Accordance Error

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at
Tue Oct 6 09:50:38 EDT 1998

At 7:53 AM -0500 10/6/98, Bill Combs wrote:
>>>At 10:10 AM -0500 10/5/98, Bill Combs wrote:
>>>>I notice that Accordance lists APWLLUNTW in 1 Cor 10:9 as a middle rather
>>>>than a passive. I assume this is an error. Does anyone know how to contact
>>>>the appropriate person to report problems like this (if it is one)?
>>>>Bill Combs
>>>>Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary
>>>Actually it reads APWLLUNTO, doesn't it (imperfect middle, not imperative
>>>active)? I don't really see what the problem is here: the alternatives are
>>>active APOLLUMI and middle APOLLUMAI. I don't think there's a distinct
>>>passive form of the verb, even if the middle voice is understood in a
>>>passive sense. The middle really means "go to ruin," "go to waste," Lat.
>>I should add, by way of clarification, that the assumption has perhaps been
>>made that APWLLUNTO in 1 Cor 10:9 is passive because it is accompanied by
>>an agent construction, namely hUP' OFEWN. The agent construction does, to
>>be sure, help to distinguish what is clearly as passive from the middle
>>when the sense of the middle is genuinely reflexive. In fact, however, the
>>agent construction is a clarifying phrase to indicate the catalyst in a
>>process; the verb form itself simply indicates that the subject is involved
>>in a process. My classic example of this is:
>> hO GEWRGOS LUEI TON hIPPON "The farmer unties the horse."
>> LUETAI hO hIPPOS "The horse gets loose."
>> LUETAI hO hIPPOS hUPO TOU GEWRGOU "The horse gets loose, assisted
>>by the
>>  farmer"
>>Of course, we can translate this as "The horse is untied by the
>>farmer"--but when we do that we are simply putting the substance into a
>>normal English sentence; we are NOT understanding the real way the Greek
>>sentence works.
>>Some day, I hope in the not too distant future, I'll have an update on my
>>essay, "Observations on Greek Voice" that I originally posted over a year
>>ago to the list.
>Thank you for that clarification, Carl. Actually, I had gone back and read
>your post on Greek voice before I made my original post, and found it very
>interesting. Please do update it. I don't have it here in front of me but,
>correct me if I am wrong, you restricted true passives to those having a
>passive form, such as QH. But, forgive me, I still wonder about the
>classification of APWLLUNTO in 1 Cor 10:9 by Accordance. They commonly
>classify present and imperfect middle forms used with hUPO as passives. It
>seems inconsistent to suddenly switch to the middle with APWLLUNTO in 1 Cor

Perhaps Dale Wheeler will have something to say about this. When you say
"they commonly classify present and imperfect middle forms used with hUPO
as passives", are you referring specifically to forms of APOLLUMAI or to
other verbs? Did you see his post on this thread yesterday? I thought that
explained Accordance parsing as following BAGD classification of verbs.

Let me say by way of anticipation (briefly) that my update on Greek voice
is going to attack the traditional straightforward classification of -QH-
forms as "passives" generally (which classification is responsible for the
tremendously confusing distinction between so-called "passive deponent" and
"middle deponent" verbs); I intend to show (or at least argue) that the
-QH- forms are not originally distinctly passive in either form or function
but are, like the MAI/SAI/TAI forms, originally essentially reflexive in
the aorist and future--and that when these forms are used with hUPO agent
constructions or instrumental datives, they MAY be understood in a passive
sense, even probably SHOULD be so understood in the case of fully
transitive verbs--but actually are not in essence (or origin) passive any
more than the example I used yesterday:
LUETAI hO hIPPOS hUPO TOU GEWRGOU "The horse gets loose, assisted by the
farmer." So one might also understand an aorist form of the same
construction, ELUQH hO hIPPOS hUPO TOU GEWRGOU, as "The horse got loose,
assisted by the farmer." I'm not sure that, in the last analysis, the
immense confusion arising from the morphology of voice in the ancient Greek
verb can be completely resolved or the terminology revised, but I think
that the morphology and usage can be made considerably more intelligible,
and that alone is my hope.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
cwconrad at OR cconrad at

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