From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Fri Sep 12 1997 - 16:19:25 EDT

At 7:01 AM -0500 9/12/97, Clayton Bartholomew wrote:
>In ACTS 7:1 the high priest asks: EI TAUTA hOUTWS EXEI
>Fribergs and others tag TAUTA as a nominative. Why? Is it not the
>object of the transitive EXEI?
>One possible explanation that occurred to me was that EXEI is
>intransitive and that TAUTA hOUTWS can be read something like
>Still, it seems like the simplest way to read it is EXEI transitive
>TAUTA as accusative and hOUTWS as a modifier of EXEI. Obviously I
>have missed something here. Could some one point it out?

What then do you suppose the subject of ECEI to be? In fact TAUTA is really
nominative, n. pl. subject with singular verb as is still most common in
"better" Greek in the period of the NT, and ECEIN + adverb is a standard
idiom for "be in X condition (whatever the adverb points at)." Even my
little pocket Langenscheidt gives the intransitive usage of ECEIN as "be
disposed," "be in a state." It was in fact this usage of ECEIN upon which
Aristotle relied in formulating the doctrine of virtue as a hEXIS
PROAIRETIKH, a "habit of preferential choice." The Greek word hEXIS is
Latinized as HABITUS and is the source of the English word, "habit."

So the high priest's question is: "Is this so? (lit. Do these things hold

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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