Re: Acts 15:20, 29

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Apr 14 1999 - 08:56:08 EDT

At 7:38 AM -0400 4/14/99, wrote:
>Greetings, this is my first post to this fascinating list. And since it
>is my first post, my apologies if this question has been answered
>Is there any significance to the use of the infinitive middle,
>APECESQAI, at Acts 15:20 and 29, rather than the imperative? 
>Grammatically speaking, is it because these verses are reporting a
>command given, rather than giving a command?

In effect, yes. In both instances the infinitive depends upon a governing
structure. In Acts 15:20 that governing structure is EPISTEILAI AUTOIS,
"instruct them ..." which calls for an infinitive; in 15:29 the major
governing structure is EDOXEN GAR TWi PNEUMATI TWi hAGIWi KAI hHMIN, but
that is completed with the infinitive structure MHDEN PLEON EPITIQESQAI
hUMIN BAROS PLHN TOUTWN TWN EPANAGKES--and finally, I think, the infinitive
APECESQAI with its complementary genitives is in apposition to BAROS with
its sense of "burdensome responsibility"--"It has seemed right to the Holy
Spirit and to us to impose no additional imperative burden of
responsibility upon you than these items, namely, to abstain from ...."

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

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