ἀντιλεγόμενον - both medium and passive?

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RockNote

Member
Danish
I am interested in the expression σημεῖον ἀντιλεγόμενον from Luke 2:34. Would you agree that the participle, ἀντιλεγόμενον, can be read as both middle and passive voice?

Luke 2:34 reads: καὶ εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς Συμεὼν καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς Μαριὰμ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ Ἰδοὺ οὗτος κεῖται εἰς πτῶσιν καὶ ἀνάστασιν πολλῶν ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ καὶ εἰς σημεῖον ἀντιλεγόμενον (and Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against).
 
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  • Acestor

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Hi. There is no middle use of ἀντιλέγομαι. Others always dispute something.

    See the LSJ entry:
    Pass., to be disputed, questioned, X.HG6.5.37; of a place, ὑπό τινος ἀντιλεγόμενον counter-claimed, ib.3.2.30; ἀντιλέγεσθαι μικρὸν πρός τινα περί τινος D.27.15; τὰ ἀντιλεγόμενα points in dispute, Aeschin.2.44; πρὸς τὰ ἀντειρημένα κτλ., title of work by Chrysippus, Stoic.2.8; τόπος ἀντιλλεγόμενος (sic) IG5(2).443.15 (Megalopolis, ii B.C.): abs., ἀντιλέγεται περί τινος Str.8.6.6; of the genuineness of literary works, to be disputed, Plu.2.839c.
     

    RockNote

    Member
    Danish
    Hi Acestor
    Many thanks for your reply! Let me explain the background for why I ask. In the book Practice in Christianity, Søren Kierkegaard writes: "In Scripture the God-man is called a sign of contradiction" (Section II, §1). This is supposedly a reference to Luke 2:34. The various translations I have consulted agree with you in rendering ἀντιλεγόμενον in the passive voice. However, since it is Kierkegaard's belief that the God-man (Jesus Christ) is himself a contradiction, my thought was if this belief of Kierkegaard's could be accounted for by saying that he takes ἀντιλεγόμενον to be in the middle voice – thus implying that the noun, σημεῖον, has a share in the verbal activity of the participle. My Koine Greek at this point is somewhat rusty, which is why I seek assistance. So, even though ἀντιλεγόμενον may not have a middle voice, I would still like to be able to claim that Kierkegaard takes the word in this meaning. What do you think of that?
    Best regards
    Anders
     
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    Acestor

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Hello, RockNote

    You're making a very interesting point and, although a simple answer comes to mind, I would not like to dismiss this lightheartedly. I'm going on a short holiday but would like to delve somewhat deeper in how Kierkegaard may have arrived at his interpretation (or, simply, misunderstanding) as soon as I'm back.

    Until then
     

    sotos

    Senior Member
    Greek
    [heretic's hat on] If you want to justify αντιλεγόμενον as medium voice, you can, if you adopt a pantheistic view of Christian God: Jesus is God, man is made by God καθ' εικόνα και καθ' ομοίωσιν of Him (or man made god). In someway man (and the whole world) is part of God (or God is parto of man) so, if people debate about God, you can understand it as God debating with himshelf. [heretic's hat off]
    In polytheist religions comes more natural, as various gods contradict each other, some times. :)
     
    If I may chime in, I have the outmost respect for Søren Kierkegaard, but his interpretation is not correct.
    Ιt's not Christ the God-man who is a sign of contradiction, it's God crucified the «σημεῖον ἀντιλεγόμενον» as Paul interprets it (1 Corinthians 1:23): «ἡμεῖς δὲ κηρύσσομεν Χριστὸν ἐσταυρωμένον, Ἰουδαίοις μὲν σκάνδαλον, ἔθνεσιν δὲ μωρίαν» (i.e a God emptying himself and dying on the Cross as a helpless man, that's the sign of contradiction)
     

    RockNote

    Member
    Danish
    Thank you for your reflections, Sotos and Apmoy70. It's an interesting debate, but I shall refrain from getting into it in order to remain focused on the language question. The grammar of the Greek language, as it pertains to this question, is really all I am inquiring about.
     

    soplamocos

    Senior Member
    Español rioplatense
    I'm not an expert at all, but I read the post and I want to share what I thought ^^ I think that εἰς implies a finality, an end, a destiny. Also, maybe εἶναι is implied.

    οὗτος κεῖται ... εἰς σημεῖον ἀντιλεγόμενον [εἶναι] > to be a contradiction sign (not sure of "contradiction", as Spanish speaker I think that word as contra+dicción: against the word, against what is [or has been] said; or even contradecir: to speak against something or someone)
     
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