From: Carl W. Conrad (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Sep 15 2000 - 08:49:35 EDT
I am forwarding to the list herewith a question posed by Robert Garringer
regarding usage of GINOMAI in Rom 7:3 along with my own comment; the
question was definitely meant to go to the list.
>Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2000 16:51:54 -0600
>From: "Robert L. Garringer" <email@example.com>
>To: "Carl W. Conrad" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: GINOMAI in Romans 7:3
>Romans 7:3 reads, ARA OUN ZWNTOS TOU ANDROS MOICALIS CRHMATISEI EAN
>GENHTAI ANDRI hETERW EAN DE APOQANHi hO ANHR ELEUQERA ESTIN APO TOU
>NOMOU TOU MH EINAI AUTHN MOICALIDA GENOMENHN ANDRI hETERW.
>Translators and commentators take GENHTAI (a deponent middle verb) in
>the first half of the verse and GENOMENHN (a deponent middle participle)
>in the last half to be references to a second marriage on the part of
>the woman. Since both verbs are forms of GINOMAI and the word is never
>used of marriage elsewhere in the New Testament, why not understand Paul
>to be referring to an intimate relationship between the woman and a man
>other than her husband? The idea would be that she had "given herself"
>to him. Such a relationship would be adultery prior to her husband's
>death but not afterwards as the full verse would then state.
>Pastor Robert L. Garringer
(1) I really don't know what purpose is served by identification of the
forms of GENHTAI and GENOMENHN as "deponent middle". You're probably not
familiar with my tirades on this list against use of the term "deponent,"
but that term is usually used of a verb whose middle form conveys the sense
of what would be an active verb in the language of the person who is
calling the form "deponent." I would rather say of GINOMAI that it is an
INTRANSITIVE verb whose default voice is middle/reflexive, and I would note
also something that I think is quite relevant in this instance, that
outside the present tense forms of GINOMAI tend to supply the sense of
EIMI, which is found only in the present, future, and imperfect
tenses--EGENOMHN consequently, as often as not, is functioning as the
aorist of EIMI.
(2) It may be true that GINOMAI is never used of marriage elsewhere in the
NT, it is nevertheless cited by LSJ (at Perseus, s.v. II.3.b), as being so
used in the LXX at Numbers 36:11--and there's hardly any doubt about the
meaning there. However, I'd say this is really not so much a matter of a
special sense of GINOMAI with dative as it is the ordinary dative of
possession with an aorist of GINOMAI serving for the defective aorist of
EIMI, so that we ought to say that EGENETO + dative = "came to belong to."
For that reason I don't think there is any need to dispute the traditional
understanding of EAN GENHTAI ANDRI hETERWi and GENOMENHN ANDRI hETERWi in
(3) I'll grant that SUNEIMI + dative and SUGGINOMAI + dative may and often
enough do refer to sexual relations, but the dative with these verbs ought
to be understood as governed by the prefix SUN- rather than to be some
extension of the usage of EIMI/GINOMAI + dative.
For these reasons, therefore, I don't really see much merit in this
interpretation of Romans 3. But I invite other list-members to voice their
opinions on the matter.
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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