βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν

Grammar questions which are not related to any specific text.
Stephen Hughes
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Re: βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν

Post by Stephen Hughes » October 3rd, 2015, 1:56 am

jdhadwin wrote:I don't get it. How do any of the translations indicate whether the dead party is not one and the same as the baptizing party? I'm still processing what Stephen said, so I think it is simply, the fact that the preposition would have been a different one (to indicate reflexivity?).
I don't use a swishing pin code to lock my phone, so it sometimes "makes calls (for) itself". I realise this is English, but think about it ... Should we use the "for" or not. It is an action that was done to it, in fact, by the keys or something, not which it did itself. It wasn't done for my benefit, or to help me, so, without a person who could actually benefit, the assumed benefit is "reflexive". The example that you have brought attention to is in the middle-passive voice, which apparently adds a degree of complexity, but consider these examples.

"They don't eat meat. They went to the butcher's and were sold meat for the vegetarians' dinner.", which is not so much different from "and the butcher sold them meat for the vegetarians' dinner". Point being that the medio-passive form of the verb is for the verb, not for the whole phrase. The ὑπὲρ is assumed to be being used reflexively in this context from the context itself and our reasoning of things, not because of the actual ὑπὲρ itself having a reflexive meaning.

I am a strong believer in approaching language with an methodology something like perturbation theory. We don't need to stay on the exactly right line, but just not stray too far from it. We find the more exact understanding of what we are looking into, by "bumping" into other things - add a little if it seems too little, take a little if it seems too much. If this is difficult, revisit it later, and then again and again till your oscillations in understanding settle down to something that seems to fit the situation.

In other words, keep going with Greek and things will work themselves out. If they don't you will enjoy the working out for longer. Uncertainty and inexact explanations are a normal part of life. Greek is part of life.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Carlson
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Re: βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν

Post by Stephen Carlson » October 3rd, 2015, 7:07 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:If relics were understood to be at the other end of the Church from the baptistery, could βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν refer to a physical location?
This verse has gotten a lot of attention and nearly every analysis with even a shred of plausibility has been advanced for understanding this. IIRC, a spatial understanding of this preposition has indeed been proposed. I doubt we have information to solve the problem, though that probably won't stop me from attempting one day.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

cwconrad
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Re: βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν

Post by cwconrad » October 3rd, 2015, 7:49 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:If relics were understood to be at the other end of the Church from the baptistery, could βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν refer to a physical location?
This verse has gotten a lot of attention and nearly every analysis with even a shred of plausibility has been advanced for understanding this. IIRC, a spatial understanding of this preposition has indeed been proposed. I doubt we have information to solve the problem, though that probably won't stop me from attempting one day.
At any rate, it doesn't seem very likely that we'll confess that we don't know.
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: βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν

Post by Wes Wood » October 3rd, 2015, 1:58 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:While Revelations 6:9 suggests that the practice may be very early and have been well established by the end of the first century
I truly appreciate comments that make me aware of things I have overlooked. Thanks for the new slant on a verse I have read countless times.
Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

cwconrad
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Re: βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν

Post by cwconrad » October 4th, 2015, 8:14 am

Wes Wood wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:While Revelations 6:9 suggests that the practice may be very early and have been well established by the end of the first century
I truly appreciate comments that make me aware of things I have overlooked. Thanks for the new slant on a verse I have read countless times.
Perhaps you might appreciate an alternative perspective on 2 Tim 3:15 (θεόπνευστος) from James McGrath's blog http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringo ... y-316.htmlThis is, of course, not a proper place to discuss it, but there are several texts that are open to a considerable variety of interpretations that may well leave one scratching one's head.
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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

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