Re: Two Troublesome Datives

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Aug 11 1998 - 07:17:51 EDT

At 8:25 PM -0700 8/10/98, clayton stirling bartholomew wrote:
>In Acts 13:36 there are two troublesome datives:
>The first is troublesome because it is not obvious how to read IDIAi. I
>checked several technical resources and concluded that this is not an easy
>problem to resolve. My first guess was that IDIAi is used here with temporal
>sense, he served during his own generation. H.A.W. Meyer calls this reading
>"very tame and superfluous. He reads IDIAi GENEAi "for his (own) generation".

The temporal sense really seems to me the only appropriate one. "in his own
generation." "For his own generation" really strikes me as odd. The
temporal sense seems appropriate to Luke's recurrent and consistent
chronological data-indication.

>The second is troublesome because it is not clear which verb the dative is
>referring to. I am currently leaning toward attaching THi TOU QEOU BOULHi to
>the preceding participle hUPERTHSAS because this seems to make the phrase THi
>TOU QEOU BOULHi more than a statement of the obvious. Somehow, saying that
>DAUID ... EKOIMHQH KAI PROSETEQH . . . THi TOU QEOU BOULHi sounds like a kind
>of strange statement. Since the experience of DAUID was the common lot of the

How's about taking THi TOU QEOU BOULHi indeed with hUPHRETHSAS as a direct
complement? "Having served the will of God." That seems to make perfectly
good sense here, whereas death and burial through the will of God hardly
seems to call for such special causal designation.

>These two difficulties are also connected. It is late and I am a little
>fuzzier than usual (extremely fuzzy) so I will leave this question for some
>one else to sort out.

Well, them's my sentiments, at any rate.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243

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