[b-greek] Re: EGEIRW in perfect in 1Cor 15

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Thu Nov 23 2000 - 12:20:15 EST

I've corrected the verb-form in the subject-header because the IE was
driving me up the walls!

At 10:27 AM -0600 11/23/00, Steven Craig Miller wrote:
>To: Dmitriy Reznik,
><< Will you please help me to translate EGEIRW which is very often used in
>1Cor 15 in perfect tense? Actually it is used in verses 12, 13, 14, 16, 17,
>20. I would suspect it to be intransitive, as I have already been taught in
>this forum. But presence of G-d as the subject who HGEIREN Jesus makes me
>doubt. What would you say: should EGHGERTAI be translated as passive, or as
>intransitive middle? >>
>In classical Greek the intransitive sense is more common (if I'm not
>mistaken) with the perfect verb in the active voice, so that EGRHGORA
>means "I'm awake." Although the second aorist middle occurs in the compound
>EXHGROMHN meaning "I woke up." There doesn't seem to be any doubt that
>EGHGERTAI can be passive, so my question would be: are there any
>(unambiguous) examples of it being used as an intransitive middle? But
>concerning 1 Corinthians 15:12-20, I believe that verse 15 (as you noted)
>settles the issue, EGHGERTAI is here passive. Or have I overlooked something?

We've been over this several times in the past, and it's one of the items
that first got me to a radical shift in my understanding of the Greek voice
morphology that I first laid out in late May of 1997 on the list. I really
think that EGHGERTAI and HGERQH are both essentially intransitive and that
there's no significant difference between HGERQH and ANESTH when referring
to the resurrection of Jesus. While it is true that there are the two
references in 1 Cor 15:15 (also in 1 Cor 6:14) to God as the agent in
raising Jesus, there is no agent indicated in any of the other forms, which
commonly appearing in 1 Cor 15 is the perfect middle/reflexive EGHGERTAI.
I'm inclined to agree with Mark Wilson that this is a stative and really
means "He is in the risen state" or "he stands resurrected"--but I'm
perfectly happy with the old-fashioned rendering "He is risen"--it has a
quaint ring that is very much, I think, like the real force of the
intransitive function of the Perfect Middle(/Passive) and like the French
intransitive Passe/ De/fini in such forms as IL EST ENTRE/ OR ILS SONT

I personally don't think there's a single one of the MP forms of EGEIRW in
1 Cor 15 that is really passive in meaning; and of course, the position I
have adopted (and that I know is not commonly accepted) is that all these
forms really are essentially middle-reflexive and that the middle-reflexive
gets to be used in a passive sense where there is some clear designation of
an agent. When there is no clear designation of an agent, I don't think the
focus of the verb form is on the experience of the subject--not as a person
or thing undergoing some action brought from without, but as a person or
thing involved in, engaged in an action.


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
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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