[B-Greek] was ... VOICE. nice example of "middle" BAPTISQENTES

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Fri Oct 19 00:37:03 EDT 2007


Hi, Randall,

Thanks for the two additional pieces of data. Comments below:

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Randall Buth" <randallbuth at gmail.com>
To: "B-Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: 19. oktober 2007 02:33
Subject: [B-Greek] was ... VOICE. nice example of "middle" BAPTISQENTES
>
> In the NT itself we have 1 Cor 10:2 EBAPTISANTO in B, p46, K, L, P, 1, 69,
> et al.

Here I agree that the middle variant form gives a slightly different focus than the passive form, 
but again, this has little to do with BAPTIZW in the sense of John's baptism or Christian baptism.

1Co 10:2 KAI PANTES EIS TON MWUSHN EBAPTISQHSAN/EBAPTISANTO EN THi NEFELHi KAI EN THi QALASSHi.

Now to immerse oneself "into" Moses means that the people made a deliberate and conscious and 
voluntary decision to follow Moses as their leader, and they showed that by following him together 
with the cloud and following him through the sea. It is parallel to Matt 18:19 in the sense that EIS 
is used in both places: baptize them into committing themselves to follow the Father, Son and Holy 
Spirit.
In the middle form above, the people are both agent and patient in that they commit themselves to 
Moses, but in the passive form, the agent is unspecified. The focus in the passive form is that they 
followed Moses, not who caused this event to happen. In the passive where no agent is specified, it 
is a matter of interpretation from context who the agent is, and even in the passive, I would 
interpret the people (PANTES) to be the implied agent. The example below indicates that it is 
possible that the passive morphology is used here with a middle sense. In any case, in this context, 
the distinction between middle or passive is not that significant, since the agent in both cases 
would be the people. It is not God or anyone else apart from themselves that "baptized" them into 
Moses.

>
> Maybe of more interest is a fragment of an unknown gospel I was reading a
> couple of weeks ago.
> It had a GENIKOS 'absolute' TWN MAQHTWN TOYS PODAS BAPTISQENTWN .
> 'they washed themselves the feet'.
> This is a nice PAQHTIKOS morphology, with an accusative extension/object. It
> was Oxyrhynchus 840.

>From what date?
It does show that at this time or for this person the distinction between BAPTW and BAPTIZW has been 
obliterated, since BAPTW (or NIPTW or something else) rather than BAPTIZW would be the expected word 
for washing one's feet. And I accept that this person uses the passive morphology to express a 
middle sense. It helps to get a wider picture of the use of the word BAPTIZW in general, but it is 
not relevant for the usages of this word when the sense is what we in English call "baptism", a word 
that is obviously more narrow than the Greek BAPTISMOS.

Iver Larsen




More information about the B-Greek mailing list