Re: PAUSONTAI in 1 Cor. 13:8, is it Future Deponent or an indirect middle

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Nov 24 1999 - 15:27:44 EST

At 10:15 AM -0600 11/24/99, Dwayne Riner wrote:
>While reading Daniel Wallace's Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics I noticed
>that he believed that PAUSONTAI was an indirect middle instead of a
>deponent verb. This claim was based off of both context and his study of
>other Hellenistic Greek sources. I noticed in my study that every instance
>of PAUW in the NT (with the exception of the impv.) was in the middle or
>middle/passive form. Also, in the LXX I noticed that PAUW occured both in
>the future active and the future middle. Do you feel that it is deponent in
>the GNT or a true middle.

I've looked at that discussion (p. 419). I would agree with Wallace that it
is not a deponent verb (I don't find the term "deponent verb" a very useful
term for much of anything); I really don't see that much is gained by
referring to an "indirect middle"--this seems to me another instance of
creating a great number of categories where they aren't really needed, but
Wallace is pretty consistent in his usage of the term. On the other hand,
he argues that KATERGHQHSONTAI and KATERGHQHSETAI are genuinely passive--as
I see Ben Crick also does--and probably most NT grammarians would do--, as
if some external factor or authority is going to bring about the cessation
of PROFHTEIAI and GNWSIS. I don't believe it myself and don't think we
should describe a verb as passive unless there is clearly some external
force or agent effecting the verbal action. That is not the case here, and
I've suggested that these KATERGEW in these future Middle/Passive forms
should be understood to have the sense of "atrophy." But I quite expect to
be the voice of one crying in the wilderness on this issue.

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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