Evidence for impersonal(oid)s verb/adj +inf +dat

Post Reply
Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Evidence for impersonal(oid)s verb/adj +inf +dat

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 9th, 2014, 1:25 pm

cwconrad (in reference to Matthew 12:4) wrote:It looks like the impersonal usage [of ἔξεστιν] may have become somewhat modified in later usage such that the ὃ is a quasi-subject of ἔξεστιν. I'm speculating here; a lot more evidence would be needed.
In considering the route that ἔξεστιν took in its development from impersonal to quasi-impersonal (it seems to have gotten quasied with a subject), you might like to consider the NT uses of other verbs and adjectives that are (or behave like) impersonals. I intend for this thread to have a collation of some evidence of how impersonals and other similar words and constructions are used, and discussions about the evidence...
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

The impersonal πρέπει +inf +dat

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 9th, 2014, 1:26 pm

Let's begin looking at the evidence for impersonals and related constructions with πρέπει - a verb which ends up in Modern Greek as an impersonal πρέπει:

Matthew 3:15 (part) wrote:οὕτως γὰρ πρέπον ἐστὶν ἡμῖν πληρῶσαι πᾶσαν δικαιοσύνην.
The impersonal is modified by an adverb, so analogising with Matthew 12:4 suggests that the ὅ may have been considered adverbial and so taking up the whole idea of the verbal thought after πῶς.
1 Corinthians 11:13 (part) wrote:πρέπον ἐστὶν γυναῖκα ἀκατακάλυπτον τῷ θεῷ προσεύχεσθαι;
This is a modified impersonal. During composition it may have been thought that putting γυναικί ἀκατακάλύπτῳ here would have caused some confusion because προσεύχεσθαι naturally takes a dative for its object - τῷ Θεῷ. As a solution for that, the dative for the impersonal is shuffled on to be the (accusative) subject of the infinitive part of the impersonal.
Ephesians 5:3 (part) wrote:καθὼς πρέπει ἁγίοις
The impersonal is modified by an adverb, suggesting that the ὅ we are considering has adverbial force.
1 Timothy 2:10 (part) wrote: ὃ πρέπει γυναιξὶν ἐπαγγελλομέναις θεοσέβειαν
Similar to what we are considering, so I don't want to make a comment.
Titus 2:1 wrote:Σὺ δὲ λάλει ἃ πρέπει τῇ ὑγιαινούσῃ διδασκαλίᾳ·
There is no infinitive here.
Hebrews 2:10 wrote:Ἔπρεπεν γὰρ αὐτῷ, δι’ ὃν τὰ πάντα, καὶ δι’ οὗ τὰ πάντα, πολλοὺς υἱοὺς εἰς δόξαν ἀγαγόντα, τὸν ἀρχηγὸν τῆς σωτηρίας αὐτῶν διὰ παθημάτων τελειῶσαι.
An impersonal and a real lesson in compositional embellishment.
Hebrews 7:26 (RP) (part) wrote:Τοιοῦτος γὰρ ἡμῖν ἔπρεπεν ἀρχιερεύς followed by a list of the characteristics that a "such a kind" of priest should have.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: The impersonal λυσιτελεῖ +inf +dat

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 9th, 2014, 1:27 pm

λυσιτελεῖ could be consider in addition. The one instance of λυσιτελεῖ in the NT is
Luke 17:2 (RP) (part) wrote:Λυσιτελεῖ αὐτῷ εἰ μύλος ὀνικὸς περίκειται περὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἔρριπται εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν,
"It is more preferrable for them if a runner-stone was place around their neck and they were thrown into the lake"
the construction - if it was ever meant to follow the impersonal pattern we are considering - is "broken" by the εἰ and another clause with finite verbs is appended.

In the Septuaginta it is constructed as an impersonal with dative and infinitive only in Tobias
Tobit BA (Codices Vaticanus and Alexandrinus) 3:6 wrote:λυσιτελεῖ μοι ἀποθανεῖν ἢ ζῆν "it is more preferrable for me to die than live"
Tobit S (Codex Sinaiticus) 3:6 wrote:λυσιτελεῖ μοι ἀποθανεῖν μᾶλλον ἢ ζῆν ... λυσιτελεῖ μοι ἀποθανεῖν μᾶλλον ἢ βλέπειν ἀνάγκην πολλὴν
"it is peferrable for me to die than to live .. it is perferrable for me to die rather than to see (experience??) a lot of need
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Some adjectives in -μος +inf +dat

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 9th, 2014, 1:39 pm

Now, as for the adjectives in -ιμος that may be expected to be used like impersonals because they often take a dative and can less frequently take an infinitive, we could consider the following:
νόμιμος that I introduced earlier as a synonym for ἐξόν doesn't occur as an adjective in the NT, but the adverbial useage in
1 Timothy 1:8 wrote:Οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι καλὸς ὁ νόμος, ἐάν τις αὐτῷ νομίμως χρῆται,
seems more logically constructed if it is taken in the context that we are considering about impersonals here.

ἀδόκιμος doesn't behave in this way in the New Testament instances and of the references in LSJ, only Xenophon, Constitution of the Lacedaimonians 3.3 has it with the dative, viz.
ἀδόκιμοι παντάπασιν ἐν τῇ πόλει "incur the contempt of their fellow citizens" (Eng. Tr. Marchant & Bowersock, 1925)
Its counterpart δόκιμος is not used impersonally either, but does does express the person for whom it / they / we are approved in the dative. It may or may not every have happend, but I wouldn't be surprising if either of these appeared as (a sort of) an adjectival impersonal in another place.

βρώσιμος is just used adjectivally as in
Luke 24:41 (part) wrote:Ἔχετέ τι βρώσιμον ἐνθάδε;
"What have you got here that's edible?"
, but following the expected pattern for construction of this type of adjective, we would mentally expand that out to
Luke 24:41 (part) SGH's grammatical expansion wrote:Ἔχετέ τι βρώσιμον ἐνθάδε {μοι φάγειν}"
where μοι and φάγειν go with the adjective rather than what ἔχετε that seems natural to us English speakers that it should go with.

ἑτοίμος only occurs in anything like this useage in
1Peter 1:5 wrote:τοὺς ἐν δυνάμει θεοῦ φρουρουμένους διὰ πίστεως εἰς σωτηρίαν ἑτοίμην ἀποκαλυφθῆναι ἐν καιρῷ ἐσχάτῳ.
and perhaps in
1 Peter 3:5 (RP) (part) wrote:ἕτοιμοι δὲ ἀεὶ πρὸς ἀπολογίαν παντὶ τῷ αἰτοῦντι ὑμᾶς λόγον περὶ τῆς ἐν ὑμῖν ἐλπίδος, μετὰ πρᾳΰτητος καὶ φόβου·
"always ready for all those who ask us the reason for the hope in you, so that you will be able to give an apology with humility and respectful disposition"
Of course, there is an implied verb of speaking here to, which is usually followed in translation rather than the way that -ιμος adjectives are worked into syntax. Of course technically this is not an -ιμος adjective, but the authour of 1 Peter seems to take it as if it is one.

In case you were wondering, the authour of 1 Peter doesn't use ἄτιμος, but the authour of 2 Peter uses uses ἰσότιμος in the opening verse;
2 Peter 1:1 (part) wrote:τοῖς ἰσότιμον ἡμῖν λαχοῦσιν πίστιν
. This is the addressee of a letter and the traditional way of understanding it is to put ἡμῖν and λαχοῦσιν (2nd aorist participle of λαγχάνω) together -
2 Peter 1:1 (part) taking ἡμῖν and λαχοῦσιν together wrote:"to those who with us obtained the faith which is of equal value"
, but if we take it that the authour of 2 Peter treated ἰσότιμος syntactically as a -ιμος adjective then we could suppose that they meant for ἰσότιμον and ἡμῖν to be taken together, giving -
2 Peter 1:1 (part) taking ἰσότιμον and ἡμῖν together wrote:"to those who have obtained the faith which they hold in the same value as we do"
. For the other Lucan useage of ἔντιμος I think, however, that the dative with ἔντιμος in
Luke 7:2 wrote:ὃς ἦν αὐτῷ ἔντιμος.
is because of the ἐν- element, rather than the -ιμος element and it is not an impersonal or related form. πολύτιμος only occurs in Matthew 13:46 and John 12:3 where it is not treated as a -ιμος adjective.

θανάσιμος only occurs the once in the longer ending of Mark at
Mark16:18 (RP) (part) wrote:κἂν θανάσιμόν τι πίωσιν, οὐ μὴ αὐτοὺς βλάψῃ·
"and if they would drink something / anythings deadly, they will by no means be injured"
and if we wanted to expand that out grammatically, then following the possible pattern for -μος adjectives it would be
Mark 16:18 (RP) (part) (SGH's grammatical expansion wrote:κἂν θανάσιμόν {αὐτοῖς πιεῖν} τι πίωσιν, οὐ μὴ αὐτοὺς βλάψῃ·
I realise that Ὀνήσιμος is a name, but it leads us to the other adjectives that we see together with it ἄχρηστος and εὔχρηστος, seem to be constructed differently -
2 Timothy 4:11 wrote:ἔστιν γάρ μοι εὔχρηστος εἰς διακονίαν.
which is obviously not an impersonal because it is referring to Μάρκος, and is not an -ιμος adjective, but εἰς + noun as an alternative for an infinitive is familiar of course. I lack evidence for uses of ὀνήσιμος as an adjective.

χρήσιμος is not used in this way in its single occurance in the NT at
2 Timothy 2:14 (RP) (part) wrote:μὴ λογομαχεῖν εἰς οὐδὲν χρήσιμον, ἐπὶ καταστροφῇ τῶν ἀκουόντων.
"to not wrangle over words to no useful (outcome) to the deteriment of those who are listening on"
Which following the same method again could be grammatically expanded out to -
2 Timothy 2:14 (RP) (part) (SGH's grammatical expansion) wrote:μὴ λογομαχεῖν εἰς οὐδὲν χρήσιμον {οὐδενὶ οἰκοδομεῖσθαι}, ἐπὶ καταστροφῇ τῶν ἀκουόντων {τὴν λογομαχίαν}.
"not to wrangle over words to nothing useful {for anyone to be edified} at the detriment of those who listen on to the wrangling over words"
ὠφέλιμος is used in 3 verses. In the first one -
1 Timothy 4:8 wrote:ἡ γὰρ σωματικὴ γυμνασία πρὸς ὀλίγον ἐστὶν ὠφέλιμος· ἡ δὲ εὐσέβεια πρὸς πάντα ὠφέλιμός ἐστιν, ἐπαγγελίαν ἔχουσα ζωῆς τῆς νῦν καὶ τῆς μελλούσης
“For bodily exercise to a small extent is useful, but piety in every possible way is useful – having as it does the hope of life here and now and the future one.”
it is not used in the syntactic patter we are considering, but it could readily be expanded in the way that we are familiar with by now –
1 Timothy 4:8 (RP) (part) (SGH's grammatical expansion) wrote:ἡ γὰρ σωματικὴ γυμνασία πρὸς ὀλίγον ἐστὶν ὠφέλιμος {τῷ ἀθλητῇ ὑγιαίνειν}· ἡ δὲ εὐσέβεια πρὸς πάντα ὠφέλιμός ἐστιν {τῷ πιστεύοντι στοιχεῖν}
“For bodily exercise to a little extent is useful {for the competitor to be healthy}, but piety in every way possible is useful {for the believer to live rightly}"
In the next verse
2 Timothy 3:16 (part) wrote:Πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος καὶ ὠφέλιμος πρὸς διδασκαλίαν,
the adjective is not used with its full available syntax, but we could expand it out reasonably to help us understand it -
2 Timothy 3:16 (RP) (part) (SGH's grammatical expansion) wrote:Πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος καὶ ὠφέλιμος {τῷ διδασκάλῷ} πρὸς διδασκαλίαν {διδάσκειν τὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ λαοῦ}
"All scripture is Divinely-inspired and useful for the teacher for his teaching to teach the people of God."
And the third and final instance of ὀφέλιμος in the New Testament
Titus 3:8 (RP) (part) wrote:αῦτά ἐστιν τὰ καλὰ καὶ ὠφέλιμα τοῖς ἀνθρώποις·
"These are the things that are good and useful for people"
to which, now that we are familiar with the pattern, we are left to understand for ourselves (reasonably conjecture) what they are good for (in the infinitive).

πρώϊμος, ὄψιμος, σπόριμος and φρόνιμος don't seem to follow this pattern so far as I can find.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest