Present Passive Imperative

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Present Passive Imperative

Postby Mike Burke » April 30th, 2014, 3:56 am

Would βλασφημείσθω be "let evil be spoken of," or "let be spoken of as evil"?

And would οἰέσθω be "let suppose," or "let be supposing"?
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Re: Present Passive Imperative

Postby Mike Burke » April 30th, 2014, 4:36 am

And would καυχάσθω be "let him boast," "let boast," or "let be boasting"?
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Re: Present Passive Imperative

Postby Stephen Carlson » April 30th, 2014, 6:33 am

Context(s)? Also, some of these glosses (e.g., "let be supposing") don't seem to be proper English.
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Re: Present Passive Imperative

Postby Stephen Hughes » April 30th, 2014, 8:25 am

Understanding the third person imperative is based on the social (power) relationship between the person being spoken to and the person who is expected to actually do something.

Meanings can range from the person being spoken to doing something themself to them telling or forcing others to do something.

Without a context, it is difficult.
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Re: Present Passive Imperative

Postby Mike Burke » May 1st, 2014, 8:04 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:Context(s)? Also, some of these glosses (e.g., "let be supposing") don't seem to be proper English.

Stephen Hughes wrote:Understanding the third person imperative is based on the social (power) relationship between the person being spoken to and the person who is expected to actually do something.

Meanings can range from the person being spoken to doing something themself to them telling or forcing others to do something.

Without a context, it is difficult.

The only context I'm aware of βλασφημείσθω being used in is Romans 14:16, where it's used with an adverb of negation (μὴ, or "not.")

μὴ βλασφημείσθω οὖν ὑμῶν τὸ ἀγαθόν.

But can the word be used without a negative particle, and what would it mean?

If I were to say "βλασφημείσθω Καίσαρας," would I be saying that evil should (rightly) be spoken of Καίσαρας, or would I be expressing the desire that he should be spoken of "as evil" (thereby implying that he was good)?

Again, οἰέσθω is used with μὴ in James 1:7, but could it be used without a negative adverb?

And would the meaning be "be you supposing," or something like that?
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Romans 14.16-17 without the negative particle

Postby Stephen Hughes » May 1st, 2014, 10:48 pm

Mike Burke wrote:The only context I'm aware of βλασφημείσθω being used in is Romans 14:16, where it's used with an adverb of negation (μὴ, or "not.")

μὴ βλασφημείσθω οὖν ὑμῶν τὸ ἀγαθόν.

But can the word be used without a negative particle, and what would it mean?

Romans 14:16 - 17 wrote:μὴ βλασφημείσθω οὖν ὑμῶν τὸ ἀγαθόν. οὐ γάρ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ βρῶσις καὶ πόσις, ἀλλὰ δικαιοσύνη καὶ εἰρήνη καὶ χαρὰ ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ·

Paul is speaking to some people (some of the Roman Christians), who he assumes will listen to him. The people that he wants not to say bad words about the good things that the Christians are doing are people who Paul doesn't know whether they would respect and listen to him.

In verse 17 Paul writes "δικαιοσυνη και ειρηνη και χαρα εν πνευματι αγιω" (righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit). He expects that the Christians will be good people, be at peace with others and be happy with the Holy Spirit's help, and then the others will not blaspheme.

If it did not have a particle of negation, then verse 17 would say, " ἡ βασιλεία γὰρ τοῦ θεοῦ βρῶσις καὶ πόσιςἐστιν ἐν πνεύματι αὐταρεσκείας, καὶ οὐ δικαιοσύνη οὐδὲ εἰρήνη οὐδὲ χαρά·" (For the kingdom of God is eating and drinking in a spirit of self-pleasure, and neither righteousness, peace nor joy.)

That would mean Paul was saying that Christians should pay attention to eating the food and and drinking the drink that they like and not to being good people, nor living at peace with others and should display their unhappiness to others. In that way people will be encouraged to say bad things about the good things that they as Christians are doing.

That is how it would be without the negative. But I'm not sure why you're asking about that.
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Re: Present Passive Imperative

Postby Mike Burke » May 1st, 2014, 11:50 pm

I wasn't asking about verse 17, or even verse 16.

I merely mentioned that verse 16 is the only context I've seen βλασφημείσθω used in.

(It's not used at all in verse 17.)

What I was asking is if the word βλασφημείσθω has any meaning without being attached to a negative adverb (as it is in Romans 14:16, which I believe is the only place it's used in the Bible.)

As far as I know, βλασφημείσθω isn't used without a negative adverb in the New Testament corpus, but does that mean it can't be used without one?

Again, the example I used was Ceasar.

What would "Καίσαρας βλασφημείσθω," or "βλασφημείσθω Καίσαρας" mean?

Could I be an honest man rightly saying that evil should be spoken of some truly evil Ceasar (like Nero or Caligula), or would something in the word
βλασφημείσθω itself imply that any evil spoken was false?

In other words, without the negative adverb, would βλασφημείσθω mean "let evil be spoken of," or "let be spoken of as (or "as if") evil"?

That's my question.
Last edited by Mike Burke on May 2nd, 2014, 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Present Passive Imperative

Postby Stephen Hughes » May 2nd, 2014, 12:15 am

In that verse in Romans, μὴ βλασφημείσθω means live a good life considerate of the foibles of others so that they don't say bad things about ....

βλασφημείσθω in this context would mean the opposite. To express that, verse 17 would need to be arranged to suit negative grammar.

You would need to supply a context for your Caesar thing before it could make sense. 3rd person imperatives are te context dependent. It is not possible to translate them without knowing what's going on in the situation.
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Re: Present Passive Imperative

Postby Mike Burke » May 2nd, 2014, 12:40 am

I want to construct a sentence using βλασφημείσθω without a negative adverb (if it can be sensibly used without one.)

if a subject is implied in βλασφημείσθω, I believe "βλασφημείσθω Καίσαρας" is a complete sentence (Ceasar being the object.)

The Ceasar could be a monster like Nero, a fairlly good Emporer like Marcus Arelius, or a fairly neutral Emporer like Claudius.

As a context, Rome originally had a Republican form of government that some hoped it would one day return to.

So if I came upon a papyrus fragment dating from Imperial Rome, and it read "βλασφημείσθω Καίσαρας," would I be justified in concluding that some Republican wanted a good Emperor (like Marcus Arelius) to be spoken of as evil (out of purely political motives), or could it be an honest historian hoping that future generations would remember a truly evil Emperor (like Nero or Caligula) for what he was?

Or, without further infomation (i.e. without further fragments identifying the Emperor spoken of, and providing more "context"), could it be either?

Again, is there anything in the word βλασφημείσθω that implies that the evil spoken is either true or false.

BTW: I fully understand and agree with what you're saying about Romans 14:16-17.

So it isn't necessary to say it again.

I understand what Paul is saying there, and who he's speaking to, and my question here has nothing to do with interpreting his words in that passage.

I'm interested in how βλασφημείσθω could be used in other contexts.
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Re: Present Passive Imperative

Postby Stephen Hughes » May 2nd, 2014, 1:19 am

Mike Burke wrote:I want to construct a sentence using βλασφημείσθω without a negative adverb (if it can be sensibly used without one.)

if a subject is implied in βλασφημείσθω, I believe "βλασφημείσθω Καίσαρας" is a complete sentence. So if I came upon a papyrus fragment dating from Imperial Rome, and it read "βλασφημείσθω Καίσαρας," would I be justified in concluding that some Republican wanted a good Emperor (like Marcus Arelius) to be spoken of as evil
If we found such a papyrus with the words βλασφημείσθω Καῖσαρ, we could assume that it was written by somebody who wanted people to say bad things about Caesar to somebody who he believed would agree to do it and who could do something towards those ends. The exact understanding of our two words will depend on who those people are in relation to each other and what the second one is reasonably capable of.

It might mean "Be a better proconsul with fairness and no corruption, than Caesar is an emperor." Or "Write graffiti on the walls."
Last edited by Stephen Hughes on May 2nd, 2014, 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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