On Friday, December 3, 2004, at 06:59 , Philip Newton wrote:

> On Thu, 2 Dec 2004 18:40:35 +0000, Ray Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> The Greek has:
>> hagiasthe:to:                             to  onoma sou.
>> made-holy-AORIST.PASSIVE-3SING.IMPERATIVE the name of-you
>> Greek, unlike Latin, has subjunctive, optative and imperative moods for
>> 3rd person.
> True for Attic Greek, undoubtedly, but how productive was the optative
> mood in the Koine that the New Testament was written in?

It occurs 68 times in the New Testament - in every case IIRC in wishes.

The big difference between NT Greek and Attic Greek (and other dialects of
the 5th cent BCE & earlier) is that by this time it seems that the
optative was used only for wishes. In earlier use it frequently replaced
the subjunctive in subordinate clauses when main verbs were past and, in
some authors, it also replaced the indicative in subordinate clauses if
the main verb was past. It was also used in certain types of condition.
All these uses had gone, but wishes AFAIK were still expressed with the

> If the optative was nearly never used (instead being substituted by, I
> presume, subjunctive or imperative),

Not the imperative. I think constructions involving the subjunctive were
found in late Koine & Byzantine Greek. In the modern language wishes are
expressed by either /Ta/ or /as/ followed by the imperfect indicative.

> then a morphological imperative
> is no longer so clearly-cut a syntactical one.

I did some checking this morning, and I find no evidence that the
imperative mood was ever used for anything else than commands (2nd person)
  & entreaties (3rd person). This seems to have been the case at all
periods until the 3rd person imperatives became obsolete. In the modern
language this is either /na/ or /as/ with one of the so-called

In the modern language the optative no longer exists, and altho books
still often refer to a subjunctive, its endings are exactly the same as
the non-past indicative! I imagine the 'falling together of the moods'
must have happened when changes in pronunciation obscured or even
neutralized many of the distinctions. For example if we compare a
transliteration of the present indicative, subjunctive & optative of the
verb "to write" we have:

grafw          grafw        grafoimi
grafeis        grafhis      grafois
grafei         grafhi       grafoi
grafomen       grafwmen     grafoimen
grafete        gefhte       grafoite
grafousi       grafwsi      grafoien

(Note: this is a *transliteration* where phi is written |f|, eta (long-e)
is written |h| and omega (long-o) is written |w|.)

By the Byzantine period:
- 2nd & 3rd persons singular were pronounced the same in all three moods;
- the 1st person plural was pronounced the same in the indicative and
subjunctive moods (and the 1st singular was already pronounced the same);
- the 2nd person plural was pronounced the same in the subjunctive and
optative moods.

The only one that kept three distinct forms was the 3rd person plural.
Even here, in the spoken northern dialects they tended to fall together.

But at the time of the NT these three different moods were still
pronounced differently & the optative was still used for wishes.

>>> Pre-Vulgate translations rendered it as _quotidianem_ 'daily';
>> _quotidianum_
> I've also seen "cottidianum" -- spelling mistake? alternate spelling?
> different root?

Alternate spelling.

In fact the prescriptivists are more likely to regard "quotidianum" as a
mistake. Descriptivists on the other hand will just note that the variants
"cottidianum", "cotidianum" & "quotidianum" are found (AFAIK *quottidianum
is not found).

It seems that |quo| and |co| were both pronounced the same [k_wo] by most
(all?) speakers, and there are other examples of confusion in spelling.

"cottidianum" etc - was the normal form in the Classical period.
"cotidianum" - is the form found in the Vulgate version of Luke 11:3.
"quotidianum" - is the form used in Catholic liturgy (which is the Matthew
version as in the Vulgate except that "quotidianum" replaces Jreome's

[log in to unmask]
Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
which is not so much a twilight of the gods
as of the reason."      [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]