Ignatius to the Romans 5:3

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Matthew Longhorn
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Ignatius to the Romans 5:3

Post by Matthew Longhorn » March 9th, 2020, 2:17 pm

I am working my way still though the apostolic fathers. I recently read through Ignatius' Epistle to the Romans and came across this cheery passage in 5:3
συγγνώμην μοι ἔχετε· τί μοι συμφέρει ἐγὼ γινώσκω. νῦν ἄρχομαι μαθητὴς εἶναι. μηθέν με ζηλῶσαι τῶν ὁρατῶν καὶ ἀοράτων, ἵνα Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐπιτύχω. πῦρ καὶ σταυρὸς θηρίων τε συστάσεις, ⸂ἀνατομαί, διαιρέσεις⸃, σκορπισμοὶ ὀστέων, ⸀συγκοπαὶ μελῶν, ἀλεσμοὶ ὅλου τοῦ σώματος, κακαὶ κολάσεις τοῦ διαβόλου ἐπ᾿ ἐμὲ ἐρχέσθωσαν, μόνον ἵνα Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐπιτύχω.
Beyond it being a slap in the face as a challenge to how serious I take Christianity, I was wondering about the sentence "μηθέν με ζηλῶσαι τῶν ὁρατῶν καὶ ἀοράτων, ἵνα Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐπιτύχω."

I read that almost as BDAG does
let nothing attract me (and turn me away fr. my purpose)
and then checked my translation against Holmes who renders it as
"May nothing visible or invisible envy me, so that I may reach Jesus Christ"
. Lightfoot has
May nothing seen or unseen, fascinate me, so that I may happily make my way to Jesus Christ!
The presence of two accusatives μηθέν με which could be the subject of the infinitive is the cause of the difference in translation I am assuming.

Three questions
1. There is no main verb explicit here, should it be taken as a non-subordinate clause (I forget the correct term), or is there a verb I should be supplying?
2. If there is no main verb to be supplied, the infinitive seems to be functioning in the place of an optative (may I not desire/strive for anything). Is this a correct analysis?
3. What category would you stick this use of the infinitive against? I am not particularly a fan of assigning categories to everything, but want to make sure I look for more examples
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Bruce McKinnon
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Re: Ignatius to the Romans 5:3

Post by Bruce McKinnon » March 9th, 2020, 3:13 pm

Matthew, my elderly copy of Goodwin and Gulick's Greek Grammar appears to have the answer at para. 1541:

"The infinitive with the subject accusative sometimes expresses a wish, like the optative..."

In that case μηθέν would be the subject accusative and με would be a double accusative (object) and this clause would be the principal clause in the sentence.
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Matthew Longhorn
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Re: Ignatius to the Romans 5:3

Post by Matthew Longhorn » March 9th, 2020, 3:17 pm

Bruce McKinnon wrote:
March 9th, 2020, 3:13 pm
Matthew, my elderly copy of Goodwin and Gulick's Greek Grammar appears to have the answer at para. 1541:
Thanks! Simultaneously nice to know that I wasn't far off the mark, and also a helpful reminder to not forget the older grammarians (something I am guilty of far too often)
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