Acts 4:29 δὸς τοῖς δούλοις σου μετὰ παρρησίας πάσης λεγεῖν

Robert Crowe
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Re: Acts 4:29 δὸς τοῖς δούλοις σου μετὰ παρρησίας πάσης λεγ

Post by Robert Crowe » February 23rd, 2016, 1:45 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:I'm glad that you said "other verbal forms" because only one of these is an infinitive, and so prove nothing about the infinitive. Again, this reflects more the translator's sense of how best to render the English than it does about anything inherent in the verbal form itself. Each of them could reasonably be rendered without the quality of "ability" added. If that implication is there, it's solely due to the context, and not the verbal form so used.
Barry!
I think the nub of the problem is that we don't have a 'Potential Mood' in either Greek or English, such as in Japanese. The subjunctive can express potential, volition, or cognition which is often decided by syntax or context; otherwise the exact force must be left undetermined, usually in situations where it is irrelevant.

The concept of ability, however, often does impact on the verbal meaning; but because we don't have a potential mood we tend to ignore it; it becomes tedious to express it in every instance. It is forced to our attention (or should be) in certain contexts such as when we want to acquire a certain faculty as in Acts 4:29.

I would dispute that it is solely contextually determined. It may also be determined lexically. e.g. 'I can persuade him' makes better sense than 'I persuade him'.

Slán!
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Acts 4:29 δὸς τοῖς δούλοις σου μετὰ παρρησίας πάσης λεγ

Post by Jonathan Robie » February 23rd, 2016, 2:39 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:I'm glad that you said "other verbal forms" because only one of these is an infinitive, and so prove nothing about the infinitive. Again, this reflects more the translator's sense of how best to render the English than it does about anything inherent in the verbal form itself. Each of them could reasonably be rendered without the quality of "ability" added. If that implication is there, it's solely due to the context, and not the verbal form so used.
One way to pull this apart is to look at a given verb in the imperfect, which tends not to signal ability. For instance, in Acts 18, I submit that ἔπειθέν τε Ἰουδαίους καὶ Ἕλληνας does not tell us about his ability to persuade. Depending on how you read it, it might say that he was trying to persuade them, or that he was persuading them, but it can be read either way precisely because the lexeme does not tell us whether he was able to persuade them or not. Neither does the verb tense. We have to get this from the context.

In Acts 13, the context tells us that they are successfully persuading them: λυθείσης δὲ τῆς συναγωγῆς ἠκολούθησαν πολλοὶ τῶν Ἰουδαίων καὶ τῶν σεβομένων προσηλύτων τῷ Παύλῳ καὶ τῷ Βαρναβᾷ, οἵτινες προσλαλοῦντες αὐτοῖς ἔπειθον· αὐτοὺς προσμένειν τῇ χάριτι τοῦ θεοῦ.
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Robert Crowe
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Re: Acts 4:29 δὸς τοῖς δούλοις σου μετὰ παρρησίας πάσης λεγ

Post by Robert Crowe » February 23rd, 2016, 6:26 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:One way to pull this apart is to look at a given verb in the imperfect, which tends not to signal ability. For instance, in Acts 18, I submit that ἔπειθέν τε Ἰουδαίους καὶ Ἕλληνας does not tell us about his ability to persuade. Depending on how you read it, it might say that he was trying to persuade them, or that he was persuading them, but it can be read either way precisely because the lexeme does not tell us whether he was able to persuade them or not. Neither does the verb tense. We have to get this from the context.

In Acts 13, the context tells us that they are successfully persuading them: λυθείσης δὲ τῆς συναγωγῆς ἠκολούθησαν πολλοὶ τῶν Ἰουδαίων καὶ τῶν σεβομένων προσηλύτων τῷ Παύλῳ καὶ τῷ Βαρναβᾷ, οἵτινες προσλαλοῦντες αὐτοῖς ἔπειθον· αὐτοὺς προσμένειν τῇ χάριτι τοῦ θεοῦ.
Jonathan!
La guerra continua!

I think we are near a settlement on this. I might say I translated the imperfect tense of πείθω in the Iliad quotation the way I did to bring out the antithesis between between what Anteia had, 'beauty', and what she didn't have, 'the ability to seduce Bellerophtes'. But I don't honestly believe this was on my mind. The question of ability really only has an impact when it's in doubt, such as 'I doubt if I can persuade him'. (Even more so in 'I doubt if I can persuade her.'). I concede that it can be thought of as context dependent. But the concept doesn't appear from nowhere. It is basically fundamental to the verbal action. The context serves to 'lure' it out into service. To some extent it is lexically determined since the the activity of persuading is always more in doubt than many others. Well, at least in my case.

Slán!
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Robert Crowe
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Re: Acts 4:29 δὸς τοῖς δούλοις σου μετὰ παρρησίας πάσης λεγ

Post by Robert Crowe » March 25th, 2016, 9:01 pm

Addendum 1

There is of course the extended meaning of ἔστἱ(ν), 'it is possible' as in Heb 9:5 περὶ ὧν οὐκ ἔστιν νῦν λέγειν κάτα μέρος.
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