[b-greek] RE: dat. in James 3:18

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Fri Apr 13 2001 - 13:45:35 EDT

At 2:22 PM +0200 4/13/01, Iver Larsen wrote:
>Comments by Iver Larsen below:
>> James 3:18
>> How is the dative TOIS POIOUSIN used in this verse? I'm thinking that it
>> could be a dative of advantage ("is sown FOR those who make peace") or a
>> dative of means ("is sown BY MEANS of those who make peace"), or some
>> might want to call it a dative of agency ("is sown BY those who make
>> peace"), although the only clear instances of this category occur with a
>> perfect passive verb (acc. to Wallace).
>Obviously the verb has to be passive for a dative to be used as agent, but
>I would not
>have thought that the perfect form would be a requirement. In James 3:7 we
>have two
>coordinated passive verbs, one in present and one in perfect followed by a
>dative as agent
>(Every animal species is tamed and has been tamed by the human species -
>It is not common to use a dative as agent, but there are some examples. I
>guess there
>could be a Hebrew influence here, since the normal Greek agentive marker
>is hUPO,
>occasionally EN, and since the few other examples I have found in the GNT
>are either from
>LXX or Matthew. (I suspect more examples could be found, especially in the
>LXX itself.)

I would just note that there's no need to explain this on the basis of
Semitism; the dative of agent is found commonly enough in older Greek with
passive verbs, and yes, especially with perfect passives--but it's also
common in Greek poetry with passive verbs.


Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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