Hebrews 9:24 ἐμφανισθῆναι

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Hebrews 9:24 ἐμφανισθῆναι

Postby Michael Abernathy » November 11th, 2012, 11:33 pm

I’m looking at Hebrews 9:24 νῦν ἐμφανισθῆναι τῷ προσώπῳ τοῦ θεοῦ ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν• The usual translation is obvious, “now to appear in the presence of God for us.” But knowing that in the active voice ἐμφανίζω can mean “bring charges against” I was curious if a secondary meaning might be something like “receive the charges on our behalf in the presence of God.”
Thanks for your help,
Sincerely,
Michael Abernathy
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Re: Hebrews 9:24 ἐμφανισθῆναι

Postby Barry Hofstetter » November 12th, 2012, 1:23 am

Michael Abernathy wrote:I’m looking at Hebrews 9:24 νῦν ἐμφανισθῆναι τῷ προσώπῳ τοῦ θεοῦ ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν• The usual translation is obvious, “now to appear in the presence of God for us.” But knowing that in the active voice ἐμφανίζω can mean “bring charges against” I was curious if a secondary meaning might be something like “receive the charges on our behalf in the presence of God.”
Thanks for your help,
Sincerely,
Michael Abernathy


I don't think the context allows this at all. Linguistically speaking, there can be only one meaning in context. You would not read this sentence in English "The captain can run the ship" and then say that because one meaning of run is to "move feet fast to move the body from one point to another" a "secondary" meaning could be that the captain was racing around the ship. Looking at BDAG and LSJ, I can see no way to make it mean this (in fact, LSJ goes out of its way to point out that in the passive it means "become visible, be manifest"). I think the writer would have given us κατηγορῆσθαι or some such if he wanted to say what you would like here.
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Re: Hebrews 9:24 ἐμφανισθῆναι

Postby Stephen Carlson » November 12th, 2012, 6:25 am

In Matt 27:53 this verb in the "aorist passive" refers to the appearance to many in Jerusalem by the saints who were risen at the crucifixion. I don't see any connotation here of receiving charges, so I would say that this verb need not have this valence.

ETA: Note that the aorist passive has become in Koine the preferred form of the aorist for non-active verbs. In other words, there is a tendency for middle verbs to be expressed in the aorist passive in the (past) perfective, which the classical aorist middle is becoming more and more reserved in the Koine for specialized (generally volitional) middles.

What this means is that if your lexicon has a middle (often labeled "active") meaning listed for the aorist passive, you should prefer it to a passive sense derived from the active counterpart.
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Re: Hebrews 9:24 ἐμφανισθῆναι

Postby cwconrad » November 12th, 2012, 7:45 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:In Matt 27:53 this verb in the "aorist passive" refers to the appearance to many in Jerusalem by the saints who were risen at the crucifixion. I don't see any connotation here of receiving charges, so I would say that this verb need not have this valence.

ETA: Note that the aorist passive has become in Koine the preferred form of the aorist for non-active verbs. In other words, there is a tendency for middle verbs to be expressed in the aorist passive in the (past) perfective, which the classical aorist middle is becoming more and more reserved in the Koine for specialized (generally volitional) middles.

What this means is that if your lexicon has a middle (often labeled "active") meaning listed for the aorist passive, you should prefer it to a passive sense derived from the active counterpart.


Thanks for raising that significant point, Stephen. You saved me the effort and you expressed it better than I would have done. This is something that needs to be taught to beginning and intermediate students when they learn the distinctions between the voice forms and their meanings: the lexica that are going to continue to be standard for us for years to come do not adequately describe the non-active voice forms and usage of verbs.
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ὁμοίους ἡμῖν, ἦν δʼ ἐγώ. Plato, Rep. 7 (515a)
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Re: Hebrews 9:24 ἐμφανισθῆναι

Postby Michael Abernathy » November 12th, 2012, 11:35 am

Thank you Stephen,
The reason I considered an alternate translation was that I saw a remarkable similarity between the Hebrew and Greek use here. This made me question whether the translation “appeared” was primarily Greek or if it reflected the Hebrew use. So I checked the Biblical uses. Twenty texts does not give a very large base for linguistic studies. Next step I looked it up in Perseus. Maybe I have a remarkable ability to overlook middle and passive forms but I didn’t find a lot to compare. Still, I hadn’t thought of the passive as the preferred form for a non-active verb.
Sincerely,
Michael Abernathy

Stephen Carlson wrote:In Matt 27:53 this verb in the "aorist passive" refers to the appearance to many in Jerusalem by the saints who were risen at the crucifixion. I don't see any connotation here of receiving charges, so I would say that this verb need not have this valence.

ETA: Note that the aorist passive has become in Koine the preferred form of the aorist for non-active verbs. In other words, there is a tendency for middle verbs to be expressed in the aorist passive in the (past) perfective, which the classical aorist middle is becoming more and more reserved in the Koine for specialized (generally volitional) middles.

What this means is that if your lexicon has a middle (often labeled "active") meaning listed for the aorist passive, you should prefer it to a passive sense derived from the active counterpart.
Last edited by Jason Hare on November 15th, 2012, 5:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hebrews 9:24 ἐμφανισθῆναι

Postby timothy_p_mcmahon » November 12th, 2012, 6:56 pm

A bit off-topic for B-Greek, but...

to what Hebrew use are you referring?
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Re: Hebrews 9:24 ἐμφανισθῆναι

Postby Michael Abernathy » November 12th, 2012, 8:21 pm

The Hbrew Bible different forms of ראה for see, show or appear. I was probably reading too much into it when I remembered that the Niphal, passive, would be translated "appear."
Sincerely,
Michael Abernathy
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Re: Hebrews 9:24 ἐμφανισθῆναι

Postby Jason Hare » November 15th, 2012, 5:27 am

Michael Abernathy wrote:The Hbrew Bible different forms of ראה for see, show or appear. I was probably reading too much into it when I remembered that the Niphal, passive, would be translated "appear."
Sincerely,
Michael Abernathy


When I was a student of biblical Hebrew (between Fall 2000 and Spring 2002), I remember that the grammar we used (Seow's A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew) gave vocabulary by root and then mentioned the binyan a verb would appear in. For example, we were given the root ראה and then told that it meant "saw" (I don't remember exactly how he listed it, in the present or past) and that in the niphal it meant "appeared" or "was seen." The student was supposed to guess exactly at the form in the relevant binyan (in this case, רָאָה versus נִרְאָה).

Having become proficient in spoken Hebrew, I would never force that system on a Hebrew student. It is counter-intuitive and entirely too difficult. We should be teaching them that נִרְאָה means "appeared" rather than that "רָאָה in the niphal" means "appeared." Now that I look back, I see how much that got in the way of my learning (not that I didn't learn Hebrew - but I didn't learn to express myself in Hebrew because I was always trying to convert roots into different binyanim!).

But, again, I don't see how נראה would carry any meaning of taking on a burden of accusations. The book of Hebrews is written in such good Greek that I wouldn't even search for a Hebrew meaning underlying any of it. I would compare it to the Septuagint rather than the Hebrew Bible for meaning drawn from the Old Testament. Were you thinking of something more specific here?
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Hebrews 9:24 ἐμφανίζω

Postby Michael Abernathy » May 18th, 2013, 4:43 pm

I know that ἐμφανίζω can mean something like to bring charges against. Can the passive as found in Hebrews 9:24 be understood as to receive the charges before God on our behalf?
νῦν ἐμφανισθῆναι τῷ προσώπῳ τοῦ θεοῦ ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν
Sincerely,
Michael Abernathy
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Re: Hebrews 9:24 ἐμφανισθῆναι

Postby Stephen Carlson » May 19th, 2013, 4:03 pm

Hi Michael, you already asked about this back in November, and I merged your query with the older thread.
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