[B-Greek] Titus 2:11
iver_larsen at sil.org
Fri Aug 17 01:27:23 EDT 2007
----- Original Message -----
From: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu>
To: "Iver Larsen" <iver_larsen at sil.org>
>> ... I'd say that EPEFANH is an intransitive aorist middle-passive of
>> EPIFAINOMAI, not a passive of EPIFAINW,
> Can you back up this claim with data or is it just a hunch based on your
> fondness for middle-passive?
[CC:] I'm interested in the middle-passive, yes; but I've become
particularly interested in "ergative" verbs that seem to be
fundamentally middle even though they have active causative forms.
And EPIFAINW does fall into that category.
[IL:] For the LXX and I assume classical Greek, that would apply to
EPIFAINW, but apparently not for Hellenistic Greek, at least not for the
GNT. I am aware of the term "ergative" used in some linguistic schools, but
I have not found it particularly helpful, since I would rather describe it
from a semantic than a syntactical point of view.
> Looking briefly at (EPI)FAINW in the LXX, it appears that there the
> form often does have a causative sense - "make shine". The middle is then
> the intransitive "shine, appear".
> However, in the GNT, there is only one clear example of a morphologically
> middle form (1Pe 4:18 - FANEITAI), and that is in a quote from the LXX.
Mt 2:7 TOU FAINOMENOU ASTEROS
Mt 2:13 AGGELOS KURIOU FAINETAI KAT' ONAR TWi IWSHF
Phil 2:15 EN hOIS FAINESQE hWS FWSTHRES EN KOSMWi
[IL:] None of these are clear examples of a middle form, since they are all
present tense and could equally well be interpreted as passive with the
patient encoded as subject.
I accept that the middle interpretation is a viable option, but it is still
an interpretation. I am actually used to the middle sense, since passages
like the first two you mention employ the middle (reflexive) form "viste
sig" (showed itself) in the traditional Danish Bible translation. However,
as I looked at all the examples of (EPI)FAINW in the NT, I started to doubt
my own tradition and assumptions.
To illustrate, let me quote different interpretations/translations of Mt
NIV: Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact
time the star had appeared.
TEV: So Herod called the visitors from the East to a secret meeting and
found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.
NLT: Then Herod sent a private message to the wise men, asking them to come
see him. At this meeting he learned the exact time when they first saw the
NCV: Then Herod had a secret meeting with the wise men and learned from them
the exact time they first saw the star.
CEV: Herod secretly called in the wise men and asked them when they had
first seen the star.
So, the more traditional and more literal translation is "had appeared"
which is basically a middle interpretation using an intransitive verb.
Several of the dynamic versions take a passive interpretation "when the star
was seen by them" which is then turned into the simpler active form "when
they saw the star".
It doesn't make much difference to the meaning, but it does change the
focus. Is the focus on the angel, who showed himself to Joseph in a dream or
is the focus on Joseph who saw an angel in a dream? I have always thought it
was the first option, but now I am moving towards the second, after having
looked in more detail at this particular verb.
> Otherwise, the active form is used in the intransitive sense of "shine".
> BAGD only lists active and passive forms of EPIFAINW and they
> list Tit 2:11 as passive.
4. show oneself, make an appearance, pass. (Hdt., Thu. et. al.; LXX)
of God (cp. Chariton 1, 14, 1 Ἀφροδίτην
ἐπιφαίνεσθαι [AFRODITHN EPIFAINESQAI]; schol. on
Apollon. Rhod. 2, introd. ἐπεφάνη αὐτοῖς ὁ
Ἀπόλλων [EPEFANH AUTOIS hO APOLLWN]; SIG 557, 6
ἐπιφαινομένης αὐτοῖς Ἀρτέμιδος
[EPIFANOMENHS AUTOIS ARTEMIDOS]; 1168, 26; Sb 6152, 5 [96 BC] Isis;
6153, 6; Gen 35:7; 2 Macc 3:30; 3 Macc 6:9; Philo; Jos., Ant. 5, 277;
8, 240; 268) τοῖς δεομένοις 1 Cl 59:4. Of God’s grace
Tit 2:11; of God’s love 3:4.—M-M. TW. Spicq.
But the meaning indicated is not a passive meaning: Aphrodite makes
an appearance, Apollo appeared to them, Artemis appearing to them.
[IL:] I would say that is debatable, depending on where you want to put the
And BDAG for FAINW:
3. to become known, be recognized, be apparent, be revealed, pass.
φαίνομαι [FAINOMAI] w. act./intr. sense
I frankly think that "passive w. act./intr. sense" is silly; it's
middle voice and middle usage.
[IL:] Yes, it is inadequate to talk about a passive with active sense. That
is because traditional Greek grammar is so focused on syntax without also
employing semantics and without a thorough understanding of the function of
the Greek middle.
> The active forms are used in the more literal sense of shining with
> like sun, moon, stars, light from a lamp. The morphologically passive
> are used in a non-literal sense and is often best translated by "be seen
> by..." Of course, the present forms are morphologically ambiguous.
> Let me take a brief example from Mark 14:64:
> TI hUMIN FAINETAI - how does it appear to you/how is it seen by you
> There is a skewing of the syntax and semantics in this kind of verb. The
> grammatical subject is the semantic patient, that which is seen, whereas
> grammatical dative is the experiencer, the person who sees it. The
> form commonly corresponds to the situation where the semantic patient is
> encoded as grammatical subject in nominative.
I don't think there's any difference between TI hUMIN FAINETAI and
the more common TI hUMIN DOKEI. I suppose that you really think WFQH
with dative is properly understood as passive: "was seen by X" rather
than middle "appeared, let (him/herself) be seen to X"
[IL:] Yes, I am beginning to think so, at least in some contexts, but I am
not saying this is a cut and dry issue. I don't think there's any difference
between "How does it seem to you?" and "How do you see it?" This last one is
grammatically equivalent to the less natural: "How is it seen by you?"
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