AITHSHi (John 11:22)
Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Thu Apr 25 07:00:37 EDT 2002
At 8:43 PM +1000 4/25/02, B. Ward Powers wrote:
>We were cogitating last night over AITHSHi in John 11:22. This form is
>third person singular aorist subjunctive active. But the required form has
>to be second person - we felt that this should have been AITHSHiS, for, in
>context, Martha says to Jesus: "but even now I know that whatever you would
>ask God for, God will give you." And in fact Nestle-Aland records a few
>manuscripts which do have this reading AITHSHiS (so we are not the first to
>prefer this form, though our UBS does not indicate a variant for this word
>in this verse).
>There is of course another explanation: AITHSHi must here be second person
>ditto ditto MIDDLE. And this must be it. But why middle? Martha can't be
>saying, "I know that whatever you ask God for FOR YOURSELF, God will give
>you." So why middle here, instead of the active (which we expected)?
>Any light to throw upon why this middle form?
Ward, I think you're limiting the force of the middle too much here: it
doesn't mean that something is being asked to be given to one's self alone;
it means rather (I think) that one makes the request with strong personal
concern, that one BEGS, PLEADS EARNESTLY. I think that's an authentic
The verb AITEW appears 70x in the GNT, 38 in the active, 32 in the middle
(and these are all, I think, authentically middle)--there are no -QH-
forms. You might look at other middle forms and consider the same question.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months:: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
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