Verb inside prep phrase: Acts 1:5

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Kirk Lowery
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Verb inside prep phrase: Acts 1:5

Post by Kirk Lowery » January 10th, 2019, 6:48 pm

This may be a very basic question, but this looked strange to me in Acts 1:5:

ὑμεῖς δὲ ἐν πνεύματι βαπτισθήσεσθε ἁγίῳ

The verb splits the noun + adjective phrase inside of a prepositional phrase. The Greek Orthodox NT has what I would have expected:

ὑμεῖς δὲ βαπτισθήσεσθε ἐν Πνεύματι Ἁγίῳ

So:

  • is this normal syntax in Koine?
  • is this Luke showing off his education? :-)
  • it appears there is no textual support for the Orthodox reading

If this is not normal usage, then what is being highlighted by the author?
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Kirk E. Lowery

Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Verb inside prep phrase: Acts 1:5

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » January 10th, 2019, 7:20 pm

It happens outside of Koine. In Acts 1:5 the preposition isn't detached from its substantive πνεύματι.

2Clem. 7:4 εἰδέναι [12] ἡμᾶς δεῖ, ὅτι ὁ τὸν φθαρτὸν ἀγῶνα ἀγωνιζόμενος, ἐὰν εὑρεθῇ φθείρων, μαστιγωθεὶς αἴρεται καὶ ἔξω βάλλεται τοῦ σταδίου.

2Clem. 7:4 We must realize that if one who competes in the earthly contest is caught cheating, he is flogged, disqualified, and thrown out of the stadium.

I don't think it is very profitable to go looking for authorial intent behind syntactical variation. I think that sort of reasoning suffers from hidden fallacies. I parted ways with the Roehampton Circle on that topic decades ago.

EDIT looks like ἔξω βάλλεται is a fixed expression where ἔξω functions like an adverb.
Last edited by Stirling Bartholomew on January 10th, 2019, 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

MAubrey
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Re: Verb inside prep phrase: Acts 1:5

Post by MAubrey » January 10th, 2019, 7:35 pm

Kirk Lowery wrote:
January 10th, 2019, 6:48 pm
is this normal syntax in Koine?
Yes.
Kirk Lowery wrote:
January 10th, 2019, 6:48 pm
is this Luke showing off his education? :-)
Yes.
Kirk Lowery wrote:
January 10th, 2019, 6:48 pm
If this is not normal usage, then what is being highlighted by the author?
I take these sort of structures as syntactic evidence of the Greek's prosodic structure. There's literature on this, but there is no satisfactorily unified account just yet...even though it all points in this direction--the debates are in the details.

The tendency is to place the sentence accent at the front of the sentence. In turn, then, when the speak/writer wants to place the sentence accent on something other than the default position (the verb), he will move it forward. Normally the pattern is to split an NP constituent, whether in a PP or not.

But Stirling's example from Clement is much more fascinating since its only the preposition ἔξω that is fronted. That particular pattern is far less common in the Koine.
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Mike Aubrey, Linguist
Koine-Greek.com

Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Verb inside prep phrase: Acts 1:5

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » January 11th, 2019, 2:47 pm

Here is another example where the verb comes after the substantive τὴν συναγωγὴν followed by a modifier τῶν Ἰουδαίων.

Robinson-Pierpont 2005 Acts 17:10b:
οἵτινες παραγενόμενοι εἰς τὴν συναγωγὴν ἀπῄεσαν τῶν Ἰουδαίων.
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Verb inside prep phrase: Acts 1:5

Post by Stephen Carlson » January 11th, 2019, 7:24 pm

Kirk Lowery wrote:
January 10th, 2019, 6:48 pm
is this normal syntax in Koine?
Mike has given you the modern answer. In older works you can find discussion of this phenomenon under the term hyperbaton.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Kirk Lowery
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Re: Verb inside prep phrase: Acts 1:5

Post by Kirk Lowery » January 12th, 2019, 12:09 pm

Thanks for all the responses. Very helpful.

Yes, I have run across the term hyperbaton before, but never paid much attention to it, and didn't recognize it here. I've got some reading to do, I see...
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Kirk E. Lowery

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