Re: 1 Thess 2:15 ENANTIWN; LS

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Fri Oct 30 1998 - 09:38:13 EST

<x-flowed>At 9:32 PM -0500 10/29/98, Paul S. Dixon wrote:
>Paul S. Dixon, Pastor
>Wilsonville, Oregon
>Carl, Michael:
>Just a follow-up on our discussion on ENANTIWN
>in 1 Thess 2:15.
>Liddell-Scott does have ENANTIOW as a word in usage,
>but quickly points out that the deponent form is far
>more common. I suppose that means Paul could have
>had ENANTIOW in mind as the word behind ENANTIWN
>in 1 Thess 2:15, making it a participle. Ah, the beauty
>of five participles versus participle, participle, participle,
>adjective, participle.

I hate to keep throwing in notes of "except that ...," but the form we're
given in 1 Thess 2:15 is ENANTI/WN (with acute accent over the iota). If
the editors had understood this to be a nominative m. ptc, they would have
printed ENANTIW=N (circumflex over the omega because it's a contract form);
moreover the participial form we'd need in this instance would have to be
genitive plural, and that would be ENANTIW/NTWN (with acute accent over the
first omega).

>But, this leads me to wonder more about deponent verbs
>and their participal forms. Though they are middle/passive
>in form, they do function actively. Any merit to the idea that
>deponent verbs may tend to take on active forms in the

Not in Greek; Latin deponents can have present active participles with an
active meaning (e.g. HORTOR, pres. act. ptc. HORTANS). In Greek, however,
the participle of a particular "tense" form is going to have the voice that
it would have in any other mood or in the infinitive.

Moreover, the way you put that proposition, Paul, "Though they are
middle/passive in form, they do function actively." is precisely the reason
I have given for objecting to the term "deponent": it seems based on an
assumption that what's active in English is "really" objectively active and
is therefore the logical status of the Greek "deponent" form. What would be
more accurate to say is that forms in the middle voice may readily take
objects and be transitive even if many middle-voice verbs are what we deem
to be intransitive verbs of motion (e.g. ERCOMAI).

There's one common source of confusion that does, I think, bear on the
question you're raising here, Paul: that is that there are concurrent forms
of the same verb functioning at a given time in Koine Greek (and in other
languages at any given time as well). A good example is EUAGGELIZW/OMAI,
which is used in the active voice by some NT authors, while Luke tends
regularly to use it in the middle, EUAGGELIZOMAI. There are other verbs
like this also, but that's a very common one.

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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