about the pass. of mimne^sko^

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Junya
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about the pass. of mimne^sko^

Post by Junya » Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:00 pm

Hi.

A question about mimne^sko^.
I'm unclear about the use of the passive form.
Does it only mean "to be remembered" ?
Does it mean "to remember + acc. or + gen." like the middle form ?

mimne^sko^ in Perseus.
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... imnh%2Fskw
The way LSJ writes here is obscure to me.

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Re: about the pass. of mimne^sko^

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:58 am

Junya wrote:Hi.

A question about mimne^sko^.
I'm unclear about the use of the passive form.
Does it only mean "to be remembered" ?
Does it mean "to remember + acc. or + gen." like the middle form ?

mimne^sko^ in Perseus.
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... imnh%2Fskw
The way LSJ writes here is obscure to me.
Junya,
The question like all lexical semantic questions needs to be anchored to citations from specific texts. In perseus.tufts LSJ μιμνήσκω under B we see:

Pass., to be remembered (not in early Prose), “τὰ παραπτώματα οὐ μνησθήσεται” LXX Ez.18.22; “αἱ ἐλεημοσύναι σου ἐμνήσθησαν” Act.Ap.10.31, cf. Apoc.16.19.

Acts 10:31 καὶ φησίν· Κορνήλιε, εἰσηκούσθη σου ἡ προσευχὴ καὶ αἱ ἐλεημοσύναι σου ἐμνήσθησαν ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ.

Acts 10:31 RSV saying, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God

Rev. 16:19 καὶ ἐγένετο ἡ πόλις ἡ μεγάλη εἰς τρία μέρη καὶ αἱ πόλεις τῶν ἐθνῶν ἔπεσαν. καὶ Βαβυλὼν ἡ μεγάλη ἐμνήσθη ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ δοῦναι αὐτῇ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦ οἴνου τοῦ θυμοῦ τῆς ὀργῆς αὐτοῦ.

Rev. 16:19 NASB 1970 And the great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the 1nations fell. And bBabylon the great was cremembered before God, to give her dthe cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.

Ezek. 18:22 πάντα τὰ παραπτώματα αὐτοῦ, ὅσα ἐποίησεν, οὐ μνησθήσεται· ἐν τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ αὐτοῦ, ᾗ ἐποίησεν, ζήσεται.

Ezek. 18:22 LXX None of his transgressions that he committed shall be remembered; by his righteousness that he did he shall live. NETS tr. Noel Hubler

I think you will find most middle-passives of this verb can best explained as subject affected but each citation must be treated according the the constraints of the CONTEXT (total historical-cultural-religous framework) and CO-TEXT (surrounding text).
C. Stirling Bartholomew

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Re: about the pass. of mimne^sko^

Post by NateD26 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:59 pm

CSB's suggestion is stellar, Junya. Always provide the context in which you encounter a certain
word. Traversing LSJ's entries and sub-entries can be a mind-boggling experience. I should know. :wink:

In actual usage, we often find the perfect middle μέμνημαι in a present active sense,
simply to remember or bear in one's mind.

Plato's Apology 27a-b:
ὑμεῖς δέ, ὅπερ κατ᾽ ἀρχὰς ὑμᾶς παρῃτησάμην μέμνησθέ μοι μὴ θορυβεῖν
ἐὰν ἐν τῷ εἰωθότι τρόπῳ τοὺς λόγους ποιῶμαι.

But you, just that which I begged from you at the beginning, remember not to interrupt me
if I use my accustomed manner of speaking.


Aor. pass. was used with genitive case (less common with accusative) in the same sense,
sometimes with a reflexive meaning:

Plato's Apology 34b-c:
τάχα δ᾽ ἄν τις ὑμῶν ἀγανακτήσειεν ἀναμνησθεὶς ἑαυτοῦ,...

Perhaps one of you might be irritated upon remembering himself,... (i.e. his own conduct in court;
in contrast to Socrates' refusal to elicit the jurors' pity by bringing his children to court and arguing
his case while sobbing).
Nate.

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Re: about the pass. of mimne^sko^

Post by Junya » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:53 pm

Thank you Bartholomew, Nate.
I'm sorry for having not given you a citation.

The place I was reading is the Magnificat in Luke.

1:54 ἀντελάβετο Ἰσραὴλ παιδὸς αὐτοῦ, μνησθῆναι ἐλέους,
(aor. pass.)


But could I ask you why one has to always give a citation in asking a question like this ?
Just because there might be a use which the answerer might not have seen ?
Or because there may always be an irregular use ?

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Re: about the pass. of mimne^sko^

Post by NateD26 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:35 pm

Junya wrote:Thank you Bartholomew, Nate.
I'm sorry for having not given you a citation.

The place I was reading is the Magnificat in Luke.

1:54 ἀντελάβετο Ἰσραὴλ παιδὸς αὐτοῦ, μνησθῆναι ἐλέους,
(aor. pass.)


But could I ask you why one has to always give a citation in asking a question like this ?
Just because there might be a use which the answerer might not have seen ?
Or because there may always be an irregular use ?
I'm never comfortable with NT Greek. Don't know why. :x
In any case, you have so many translations available freely online to browse the generally
accepted meaning of this verse. In the ones I've found, μνησθῆναι is translated as active,
with genitive object ἐλέους.
Nate.

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Re: about the pass. of mimne^sko^

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:53 pm

NateD26 wrote: I'm never comfortable with NT Greek. Don't know why. :x
In any case, you have so many translations available freely online to browse the generally
accepted meaning of this verse. In the ones I've found, μνησθῆναι is translated as active,
with genitive object ἐλέους.
Nate and Junya,

Some Luke-Acts scholars consider his style a reflection of LXX influence which is in some books heavily influenced by the source language. I don't get embroiled in the "Semitic influence on NG Greek" debate which is now a very old debate. Turning to Junya's question.
Junya wrote:
The place I was reading is the Magnificat in Luke.

1:54 ἀντελάβετο Ἰσραὴλ παιδὸς αὐτοῦ, μνησθῆναι ἐλέους,
(aor. pass.)


But could I ask you why one has to always give a citation in asking a question like this ?
Junya,

The main reason to give a citation is to limit the scope of the discussion. As it turns out you have landed on a interesting bit of syntax and not having recently worked in Luke-Acts my review of the relevant reference works[1] left me a little dizzy. Anyway, I would hazard a guess that the infinitive μνησθῆναι forms a results clause and is semantically passive, i.e., mercy has been remembered as a result of some other action. But a genitive subject[2] is a little bit strange and there are other ways to construe this. The references I checked were not in agreement, which is perfectly normal.


[1] N.Turner Syntax p136 #5, BDF #391.4, M. Zerwick #392, A.T.Robertson p1001, I.H.Marshall NIGTC, Luke p85, A. Plummer ICC Luke p34.

[2] see the thread on Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286
Last edited by C. S. Bartholomew on Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
C. Stirling Bartholomew

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Re: about the pass. of mimne^sko^

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:04 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote: I would hazard a guess that the infinitive μνησθῆναι forms a results clause and is semantically passive, i.e., mercy has been remembered as a result of some other action. But a genitive subject[2] is a little bit strange and there are other ways to construe this. The references I checked were not in agreement, which is perfectly normal.


[1] N.Turner Syntax p136 #5, BDF #391.4, M. Zerwick #392, A.T.Robertson p1001, I.H.Marshall NIGTC, Luke p85, A. Plummer ICC Luke p34.

[2] see the thread on Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286
I could not find anyone who agrees with my semantically passive suggestion. The English lexicons all agree with English translations (surprise!). The language In Luke 1:54 looks a lot like Psa. 97:3 LXX.

Luke 1:54 ἀντελάβετο Ἰσραὴλ παιδὸς αὐτοῦ, μνησθῆναι ἐλέους,

Psa. 97:3 ἐμνήσθη τοῦ ἐλέους αὐτοῦ τῷ Ιακωβ
καὶ τῆς ἀληθείας αὐτοῦ τῷ οἴκῳ Ισραηλ·
εἴδοσαν πάντα τὰ πέρατα τῆς γῆς τὸ σωτήριον τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν.

Albert Pietersma's translation of Psa. 97:3
He remembered his mercy to Iakob
and his truth to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth saw
the deliverance of our God. — NETS A. Pietersma
The Hebrew verb for μιμνῄσκομαι is active, if we assume the Masoretic Text shows the vorlage for the LXX of Psa 97:3a. I suspect this is a issue with the lexical semantics of μιμνῄσκομαι, note the difference in two rememberings of Babylon in John's Apocalypse, one passive and one active.

Rev. 16:19 καὶ ἐγένετο ἡ πόλις ἡ μεγάλη εἰς τρία μέρη καὶ αἱ πόλεις τῶν ἐθνῶν ἔπεσαν. καὶ Βαβυλὼν ἡ μεγάλη ἐμνήσθη ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ δοῦναι αὐτῇ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦ οἴνου τοῦ θυμοῦ τῆς ὀργῆς αὐτοῦ.

Rev. 18:5 ὅτι ἐκολλήθησαν αὐτῆς αἱ ἁμαρτίαι ἄχρι τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἐμνημόνευσεν ὁ θεὸς τὰ ἀδικήματα αὐτῆς.

The constructions are quite different. We have an explicit subject ὁ θεὸς in 18:5, a perfectly normal clause. In 16:9 the subject is Βαβυλὼν ἡ μεγάλη with a prepositional phrase ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ. A more complex but well formed sentence until we get to the results clause which becomes somewhat complicated at the end. Anyway, I sill think that the infinitive in Luke 1:54 might be read as a true passive but the odds of everyone else being wrong are pretty slim.
C. Stirling Bartholomew

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Re: about the pass. of mimne^sko^

Post by Paul Derouda » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:31 am

Here is what A Grammatical Analysis of Greek New Testament by Zerwick & Grosvenor says about this.
μνησθῆναι aor. inf. dep. μιμνῄσκομαί τινος remember, though the inf. could be explained as final or consec. it is best taken as a servile rendering of a Hebr. idiom with the force of gerund, "remembering". §391ff. (reference to another work by Zerwick, I guess the one looked up by C.S.)
Thus God would the subject of μνησθῆναι. I not very comfortable either with NT Greek, but this rather strained Greek to me.

The Finnish translation gives accordingly something like "He has taken care of his servant Israel, and has remembered his people and has shown mercy to Abraham etc."

I suppose the other possibility is to think it means something like "to be reminded of" and thus "remember". But it's hard for me to make God the subject here, as all the translations do.

This is a difficult passage, I'm puzzled, but maybe this helps someone else. Btw, I recommend the above book; it's follows the whole NT verse by verse and explains all difficult (and not so difficult) constructions and words in context. Sometimes you notice it's written by Catholics though.

Another reason for giving the citation (beside getting a relevant answer to a well-defined question) is making it more interesting for everybody.

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Re: about the pass. of mimne^sko^

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:03 pm

Paul Derouda wrote: The Finnish translation gives accordingly something like "He has taken care of his servant Israel, and has remembered his people and has shown mercy to Abraham etc."

I suppose the other possibility is to think it means something like "to be reminded of" and thus "remember". But it's hard for me to make God the subject here, as all the translations do.
Luke 1:54 ἀντελάβετο Ἰσραὴλ παιδὸς αὐτοῦ, μνησθῆναι ἐλέους,

Paul,

I only checked the 11 english e-versions I have on hand, none of them explicitly and unambiguously reflected a passive reading of the aorist μνησθῆναι[1]. This morning I hauled out Barbara and Timothy Friberg’s 1981 discussion of “deponency” in their Analytical NT followed by Carl Conrad’s Nov. 19, 2002 edition[2] of his treatment of Ancient Greek Voice. Conrad’s paper makes more sense every time I read it. His theoretical framework is still traditional classical philology but his conclusions are enlightening.

I did a little looking at the use of μιμνῄσκομαι in the LXX. There are no active forms. The aorists are all passive in form. It is confusing and probably misleading to say that μνησθῆναι is passive in form but active in meaning. The middle reading vs. the passive reading does not involve any change in semantic roles. The genitive ἐλέους is the content of what is remembered in both middle reading and passive reading. The person who remembers is the same in both readings. So it really doesn’t amount to much the decision between middle and passive.The semantics of the verb μιμνῄσκομαι entail that the subject is affected by the process. The content of what is remembered is most of the time in genitive case. There is no third party functioning as an active agent on the subject who remembers.

[1] It is risky to read a translation and from that attempt to determine how the vorlage (source text) was parsed. The syntax of the source language often doesn't sound right in the target language and therefore transformations are performed to make it "natural" in the target language.

[2] New Observations on Voice in the Ancient Greek Verb1 November 19, 2002
Carl W. Conrad Associate Professor Emeritus of Classics, Washington University in St. Louis
C. Stirling Bartholomew

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Re: about the pass. of mimne^sko^

Post by Junya » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:34 pm

Hi.
Thank you all.
By the answers of Nate and Paul, I see now aor. pass. of mimne^sko^ can mean "to remember + gen.", as well as "to be remembered".


Bartholomew wrote :
I would hazard a guess that the infinitive μνησθῆναι forms a results clause and is semantically passive, i.e., mercy has been remembered as a result of some other action. But a genitive subject[2] is a little bit strange and there are other ways to construe this. The references I.....
How about eleous as masc. pl. acc. of ho eleos ?



Again, an off-topic question.
How did you search the web (or books) for what word or other problem you were engaged in the analysis of ? Could you tell me ?
I'm curious why advanced learners of Greek (and Latin) here are also good at searching the web.
I'm very bad at searching, don't know how to search the web effectively, so I only see (though meticulously) LSJ and don't go out from there. (Maybe that's why I didn't understand you saying one should always give a citation in posting a question here.)

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