[b-greek] RE: John 20:28 and Augustine

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Mon Feb 05 2001 - 14:18:01 EST

At 6:23 PM +0000 2/5/01, Ben Crick wrote:
>On Mon 5 Feb 2001 (16:27:09 +0000), mauros@iol.ie wrote:
>> Well, it is certainly news to me that that the "noli me tangere"
>> on which Augustine relied is an accurate rendering of MH MOU hAPTOU.
> It was good enough for Jerome in the Biblia Sacra Vulgata, Maurice!
> (John 20:17). The Middle Voice doesn't have an Aorist Imperative; only
> Present and Perfect (MH MOU hAPTOU). Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were
> already clinging to Jesus' feet (Matthew 28:9), so MH MOU hAPTOU could well
> mean "let go of me"; hence the NAB "Stop holding on to me".

In earlier Greek at least there is a middle aorist imperative in -AI; it's
identical with the aorist active infinitive in spelling.

Is it really true that there's no middle aorist imperative in Koine? If so,
it would add grist to my mill for the argument that -QH- inflections are
replacing the older MP endings in the aorist and future tenses and that
they generally do NOT carry passive meanings. Something to check upon.

HOWEVER, upon doing a quick run through AcCordance for aorist middle
imperatives, I find there are 69 instances including, for example,
PROSEUXAI in Mt 6:6, hRUSAI in Mt 6:13, NIYAI in Mt 6:17, ASPASASQE IN MT
10:12, ASFALISASQE in Mt. 27:65, ANASPASASQE in Mk 6:31, QESQE in Lk 9:44,
DEXAI in Lk 16.6, etc., etc.

So, there IS indeed a middle aorist imperative in Classical Attic and in
Koine as well. Or did you mean to argue that an aorist imperative of THIS
PARTICULAR VERB doesn't appear? I would think that's an accident more than
anything else.


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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