Re: Accordance Error

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Oct 05 1998 - 11:57:32 EDT

At 10:42 AM -0500 10/5/98, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>At 10:10 AM -0500 10/5/98, Bill Combs wrote:
>>I notice that Accordance lists APWLLUNTW in 1 Cor 10:9 as a middle rather
>>than a passive. I assume this is an error. Does anyone know how to contact
>>the appropriate person to report problems like this (if it is one)?
>>Bill Combs
>>Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary
>Actually it reads APWLLUNTO, doesn't it (imperfect middle, not imperative
>active)? I don't really see what the problem is here: the alternatives are
>active APOLLUMI and middle APOLLUMAI. I don't think there's a distinct
>passive form of the verb, even if the middle voice is understood in a
>passive sense. The middle really means "go to ruin," "go to waste," Lat.

I should add, by way of clarification, that the assumption has perhaps been
made that APWLLUNTO in 1 Cor 10:9 is passive because it is accompanied by
an agent construction, namely hUP' OFEWN. The agent construction does, to
be sure, help to distinguish what is clearly as passive from the middle
when the sense of the middle is genuinely reflexive. In fact, however, the
agent construction is a clarifying phrase to indicate the catalyst in a
process; the verb form itself simply indicates that the subject is involved
in a process. My classic example of this is:

        hO GEWRGOS LUEI TON hIPPON "The farmer unties the horse."
        LUETAI hO hIPPOS "The horse gets loose."
        LUETAI hO hIPPOS hUPO TOU GEWRGOU "The horse gets loose, assisted
by the

Of course, we can translate this as "The horse is untied by the
farmer"--but when we do that we are simply putting the substance into a
normal English sentence; we are NOT understanding the real way the Greek
sentence works.

Some day, I hope in the not too distant future, I'll have an update on my
essay, "Observations on Greek Voice" that I originally posted over a year
ago to the list.

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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