“Wait what?” moments in Greek Grammar

That moment when you read in BDAG that κοιμάω is:

in our lit. only in pass. and w. act. sense.

…and then the definitions are: “to be asleep” and “to be dead.”  I’m well aware, of course, that Allan’s The Middle Voice in Ancient Greek: A Study of Polysemy (or any number of works that I regularly cite when I write about voice on this blog) appeared well after Danker finished editing his 3rd edition–likely many years, in fact.


Nevertheless, I’m still saddened by the fact that verbs that are clearly intransitive with patient/undergoer subjects should be said to have an “active sense.” It be betrays a terminological failure in Greek grammar to actually provide a definition for the labels used.

Looking forward to a transformation in the terminology we use to describe verbs. It really needs happen, because the status quo is unhelpful and confusing.