From: Carl W. Conrad (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Oct 10 2001 - 14:47:29 EDT
Sorry I couldn't get to this sooner; my ISP has been having problems which
I hope are now fully resolved.
At 8:03 AM -0400 10/10/01, Jay Anthony Adkins wrote:
>Last Nov. Carl had prepared a 13 page PDF. document explaining his view on
>the Greek voice system, which I had downloaded but not really read in
>depth until recently. For the most part it concentrated on why the Greek
>middle sometimes has a passive force and how most middle passive forms
>were subject- intensive if not reflexive in his view. Just to show my
>continued confusion, in looking at the term PAUW.
>Luke 5:4 (GNT) hWS DE EPAUSATO LALWN, EIPEN PROS TON SIMWNA......
>Luke 5:4 (NASU) When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon,......
>Luke 11:1 (GNT) KAI EGENETO EN TW EINAI AUTON TOPWi TINI PROSEUCOMENON, hWS
>EPAUSATO, EIPEN TIS TWN MAQHTWN AUTOU PROS AUTON,....
>Luke 11:1 (NASU) It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain
>place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him,....
>Acts 13:10 (GNT) EIPEN W PLHRHS PANTOS DOLOU KAI PASHS RADIOURGIAS, hUIE
>DIABOLOU, ECQRE PASHS DIKAIOSUNHS, OU PAUSHi DIASTPEFWN TAS hODOUS [TOU]
>KURIOU TAS EUQEIAS;
>Acts 13:10 (NASU) and said, "You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you
>son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to
>make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?
>Luke 8:24 (GNT) PROSELQONTES DE DIHGEIRAN AUTON LEGONTES EPISTATA
>EPISTATA, APOLLUMEQA. hO DE DIEGERQEIS EPETIMHSEN TWi ANEMWi KAI TWi KLUDWNI
>TOU hUDATOS KAI EPAUSANTO KAI EGENETO GALHNH.
>Luke 8:24 (NASU) They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, "Master,
>Master, we are perishing!" And He got up and rebuked the wind and the
>surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm.
>1Cor 13:8 (GNT) hH AGAPH OUDEPOTE PIPTEI: EITE DE PROFHTEIAI,
>KATARGHQHSONTAI: EITE GLWSSAI, PAUSONTAI: EITE GNWSIS, KATARGHQHSETAI.
>1Cor 13:8 (NASU) Love never fails; but if [there are gifts of] prophecy,
>they will be done away; if [there are] tongues, they will cease; if [there
>is] knowledge, it will be done away.
>The term PAUW prefers the middle, as it is middle voice 14 out of 15 of
>the NT uses according to Gramcord (1Pet 3:10 it is active). The NT uses
>this term all but 4 times in connection to speech of some sort (Prayer,
>Speech, Admonishment, Crowd noise). The four other uses include stopping
>wind (Luke 8:24); stopped beating (Acts 21:32) stopping sacrifices (Heb
>10:2); stopping sin (1Pet 4:1). So while, the end result is the same,
>PAUW would appear the more natural term to use in referring to the
>cessation of tongues as opposed to its synonym KATARGEOMAI, thus creating
>a natural stylistic variation.
I think this description and analysis is right. It is a stylistic variation
to use KATARGHQHSONTAI/KATARGHQHSETAI alternating with PAUSETAI. And I
would say that all these forms are "middle", not one of the "passive."
>The difference in the passive tense and the middle tense in this last
>verse is the cause for this search for understanding. D.A. Carson has
I think you meant "voice" rather than "tense"?
>"In verse 8, the verb with prophecies and with knowledge is in the passive
>voice: prophecies and knowledge "will be destroyed," apparently in
>connection with the coming of "perfection" (v.10). But the verb with
>"tongues," PAUSONTAI (pausontai), is in the middle; some take this to mean
>that tongues will cease of themselves. There is something intrinsic to
>their character that demands they cease - apparently independently of the
>cessation of prophecy and knowledge. This view assumes without warrant
>that the switch to this verb is more than a stylistic variation. Worse,
>it interprets the middle voice irresponsibly. In Hellenistic Greek, the
>middle voice affects the meaning of the verb in a variety of ways; and not
>only in the future of some verbs, where middles are more common, but also
>in other tenses the middle form may be used while the active force is
>preserved. At such points the verb is deponent. One knows what force the
>middle voice has only by careful inspection of all occurrences of the verb
>being studied. In the New Testament, this verb prefers the middle; but
>that does not mean the subject "stops" under its own power. For instance,
>when Jesus rebukes the wind and the raging waters, the storm stops (same
>verb, middle voice in Luke 8:24) - and certainly not under its own power."
>In an attempt to review the other NT uses of this term, I am at a loss to
>understand rather or not the usage in the other passages listed, as well
>as the rest, are reflexive, as they appear they could be or rather they
>are merely subject-intensive or even transitive. Any help in clearing the
>fog would be appreciated. If there is an example in the NT of the term
>being reflexive, how would one determine if it is or is not reflexive
>here. Am I not correct in assuming that just because it is not reflexive
>in one context does not mean in another it can not be reflexive.
I really hope to get a revised version of the basic document from April
1999 ("Observations on Greek Voice") soon. I'm sorry if this very
abrreviated note is confusing, but here's a summation of basic points I
(1) The names and labels traditionally attached to the voice morphological
paradigms are a major source of the confusion about their functions and
meanings. Particularly misleading is the term "deponent" when that is
understood to refer to a non-active voice form that supposedly has "active"
meaning, when more often than not such a form really has an intransitive
(2) The voice morphological paradigms have no essential relationship to
transitivity of a verb. An "active" form, a "middle" form, or a "passive"
form may be intransitive.
(3) The original antithesis in the forms -W/-EIS/-EI,KTL and
-OMAI/HI/ETAI,KTL should not be understood so much as "active" vs. "middle"
as "default" (may be either active or intransitive) vs. a marked form which
is subject-intensive. The "subject-intensive" form may be reflexive,
intransitive, or passive in meaning.
(4) Originally intransitive aorists in long-vowel stems, especially -H-
stems (e.g. EFANHN/EFANHS/EFANH) and an extended form of such stems in -QH-
gradually developed as regular forms of the "self-intensive" marked form in
the aorist and future tenses. While the -QH- forms are traditionally taught
and understood as "passive" they are as frequently or more frequently
intransitive as they are passive. One really ought to envision the -QH-
passive and -QHS- futures not as passive but rather as the
"subject-intensive" paradigms for the aorist and future tenses--these have,
for the most part, replaced older middle aorist and future tenses or formed
new aorist and future tense forms for the "subject-intensive" sense.
(5) Depending upon the context the forms in -OMAI/Hi/ETAI (-OMHN/OU/ETO)
and in -QHN/-QHS/-QH or -QHSOMAI/QHSHi/QHSETAI may be understood as
intransitive, reflexive or passive--but they are clearly passive only when
there's an indicator of an agent or instrument; otherwise they should be
understood as intransitive or "subject-intensive." And that's what those
forms in 1 Cor 13:8 are (KATARGHQHSONTAI, PAUSONTAI, KATARGHQHSETAI):
essentially intransitive: "they/it will cease/cease to function."
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
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