Re: Mt. 18:3

From: Maurice A. O'Sullivan (
Date: Fri Aug 20 1999 - 09:40:10 EDT

<x-flowed>Apologies to the list:
I now see that STRAFHTE is a regular _2nd_ aorist form --- it is only in
the 1st. aorist form that the change from E to A in the stem occurs in the

At 11:43 20/08/99 +0100, you wrote:
>In Mt. 18:3, there occurs STRAFHTE -- 2nd aorist subjunctive passive of STREFW
>As I began to look at the change from E to A, I saw that BAGD lists this
>2nd aorist passive as occurring ( in addition to Homer ) in pap., LXX, and
>several examples from Josephus.
>This might lead one to think that this was a Koine form, or at least
>something that emerged around the turn of the era --- at least I might
>have <g> had I not turned to Smyth s.586 where I find this note:
>b. Liquid stems of one syllable change e to a,
> as te-ta-mai, e-ta-thn (tein™ stretch, ten-). But
> streph™ turn, trep™ turn, treph™ nourish have
> estrephthn, etrephthn, ethrephthn (rare),
> though the perfect middles are estrammai,
> tetrammai, tethrammai.
> 586 b. D. estraphthn is Ionic and Doric; Hom.
> and Hdt. have etraphthn from trep™. Hom. has
> etarphthn and eterphthn from terp™ gladden.
>[ as you can see I have left the Perseus transliteration intact ]
>Which raises a more general query:
>How much of what might be seen as Koine forms are in fact the persistence
>of long-standing dialect forms which in course of time and usage
>predominate over "pure" Attic
>( = literary ? ) forms?
>Perhaps Carl, Edgar et al. might have examples that come to mind --- I
>don't expect any sweeping generalisations from scholars <g>
>A subsidiary query, on the specific verse:
>The widespread translations
>RSV, NAB: "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and ....
>NRSV: "Truly I tell you, unless you change
>turns the passive into an active, to accommodate the English usage.
>Why not a middle form, rather than a passive, in the original, I wonder?
>BTW, in the Matthean use of " turn " I detect a very direct connection
>with the OT use of SHUV, literally "turn", in the physical sense, for the
>idea of repentance which in Greek becomes METANOIA, an intellectual concept.
>Maurice A. O'Sullivan
>[ Bray, Ireland ]
>Confucius said: "To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study
>is dangerous."
>Analects 2:15
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Maurice A. O'Sullivan [ Bray, Ireland ]

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