A.T. Robertson on Voice (2)
Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Wed Nov 7 16:56:18 EST 2001
Once again I am forwarding to the list excerpts from Robertson's later
discussion of the Aorist Passive and Future Passive in Koine Greek. Of
particular interest, in my judgment, are the evidence he adduces regarding
the origin and history of -QH- morphoparadigms as well as evidence for
NON-PASSIVE usage of several GNT verb-forms in both morphoparadigms. I hope
I may have been more successful than with part (1) in checking for
typographical errors in advance.
Extract from A.T. Robertson, _A Grammar of the Greek NT in the Light of
Historical Research_. 4th ed., 1923, pp. 816-820.
Chapter XVII. VOICE (DIAQESEIS, Genus)
(e) AORIST PASSIVE. This tense calls for special comment. As already
stated, in Homer the aorist middle form, like other middle forms, was
sometimes used as passive. In itself there is no reason why this should not
be so. the distinctive passive aorist (second and first) grew up side by
side with this use of the aorist middle. EFANHN and EBHN are really the
same form at  bottom. Out of this intransitive aorist active
(cf.APOLWLA grew the so-called second aorist passive forms (-HN) with
active endings. We have EKRUBHN (Jo. 8:59) from the transitive verb KRUPTW
(cf.ESTALHN from STELLW, etc.) and ECARHN (Jo. 14:28) from the intransitive
CAIRW. It is probable that HGERQH sometimes (as in Mk. 16:6) is merely
intransitive, not passive, in idea. Moulton (Prol., p. 163) says "often."
In 1 Cor. 15:15 f., etc., the true passive "emphasizes the action of God."
But hUPETAGHSAN (Ro. 10:3) is more likely passive in sense, like EKOIMHQHN
(1 Th. 4:14), 'was put to sleep' (Moulton, Prol., p. 162). Moulton quotes
from the papyri "a purely middle use of KOIMHQHNAI, 'fell asleep, 'hHNIKA
HMELLON KOIMHQHNAI EGRAYA', Ch.P. 3 (iii/B.C.). He finds a "clear passive"
in hINA TA PROBATA EKEI KOIMHQHi, F.P. 110 (i/A.D.), but EKOLLHQH (Lu.
15:15) can be explained as passive or middle in sense. In a few verbs
(ESTHN, ESTAQHN) a distinction was developed. W.F. Moulton thinks
(Winer-M., p. 315, n. 5) that "a faint passive force" may be observed in
STAQHNAI in the N.T., but hardly in Mk. 3:24. Cf. also intransitive
STAQHSOMAI in Mt. 12:25, 26. ESTAQHKA in modern Greek is aorist passive
for STHNW, 'place' (Thumb, Handb., p. 145). The correct text (W.H.) in Ac.
21:3 is ANAFANANTES THN KUPRON (active), not ANAFANENTES (passive). But
still some MSS. do have this transitive second aorist passive form (from
the active). Already in Homer this was true.
The so-called passive "deponents," verbs which had no active,
formed the aorist with the passive form. But they were not always
intransitive. Some of them were so, like POREUOMAI (Mt. 8:9), METAMELOMAI
(Mt. 27:3), DUNAMAI (Mt. 17:16), but most of them are really transitive.
they probably represent a survival of the old active origin of the aorist
passive forms As examples of the transitive passive deponents, note
EBOULHQH (Mt. 1:19), EDEHQH (Lu. 5:12), ENQUMHQENTOS (Mt 1:20), EPEMELHQH
(Lu. 10:34), EFOBHQH (Mt. 14:5). These passive aorists have precisely the
construction that the middle or active would have so far as case is
concerned. The distinctive passive sense is absent. Some of the "deponents"
have both a middle and a passive aorist with a distinct passive sense. Thus
note the middle and passive voices side  by side in ARNHSAMENOS and
APARNHQHSETAI (Lu. 12:9). It so happens that this context is full of
passive forms. Some of them in the aorist passive sense, like
EPISUNACQEISWN (12:1), SUGKEKLAUMMENON ESTI hO OUK APOKALUFQHSETAI
(12:2),GNWSQHSETAI (12:2), AKOUSQHSETAI and KHRUCQHESETAI (12:3),
PWLOUNTAI and OUK ESTIN EPILELHiSMENON (12:6), HRIQMHNTAI
(12:7),AFEQHSETAI (12:10). But note also the passive deponents FOBHQHTE
(12:4f.), FOBHQHTE (12:5), FOBEISQE (12:7). Cf. also APODEXASQAI (Ac.
18:27) and PARAEDECQHSAN(15:4), where the voices are distinguished,
QEASASQAI TOUS ANAKEIMENOUS (Mt. 22:11) and PROS TO QEAQHNAI AUTOIS (Mt.
6:1), LOGISAMENOS (Heb. 11:19) and ELOGISQH (Lu. 22:37), IASATO (Lu. 9:42)
and IAQH (Mt. 8:13), ERUSATO (Col. 1:13) and ERUSQHN (2 Tim 4:17),
ECARISATO (Lu. 7:21) and CARISQHNAI (Ac. 3:14). One may note also
PARHiTHSANTO (Heb. 12:19) and ECE ME PARHiTHMENON (Lu. 14:19, perfect
passive); EXELEXATO (Mk. 13:20), but hO EKLELEGMENOS (Lu. 9:35);
KORESQENTES TROFHS (Ac. 27:38) and HDH KEKORESMENOI ESTE (1 Cor. 4:8). It
is possible to see a difference also between EGENETO (Jo. 1:14) and
GENHQHTW (Mt. 6:10). APEKRIQHN (Mt. 25:9) steadily drove out APEKRINATO
(Ac. 3:12), though both are used transitively with no difference in sense.
The papyri more frequently have APEKRINAMHN, though both forms continue in
the KOINH. Cf. also APOKOGHQHNAI (Lu. 21:14), DIELECQHSAN (Mk. 9;34),
EQAUMASQH (Rev. 13:3), though with passive sense in 2 Th. 1:10. As a result
of this inroad of the comparatively new passive forms the aorist middle
forms vanished. In modern Greek the passive aorist form is invariably used
for both the middle and the passive ideas. This tendency seen in the N.T.
(and the rest of the KOINH) has triumphed over the aorist middle. In Ro.
10:3 THi DIKAIOSUNHi TOU QEOU OUC hUPETAGHSAN, the Rev. V. translates 'they
did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.'
(f) FUTURE PASSIVE. As has been mentioned several times already, Homer has
only two future passive forms (second futures). The passive voice indeed
occurs but rarely in the Boeotian dialect. The future in -QHSOMAI is
comparatively late. At first, certainly, the distinction between passive
and middle (and active also, -HN, -QHN) was "a distinction of function, not
of form." It is not surprising to find the middle future form in Homer
used with the passive sense (cf. all the other tenses save aorist), where
the forms  for the two voices are identical. In later prose the future
middle form continued to be used in the passive sense even in the great
prose writers (Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Plato, Demosthenes. In the
LXX Conybeare and Stock (Selections, p. 75f.) find the same idiom. Cf. Ex.
12:10 OUK APOLEIYETAI AP' AUTWN hEWS PRWI, KAI OSTOUN OU SUNTRIYETAI AP'
AUTOU. It is quite within bounds, therefore, to speak of "medio-passives"
in the future as in the aorist. The idiom appears in the papyri. So narrow
is the dividing-line between middle and passive is. PERIBALEITAI (Rev. 3:5)
middle or passive in sense? The same ambiguity exists as to APOKOYONTAI
(Gal. 5:12). Considering the rather large list of verbs that once used the
middle future as passive in sense the idiom is rare in the N.T. In general,
therefore, the future passive form has made its place secure by the time of
the KOINH. Even verbs that have no active form have the future passive as
well as the future middle. Thus APARNHSOMAI (Mk. 14:31), but APARNHQHSOMAI
(Lu. 12:9), IASOMAI (Ac. 28:27), but IAQHSETAI (Mt. 8:8); and in Ro. 2:26
LOGISQHSETAI is passive in sense. But the future passive form was destined,
like the other futures, to disappear as a distinct form. Only the compound
tense occurs in the modern Greek. But, meanwhile the future passive form
took over the uses of the vanishing future middle forms. It is possible to
find a passive sense in EPANAPAHSETAI (Lu. 10:6), METAMELHQHSETAI (Heb.
7:21), ANAKLIQHSONTAI (Mt. 8:11), KOIMHQHSOMEQA (1 Cor 15:28).7 In 1 Cor
15:28 note also hUPETAGH, which reinforces the argument for the true
passive. But the future passive may also be devoid of the passive idea and
even transitive just like the aorist passive. Cf. APOKRIQHSOMAI (Heb.
13:6). The passive AFAIREQHSETAI (Lu. 10:42) has the usual sense, but one
wonders if in hWN TE OFQHSOMAI SOI (Ac. 26:165) the passive voice is
transitive and even causative (cf. Is. 1:12). Cf. the examples of reflexive
passives in the LXX (Conybeare and Stock, Sel., p. 76), like OFQHTI =
'show thyself' (1  Ki. 18:1). It is possible, of course, for hWN to be
attracted to the case of TOUTWN from hOIS ('in which', 'wherein'). Then
OFQHSOMAI SOI would be 'I will appear to thee.' Note the new present
OPTANOMAI (Ac. 1:3). But the future middle persisted in GENHSOMAI,
DUNHSOMAI, EPIMELHSOMAI, POREUSOMAI.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
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