Re: peribleyesqai

From: Jim West (jwest@Highland.Net)
Date: Thu Apr 15 1999 - 10:05:21 EDT

At 08:55 AM 4/15/99 -0500, you wrote:

>but what you actually say here is a bit muddled; you say that they list
>this MIDDLE form as an example of active meaning "even though the form is
>passive." I don't understand where you get the notion that it's passive:

the middle/passive form is identical. Sorry. Of course I should have said
"middle/passive" instead of just "middle".

>is, after all, a future middle infinitive, and the future is one of two
>tenses where we're taught conventionally that all three voices are found.
>>So, regarding the verb we were earlier discussing, I would point the
>>interested to Blass-Debrunner sec. 316(1), where they list peribleyesqai
>>(middle!!!!) as an example of active meaning even though the form is
>>passive. They also point out that it is active in Attic.
>Blass-Debrunner sec. 316(1) refers to PERIBLEPESQAI as an EXCEPTION to the
>rule that "NT authors in general preserve well the distinction between
>middle and passive. The middle is occasionally used, however, where an
>active is expected (cf. the reverse ##307 and 310)."

nevertheless, the form under question is middle/passive in form and active
in function.

>I think there's something interesting going on here. While I would want to
>affirm that the language is always in flux, I think there are some general
>trends, and one of them, I believe, is the gradual shift of many active
>verbs into the middle--and even intransitives, like EIMI --> EIMAI. I think
>this probably needs some careful study, but my hunch is that the
>morphological shift from active to middle forms does not take place without
>a corresponding conception--however much this may hover at or below the
>level of full consciousness--that some sort of self-projection is at work
>in the actions/states referred to by these forms.

this is a possibility of course. But the flux of language has little to do
with concrete examples. The case in point is not in flux. It is fixed.

>I'm hoping soon to be able to issue a revised form of my general
>observations on voice in the ancient Greek verb (originally sent to B-Greek
>May 27, 1997 and in the archives); I'm hoping it might help some like Jay
>Adkins who find the phenomenon of voice in the Greek verb confusing. I
>don't wonder at that; I think that voice in the Greek verb is shamefully
>muddled in the conventional grammatical presentations--both Attic and Koine.

Thanks for your well considered response; as always you are a light in the




Jim West, ThD
Petros Baptist Church- Pastor
Quartz Hill School of Theology- Adjunct Prof. of Bible

fax- 978-231-5986
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