Present Passive Imperative

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Re: Present Passive Imperative

Postby Mike Burke » May 2nd, 2014, 1:36 am

So there's nothing in the word βλασφημείσθω itself to imply that those bad things are either true or false?
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Re: Present Passive Imperative

Postby David Lim » May 2nd, 2014, 7:44 am

Mike Burke wrote:So there's nothing in the word βλασφημείσθω itself to imply that those bad things are either true or false?

Not only that, even in English "speak evil of X" does not have all the same connotations of "say things that imply that X is evil"... You should not assume that "evil" means the same thing every time you see it. Another phrase with an almost identical meaning to "speak evil of X" is "speak ill of X", and surely it doesn't mean "speak of X being ill"... Likewise "βλασφημειν" does not have anything to do with the contrast between evil and good, as http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/mor ... ek#lexicon will tell you, and I would simply translate it using phrases like "to revile" (transitive) or "to utter insults" (intransitive).
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Re: Present Passive Imperative

Postby Barry Hofstetter » May 2nd, 2014, 10:43 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 (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.


Well, of course it could be used in other contexts, depending on what the speaker wanted to say. Please note the spelling of Caesar in English, and that you want the nominative, not the accusative, since βλασφημείσθω is passive, βλασφημείσθω Καῖσαρ (also nice example of a loan word into Greek from Latin, which helps us see how the Greek speakers were pronouncing stuff). The word is used passim throughout Greek literature, you might want to check LSJ. Oh, and to answer your question, no, there is nothing in the word which implies the truth or falsity of the accusation. That depends on context (and if you do find a time machine and go back, make sure you don't say βλασφημείσθω Καῖσαρ where any Roman officials might hear. You could get crucified for it).
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Re: Present Passive Imperative

Postby Stephen Hughes » May 2nd, 2014, 6:34 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:you want the nominative, not the accusative, since βλασφημείσθω is passive

Mike is using a Modern Greek nominative singular form.
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