Imperative and subjunctive

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Allan Rumsch
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Joined: February 12th, 2013, 1:20 pm

Imperative and subjunctive

Post by Allan Rumsch » July 4th, 2013, 10:02 am

In Luke 10 : 4 - μὴ βαστάζετε βαλλάντιον, μὴ πήραν, μὴ ὑποδήματα, καὶ μηδένα κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ἀσπάσησθε - the imperative mood is followed by, I think, a subjunctive of prohibition. Is there significance to the meaning in the use of the subjunctive in the second part of the sentence. Why not just use an imperative again? Is there an added force to the prohibition this way, as if greeting someone was especially bad?
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timothy_p_mcmahon
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Re: Imperative and subjunctive

Post by timothy_p_mcmahon » July 4th, 2013, 5:06 pm

Prohibitions in NT Greek are normally expressed either with the aorist subjunctive or the present imperative. It appears to be a purely grammatical issue.
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Scott Lawson
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Joined: June 9th, 2011, 6:36 pm

Re: Imperative and subjunctive

Post by Scott Lawson » July 4th, 2013, 10:36 pm

Allan Rumsch wrote:In Luke 10 : 4 - μὴ βαστάζετε βαλλάντιον, μὴ πήραν, μὴ ὑποδήματα, καὶ μηδένα κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ἀσπάσησθε - the imperative mood is followed by, I think, a subjunctive of prohibition. Is there significance to the meaning in the use of the subjunctive in the second part of the sentence. Why not just use an imperative again? Is there an added force to the prohibition this way, as if greeting someone was especially bad?
Alan, FWIW, I think what is more interesting is the use of the present and the aorist. It seems to me that the prohibitive present imperative commands a stop to a customary activity, whereas the prohibitive aorist subjunctive prohibits the action as a whole from ever beginning. Stop this and do not do that.
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Scott Lawson

David Lim
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Re: Imperative and subjunctive

Post by David Lim » July 5th, 2013, 7:38 am

Allan Rumsch wrote:In Luke 10 : 4 - μὴ βαστάζετε βαλλάντιον, μὴ πήραν, μὴ ὑποδήματα, καὶ μηδένα κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ἀσπάσησθε - the imperative mood is followed by, I think, a subjunctive of prohibition. Is there significance to the meaning in the use of the subjunctive in the second part of the sentence. Why not just use an imperative again? Is there an added force to the prohibition this way, as if greeting someone was especially bad?
Is there a difference between the English commands "Do not ever touch it again." and "May you never touch it again." and "You shall never touch it again."? I personally feel that though there might be slight differences, it is more in manner than in meaning. Likewise for the imperatives and subjunctives used for prohibitions in Greek in my opinion.
Scott Lawson wrote:Alan, FWIW, I think what is more interesting is the use of the present and the aorist. It seems to me that the prohibitive present imperative commands a stop to a customary activity, whereas the prohibitive aorist subjunctive prohibits the action as a whole from ever beginning. Stop this and do not do that.
Why do you say that the present imperative represents an injunction to stop an ongoing or customary activity? Examples of plain prohibitions with no connotation that what is prohibited was ongoing or customary are:
[Matt 23:3] παντα ουν οσα εαν ειπωσιν υμιν ποιησατε και τηρειτε κατα δε τα εργα αυτων μη ποιειτε λεγουσιν γαρ και ου ποιουσιν
[Matt 24:6] μελλησετε δε ακουειν πολεμους και ακοας πολεμων ορατε μη θροεισθε δει γαρ γενεσθαι αλλ ουπω εστιν το τελος
[Mark 13:11] και οταν αγωσιν υμας παραδιδοντες μη προμεριμνατε τι λαλησητε αλλ ο εαν δοθη υμιν εν εκεινη τη ωρα τουτο λαλειτε ου γαρ εστε υμεις οι λαλουντες αλλα το πνευμα το αγιον
[Mark 13:21] και τοτε εαν τις υμιν ειπη ιδε ωδε ο χριστος ιδε εκει μη πιστευετε
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Scott Lawson
Posts: 363
Joined: June 9th, 2011, 6:36 pm

Re: Imperative and subjunctive

Post by Scott Lawson » July 5th, 2013, 1:25 pm

David Lim wrote:Why do you say that the present imperative represents an injunction to stop an ongoing or customary activity? Examples of plain prohibitions with no connotation that what is prohibited was ongoing or customary are:
[Matt 23:3] παντα ουν οσα εαν ειπωσιν υμιν ποιησατε και τηρειτε κατα δε τα εργα αυτων μη ποιειτε λεγουσιν γαρ και ου ποιουσιν
[Matt 24:6] μελλησετε δε ακουειν πολεμους και ακοας πολεμων ορατε μη θροεισθε δει γαρ γενεσθαι αλλ ουπω εστιν το τελος
[Mark 13:11] και οταν αγωσιν υμας παραδιδοντες μη προμεριμνατε τι λαλησητε αλλ ο εαν δοθη υμιν εν εκεινη τη ωρα τουτο λαλειτε ου γαρ εστε υμεις οι λαλουντες αλλα το πνευμα το αγιον
[Mark 13:21] και τοτε εαν τις υμιν ειπη ιδε ωδε ο χριστος ιδε εκει μη πιστευετε
David, I acknowledge (as per Smyth) that in many cases μή with the present imperative does not refer to the interruption of an action already begun, but to an action still in the more or less distant future against which the speaker urges resistance. Sometimes the referece to the future is directly or indirectly indicated by the context.
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Scott Lawson

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