From: Carl W. Conrad (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Feb 06 2001 - 07:02:44 EST
At 9:28 PM -0800 2/5/01, Christian Cryder wrote:
>Hi, I have a question about the phrase in Phil 1:7 -- DIA TO EXEIN ME EN TH
>Specifically, I am wondering why ME and HUMAS are _both_ sing. acc? I know
>most versions trasnalate this to the effect of "because I have you in my
>heart", but in this case I would expect to ME in its genitive form TOU MOU.
>Given the fact that both both ME and HUMAS are the same case, what is basis
>for preferring "I have you in my heart" over and above "you have me in your
>heart"? I'm just wondering if someone can shed some light on this for me.
In fact hUMAS is plural; although that is not evident in an English
translation, where the plural "you" has long been used for the older
singular "thou"it is crystal clear in Greek, where the two pronouns are
The text of the part of 1:7 in question: DIA TO ECEIN ME EN THi KARDIAi hUMAS
This is an instance of what's usually termed an "articular infinitive: the
article TO substantivizes the entire unit ECEIN ME EN THi KARDIAi hUMAS
(lit. "me to have you in the (= my) heart") allows the whole unit to
function as a noun--as in this instance the whole unit is an object of the
ME is accusative because it is the subject of the infinitive ECEIN, while
hUMAS is accusative because it is the object of the same infinitive.
Finally, how can we determine which accusative pronoun is the subject and
which the object? One cannot, in fact, always be absolutely sure: there are
some striking instances of ambiguity, but normally the first of two
accusatives in the vicinity of an infinitive that requires an accusative
subject is in fact the subject of it while the later accusative is the
object. This is actually a rather common construction in NT Greek.
I hope that helps.
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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