Exceptions to a rule

Harry W. Jones hjbluebird at aol.com
Tue Oct 30 05:41:46 EST 2001

Dear Mark,

I believe that you have made a very valid point on this.
I'm self studying NT Greek from an engineering point of
view with a guiding principle of KISS. That's why I would 
in 1Pet. 2:18 and reengineer it into
Then things are quite clear. That's why I'm inclined to 
agree with that the exceptions are part of the rule in NT Greek.
That would go for M/P cases too. One of the reasons that I like
Wallace more and more is that a he really believes in cutting to the 

Best Regards,
Harry Jones

> Rule:
> Verbs agree with their Subjects. A plural Subject
> has a plural verb.
> EXCEPTION to rule:
> Neuter plural Subjects can take singular verbs.
> My question in the above, oversimplified rule is whether or not
> we really have an EXCEPTION to a rule and not simply a FEATURE of
> a language.
> To me, EXCEPTIONS to rules imply that their is something inherent
> and unchanging WITHIN THE RULES that is being "violated."
> Taking the above example, is there anything inherent within the
> rule of plural subjects taking plural verbs that is VIOLATED
> when neuter plural subjects use singular verbs?
> I think it is rather obvious that Neuter plural subjects are often
> conceived as a Unit and therefore the Greeks would have naturally
> used a unit-like verb. So, what appears to be an EXCEPTION is rather
> a FEATURE of neuter plural subjects. Once this FEATURE is discovered,
> then the singular verb makes perfect sense.
> I wonder if something similar is behind the deponency discussions
> going on. Perhaps there is some inherent feature of m/p FORMS that
> certain verbs align with. To say that a verb has a middle or passive
> form BUT is active in meaning seems to imply to me some violation
> of either the form or the voice.
> Just trying to get a better handle on this...
> Mark Wilson
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