1Cor 10:9-10

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Fri Aug 4 07:17:12 EDT 2000


At 10:54 PM -0400 8/3/00, Dmitriy Reznik wrote:
>MHDE EKPEIRAZWMEN TON CRISTON KAQWS TINES EPEIRASAN KAI hUPO TWN OFEWN
>APWLLUNTO. MHDE GOGGUZETE KAQAPER TINES AUTWN EGOGGUSAN KAI APWLONTO hUPO TOU
>OLOQREUTOU.
>
>Dear friends:
>
>Could you help me to understand if APWLLUNTO in 1Cor 10:9 has middle or
>passive form? I think having a subject (serpents) and being used with
>hUPO + Gen it should be passive. But in verse 10 APWLONTO is used in the
>same way, and yet it is definitely 2nd aorist.

The middle forms of APOLLUMI are not in themselves passive but intransitive
and mean "perish" or "go to waste" (e.g. hO OINOS APOLLUTAI, "the wine
spoils").

Actually the use of these forms APWLLUNTO and APWLONTO with hUPO + genitive
neatly illustrate one of the points I've attempted to underscore in my
posts about the Greek "passive" over the last couple years: generally
speaking the MAI/SAI/TAI-MHN/SO/TO forms as well as the -QH- forms are
essentially either intransitive or reflexive in sense--only the context and
sometimes only an instrumental or agent construction will clearly indicate
that a particular one of these forms is being used as a passive in an
individual case (e.g. does HGERQH mean "rose" or "was raised"--from sleep
or death? Although I once thought it must be passive and mean "was raised"
I've come to think it is actually intransitive in meaning and essentially
equivalent to the other NT verb regularly used in the aorist for
resurrection, ANESTH.

What the hUPO + genitive construction really means is something like
"through the agency of X"--it indicates what Aristotle might term an
"efficient cause" of the action referred to by the verb in question. hUPO +
genitive can be used with verbs that are clearly intransitive in essence to
give them a passive force, for example:

	EFANH TAUTA hUPO TWN AGGELWN "These things became manifest through
the work of messengers" = "These things were revealed by messengers."

	hUPO TOU PONTIOU PILATOU APOQNHiSKEI hO IHSOUS. "Jesus dies under
(through the agency of) Pontius Pilate" = "Jesus is put to death by Pontius
Pilate."

-- 

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/



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