From: James H. Vellenga (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Sep 09 1997 - 09:13:48 EDT
My thanks to both Jonathan and Edward for their responses!
I think I'm finally seeing what I was missing before.
It appears that my mental model was that, if I were to use
the third person imperative, I would be talking to person
A (the second person) with directions for person or thing
B (the third person). But what I have failed to understand
(and this may be a limitation of my lack of formal training)
is that THERE IS NO THIRD PERSON!
I don't have a mechanism for systematically identifying all
the 3d pers. impv.s in the NT, but I did go over a number
of them from the passages I'm more familiar with, and it
appears that they are used mainly in two ways:
1) to give directions (suggestions?) to a subset of the
hearers, where the subset is identified by the context,
2) to give direction to a hearer or hearer about the
handling and/or treatment of a third entity, but
not to give direction to the third entity itself.
Case 1 can be approximated in English by informal English
"If anyone's hungry, come to the table"
"Visitors please use other door"
Case 1 applies to the passage that started this discussion
(Mark 4.23). Other cases are Eph 4.28:
hO KLEPTWN MHKETI KLEPTETW
[For] the thief [among you]: don't keep on stealing ...
Rev 22.11, and Rev 22.17:
... hO DIYWN ERCESQW. HO QELWN LABETW hUDWR ZWHS DWREAN.
... the one who is thirsty [from among you], keep coming;
the one who wants to, take water of life freely.
Case 2 is often used negatively, with MH, as in Rom 6.12,
ME OUN BASILEUETW hH hAMARIA EN TWi QNHTWi hUMWN SWMATI...
So don't let the sin keep reigning in your mortal body ...
Have I got it right this time?
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