Third person imperatives

boyd at huxcomm.net boyd at huxcomm.net
Fri Oct 19 18:37:07 EDT 2001


Dennis Hukel wrote:
<There are many categories of Imperatives beside Command and 
Permissive.
Most have more to do with urging someone to do
something. About 20 years ago I came up with another phrase 
beside "let
him..." that seemed more neutral and better
able to span the various usages. Replace "let him.." with "arrange 
for
him..."

This also clarifies the actual meaning of 3rd person imperatives. As 
you
know, the 1st person always talks to a 2nd
person about a 3rd person. The 3rd person imperatives are no 
different.
The imperative verb is said to a second person
(who knows who they are) about what the 1st person wants 
concerning the
"third person". This is evident, but slightly
obscured with "let him".>

Thank you for this explanation Dennis.  I'm starting to get it, but 
let's try another example from a less theologically loaded text than 
Rev.  22:11.  The verse that came to mind was 1 Timothy 4:12:

MHDEIS SOU THS VEOTHTOS KATAFRONEITW, ALLA TUPOS 
GINOU TWN PISTWN EN LOGWi, EN ANASTROFHi, EN 
AGAPEi, EN PISTEI, EN hAGNEIAi.

Let me try to explain what's going on in this verse, and you more 
astute scholars can tweak my understanding.  Paul stipulates how 
others are to treat Timothy--no one is to despise (look down on) his 
youth.  This is a 3rd person imperative which expresses Paul's will 
in regards to others (3rd person), but it is addressed to Timothy.  In 
other words, Timothy should not have to say, "Paul says that you 
need to respect me."  Instead, Timothy must be (2nd person imp.) 
an example, so that Paul's 3rd person imperative is fulfilled.  Is my 
understanding correct?

Thanks for the interaction,
Jonathan Boyd
Huxley, IA



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