[B-Greek] Third-person commands
Dr. Don Wilkins
drdwilkins at sbcglobal.net
Fri Nov 11 13:41:54 EST 2005
Yours is a good comment illustrating the problem. I could use the
tree/forest analogy. We pick up all our information about the context
from the syntax and vocabulary. If you think of these elements as
trees, then at some point you have enough trees to visualize a forest
(= the context). Grammatically (or by definition), there is no
question as to whom Paul is addressing his third-person command; in
effect, we're not seeing the tree for the forest. I am exploring the
possibility that Paul is ordering the congregation to permit the
unbeliever to leave as a kind of side-effect of the third-person
command, a rhetorical but not grammatical effect. Simply saying that
the command is to the congregation because that makes sense to us is
taking the easy way out. If it really is to the congregation, then we
should logically postulate the steps that take us from the third to
second person, without nullifying the third-person command in the
process (as in jury nullification).
As to Matt. 9:27, you'll need to clarify for me because I only see a
second-person imperative there.
On Nov 10, 2005, at 6:33 PM, kgraham0938 at comcast.net wrote:
> Hey Don, you wrote:
> I would suggest instead that he is saying, "If you are one of those
>> unbelieving spouses, then get out!" And since impeding the offender's
>> progress would be in opposition to Paul's command, it is logical to
>> infer "Stay out of his way" as an unspoken directive to the others.
>> This happens to be an important passage with respect to real-world
>> marriage relationships, so it might also help to think in terms of
>> what a pastor or counselor should say to someone whose spouse is
>> threatening to leave.
> Response: I see your point, but I think it is more of a contextual
> issue than one of grammar. Because it appears to me that you are
> focusing the command upon the unbeliever (i.e. if you are one of
> those...get out!!!), and I think most others are focusing the
> command on the believer. So I think a great deal of how one
> interpretes this is figuring out who Paul is addressing.
> But here is something I'd like your opinion on, Matt 9:27. The
> third person imperative does not seem like a command to me, but
> rather a petition.
> ELEHSON hMAS hUIOS DAVID = have mercy on us, Son of David.
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