Re: DIATASSW -- Titus 1:5

From: Carlton Winbery (
Date: Tue Feb 01 2000 - 00:36:12 EST

Clayton wrote;
>Perhaps in Titus 1:5 the middle functions like the active, but looking
>over the active/middle/passive instances of DIATASSW we find in 1Cor.
>7:17 an example of the middle form which appears to me to show a
>distinct function over against the active.
>In this context the middle seems to imply an action of establishing a
>state of order, a process in which Paul participated not just as an
>external agent but also to some extent as a direct participant, so that
>the middle could be seen as showing Paul's participation in the order
>and ordering EN TAIS EKKLHSIAS. This may seem like splitting hairs to
>some folks but I see this as a different kind of action than that of an
>agent who just initiates a action from without. This is not a case where
>Paul just does something to the churches, rather he does something
>within the churches so that he is both an initiator and a recipient of
>his own action. I may be just dreaming this up and I am sure someone on
>the list will point this out.
>BAGD does not draw a distinction between the meaning or function of the
>active and middle of DIATASSW. However, LEH does draw a distinction,
>giving for the middle: "to arrange for oneself" [ti] 4 Mc 8:3. This
>distinction is also noted in LS (intermediate). I think this meaning
>"to arrange for oneself" is applicable to 1Cor. 7:17c but not Titus 1:5.
>As far as Titus 1:5 is concerned I don't see that the middle has much
I would agree with Clay here. In some cases we could say that middle shows
some slight emphasis on the subject. However, when the middle is compared
with the active of the same verb in Paul it is hard to see a difference.

I Cor. 7:17 "thus I have ordered in all the churches . . ." middle
I Cor.9:14 "thus God ordered those proclaiming the gospel to live by the
gospel" active
I Cor 11:34 "I will give instruction when I come." middle
I Cor 16:1 "as I ordered the churches in Galatia . . ." active
Titus 1:5 "as I ordered you" middle

I find it difficult to clearly distinguish these usages and think that for
Paul there was no significant difference. We could always say something
Paul, himself, ordered when it is middle, but I'm not sure about that.

Dr. Carlton L. Winbery
Foggleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
Ph. 1 318 448 6103 hm
Ph. 1 318 487 7241 off

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