Subject Focused Verbs

Steven Lo Vullo doulos at merr.com
Wed Jan 9 20:31:17 EST 2002


on 1/9/02 12:43 PM, Paul, Doug at Doug.Paul at GDC4S.Com wrote:

> I have followed with interest the discussions on Middle/Passive voice.  In
> trying to understand the idea of a verb being subject focused I have looked
> at the following two texts with respect to the word MOICHEUW:
> 
> Matt 5:28
> 
> "... EGW DE LEGW hUMIN hOTI PAS hO BLEPWN GUNAIKA PROS TO EPIQUMHSAI AUTHN
> HDH EMOICEUSEN AUTHN EN TH KARDIA AUTOU."
> 
> and
> 
> Matt 19:9
> 
> "EGW DE hUMIN hOTI hOS AN APOLUSH THN GUNAIKA AUTOU MH EPI PORNEIA KAI
> GAMHSH ALLHN MOICATAI"
> 
> In Matt 5:28 the verb morphology is active and in Matt 19:9 it is
> middle-passive.  The difference I believe is that in Matt 5:28 the point is
> the relationship between the action of BLEPW and the action of MOICHEUW.
> Where as in Matt 19:9 the focus is on the participants ( or subjects) in the
> adultry.  We can discuss the activity in terms of the adultry or in terms of
> the adulterers; that determines the choice of morphology.
> 
> Does that conclustion seem reasonable?

It may be important to take into consideration that the two texts cited do
not actually contain the same word for committing adultery. The word in
question in Matt 5.28 is MOICEUW; that in Matt 19.9 MOICAOMAI (treated by
Louw-Nida as a synonym of MOICEUW), which is used four times in the GNT,
never active in form. It is also used nine times in the LXX, again never
active in form. For this reason alone I would be careful about making any
subtle distinction between the voices in this case, though such a
distinction may be possible. Perhaps Carl could comment on this. I notice
that the Gramcord database parses the occurrences in the NT as passive, but
those in the LXX as middle. Wonder why.
================

Steven Lo Vullo
Madison, WI 





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