PAUSONTAI in 1 Cor. 13:8, is it Future Deponent or an indirect middle

Carlton Winbery winberyc at
Wed Nov 24 18:40:03 EST 1999

Carl Conrad wrote;

>I've looked at that discussion (p. 419). I would agree with Wallace that it
>is not a deponent verb (I don't find the term "deponent verb" a very useful
>term for much of anything); I really don't see that much is gained by
>referring to an "indirect middle"--this seems to me another instance of
>creating a great number of categories where they aren't really needed, but
>Wallace is pretty consistent in his usage of the term. On the other hand,
>he argues that KATERGHQHSONTAI and KATERGHQHSETAI are genuinely passive--as
>I see Ben Crick also does--and probably most NT grammarians would do--, as
>if some external factor or authority is going to bring about the cessation
>of PROFHTEIAI and GNWSIS. I don't believe it myself and don't think we
>should describe a verb as passive unless there is clearly some external
>force or agent effecting the verbal action. That is not the case here, and
>I've suggested that these KATERGEW in these future Middle/Passive forms
>should be understood to have the sense of "atrophy." But I quite expect to
>be the voice of one crying in the wilderness on this issue.
I agree with Carl on two points. 1) his earlier statement that the
different verbs are most likely stylistic in this passage. 2)
KATERGHQHSONTAI and KATERGHQHSETAI are likely what some call "reflexive
passive" not true passive. Another example of this use is in Acts 2:40,
SWQHTE. Most translate it "save yourself from . . ." What Paul seems to be
emphasizing in 1 Cor. 13 is the great importance of love as the main
characteristic of Christian relationships. It almost as though he says all
else fades into the background due to the overwhelming importance of love
in Christian service.

Dr. Carlton L. Winbery
Foggleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
winbery at
winbery at
Ph. 1 318 448 6103 hm
Ph. 1 318 487 7241 off

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