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Appointed/tetagmenoi in Acts 13:48

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Just Passing Through View Post
    I’m not sure how else to explain it, but I’ll try once more.
    As many as were appointed = A certain number of Gentiles were appointed.
    That same number (in fact the very same individuals) believed.
    Or break it down this way:
    Normal sentence: [Subject] {Verb}.
    [Men] {came}.
    The subject can be a phrase:
    [Men who were invited] {came}.
    The relative clause has its own subject and verb so:
    [Men [who] {were invited}] {came}.
    The subject can be an indefinite relative clause:
    [Whoever was invited] {came}. —The whole phrase is the subject of “came”. But “Whoever” is also the subject of its own verb. So:
    [[Whoever] {was invited}] {came}.
    And in Acts 13:48, paraphrased:
    [[Whoever] {had been appointed}] {believed}.
    Or a more exact translation:
    [[As many as] {had been appointed}] {believed}.
    “As many as” is the subject of “had been appointed.”
    And “As many as had been appointed” is the subject of “believed.”
    Ooooh, I get it! I wouldn't know how to explain it back but I can see it. It's like... nested clauses (to borrow from the programming world). Thanks!


    • #17
      The Middle might sometimes have a somewhat passive flavor when you cause or allow something to be done to you. “Be baptized,” may be Middle because you don’t baptize yourself, but you are the agent who obtains a baptism for yourself (it is the “for yourself” aspect that makes it Middle, not the “causing to be baptized.”)
      Yes - "get yourself baptised" not "baptise yourself", "get your sins washed away" not "wash away your sins." In this case, the person has active involvement in the processes but does not perform them.

      It is that the subject does something in reference to himself.
      And yet, when people bought things for themselves, the aorist active indicative "ηγορασα," (Acts 14: 18,19) middle deponent "ωνησατο" (Acts 7:16), or even the imperfect active indicative ηγοραζον (Luke 17:28) are used.

      Aorist Middle Indicative - εκτησατο - Abraham bought a couple of things for his own use or benefit (LXX, Genesis 25:10; 33:19), likewise Potiphar bought Joseph from the slavers (Genesis 39:1), but when Joseph did some buying - he made the purchase for Pharaoh's use or benefit, not his own (Genesis 47:20). As in English, the agent can be said to do the buying (active). Pilate gave (εδωρησατο - middle deponent) Jesus' body to Joseph of Arimathaea (Mark 15:45), causatively - there was nothing active involved in the giving - according to Matthew (27:58) he simply commanded that the body be given. Likewise, Judas causatively bought a field (at an even greater remove.)

      But the Greek uses the Active: Pilate flogged Jesus (John 19:1).
      more common by far in Koine Greek than in English to be sure. It would be possible to add (LXX) Solomon built the temple as another example.

      The essence of a Middle is not causative or usually reflexive. It is that the subject does something in reference to himself. It might be reflexive; he does it to himself. It might be something he does to his own benefit (or disadvantage).
      This is the explanation that gets complained about - It is a common use of the middle voice, to be sure, but there are "too many occasions when it just doesn't work."
      Last edited by tabibito; 06-14-2019, 10:04 PM.
      sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω


      • #18
        Well, I found that page... I was mistaken, it was not an article, just people's comments.

        I had a chance to re-read and think about what the two of you were saying about the middle voice. Seems to me though that the examples provided are abundantly clear (within the context of the passage) as to what is going on. I mean, buying something is pretty benign. But when it comes to Acts 13:48, it's a verse of contention because of the vagueness - even with the context of the surrounding text. It's not like buying property or handing someone over for flogging - examples which pretty much everyone would be clear of what's going on. Wouldn't this be seen as an exception in the grammar anyway? From what I've read, the particular construction in Acts 13:48 is quite rare. Suppose that it's in middle voice - even then, to use the examples provided, you'd still have to rule out the possibility that it's in middle but functions like passive - and this (as I'm able to understand) for a rarely used way to word something. At the most, I think passing through's suggestion that God does appoint but permits our participation is a fair explanation. But if he appoints, then per the total depravity of man (even by Arminianism as outlined in the Articles of Remonstrance), it really is still God doing everything since we wouldn't have "believed" in our natural state.


        • #19
          The standard word order in Koine Greek is VSO (verb - subject - object), though it does have many exceptions. Ongoing checks for similar passages that might give clarification so far haven't been successful. aorist vb + subject (whether noun or pronoun is irrelevant), in this case "osoi" + participle.

          passive verbs can't take a direct object. The direct object (field) prevents a passive verb, which means either straight up middle voice, or middle acting as an active (deponent) verb.

          I find no reference in scripture to support the idea that the natural man can't believe another man's preaching.
          sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω


          • #20
            Well, in terms of grammar, I won't be able to speak much to it. I'll let you and passing through duke it out and just read both of your responses on it! But in terms of the idea that Scripture teaches that the natural man cannot reach out to God (note, I am not using the way you worded it - that the natural man cannot believe another man's preaching), there is plenty of Scripture to back that up. You won't find a single verse that states it outright if that's what you mean. But then neither are there clear cut verses that state that the Trinity is real or that Federal Headship is biblical. But if you're looking for general statements when put together paints the whole picture, then Romans is filled with references of the natural man's inability to reach out to God and of his total depravity. And many of those references that Paul makes come from Genesis, Psalms, and a bit from Isaiah. Hebrews has a lot as well as does John. Even if you find that those aren't strong enough, historical theology would demonstrate that the idea that natural man can reach out to God runs closer to the lines of Pelagianism which is "officially" considered a heresy on both sides of the aisle - a heresy because it raises questions when followed to their end, results in God with no sovereignty at all. I mean, it's not like I'm making this stuff on the spot! But at the same time, this is why when passing through clarified his own position on it, I stated that I agreed with him that the broader context is needed (though obviously, we differ on the conclusion!). In any case though, my interest in Acts 13:48 was purely out of curiosity because of a few things I read. But lacking the Greek grammar skills, I needed help to see what some writers were talking about. I did greatly appreciate both of your help as I learned much!


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