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

From: Steven Craig Miller (scmiller@plantnet.com)
Date: Fri Nov 24 2000 - 16:13:55 EST

To: Carl W. Conrad, et al.,

While thinking on this issue, I've come across the following. First, I was
somewhat intrigued to find that Benton has translated: HGERQH DE FARAW (at
Gen 41:4 LXX) as "and Pharao awoke," since HGERQH is obviously passive.
This led me to start reading again what the grammarians had to say about
the passive. And Guy L. Cooper, in his "Attic Greek Prose Syntax" (1998),

<< Classical Greek is perfectly capable of expressing strictly passive
sentences, i.e. thoughts in which the subject receives the action of the
verb. But in many other passages of Classical Greek[,] sentences with
passive verbs portray the subject as not strictly passive but rather
receiving, accepting, or admitting the action into its (the subject's)
proper sphere. This suggests a middle or intransitive force in the verb >>
(52.6.0; 1:583 [comma added -SCM]).

There appears to be strong evidence for verbs with an aorist passive ending
in -(Q)HN functioning as middles in Attic Greek. This hasn't totally
convinced me that EGEIROMAI at 1 Cor 15 must be middle/reflexive rather
than passive, but I do wonder if perhaps, "a Greek speaker" (so to speak),
in the use of this middle/passive form might not resolve whether or not it
was middle or passage? Could this be a problem of translation more than one
of Greek syntax? In our attempts to translate EGEIROMAI into English, we
might be tempted to translate it as a middle or as a passive, but Paul as
he was writing 1 Corinthians didn't need to resolve the issue in his mind,
did he? What do you think?

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)

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