Conditionals (2d class)

Paul S. Dixon dixonps at
Thu Oct 22 13:36:34 EDT 1998

On Thu, 22 Oct 1998 11:46:00 -0400 "Rodney J. Decker" <rdecker at>

>Without getting bogged down in the appropriate classification, I have a
>query re. what if often called a 2d class condition (EI + ind., AN +
>tense/indic.). Wallace's grammar (695 n.22) points out that there are no
>exs. of 2d class conditions in which the speaker believes something to
>true, but assumes it to be false for purposes of argument. He implies
>this sort of statement either can or does exist outside the NT (either
>koine or classical Greek), especially in sarcastic contexts. Can anyone
>me on the track of such a use? A citation and/or source would be 


Did you perhaps misread Wallace, or do you have an updated version?
My footnote reads:

"For the NT, it is unnecessary to add "for the sake of argument" since
the speaker/author of every second class condition in the NT apparently
embraces the untruth of the protasis.  But this is partially due to the
paucity of examples.  On a larger scale it would be helpful to make this
distinction because an author can embrace the truth of the protasis, even
though he presents it as untrue (especially in sarcastic contexts:
"If the Dallas Cowboys had done better in 1995, they would have gone
to the Super Bowl in 1996.""

I think all Wallace is saying here is that it is unnecessary, at least in
NT, to add "for the sake of argument" since the author always embraces
the untruth of the protasis.

At any rate, at least one example paralleling the example you and he gave

comes to mind immediately.  Take  Mt 11:21: for if (EI) the miracles had
occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they (AN) would have
repented long ago ...

I would surprised if there are not others, especially since they are so
prevalent in the Classical Greek, as Carl points out.

Am I missing something here?

Paul Dixon

You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
Get completely free e-mail from Juno at
or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]

More information about the B-Greek mailing list