[B-Greek] Articular infinitives: distinguishing subjects fromobjects
cwconrad2 at mac.com
Fri Nov 28 07:57:39 EST 2008
On Nov 28, 2008, at 12:16 AM, Iver Larsen wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Kenneth Litwak" <javajedi2 at yahoo.com>
> To: <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: 27. november 2008 06:32
> Subject: [B-Greek] Articular infinitives: distinguishing subjects
>> Articular infinitives, like all infinitives, of course take
>> subjects in the accusative case.
>> For example, we have Matt 13;4 with a "circumstantial" articular
>> EN TW SPEIREIN AUTON ("while he sows/was sowing*")
>> My question is whether every accusative that immediately follows an
>> articular infinitive must be
>> the subject and if not, how does know that it is the direct object
>> instead? For example, Heb 8:3
>> would seem to follow the articular infinitive with a direct object:
>> PAS GAR ARCIEREUS EIS TO PROSFEREIN DWA TE KAI QUSIAS ("every high
>> priest in order that he might
>> offer gifts and sacrifices")
>> Are there any rules that can be applied to determine whether what I
>> find is a subject or an
>> objectg? This case _seems_ easy because I think I know that gifts
>> and sacrifices would not make
>> sense as the subject of the articular infinitive. Is that the only
>> rule, that the sentence only
>> makes sense if one takes the accusative as the subject or the
>> direct object? I'd like a better
>> guideline than that because one person's "that makes sense" is
>> another person's "what were
>> thinking?" as anyone can tell by comparing any two commentaries.
> The example that comes to my mind is Php 1:7
> DIA TO ECEIN ME EN THi KARDIAi hUMAS
> "Because you have me in the (your) heart"
> Which of the two accusatives ME and hUMAS is subject and which is
> object? There is no simple rule,
> so you have to let the context decide, and people do have different
> takes on how to interpret
> something in context as evidenced in the different interpretations
> of this verse:
> NRSV: "because you hold me in your heart" - correct.
> RSV: "because I hold you in my heart" - wrong because it does not
> fit the context. The order of
> words was taken over literally.
> The order of the accusatives is a matter of emphasis and pragmatics.
> Note that KARDIA connected to a
> plural possessive pronoun can be either singular or plural, it makes
> no difference to the meaning.
I would quite agree with Iver: there are no "tell-tale marks"
indicating when an accusative that is clearly construed with an
articular infinitive is a subject or when it is an object; context has
to be the sole determining factor. Note two instances of ME following
upon and clearly construed with an articular infinitive in closely
Matt. 26:12 βαλοῦσα γὰρ αὕτη τὸ μύρον
τοῦτο ἐπὶ τοῦ σώματός μου πρὸς τὸ
ἐνταφιάσαι με ἐποίησεν. [BALOUSA GAR hAUTH TO
MURON TOUTO EPI TOU SWMATOS MOU PROS TO ENTAFIASAI ME EPOIHSEN]: ME is
here the accusative OBJECT of ENTAFIASAI.
Matt. 26:32 μετὰ δὲ τὸ ἐγερθῆναί με
προάξω ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν. [META DE
TO EGERQHNAI ME PROAXW hUMAS EIS THN GALILAIAN]: ME is here the
accusative SUBJECT of EGERQHNAI.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
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