[B-Greek] The object of METATIQEMAI APO (was "Etc., etc., without apologies to David Letterman")

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Fri Jun 12 16:35:26 EDT 2009

On Jun 12, 2009, at 1:32 PM, Mark Lightman wrote:

> --- On Wed, 6/10/09, George F Somsel <gfsomsel at yahoo.com> wrote:
> <5.   What does the object of METATIQHMI in the middle,
>  the end, the beginning or the active or passive have to do
>  with the price of eggs in Outer Mongolia?>
> KALESANTOS is the object of METATIQHMAI.  If you think
> the subject of KALESANTOS is a thing (gospel) not a person
> (God,) you would do well to see how often METATIQHMAI APO
> plus the gen takes a thing, how often a person.  Again, all the
> examples I saw were things.  Since your theory is interesting on
> the one hand and utterly devoid of support on the other hand, I
> would think it would be worth it for you to look this up.  I agree
> that all things being equal, in "APO X EIS Y," if Y is a thing, and  
> X is unknown,
> we could assume that X is a thing.  But it's your crack pot theory.
> You should do the work.  Maybe you could get to it after you finish
> all 26 volumes of the Warren Report.  :)

The text under discussion, lest it be forgotten, is Gal. 1:6:
Θαυμάζω ὅτι οὕτως ταχέως  
μετατίθεσθε ἀπὸ τοῦ καλέσαντος  
ὑμᾶς ἐν χάριτι [Χριστοῦ] εἰς ἕτερον  
εὐαγγέλιον, ...

It would appear that questionable syntactic analysis is infectious.  
METATIQEMAI is the middle of METATIQHMI. Ordinarily METATIQEMAI is  
understood as an intransitive verb with the sense "change allegiance."  
BDAG s.v. METATIQHMI 3 seems to understand it thus. It construes  
regularly with an APO + genitive of the person(s) or thing(s) from  
which one switches allegiance. It does seem strange, however, to speak  
of the object of the preposition APO as the object of METATIQESQE in  
Gal 1:6.

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

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