[B-Greek] Acts 8:22 AFEQHSETAI

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Thu Jul 12 14:33:28 EDT 2007


On Jul 12, 2007, at 1:00 PM, Martin Smith wrote:

> Hello, I'd appreciate your help in understanding the use of
> AFIHMI in this verse. The verb is cast as a 3rd person future
> passive indicative singular and I'm having trouble understanding
> the passive choice in the context. Peter is asking Simon to beg
> the Lord for forgiveness. Yet, the passive implies that it might
> be literally translated as '...and beg of the Lord if therefore
> he will be forgiven you the thought of your heart.' This implies
> that the Lord would be the recipient of forgiveness (???).
> Thanks in advance for your help.

Text: μετανόησον οὖν ἀπὸ τῆς κακίας  
σου ταύτης καὶ δεήθητι τοῦ κυρίου,  
εἰ ἄρα ἀφεθήσεταί σοι ἡ ἐπίνοια  
τῆς καρδίας σου,
METANOHSON OUN APO THS KAKIAS SOU TAUTHS KAI DEHQHTI TOU KURIOU, EI  
ARA AFEQHSETAI SOI hH EPINOIA THS KARDIAS SOU.

No, the subject of AFEQHSETAI is hH EPINOIA THS KARDIAS SOU -- and  
the SOI indicates that the forgiveness will directed toward the  
person being addressed.

The passive construction is awkward, as the NET note indicates: 'Grk  
“that if possible the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.”  
The passive construction is somewhat awkward in contemporary English  
and has thus been converted to an active construction in the  
translation.'

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)





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