[b-greek] Re: JOH 16,23

From: Mark Wilson (emory2oo2@hotmail.com)
Date: Wed May 02 2001 - 15:44:03 EDT


Alan wrote:

>Is it possible that several of the ambiguous
>constructs we find sprinkled throughout the NT were
>indeed intentional?

To which Wayne replied:

"It is possible, but not likely. Intentional ambiguity is usually marked in
languages clearly enough for hearers/readers to catch on that an ambiguity
is intended."

There seems to be something missing here. At least to me, I generally think
of "ambiguity" as a phrase that is "confusing." But that is not the sense I
get from Alan's question. The phrase he used, "dual function," is what got
me thinking.

To apply EN AGAPHi to both Eph. 1:4 and 1:5 can be done without adding

I think Alan should have used a different word than "ambiguous." Perhaps it
would make more sense to say that a prepositional phrase is "flexible," or
"not limited as a single modifier."

Wayne, this response confused me a bit:

Alan wrote:

>And I am quite content with that "ambiguity." (God's preparing
>them for destruction [passive] need not be done apart
>from human decisions [middle].)

To which Wayne said:

"I submit that you are making a *theological* decision here, rather than a
syntactic one. We need to allow syntax to precede theology."

There is nothing in Alan's statement that implies he did not make all the
necessary syntactical decisions BEFORE arriving at the dual function use of
the Middle/Passive here.

Perhaps the way to handle this is again under the idea of "flexibility." The
Greek construct in Romans 9:22 is flexible enough to allow for us to
interpret this verse with BOTH the Middle and Passive. This does not
preclude Wayne from doing a statistical probability, and even saying that
"statistically speaking" the X voice is most likely. But I do not see where
a statistical analysis, after this many years of debating this passage,
would yield anything close to Alan's imposing a "theological decision" here.

Wayne: are you saying that we can not choose BOTH the Middle and Passive, or
we can ONLY go with a statistical probability of one or the other? If after
a statistical probability is performed, and we arrive at a statistical
equality, what then. Do we simply say this verse can not be understood?

Is there a syntactical method of arriving at the conclusion that Alan did,
namely, that both are very likely intended here. You have already conceded
that you believe there are legitimate uses of ambiguity in the NT (about 2
or 3). How about 4 :o )

Mark Wilson

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