Re: John 21:19/21 APOLOUQEI

Date: Wed May 27 1998 - 11:22:54 EDT

Carl W. Conrad wrote:

> George, the context calls for the imperative. I think the emphatic SU in
> vs. 21 makes it abundantly clear;

Thank-you Carl ~

The SU [emphatic] seems to be intended to re-direct Peter's attention
from its focus on TON MAQHTHN hON HGAPA in the proper direction of
Peter himself, and hence would not of itself require the imperative.
The dual force of this form seems appropriate here. "You are
following me!" in the English seems to capture both.

> moreover, Jesus has repeatedly,
> throughout this passage, concluded his words to Peter with an imperative.

And here you are utterly correct, and this flow of imperatival
commands does indeed force the imperative reading of AKOULOUQEI.

> It is true that as an epsilon-contract verb AKOLOUQEW could have a
> middle/passive indicative in -EI, although the more common spelling of that
> contracted ending is -Hi. I must say, however, that although I haven't done
> a check, I have rarely seen this verb except in an absolute sense with a
> dative complement.

And this does seem to dictate the imperative only understanding, which
might then be rendered "You be following me!" The difficulty, of
course, is with the English, which does not have the grammatical
differentiation of aorist vs present imperatives. We simply raise our
voice for immediacy, and keep it conversational for generality, hence
the KJV "Follow thou me." Or the modern "You follow me!" None of
these [including my tries] seems able to do what the Greek does so

And I marvel....

George Blaisdell

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