From: Carl W. Conrad (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun May 06 2001 - 07:50:06 EDT
At 11:42 PM -0500 5/5/01, Eric Weiss wrote:
>While reading Matthew, in 8:23 and 9:27 I noticed what appears to be a
>dative absolute functioning like the genitive absolute:
>KAI EMBANTI AUTWi EIS TO PLOION HKOLOUQHSAN AUTWi hOI MAQHTAI AUTOU
>KAI PARAGONTI EKEIQEN TWi IHSOU HKOLOUQHSAN [AUTWi] DUO TUFLOI KRAZONTES
>KAI LEGONTES ELEHSON hHMAS, hUIOS DAUID
>Yet, I could not confirm this in Wallace, Smyth, BDF, Brooks-Winbery,
>Zerwick, or Robertson & Davis by looking in their indexes either for
>these verses or for the term "dative absolute" under "Dative" -- unless,
>of course, I overlooked it. Porter's IDIOMS says "It is debated by
>grammarians whether there are examples of the dative absolute in the
>Greek of the NT." (p. 184). Richard Young's INTERMEDIATE grammar
>discusses Matthew 8:23 but doesn't suggest that the dative participle
>and pronoun are a "dative absolute."
>I did however find both verses discussed as Dative Absolutes in
>Perschbacher's NEW TESTAMENT GREEK SYNTAX.(also Acts 22:6 & 17), and THE
>EXPOSITOR'S GREEK TESTAMENT suggests it might be such at Matthew 8:23.
>So ... is Perschbacher being idiosyncratic or iconoclastic (he does,
>however, say its usage is rare in the NT)? Or is it that these other
>widely-used grammars have omitted a Greek grammatical construction in
>their discussion of the usages of the dative?
>Or am I misunderstanding or overlooking something?
I can see how some might want to categorize this as a "dative absolute" --
particularly any who are quick to define new grammatical subcategories --
but I think this is a simple matter of dative construing with HKOLOUQHSAN
and the circumstantial participle in standard fashion positioned at the
beginning of the sentence where an adverbial clause would be stationed.
At the same time, it might be possible to discern a "Semitism" in the first
instance (Mt 8:23?), where the second AUTWi might seem redundant (and
indeed is in standard Greek): isn't this pretty much the way Hebrew uses
ASHER to start a relative clause and then concludes it with an appropriate
By the way, Eric, I owe you a note and will try to get to it soon.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
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