[B-Greek] On Jussives

Dr. Don Wilkins drdwilkins at sbcglobal.net
Fri Nov 11 14:00:09 EST 2005

Carl Conrad is better qualified than I and most others on the list to  
address the development of Greek, and I hope he will. I would just  
like to remark that that the Hebrew substantially differs from the  
Greek in that Hebrew is far more flexible in its grammar, sometimes  
frustratingly so for someone like me. That is one reason I mentioned  
Ps. 31:17 in Hebrew vs. the LXX in my initial post. I noted that the  
LXX has optatives there instead of 3p imperatives, reflecting the  
translator's understanding and interpretation of the rather flexible  
jussive. There are many other places where the LXX simply has the 3p  
imperative as a grammar-for-grammar exchange for the jussive, and  
this perhaps indicates to us that the translators found matching the  
Hebrew construction with the correct Greek equivalent challenging at  
times. The greater precision of the Greek undoubtedly made the  
translation process more complicated.

Don Wilkins

On Nov 11, 2005, at 6:53 AM, Donald R. Vance, Ph.D. wrote:

> In Iver Larsen's response to Don, he stated
> <snip>
>> To view the 3. ps. "imperative" (which is better called jussive) as
>> either a permission or a command would be
> <snip>
> I don't know the origin of the jussive in Greek, but in Semitics this
> term refers to an entire paradigm. The volitives  have three forms,
> the cohortative, the imperative, and the jussive. The cohortative
> (marked by the suffix -â) and the jussive (marked by a shortened
> form, if possible) were originally productive for all persons and
> formed two separate paradigms alongside the indicative. Only the
> imperative was restricted to the second person. As Hebrew developed,
> the cohortative tended to be restricted to first person, the
> imperative was already restricted to second person, but the jussive
> shows up in both second and third persons with regularity (I'm not
> sure about the first person off the top of my head). The difference
> in nuance between the three volitives is no longer clear. Is this
> situation analogous to that in the development of Greek?
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