Double Accusative after a Verb

From: Ward Powers (
Date: Mon Apr 27 1998 - 13:41:13 EDT

Fellow b-greekers:

Last night my Greek NT reading class started reading Mark 4. In previous
weeks we had been wrestling with Hebrews. Which led to someone asking, When
Apollos/Barnabas/Silas/Priscilla [take your pick] was writing Hebrews, why
didn't he/she use the straight-forward Greek which Mark used? And someone
else to ask, Did Greek speakers (including those of Classical times)
actually SPEAK the Greek that occurs in Hebrews, with its [to us]
convoluted constructions, or did they only WRITE like this, and speak like
in Mark's Gospel?

Then in Mark 4:2 we came across how Jesus EDIDASKEN AUTOUS EN PARABOLAIS
POLLA, "taught them many things in parables". And a student asked, Why did
Mark write AUTOUS not AUTOIS, which would be the expected indirect object
of the verb, the person(s) to whom the action is directed - and which
"felt" right, whereas AUTOUS did not? Good question, I said, and agreed
that AUTOIS "felt" right, not AUTOUS. But on checking, DIDASKW takes the
accusative of the person taught as well as of the thing taught.

Now, why should DIDASKW take the accusative of the person taught?

And, are there other verbs which similarly take a double accusative, both
of the person and the thing which are the object of the verb's action?

PS: Last night, just before Greek Class, I farewelled Jonathan Robie from
Sydney Airport, on his way back to the States, carrying an Australian
weapon called a didgeridoo which is taller than he is. Fearful thing. Yes,
he knows how to use it, too. Did it get back to North Carolina safely,
Jonathan? Expect to hear from Jonathan again on b-greek shortly.

My previous invitation stands. Any member of the b-greek family coming to
Sydney is welcome to stay over with my wife and me while passing through.
Our guest-room is yours.



Rev Dr B. Ward Powers Phone (International): 61-2-9799-7501
10 Grosvenor Crescent Phone (Australia): (02) 9799-7501
SUMMER HILL NSW 2130 email:

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