[B-Greek] help yourself by helping others

bitan buth ybitan at mscc.huji.ac.il
Fri Mar 31 15:52:22 EST 2006

>I've made no  
secret of my conviction that continued use of the term 'deponent" is  
a deterrent to understanding middle-passive verb usage in Koine  
(particularly in the light of the superb essay by Neva Miller in the  
appendix of the last published edition of ANLEX) and that the  
particular multi-classification of so-called "deponent" verbs in this  
database perpetuates one of the less-defensible traditional doctrines  
of ancient Greek pedagogy.>
I would like to AMEN Carl on this. Greeks did not have another language 
for translating into in order to develop a category 'deponent'.
ERXESQAI was MESH (middle)
They used the words, added endings according to the formal categories,
and that was that. 
They thought that ERXESQAI was MESH (middle) and 
that ELQEIN  was ENERGETIKH (active). And they knew that it was the 
same general word, though literary Koine writers typically 
supplemented these with even more words like EIS-I-ONTES 'entering' 
instead of EISERXOMENOI. 
Even when a word is attested in both ENERGETIKH and MESH, it is 
useful to relate to each form separately. 
POIHSAI 'to do'
POIHSASAQAI (many idiomatic uses) 'hold, reckon, act as though, 
do for oneself' 
EKSELEI~N 'to take out, capture' (>EKSAIREW)
EKSELESQAI 'to choose; unload, take out for oneself'
QEINAI 'to put'
QESQAI 'to put'
For the Greeks, their world was not flat nor consistent, 
but it was the world. 
'Deponent' would seem to be one extra, unnecessary layer separating 
a student from Greek itself.
Randall Buth



Randall Buth, PhD
Biblical Language Center


c/o margbuth at gmail.com

also, Director, Biblical Studies in Israel
under Rothberg International School,

Hebrew University

ybitan at mscc.huji.ac.il


More information about the B-Greek mailing list