>honestly, it appears that the locative is not really appropriate for

By the force of your argument, I find myself in a dead-end spot.
Bummer! ;-)

I guess I'm still not sure why the locative can't be used to express
an end. It's a different sort of end than a final cause, but why can't
it be used metaphorically of an end _state_ or _condition_?

>or at least that's what I argued this morning about Rom 1:23, 25, and
>26 where we have (as Eric noted) HLLAXAN/METHLLAXAN used in three different
>verses, twice with EN + dative, the third time with EIS + acc. I argued in
>response to that that the two instances of EN + dative should be understood
>instrumentally, whereas only the EIS + accusative phrase should be
>understood in terms of the end result of the change. Maybe that question
>should be extended: are there clear and unambiguous instances of EN +
>dative that have to be understood as meaning "into"?

This is not exactly 'into' but what about EN TWi QRONWi in Rev. 3:21?
I suppose if one can sit in a throne one can sit into a throne! Well,
at any rate, there seems to be an end in view there which is expressed
by EN + locative.

>And as for the middle voice, there's EMATAIWQHSAN--I know that this has
>traditionally been called by the strange monicker, "passive deponent." But
>as I see it this is really one of those intransitive aorists using -QH- as
>a tense-stem, where the -QH- really has no passive significance at all:
>this is the intransitive aorist of MATAIOOMAI, and I think that is IS

Excellent! I expected to hear you say that. So, we could say,
"they made themselves vain in/by their reasoning." Actually, the
voice of EMATAIWQHSAN seems to be delightfully playful with either
case. The ambiguity spreads.

In Christ,
Jim Beale

              The worth and excellence of a soul is to
             be measured by the object of its love.
          ~ Henry Scougal

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