Accusative of ?? in Luke 7:29

Clwinbery at Clwinbery at
Tue Sep 11 16:44:19 EDT 2001

Carl Conrad responded to Ken Litwak;
 At 9:46 PM -0700 9/10/01, Kenneth Litwak wrote:
 >   In Luke 7:29b, we read
 >By its parallel with 7:30, it should probably be
 >understood as "having been baptized by John's
 >baptism."  This, however, requires using an accusative
 > to express means. Surely that's to invent yet another
 >grammatical category to use, rather than trying to
 >make sense of it with accepted categories.  How should
 >this accusative be understood.  Please don't tell me
 >categories as such are bad, since when I asked, no one
 >had a better practicable suggestion.  Thanks.

Carl wrote;
 Ken, in "classical" English grammar (what I was taught in the fifth grade,
 back around 1946--don't know if it's still taught that way or at all ... ),
 this was called a "received object of a passive verb." The example by which
 I was taught was: "I was given a book." In this situation the indirect
 object of "X gave me a book" has become the subject of a passive verb, but
 the direct object still has to be expressed in an accusative (i.e.
 "objective") case form. That's exactly what TO BAPTISMA IWANNOU is here.

 However, in the course of my ruminations on Greek voice, I've personally
 come to feel that it would be better to characterize the form BAPTISQENTES
 as an aorist MIDDLE participle with the sense "having gotten themselves
 baptized" and understand TO BAPTISMA IWANNOU as a "cognate accusative" of
 BAPTIZW (like the object in "see the sights" or the like.
I have read Carl's studies on the middle/passive voices and agree with most of what he says. Some of it I seek to express by using the older terminology of true passive and not true passive. I have, because of Carl, dropped the word, deponent, from my vocabulary.
In the case of this passage though, I have generally dealt with it by noting the tendency of the accusative to be used adverbally. When the accusative is used adverbally, it expresses measure in time or space, reference or respect, or manner. I think this one expresses manner and that the passive or middle form of the verb does not matter that much. A simple eg in Luke with an active verb is Luke 9:14, KATAKLINATE AUTOUS KLISIAS . . . "Seat them in groups . . ."

With the a passive form, Luke 16:19 ENEDIDUSKETO PORFURAN KAI BUSSON. "He was clothed (If middle - clothed himself) with purple and fine linen.  One that seems to me to be passive, Rev. 16:9 EKAUMATISQHSAN hOI ANQRWPOI KAUMA MEGA "The men were burned with a great fire." So I think I would explain Luke 9:29 as an accusative used adverbally showing manner.

Carlton Winbery
Louisiana College

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