Problem with verb in Didache 10

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npc
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Problem with verb in Didache 10

Post by npc » December 14th, 2015, 8:28 pm

Hello, folks. Please forgive me, I don't know how to post in the Greek character set efficiently so I'm using Roman letter equivalents.

I'm translating my way through Holmes' Didache, and in 10:5 I ran across the following verb: "sunacon". Given the context, I make this a 2nd, singular, aorist, imperative, but I can't figure out the root verb. Holmes translates it as "gather". I figure a root of "sunerxomai" is possible, but then I expect "sunelqon" as the aorist imperative. I find nothing useful in Trenchard or through Perseus. LSJ suggests "sunaciow" meaning "join in thinking fit", but it appears to show up only in one spot in Xenophon. What am I missing? Any suggestions?

TIA.
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Nick Christenson

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Re: Problem with verb in Didache 10

Post by Jonathan Robie » December 15th, 2015, 6:47 am

Welcome to B-Greek! First a little housekeeping: we have a user name policy - please read and follow these instructions so I can change your user name here: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/test/foru ... ?f=38&t=90 (This is required in order to continue posting.)

You can find the text of the Didache online here: http://www.ccel.org/l/lake/fathers/didache.htm

Here is the text for that verse:
5. μνήσθητι, κύριε, τῆς ἐκκλησίας σου, τοῦ ῥύσασθαι αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ σου, καὶ σύναξον αὐτὴν ἀπὸ τῶν τεσσάρων ἀνέμων, τὴν ἁγιασθεῖσαν, εἰς τὴν σὴν βασιλείαν, ἣν ἡτοίμασας αὐτῇ· ὅτι σοῦ ἐστιν ἡ δύναμις καὶ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας.
I think the verb is συνάγω, 2nd person singular, aorist imperative.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Problem with verb in Didache 10

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 15th, 2015, 12:43 pm

npc wrote:I find nothing useful ... through Perseus.
Perseus is a classical Greek dictionary. They will give you the information on the standard form συνάγαγε. Its non-inclusion in Perseus suggests that this is apparently not a classical form.

In Modern Greek, there is a folkloric word συνάζω (palatal ζ, so aorist in -αξ-) being a medieval word derived from the classical συνἀγω with which we are familiar.

BTW, In standard / literary Modern Greek, the "standard" word is retained (given preference over the folksie word), with its aorist as συνήγαγα. The diglossic situation in Greek throughout its history means (meant) that a folk and a literary word could coexist at the same time, and that sometimes the language returned to the more classical (standard) form.
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Problem with verb in Didache 10

Post by Stephen Carlson » December 15th, 2015, 10:36 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
npc wrote:I find nothing useful ... through Perseus.
Perseus is a classical Greek dictionary. They will give you the information on the standard form συνάγαγε. Its non-inclusion in Perseus suggests that this is apparently not a classical form.
Yes, συνάγαγε is the second aorist imperative, expected for this verb, but it looks like that Barnabas is using a first aorist σύναξον. You can think of it as the regularization of rare verb forms to more productive ones.
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Re: Problem with verb in Didache 10

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 17th, 2015, 1:36 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:
npc wrote:I find nothing useful ... through Perseus.
Perseus is a classical Greek dictionary. They will give you the information on the standard form συνάγαγε. Its non-inclusion in Perseus suggests that this is apparently not a classical form.
Yes, συνάγαγε is the second aorist imperative, expected for this verb, but it looks like that Barnabas is using a first aorist σύναξον. You can think of it as the regularization of rare verb forms to more productive ones.
If it is an occasional (random) error by a competent hand in a piece of literature, it is like as if someone wrote "comed" or "goed" for "came" or "went", and for some reason it went unredacted.

Another way to consider σύναξον, if the crossing of grammatical boundaries is a possibility, is that it might be a future imperative, but I'm not sure how that hybrid species of word would be caged in the menagerie of Greek grammatical oddities.
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Re: Problem with verb in Didache 10

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 20th, 2015, 3:26 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:Another way to consider σύναξον, if the crossing of grammatical boundaries is a possibility, is that it might be a future imperative, but I'm not sure how that hybrid species of word would be caged in the menagerie of Greek grammatical oddities.
My mindset was wrong when I wrote this.

What was happening is not a crossing of boundaries, but rather a convergence of categories. In fact two related things were happening during our time. Let me lead you up the following two closely related garden paths ...

The first one is the convergence of the first and second aorist (indicative) endings.

The classical form of the first person singular is εἶπον, and it is the same as the third person plural. The first aorist ending for the third plural is -αν. The variant form εἶπαν is well frequently enough found in the New Testament. The difference between the third plural and the first singular form of the first aorist indicative is the non-presence of the final -ν.

Following that line of development (movement at least) of the language, the first singular form could be εἶπα. What we see in John 10:34 as Ἐγὼ εἶπα, or in the NA-UBS text in Mark 9:18 and Acts 26:15, is a result of the simplification of second aorist endings to first aorist endings.

The second is the similarity, confusion and convergence of the aorist subjunctive and the future (indicative) stems.

There are a very few examples in the New Testament of what is described as ἵνα with the future (indicative). Seen in the longer term picture - most noticeable because of the loss of a separate future form in favour of a future construction based on the imperatives in ἵνα. (A θέλω was added to the front of the construction). For many verbs there is no difference in form between the first persons singular of the future (indicative) and the aorist subjunctive. For the majority of verbs, the sigmatic stem ending of the aorist came to be the one converged form that was accepted into common usage.

For the verb συνάγω the aorist indicative forms συνῆξα (2 Esdras 7:28, 2 Esdras 8:15, 2 Esdras 17:5) and συνῆξεν (Judges B 11:20, 1 Maccabees 1:4) - with a sigmatic stem based on the classical future form συνάξω, and employing the first aorist endings in -α - are not common, but do exist.

Slightly off topic, while I feel that the ζ had a single pronunciation in Koine times I think it was the single graphical representation of two spoken forms in earlier times, the one being the -σδ- (which I thing was pronounced as -zd-) and the -γj- which was pronounced perhaps as ž, such as -σσ- from -κj- was perhaps pronounced as š. The first one results in futures in -σ- and the second in futures in -ξ-.
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cwconrad
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Re: Problem with verb in Didache 10

Post by cwconrad » December 20th, 2015, 9:35 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:What was happening is not a crossing of boundaries, but rather a convergence of categories. In fact two related things were happening during our time. Let me lead you up the following two closely related garden paths ...

The first one is the convergence of the first and second aorist (indicative) endings.

The classical form of the first person singular is εἶπον, and it is the same as the third person plural. The first aorist ending for the third plural is -αν. The variant form εἶπαν is well frequently enough found in the New Testament. The difference between the third plural and the first singular form of the first aorist indicative is the non-presence of the final -ν.

Following that line of development (movement at least) of the language, the first singular form could be εἶπα. What we see in John 10:34 as Ἐγὼ εἶπα, or in the NA-UBS text in Mark 9:18 and Acts 26:15, is a result of the simplification of second aorist endings to first aorist endings.

The second is the similarity, confusion and convergence of the aorist subjunctive and the future (indicative) stems. ... For the verb συνάγω the aorist indicative forms συνῆξα (2 Esdras 7:28, 2 Esdras 8:15, 2 Esdras 17:5) and συνῆξεν (Judges B 11:20, 1 Maccabees 1:4) - with a sigmatic stem based on the classical future form συνάξω, and employing the first aorist endings in -α - are not common, but do exist.
I think this is essentially right: on the one hand, the older second-aorist stems came to be conjugated with first-aorist alpha endings, sooner in some person-number combos than in others, while on the other hand, new first-aorists were developing by addition of the -σα- formative element to the verb root (συν-αγ-σα --> συναξα-). I think that what we have here with the imperative form in question is the second process, and I think this is what Stephen Carlson was referring to as a process of "standardization."

I think that the pricess of linguistic change in Koine Greek is worth fuller discussion; it certainly involves both morphology and usage. With regard to voice morphology, the gradual supplanting of aorist middle forms in μην/σο/το by θη passive forms is parallel. In usage the increasingly common expansion of ἐν + dative and of ἵνα + subj. for functions beyond purpose clauses is also parallel. Some of these matters are discussed in the earlier pages of BDF.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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Re: Problem with verb in Didache 10

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 20th, 2015, 1:10 pm

cwconrad wrote:I think that the pricess of linguistic change in Koine Greek is worth fuller discussion; it certainly involves both morphology and usage. With regard to voice morphology, the gradual supplanting of aorist middle forms in μην/σο/το by θη passive forms is parallel. In usage the increasingly common expansion of ἐν + dative and of ἵνα + subj. for functions beyond purpose clauses is also parallel.
To certain extent, an advanced knowledge of grammar entails forgetting grammatical distinctions - when and in what ways grammatical distinctions such as case, number, tense or voice can (and should) be overlooked. That is a lot more difficult than the correct identification of some form or other. To some degree, being able to answer the question, "What is in Koine Greek, but is not in Modern Greek?" is a valid approach. The loss of the dative, that we easily identify with our own loss of the OE case system and the emergence of prepositional phrases ("to" or "ἐν") to do play the same function is a fertile valley in which our knowledge can grow and abound. Another thing is the loss of the future and (to all intents and purposes) the sujunctive (as a separate) form and the extension of it's - that Carl just mentioned. Then there is the small-picture - big-picture distinction that is expressed in a number of ways in Koine Greek, but not in Modern. There is a three voice distinction in Modern Greek - active, middle and passive that is not so (thusly) developed in Koine Greek - which Carl also just mentioned.

Then there is the problem of what to do with a knowledge of how Modern and Koine Greek are different. Take this example; we know that the Modern Greek future is formed θέλω ἵνα a composite future-subjunctive form, and that in Modern Greek the subjunctive is marked by the suffixing of a form of ἵνα to the future-subjunctive form of the verb. But how would we use that in a practical way?
Mark 10:51 (part) wrote:Τί σοι θέλεις ποιήσω; Ὁ δὲ τυφλὸς εἶπεν αὐτῷ, Ῥαββουνί, ἵνα ἀναβλέψω.
This is obviously very colloquial, now should we construct the ἵνα ἀναβλέψω as a purpose clause after the verb "to do" or "to see". A knowledge of the Modern Greek future might suggest an understood θέλλω, while a strict knowledge of Classical grammar would require it as a purpose clause after the verb "to do", while a knowledge that the convergence of subjunctive and future required subjunctives to be marked with ἵνα, so this (following the subjunctive taking over the Classical role of the optative) could simply be a statement, "I wish to see", without much thought as to how that was going to come about.

The next question is ἀναβλέψω subjunctive or future? The obvious answer is that it is subjunctive, because it follows ἵνα, but that assumes a valid distinction in this case between the two grammatical categories. Theoretically - in the theory of Classical grammar - it is a subjunctive, is perhaps a more accurate statement than an absolute "It is a subjunctive." The nemesis of the "future subjunctive" crossover eventually becomes and "future-subjunctive" convergence.

We see some of that background change in the underlying structure of the language displayed in this form that was found in Didache 10.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Problem with verb in Didache 10

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 20th, 2015, 4:13 pm

I left this broader discussion in this thread as a way of saying that Nick's original post about "[a] Problem with [a] verb in [a particular passage -] Didache 10" is best answered by just taking a quick glance at what is happening with THE verb in Koine Greek and the overall grammatical system in Koine Greek for a moment without shifting the board's attention to it. Generally the New Testament writers are careful and are quite well understood in terms of classical norms + a few extra observed phenomena, without explaining a competing substratum in case usage or verbal system structures.
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