Accusative Case in John4: 24

Robert Crowe
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Re: Accusative Case in John4: 24

Post by Robert Crowe » July 7th, 2017, 8:07 am

Wallace's pitch upsets all this, though hopefully not your coffee cups.
Technically, there are no impersonal subjects in Greek as there are in English. Instances of the inf. with, say δεῖ, are actually subject infinitives. Thus, δεῖ με ἕρχεσθαι means "to come is necessary for me" rather than "it is necessary for me to come." One way to see the force of the Greek more clearly is to translate the inf. as a gerund.
GGBB p600, n36]
Tús maith leath na hoibre.

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Accusative Case in John4: 24

Post by Barry Hofstetter » July 7th, 2017, 9:08 am

I agree with Randall, having an extended discussion on whether or not the accusative and infinitive is used with δεῖ is a bit like wondering whether or not the Doctor uses the Tardis... (nearing the end of my Dr. Who marathon, so that comparison just popped into my head). Another way to conceptualize it is this: impersonal verbs really have the infinitive as their subject, and infinitives under most circumstances have accusative subjects.

Did someone say "BDAG?: :)

δεῖ inf. (τὸ) δεῖν Lk 18:1, Ac 25:24; AcPlCor 1:9, subj. δέῃ, impf. ἔδει (B-D-F §358, 1; Rob. 885f), fut. δεήσει Josh 18:4; impers. verb from δέω; for Attic ins forms s. Threatte II 634f (Hom.+) Strict classification of usage is not possible because of the multifunctional adaptability of this verb, esp. in colloquial discourse.
① to be under necessity of happening, it is necessary, one must, one has to, denoting compulsion of any kind.
ⓐ of that which takes place because of circumstances or inner necessity, with the context determining the cause (Hdt. [8, 53 ἔδεε κατὰ τὸ θεοπρόπιον]; Appian, Liby. 122 §578 ἁλῶναι ἔδει Καρχηδόνα=it was necessary that Carthage be captured, i.e. it could not escape being captured [Appian’s theological perspective surfaces, s. e.g. 7, 53; 8, 51; 57; 61; 62; 92]; Da 2:28f, 45 Theod; Wsd 16:4; Just., D. 6, 2; 32, 4) Mt 17:10; 24:6 (δεῖ γενέσθαι as Jos., Ant. 10, 142); 26:54; Mk 9:11; 13:7, 10; Lk 4:43; 21:9; 24:46 v.l.; J 3:14, 30; 9:4; 10:16; 20:9; Ac 1:16; 3:21; 4:12; Ro 1:27; 1 Cor 15:53; 2 Cor 5:10; Rv 1:1; 4:1; 22:6; 2 Cl 2:5.
ⓑ of the compulsion of law or custom ᾗ ἔδει θύεσθαι τὸ πάσχα when the paschal lamb had to be sacrificed Lk 22:7.—Mt 23:23; Lk 11:42; 13:14; J 4:20, 24; Ac 15:5; 18:21 v.l. Of the compulsion of Roman law 25:10.
ⓒ of an inner necessity growing out of a given situation, Mt 26:35 (Jos., Ant. 6, 108 κἂν ἀποθανεῖν δέῃ; PFay 109, 5 ἐάν σε δῇ [=δέῃ] τὸ εἱμάτιόν σου θεῖναι ἐνέχυρον; Ath. 24, 1 τί δὲ δεῖ πρὸς ὑμᾶς … μνημονεύειν;), Mk 14:31; J 4:4; Ac 14:22; 21:22 v.l.; 27:21; 2 Cor 11:30.—ὥστε … [τὴν Ἀρτεμύλλαν] μικ̣ρ̣ο̣ῦ δεῖν ἀπόπληκτον γενέσθαι so that Artemilla was on the point of fainting AcPl Ha 3, 33–35 (Demosth. 27, 29; Jos., C. Ap. 2, 119 al.).
ⓓ of compulsion caused by the necessity of attaining a certain result Lk 12:12; 19:5; Ac 9:6; 1 Cor 11:19; 2 Cl 1:1; B 4:1; IEph 7:1.—τὰ δέοντα (PPetr II, 11 [1], 6; BGU 251, 5 al.; pap; Pr 30:8; 2 Macc 13:20) the needs Hs 2, 5 and 8.
② to be someth. that should happen because of being fitting,
ⓐ gener. (Epict. 2, 22, 20 φίλος ἔσομαι οἷος δεῖ; 3, 23, 21 ὡς δεῖ, as Just., D. 114, 1; 2 Macc 6:20; 4 Macc 7:8) 2 Ti 2:6, 24. καθὸ δεῖ as is proper Ro 8:26.—δέον ἐστίν it is necessary, one must (Polyb.; POxy 727, 19f; 1061, 13; BGU 981 II, 6; Sir. Prol. ln. 3; 1 Macc 12:11; EpArist) Ac 19:36; 1 Cl 34:2; without ἐστίν (POxy 899, 40; EpArist 227; 242; Philo, Aet. M. 107; Jos., Bell. 2, 296; Just., A I, 4, 6; A II, 2, 7; D. 11, 2) ITr 2:3; Pol 5:3. εἰ δέον ἐστίν if it must be 1 Pt 1:6 (s. εἰμί 11d); οὐ δέον v.l. for οὐδέν Papias (4).—On the constr. of δεῖ, note that as a rule the acc. and inf. follow it (Jos., C. Ap. 2, 254; Lucian, Charon 13, Pisc. 17; Just., D. 11, 2 al.; B-D-F §408), occasionally the inf. alone Mt 23:23 (Jos., C. Ap. 1, 53a; Just., A I, 4, 6 al.—B-D-F §407); 26:54; Ac 5:29.—To convey the idea that someth. should not happen, δεῖ is used w. the negative οὐ Lk 13:16; 2 Tim 2:24; 2 Cl 1:1; AcPlCor 1:10 or μή. Tit 1:11 (ἃ μὴ δεῖ what is not proper [also Ael. Aristid. 54 p. 687 D.] is prob. a mixture of τὰ μὴ δέοντα 1 Ti 5:13 and ἃ οὐ δεῖ [Job 19:4]; s. B-D-F §428, 4; Rob. 1169); Ac 15:24. εἰ δὲ δεῖ ἡμᾶς … μὴ ποιεῖσθαι τὴν παραβολήν AcPlCor 2:28.
ⓑ of that which one should do (Wsd 12:19; 16:28; EpJer 5; Tob 12:1): one ought or should οὐκ ἔδει σε ἐλεῆσαι; should you not have had mercy? Mt 18:33.—Lk 2:49; 15:32; 18:1; Ac 5:29; 1 Th 4:1; Tit 1:11; 1 Cl 62:2.—In τί με δεῖ ποιεῖν; what shall I do? Ac 16:30, δ. stands for the deliberative subj. (B-D-F §366, 4).
ⓒ to indicate that something that happened should by all means have happened, expressed w. the impf. ἔδει (Jos., Bell. 4, 232; Just., D. 88, 6; 141, 1 al.) had to Lk 15:32; 22:7; 24:26; J 4:4; Ac 1:16; 17:3.
ⓓ to indicate that someth. that did not take place really should have happened, also expressed w. the impf. ἔδει should have, ought to have Mt 18:33; 23:23; Ac 24:19 (Ath. 21, 1; ὃν ἔδει w. inf. TestJos 14:3; οὓς ἔδει w. inf.: Isocr. 3, 40, 35a; Lysias 14, 29; Lucian, Philops. 21); 27:21; 2 Cor 2:3. Cp. B-D-F. §358.—EFascher, Theol. Beobachtungen zu δεῖ im AT: ZNW 45, ’54, 244–52, Theol. Beobachtungen zu δεῖ: RBultmann Festschr., ’54, 228–54; CCosgrove, NovT 26, ’84, 168–90 (Luke-Acts).—JKube, ΤΕΧΝΗ und ΑΡΕΤΗ ’69, 46. Cp. χρή. B. 640f. Schmidt, Syn. III 702–5. DELG s.v. δέω 2. EDNT. M-M. TW. Sv.


Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., pp. 213–214). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Accusative Case in John4: 24

Post by Barry Hofstetter » July 7th, 2017, 9:18 am

Robert Crowe wrote:
July 7th, 2017, 8:07 am
Wallace's pitch upsets all this, though hopefully not your coffee cups.
Technically, there are no impersonal subjects in Greek as there are in English. Instances of the inf. with, say δεῖ, are actually subject infinitives. Thus, δεῖ με ἕρχεσθαι means "to come is necessary for me" rather than "it is necessary for me to come." One way to see the force of the Greek more clearly is to translate the inf. as a gerund.
GGBB p600, n36]
If you want to look at it that way, then technically there are no impersonal verbs in English. In the English "It is necessary to flee the enemy" what is necessary? To flee the enemy. We could write "To flee the enemy is necessary" which sounds a bit old fashioned, but shows that the subject of the verb is the infinitive phrase. We use the term "impersonal" however because it's not a person who is the subject of the sentence, but a grammatical construction. The word "it" is simply an expletive, the pronoun standing in apposition to the infinitive, which sounds a bit better to us in current English.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

Robert Crowe
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Re: Accusative Case in John4: 24

Post by Robert Crowe » July 7th, 2017, 9:58 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
July 7th, 2017, 9:18 am
Robert Crowe wrote: ↑July 7th, 2017, 1:07 pm
Wallace's pitch upsets all this, though hopefully not your coffee cups.
Technically, there are no impersonal subjects in Greek as there are in English. Instances of the inf. with, say δεῖ, are actually subject infinitives. Thus, δεῖ με ἕρχεσθαι means "to come is necessary for me" rather than "it is necessary for me to come." One way to see the force of the Greek more clearly is to translate the inf. as a gerund.
GGBB p600, n36]
If you want to look at it that way, then technically there are no impersonal verbs in English. In the English "It is necessary to flee the enemy" what is necessary? To flee the enemy. We could write "To flee the enemy is necessary" which sounds a bit old fashioned, but shows that the subject of the verb is the infinitive phrase. We use the term "impersonal" however because it's not a person who is the subject of the sentence, but a grammatical construction. The word "it" is simply an expletive, the pronoun standing in apposition to the infinitive, which sounds a bit better to us in current English.
I'll drink to that--albeit coffee.
Tús maith leath na hoibre.

RandallButh
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Re: Accusative Case in John4: 24

Post by RandallButh » July 7th, 2017, 10:21 am

More follow up.

Wallace can call the structure 'non-impersonal' or whatever he wants in English, the structure remains the same, and clear.
I mean---aren't infinitives by definition 'impersonal'?

The infinitive can be called an impersonal subject or an impersonal complement, or simply the infinitive structure with δεῖ/δεῖν, Lk 18.1. There is no case marking and a neuter wouldn't matter in Greek. There is something similar with συνέβη + [ἀπαρέμφατος] Acts 21.35, a more common structure in Josephus.
[As for δεῖ itself, some of this may revolve on perceived etymology of the idiom. δεῖ is not middle but active in form. If originally from 'bind' then the impersonal thing bound is more object/patient than subject/actor.]

But again, Wallace's comment is wrangling about metalanguage that would not have any different structural options in Greek. Where there is no choice there is no meaning.

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Re: Accusative Case in John4: 24

Post by RandallButh » July 7th, 2017, 11:55 am

And one more item AGAINST Wallace's claim that impersonal subjects don't exist in Greek:

Mt 9.10 Καὶ ἐγένετο αὐτοῦ ἀνακειμένου ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ καἰ ἰδοὺ . . . ἐλθόντες συνανέκειντο.
Note that the genitive absolute means that "he" is NOT the subject of ἐγένετο-plus-temporal-margin structure.
This is an impersonal subjectless ἐγένετο structure. Also note that the clause following the temporal margin has a finite verb.

There are many many IMPERSONAL SUBJECTLESS ἐγένετο phrases that introduce a temporal margin, especially in Luke and Acts.

In fact, this distinction is very important for understanding the difference in Lucan sources versus Luke's own style in Acts.
In the Gospel, Luke uses the impersonal subjectless ἐγένετο (+/- time margin) followed by a finite verb clause (with or without καί), many times. That happens to be a Hebraism.

But Luke never uses that structure in Acts, despite allegations by otherwise reputable scholars. All of the impersonal subjectless ἐγένετο clauses in Acts (+/- a temporal setting phrase/clause ) are followed by infinitive clauses that serve as a main clause. This is a Greek style, parallel to the συνέβη structure in a post up above. So Wallace's claim that there are no 'impersonal subjects' in Greek, at least in Jewish Greek, is a false claim that may lead scholars to mis-read and mis-interpret the literary frameworks of the gospels and Acts.

So I am against the claim of no "impersonal subjects in [Jewish/NT] Greek" as potentially damaging, not benign.

Yes, now I've had my coffee. :)

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Re: Accusative Case in John4: 24

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 7th, 2017, 8:07 pm

RandallButh wrote:
July 7th, 2017, 11:55 am
temporal margin
Is this new terminology? I don't think I've seen this before.

(It looks equivalent to Levinsohn's "temporal point of departure," but I don't know if the difference in terminology is meant to signal a difference in meaning or merely a difference in teacher.)
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
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RandallButh
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Re: Accusative Case in John4: 24

Post by RandallButh » July 8th, 2017, 1:07 am

Is this new terminology?
I think I've been talking like this for decades in English and considered it generic boilerplate. More generically, a "temporal margin" would be "setting material". I may have picked it up from SIL-talk in the 70's. "Temporal point of departure" is an interesting mix of temporal and spatial metaphors. "Margin" would relate to nuclear versus periphery and could apply structurally to both clauses and paragraphs. "At four o'clock he left" would have a temporal margin as setting material. The fronted time phrase would re-set things for the narrative. "He left at four o'clock" has a "syntactically optional" temporal phrase, a temporal adjunct or margin within its predication, though it would likely be more salient in context. Doesn't everybody talk like this, plain vanilla meta-English? :)

= = =

Back to ἐγένετο: In "ἐγένετο plus 'syntactically subordinate setting material' plus a finite verb clause" we have an 'impersonal indefinite/subjectless῾ ἐγένετο. That is a classic Hebraism in the gospels and LXX. See Luke 1:59, 2:1, 6, 15, et al.

In contrast, at Luke 2:13 you have ἐγένετο with a subject: καὶ ἐξαίφνης ἐγένετο σὺν τῷ ἀγγέλῳ πλῆθος στρατιᾶς οὐρανίου. This is not the impersonal indefinite structure. The subject is πλῆθος.

And in further contrast, look at Luke 3:21-22---
Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ βαπτισθῆναι ἅπαντα τὸν λαὸν
καὶ Ἰησοῦ βαπτισθέντος καὶ προσευχομένου
ἀνεῳχθῆναι τὸν οὐρανὸν
καὶ καταβῆναι τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον σωματικῷ εἴδει ὡς περιστερὰν ἐπ᾿ αὐτόν,
καὶ φωνὴν ἐξ οὐρανοῦ γενέσθαι· σὺ εἶ ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός, ἐν σοὶ εὐδόκησα.
That is the impersonal indefinite ἐγένετο plus 'syntactically subordinate setting material' [Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ βαπτισθῆναι ἅπαντα τὸν λαὸν], but it is followed by infinitives [ἀνεῳχθῆναι, καταβῆναι, γενέσθαι] that carry the action of the paragraph.

Luke 3:21-22 is NOT a Hebraism. The structure occurs occasionally in the Gospel and fits the Greek συνέβη structure. But this non-Hebraic structure is the ONLY impersonal indefinite ἐγένετο structure that occurs throughout Acts. The Hebraic structure NEVER occurs in Acts.

Explanations on the differences between Luke and Acts may differ, but that is an important datum. Unfortunately, although Plummer, ICC, got it right in 1896, these structures have been mis-construed by the likes of Dalman, Turner, Fitzmyer and others in the 20th century, who falsely claimed that the specifically Hebraic structure occurred in Acts. Yes, just flat out mistakes, not differences of opinion. It happens in scholarship. This mistake never seems to get called out because the mistaken "fact" is viewed as helpful to Markan priority. So the facts are ignored and turned into something supportive with just a little fudging. Most people couldn't tell the difference.

Anyway, all of this gets back to impersonal, indefinite, subjectless ἑγένετο structures. Because of the καί and genitive absolute [καὶ Ἰησοῦ βαπτισθέντος καὶ προσευχομένου ] in Luke 3:21-22, one needs to treat the infinitives as practically elevated to main-line clauses. However, in Greek, these non-Hebraic ἐγένετο examples could be called "impersonal subjects" of the ἐγένετο clause. But that explanation does not work for the Hebraic ἐγένετο structures elsewhere, since the clauses that follow the Hebraic ἐγένετο are finite verbs in their own right [e.g., Luke 1.8-9, 23, 41, 59, 2.1, 6, 15, 46, 5.1, 12, 17, et al]. These finite verb clauses are not syntactic 'subjects' of ἐγένετο. There are about 30+ of these Hebraic structures in Luke and they require an analysis as 'subjectless' ἐγένετο.

OK, this has strayed from the simple δεῖ sentence in John 4.24. If the formatters want to set up a 'subjectless' verb thread, go ahead.

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Re: Accusative Case in John4: 24

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 8th, 2017, 8:08 pm

RandallButh wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 1:07 am
Is this new terminology?
I think I've been talking like this for decades in English and considered it generic boilerplate. More generically, a "temporal margin" would be "setting material". I may have picked it up from SIL-talk in the 70's.
Thanks for the clarification. Google tells me that the terminology is rare but it shows up in a book by Robert Longacre, The Grammar of Discourse.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

RandallButh
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Re: Accusative Case in John4: 24

Post by RandallButh » July 9th, 2017, 3:28 am

The daily digest didn't include my addendum, edited over its time-format, so I am repeating it here with a couple minor wordsmithings, FTR.

= = =

Back to ἐγένετο and indefinite/subjectless Greek verbs: In "ἐγένετο plus 'syntactically subordinate setting material' plus a finite verb clause" we have an 'impersonal indefinite/subjectless῾ ἐγένετο. That is a classic Hebraism in the gospels and LXX. See Luke 1:59, 2:1, 6, 15, et al.

In contrast, at Luke 2:13 you have ἐγένετο with a subject: καὶ ἐξαίφνης ἐγένετο σὺν τῷ ἀγγέλῳ πλῆθος στρατιᾶς οὐρανίου. This is not the impersonal indefinite structure. The subject is πλῆθος.

And in further contrast, look at Luke 3:21-22---
Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ βαπτισθῆναι ἅπαντα τὸν λαὸν
καὶ Ἰησοῦ βαπτισθέντος καὶ προσευχομένου
ἀνεῳχθῆναι τὸν οὐρανὸν
καὶ καταβῆναι τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον σωματικῷ εἴδει ὡς περιστερὰν ἐπ᾿ αὐτόν,
καὶ φωνὴν ἐξ οὐρανοῦ γενέσθαι· σὺ εἶ ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός, ἐν σοὶ εὐδόκησα.
That is the impersonal indefinite ἐγένετο plus 'syntactically subordinate setting material' [Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ βαπτισθῆναι ἅπαντα τὸν λαὸν], but it is followed by infinitives [ἀνεῳχθῆναι, καταβῆναι, γενέσθαι] that carry the action of the paragraph.

Luke 3:21-22 is NOT a Hebraism. The structure occurs occasionally in the Gospel and fits the Greek συνέβη structure. But this non-Hebraic structure is the ONLY impersonal indefinite ἐγένετο structure that occurs throughout Acts. The Hebraic structure NEVER occurs in Acts.

Explanations on the differences between Luke and Acts may differ, but that is an important datum. Unfortunately, although Plummer, ICC, got it right in 1896, these structures have been mis-construed by the likes of Dalman, Turner, Fitzmyer and others in the 20th century, who falsely claimed that the specifically Hebraic structure occurred in Acts. Yes, just flat out mistakes, not differences of opinion. It happens in scholarship. This mistake never seems to get called out because the mistaken "fact" is viewed as helpful to Markan priority. So the facts are ignored and turned into something supportive with just a little fudging. Most people couldn't tell the difference.

Anyway, all of this gets back to impersonal, indefinite, subjectless ἑγένετο structures. Because of the καί and genitive absolute [καὶ Ἰησοῦ βαπτισθέντος καὶ προσευχομένου ] in Luke 3:21-22, one needs to treat the infinitives as practically elevated to main-line clauses. In Greek, these non-Hebraic ἐγένετο examples could possibly be called "impersonal subjects" of the ἐγένετο clause [and the genitive absolute left hanging with the ἐγένετο clause]. But that explanation does not work for the Hebraic ἐγένετο structures elsewhere, since the clauses that follow the Hebraic ἐγένετο are finite verbs in their own right [e.g., Luke 1.8-9, 23, 41, 59, 2.1, 6, 15, 46, 5.1, 12, 17, et al]. These finite verb clauses following the ἐγένετο clause are not syntactic 'subjects' of ἐγένετο. There are about 30+ of these Hebraic structures in Luke and they require an analysis as 'subjectless' ἐγένετο.

OK, this has strayed from the simple δεῖ sentence in John 4.24. If the formatters want to set up a 'subjectless' verb thread, go ahead.

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