[B-Greek] STHKW e.g. Philippians 1:27
lightmanmark at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 13 07:56:03 EDT 2010
John Sanders wrote:
<There is only one verb here. English does not have
an equivalent verb used in the same way, so it may lead
one to think that this verb is a strange animal of some kind. It is
Hi, John, and Hi, Stephen again,
Actually, I'm inclined to think that a very strange animal is
exactly what STHKW is. I might even call it a freak of
nature. I think Stephen may have isolated a verb which
is absolutely unique in the Greek language in a pretty
fundamental way. It is such a simple idea, to form a new
verb from the perfect, that I really expected there to be
more examples. If you have STHKW you should have γνωκω
GNWKW. You should have βηκω (BHKW) You should
even maybe have παιδευκω (PAIDEUKW) Homer does
so many strange things to verbs that I would have
expected him to take a perfect and form a new verb
from it. He does not, as far as I can tell, nor is there
any other example. If I missed one, let me know.
Of course, in a sense, John is correct that STHKW is
not a new verb, but is just a form of hISTHMI. But
what kind of a form? What do we call it? Bauer
calls it a "new creation from hESTHKA." Thayer
calls it an "inferior Greek word." Grundmann in
TDNT implies cryptically that it is derived from a non-
In a sense you could just say that hISTHMI has
two different perfect forms, but (1) is there any other
verb that has two different perfect forms? and
(b) is there any other perfect with no reduplication?
and (c) is there any other perfect which has
the standard present endings? That seems pretty
unique to me. And is this a Second Perfect? A Third?
It looks nothing like
a Second Perfect (GEGRAFA)
and there is no Third Perfect,
unless STHKW is the
only example of a Third
Perfect, in which case
this verb is even more of an odd
As to what the verb means, I
like very much
what Grundmann says, whether it is true or not:
"The word STHKW seems to be preferred by Paul.
It is linked by him with the theological point...
that in faith man attains to a standing which
is not grounded in the world and in which he is set
by the Lord and will be upheld by Him, which gives
him freedom from the destructive powers of the
world, and which aims at fellowship in one spirit."
TDNT VII p. 638.
hISTHMI has to be the strangest verb in the Greek
NT. If STHKW is merely a form of this verb,
alongside hESTHKA and ESTHN and ESTHSA, it is part of what
makes it so strange. If STHKW is a different verb, it
is the second strangest verb in the Greek NT.
Carl has said that if you really want to understand
Greek verbs, you have to look at them as if they
were people, idiosyncratic members of an
extended, dysfunctional family. If this is true,
hISTHMI/STHKW is like your crazy aunt that lives
in the basement.
Grundmann notes that the verb survives in
Modern Greek as STEKW.
--- On Sun, 4/11/10, Stephen Baldwin <stbaldwi at hotmail.com> wrote:
From: Stephen Baldwin <stbaldwi at hotmail.com>
Subject: [B-Greek] STHKW e.g. Philippians 1:27
To: "B- Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Sunday, April 11, 2010, 9:21 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I was intrigued by the verb STHKW as found e.g. in Philippians 1:27.
BDAG, BDF etc note that it is based on the perfect of hISTHMI -- which even a novice can at least detect ;-)
I would like to know how a verb like this is to be understood -- what nuances does such a verb bring, given that it is based on another verb, indeed how such verbs arise. It appears that the first occurrences of STHKW are in the NT.
I did a brief comparison of hISTHMI versus STHKW in BDAG and to me, from the range of definitions given, that hISTHMI seems to carry "ingressive" nuances -- the initialisation of a state of standing etc. whereas STHKW seems to imply stative overtones -- that is, we are already in the state of standing or being committed.
Is this a correct view of approaching the matter? It would seem to be at least from my example from Philippians -- that whether Paul comes or does not come to see them, that he might hear that they are [already] standing as/in one spirit etc.
How common is it to have a verb based off a particular stem of a [more common] verb? To the best of my recollection, this is the first time I have come across such a verb.
I'm always a trifle disappointed that the more advanced commentaries that claim to focus more on the Greek [eg New International Greek Testament] more often than not, do not expound on these matters...
stbaldwi at hotmail.com
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