[B-Greek] John 4:23-24

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Tue Jan 28 05:55:42 EST 2003


At 10:40 AM +0200 1/28/03, Translation Officer - Bible Society of South
Africa wrote:
>Hi everyone
>
>While looking at Joseph Haigler's question I noticed something else that
>seems strange to me.  Why is the complement of PROSKUNEW first dative, then
>accusative?
>
>v.23 PROSKUNHSOUSIN TWi PATRI (dat.) and then TOUS PROSKUNOUNTAS AUTON
>(acc.)
>v.24 TOUS PROSKUNOUNTAS AUTON (acc.)
>
>Is this usual, or is there a difference in meaning, or are these just two
>equally valid options (six of one or half a dozen of the other ...)?

BDAG article notes:
PROSKUNEW (trag., Hdt.+. Freq. used to designate the custom of prostrating
oneself before persons and kissing their feet or the hem of their garment,
the ground, etc.; the Persians did this in the presence of their deified
king, and the Greeks before a divinity or someth. holy.) to express in
attitude or gesture one's complete dependence on or submission to a high
authority figure, (fall down and) worship, do obeisance to, prostrate
oneself before, do reverence to, welcome respectfully, in Attic Gk., and
late r[classical & Hellenistic rfcs cited]; beside it the Koine uses the
dat. ([more rfcs cited]) and our lit. prefer ...

A similar switch from construction with accusative to construction with
date is noted in Josephus. My own guess is that this is a matter of whether
one is thinking of PROSKUNEW as a transitive active verb ("worship" with a
direct object) or as an intransitive verb ("show reverence to/perform an
act of reverence to ...").
-- 

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/


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