[B-Greek] tenses of GINOMAI

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Sun Jun 22 08:14:39 EDT 2003

At 7:42 AM -0400 6/22/03, Barry Hofstetter wrote:
>Again, that is not to say that Dr. Conrad isn't making a valuable point
>with his
>research (which, unfortunately, I haven't had time to evaluate), simply
>that for
>the beginning student have a handy description of the way these verbs work
>formally is, well, handy!

At 7:37 PM +0800 6/22/03, Zhang Jia Jun wrote:
>The use of "deponent" is somewhat an element which has however been used by
>Machen in his manual on how to learn NT Greek. While trying to learn my
>Latin, via John Collins, the use of "deponent verbs" as a means to teach the
>students seem though to be actually very common.

I shall not argue (a) that use term "deponent" in primers of Ancient Greek
is not "common" or "handy." What I have argued and will continue to argue
is that it is NOT USEFUL. While I can understand the worth of learning
Newtonian physics before coming to learn, much later, that Newtonian
physics is not really a fully adequate account of the phenomena of nature,
I'm not able to understand the value of learning a distinction that doesn't
contribute to UNDERSTANDING how verbs like POREUOMAI and EGENHQHN function.
One DOES need to learn the phenomenology traditionally described in the
gobbledygook of "middle deponents and passive deponents" but since it's
complicated enough, why not learn them in a less self-contradictory format?
Why learn that -QH- bears an essentially "passive" sense only to discover
later that one will encounter more -QH- verb-forms in normal reading that
are NOT passive than that are.

There is no danger that the term "deponent" will pass into desuetude
because I think it should; I said as much in the article for which I gave
the URL in my previous message on this subject:
'I may add that the recognition of the uselessness of the term,
"Deponency," is by no means new. A. T. Robertson years ago, in his classic
grammar of the New Testament [p. 332], succinctly noted with regard to what
he termed, "The So-called 'Deponent' Verbs," "Moulton is certainly right in
saying that the term should be applied to all three voices if to any. The
truth is that it should not be used at all."'

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

More information about the B-Greek mailing list