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

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Fri Nov 24 2000 - 17:30:30 EST

At 3:13 PM -0600 11/24/00, Steven Craig Miller wrote:
>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?

Yes, that's exactly what I think (but then, I've been say it ad nauseam)--I
think it's very much like subjective and objective genitive, which is a
translator's problem. I think a considerable portion of the problems we
have with Greek come from wanting to think that Greek is structured the way
we want to TRANSLATE it into English.


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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