[B-Greek] Articular infinitives: distinguishing subjects from objects
George F Somsel
gfsomsel at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 27 19:58:02 EST 2008
I haven't checked every instance to see whether this is the only type of situation in which this occurs, but it is evidently not the case that an accusative immediately following an articular infinitive is the subject when the infinitive is a passive.
12καὶ ἐν τῷ κατηγορεῖσθαι αὐτὸν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀρχιερέων καὶ πρεσβυτέρων οὐδὲν ἀπεκρίνατο.
12 KAI EN TWi KATHGOREISQAI AUTON hUPO TWN ARXIEREW KAI PRESBUTERWN OUDEN APEKRINATO
Here the accusative AUTON is the object of the infinitive rather than the subject which is relegated to a prepositional phrase hUPO TWN … If this were expressed in the active [ignoring the temporal element] it would be something like
οἱἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι ἐκατηγησάν αὐτόν
hOI ARXIEREIS KAI hOI PRESBUTEROI EKATHGHSAN AUTON
… search for truth, hear truth,
learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
defend the truth till death.
- Jan Hus
From: Kenneth Litwak <javajedi2 at yahoo.com>
To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 10:32:13 PM
Subject: [B-Greek] Articular infinitives: distinguishing subjects from objects
Articular infinitives, like all infinitives, of course take subjects in the accusative case. For example, we have Matt 13;4 with a "circumstantial" articular infinitive:
EN TW SPEIREIN AUTON ("while he sows/was sowing*")
My question is whether every accusative that immediately follows an articular infinitive must be the subject and if not, how does know that it is the direct object instead? For example, Heb 8:3 would seem to follow the articular infinitive with a direct object:
PAS GAR ARCIEREUS EIS TO PROSFEREIN DWA TE KAI QUSIAS ("every high priest in order that he might offer gifts and sacrifices")
Are there any rules that can be applied to determine whether what I find is a subject or an objectg? This case _seems_ easy because I think I know that gifts and sacrifices would not make sense as the subject of the articular infinitive. Is that the only rule, that the sentence only makes sense if one takes the accusative as the subject or the direct object? I'd like a better guideline than that because one person's "that makes sense" is another person's "what were thinking?" as anyone can tell by comparing any two commentaries. Thanks.
* I've been pondering whether we should translate present tense verbs in narratives as "historical presents" or not. Could it be that we do the gospel writes, especially Mark, a disservice by destroying the vividness of the text by changing the tense to a past tense? I don't think that all Greek narrative is written in the present tense like this, so its use has to be deliberate.
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