Passive Aorist in Gal 2:13

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timatcarterclan
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Joined: June 10th, 2014, 4:12 am

Passive Aorist in Gal 2:13

Post by timatcarterclan » June 10th, 2014, 4:22 am

In Gal 2:13 there is a 3rd person, plural, passive, aorist: συνυπεκρίθησαν in the phrase καὶ συνυπεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ [καὶ] οἱ λοιποὶ Ἰουδαῖοι,

This seems to be universally translated as "and the other Jews joined him in this hypocrisy".

My question is why, given that the aorist is in the passive voice, which I thought indicated that the subject was being acted upon, it isn't translated, "and the other Jews were joined by him in this hypocrisy."

A secondary question is, how would the translation be different if the aorist was in the active voice?

Thanks,

Tim Carter
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Wes Wood
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Re: Passive Aorist in Gal 2:13

Post by Wes Wood » June 10th, 2014, 12:22 pm

When you come across a situation like this, one of the first things you should do is consult a lexicon (a dictionary). This particular verb is a type of verb sometimes called "deponent." These are verbs that are passive in form but active in meaning. They have to be memorized as you come across them so that you will be able to understand passages like this one correctly. Good luck in your studies, and keep an eye out for more.
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Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

timatcarterclan
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Re: Passive Aorist in Gal 2:13

Post by timatcarterclan » June 10th, 2014, 12:40 pm

Hi Wes,

Thanks for responding. Your answer seems not to line up with Duff who indicates that deponent verbs use the middle voice for the active meaning, but when they occur in the passive they do have a passive meaning.

Could you point me to a resource, preferably online, that explores this further.

Thanks,

Tim
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timatcarterclan
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Joined: June 10th, 2014, 4:12 am

Re: Passive Aorist in Gal 2:13

Post by timatcarterclan » June 10th, 2014, 12:43 pm

Hi again Wes,

Having read further, Duff does go on to say that there are also Passive Deponents, and lists four that he indicates are the only four in the NT, has he missed one?

Thanks,

Tim
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cwconrad
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Re: Passive Aorist in Gal 2:13

Post by cwconrad » June 10th, 2014, 3:30 pm

For an alternative view of the middle and passive verb forms traditionally called "deponents", you may want to look at materials on a web page on which I've assembled several propositions:

http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/%7Ecwconrad/GrkVc.html
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Wes Wood
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Re: Passive Aorist in Gal 2:13

Post by Wes Wood » June 10th, 2014, 3:43 pm

I recommend looking over Dr. Conrad's materials. I wish I had known about them when I was beginning to learn Greek.
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Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Passive Aorist in Gal 2:13

Post by Barry Hofstetter » June 11th, 2014, 5:31 am

timatcarterclan wrote:Hi again Wes,

Having read further, Duff does go on to say that there are also Passive Deponents, and lists four that he indicates are the only four in the NT, has he missed one?

Thanks,

Tim
Tim, just a note, we ask people whose username is an abbreviation of the their real name (or in your case, buried in your username) to sign their posts with their actual full first and last name.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Passive Aorist in Gal 2:13

Post by Stephen Carlson » June 13th, 2014, 5:49 am

timatcarterclan wrote:A secondary question is, how would the translation be different if the aorist was in the active voice?
I want to be explicit about a point that it is implicit so far: this verb is not found in the active voice.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

timatcarterclan
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Re: Passive Aorist in Gal 2:13

Post by timatcarterclan » June 17th, 2014, 4:16 am

Thank you for the thoughtful responses so far, I will have a look at the material linked to.

I accept that this verb is not found in the active voice, so I will amend my secondary question to, how might Paul have written, "and the other Jews were joined by him in this hypocrisy." if that is what he had wanted to write? Would he have had to use a completely different verb?

Thanks,

Tim Carter
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Passive Aorist in Gal 2:13

Post by Stephen Carlson » June 17th, 2014, 6:43 am

Please be aware that συνυποκρίνομαι isn't a transitive verb that can be passivized. It's object is in the dative, not the accusative. The English rendering of some translations as "join someone in hypocrisy" makes the verb seem more transitive than it is, but you shouldn't be fooled into thinking that the transitivity of one English rendering means the Greek source is also transitive. One could also translate συνυποκρίνομαι as "play along with" or "pretend to agree with" and these cannot be cast into the passive, even in English, because they have no direct object.

You may be wondering, why then the "passive" morphology for συνυπεκρίθησαν? Well, the key to understanding this is that a lot of the traditional terminology merely refers to the most typical meanings, not to the "exceptions." With transitive verbs, "passive" is an appropriate description of this form. However, for non-transitive verbs, the so-called aorist passive is really just another kind of non-active formation that competes in Koine times with the sigmatic aorist middle, i.e. middle aorist forms with sigma or its liquid stem equivalent, in this case, *συνυπεκρίναντο. Eventually, the so-called aorist passives will win out over the aorist middles, such that the only non-active aorist form to survive is the -(θ)η- formation.

Whenever you see a middle or passive, you need to look it up in the lexicon and see what it means instead of assuming that it is a derivative of some active meaning, especially one that appears in English translations.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

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