I think what is at issue is not the content of "doing God's will", but rather whether the passive form of a third person imperative somehow obliterates the imperatival effect of the verb. We have talked about this before. I actually think there are a number of third person passive imperatives in the NT (let alone other literature) which still retain an essential imperatival thrust in them. And passive verb forms don't do away with an agent, they normally just "hide" the agent. And, of course, the third person imperative is itself interesting, since then who is the active agent? Especially in a third person verb form?
Your quote, of course, intrigues me, and so will send me in that direction. If you have the entire section that was sent to you, would you mind e-mailing it to me?
Jeffrey, my intention is to work on this third person imperative issue more this semester with my 3rd year greek students -- I am planning on having them do some large scale collection and analysis work. so stay tuned.
Mark A. Matson
on behalf of Jeffrey B. Gibson
Sent: Fri 1/4/2008 7:14 PM
Cc: Crosstalk2; biblical-studies; christian_origins
Subject: [XTalk] IOU: Heinemann on Matt. 6:10//Lk. 11:2
Apologies for cross posting, but I'd like to take advantage of the
widest possible audience:
I've just finished reading Joseph Heinemann's "The Background of Jesus'
Prayer in the Jewish Liturgical Tradition" (pp. 81-89 in _The Lord's
Prayer and Jewish Liturgy_, J. Petuchowski and M. Brocke, eds.) and I
came across this statement on p. 86:
Similarly, K. G. Kuhn (_Achtzehngebet und Vaterunser und dem
Reim_ [Tubingen, 1950, pp. 21-22] emphasizes the contrast
between the NT passages quoted [i.e., Matt. 26:39, 42; Mark
14:36 and Matt. 6:9 ff] and the Jewish conception, in which
men "perform Thy will". This conception is found, for example,
in the Palestinian version of the Eighteen Benedictions. In
Rabbinic Judaism, the role of mankind in general, and of the
Jewish people in particular, is to perform the will of God,
whereas in the passive form used by Jesus ("May Thy will be
done"), no room is left for man as an active agent performing
God's will (p. 87).
But is it true the passive form of the expression "May it be your will"
obliterates any idea of human beings having a part in fulfilling the
petition at Matt. 6:10//Lk 2? Can anyone point me to a discussion of
the passive voice that would validate Heinemann's claim?
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