Middle and Passive Voice in Galatians 4:12-14

Forum rules
Please quote the Greek text you are discussing directly in your post if it is reasonably short - do not ask people to look it up. This is not a beginner's forum, competence in Greek is assumed.
Post Reply
Gregory Hartzler-Miller
Posts: 40
Joined: May 23rd, 2015, 10:09 pm

Middle and Passive Voice in Galatians 4:12-14

Post by Gregory Hartzler-Miller » November 10th, 2017, 12:43 pm

Γίνεσθε, Passive, MP2 ὡς ἐγώ, ὅτι κἀγὼ [ἐγενόμην, Middle, MP1] ὡς ὑμεῖς, ἀδελφοί, δέομαι, Middle, MP1 ὑμῶν. οὐδέν με ἠδικήσατε· οἴδατε δὲ ὅτι δι’ ἀσθένειαν τῆς σαρκὸς εὐηγγελισάμην, Middle, MP1 ὑμῖν τὸ πρότερον, καὶ τὸν πειρασμὸν ὑμῶν ἐν τῇ σαρκί μου οὐκ ἐξουθενήσατε οὐδὲ ἐξεπτύσατε, ἀλλὰ ὡς ἄγγελον Θεοῦ ἐδέξασθέ, Passive, MP2 με, ὡς Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν.

I have (correctly, I hope) parsed these middle and passive verbs according to Carl Conrad's recommendations: "...the parser should indicate the form only, so that all -μαι, -σαι, -ται, -μην, -σο, -το forms will be marked as Middle, all -θη- forms will be marked as Passive. If I had my preference, I'd mark all 'Middle' verbs MP1 and all 'Passive' verbs MP2, since both morphoparadigms are capable of bearing either middle or passive semantic force."

My question: What is the significance of the middle and passive morphoparadigms for interpretation of this passage?

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3138
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: Middle and Passive Voice in Galatians 4:12-14

Post by Jonathan Robie » November 10th, 2017, 12:56 pm

I think this is the money quote:
Carl Conrad wrote:If I had my preference, I'd mark all 'Middle' verbs MP1 and all 'Passive' verbs MP2, since both morphoparadigms are capable of bearing either middle or passive semantic force.
So the distinction between these morphological forms doesn't tell us much. So ... it's best to just get rid of the Middle and Passive from your labels, assume that either meaning is possible, and let the context and the meaning of the verb help you pick the appropriate interpretation.

For instance, consider Γίνεσθε, Passive, MP2. Is he asking them to passively become like him? I don't think so, it doesn't seem to fit the common sense reading of the passage, though I imagine whole theologies have been built on that kind of claim.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Gregory Hartzler-Miller
Posts: 40
Joined: May 23rd, 2015, 10:09 pm

Re: Middle and Passive Voice in Galatians 4:12-14

Post by Gregory Hartzler-Miller » November 10th, 2017, 1:54 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
November 10th, 2017, 12:56 pm
I think this is the money quote:
Carl Conrad wrote: If I had my preference, I'd mark all 'Middle' verbs MP1 and all 'Passive' verbs MP2, since both morphoparadigms are capable of bearing either middle or passive semantic force.
For instance, consider Γίνεσθε, Passive, MP2. Is he asking them to passively become like him? I don't think so, it doesn't seem to fit the common sense reading of the passage, though I imagine whole theologies have been built on that kind of claim.
I agree not to base a theology on that verb form. I'm comparing the Galatians usage to Phil. 2:5-7,

τοῦτο φρονεῖτε, Present/Imperative/Active, ἐν ὑμῖν ὃ καὶ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ,... ἀλλὰ ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν, Active, μορφὴν δούλου λαβών, ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος, Middle...

The call there is to actively "have the mind" of Christ Jesus, who actively "emptied himself."

Gregory Hartzler-Miller
Posts: 40
Joined: May 23rd, 2015, 10:09 pm

Re: Middle and Passive Voice in Galatians 4:12-14

Post by Gregory Hartzler-Miller » November 10th, 2017, 1:55 pm

Addendum to the above question. On New Testament usage:

The verb εὐαγγελίζω is usually used in the middle, as above, or passive. Paul can use either, but usually, he uses Middle, so Passive might be notable as a departure. Only in Revelation do we see it used twice in the active voice. http://biblehub.com/greek/strongs_2097.htm

The verb γίνομαι is usually used in the middle or passive, as above, but Paul often uses the active, including in Galatians 4:16, ὥστε ἐχθρὸς ὑμῶν γέγονα ἀληθεύων ὑμῖν http://biblehub.com/greek/gegona_1096.

Only Paul uses the Passive ἐδέξασθε, as opposed to the more common middle form. http://biblehub.com/greek/edexasthe_1209.htm

δέομαι is always middle, as above, or passive (only once passive in Paul's usage).

MAubrey
Posts: 858
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 8:52 pm
Location: Washington
Contact:

Re: Middle and Passive Voice in Galatians 4:12-14

Post by MAubrey » November 10th, 2017, 5:11 pm

Gregory Hartzler-Miller wrote:
November 10th, 2017, 1:55 pm
Addendum to the above question. On New Testament usage:

The verb εὐαγγελίζω is usually used in the middle, as above, or passive. Paul can use either, but usually, he uses Middle, so Passive might be notable as a departure. Only in Revelation do we see it used twice in the active voice. http://biblehub.com/greek/strongs_2097.htm
The switch between sigmatic middles for aorist εὐαγγελίζω and θη middles (your passive) for aorist εὐαγγελίζω is a slow historical tread away from the sigmatic morpholology and more and more toward the θη morphology for the same semantics. The same is true for what you're seeing with ἐδέξασθε
Gregory Hartzler-Miller wrote:
November 10th, 2017, 1:55 pm
The verb γίνομαι is usually used in the middle or passive, as above, but Paul often uses the active, including in Galatians 4:16, ὥστε ἐχθρὸς ὑμῶν γέγονα ἀληθεύων ὑμῖν http://biblehub.com/greek/gegona_1096.
The perfect of γίνομαι is, for all intents and purposes, active-only, so there really isn't a choice here. That it is active-only is interesting historically (γίνομαι is a very old verb and originally the perfect did not have a middle form at all), but not exegetically.
Mike Aubrey, Linguist
Koine-Greek.com

Gregory Hartzler-Miller
Posts: 40
Joined: May 23rd, 2015, 10:09 pm

Re: Middle and Passive Voice in Galatians 4:12-14

Post by Gregory Hartzler-Miller » November 12th, 2017, 10:23 am

Much to study. Thanks for the help. I am also reading another article by Carl Conrad which I found after posting this thread. Of particular direct relevance, this part: "When you learn the verb γίνομαι, γενήσομαι,
ἐγενόμην//ἐγενήθην, γέγονα//γεγένημαι, you must grasp that this verb too is essentially
“middle” in sense although in some contexts it may bear a passive sense, and you must realize
that the two aorist forms ἐγενόμην and ἐγενήθην bear the same sense and that, like sigmatic
(ἔλυσα) and thematic (ἔλαβον) types of aorist, they are not different in meaning just because
the morphoparadigm differs; you must grasp too that the perfect forms γέγονα (“basic” or
“active” morphoparadigm) and γεγένημαι (MP morphoparadigm) both bear the same “middle”
sense." https://pages.wustl.edu/files/pages/imc ... cgrkvc.pdf

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest