Re: Acts 17:28

From: Micheal Palmer (
Date: Tue Feb 10 1998 - 00:58:43 EST

At 4:15 PM -0500 2/9/98, Jim West wrote:
>At 02:21 PM 2/9/98 -0600, you wrote:
>>The tone and tenor of this is more or less pantheistic, unless one would
>>prefer to call it panentheistic. And I think that the author of Acts knows
>>the poem.
>I agree that the author knows the poem- but I tend to think that it is far
>more Stoic than Carl or Mary would think.
>But, leaving that aside, the passive is a much more natural and logical
>reading than the middle. The middle, it seems to me, is forced.

Well, it's forced if you read the middle as reflexive ("move ourselves").
The middle can often be read simply as intransitive, however:

        "In whom we live, and move, and have being."

This intransitive sense is a common function of the middle voice when used
with a verb that would otherwise be transitive. That is, one of the uses of
the middle voice can be to give an intransitive sense to a verb that could
be understood as transitive in the active or passive voice. Read in this
way, the middle here quite natural, and certainly not forced.

Micheal W. Palmer
Religion & Philosophy
Meredith College

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