In the Vulgata, Titus 3:8 reads as follows:

Fidelis sermo est: et de his volo te confirmare: ut curent bonis operibus præesse qui credunt Deo. Hæc sunt bona, et utilia hominibus.

In particular, I'm wondering about the phrase "de his volo te confirmare" for which the Berean Study Bible has:

I want you to emphasize these things

However, the phrase seems ambiguous to me because, unless I'm mistaken, it could also be translated as "I want to strengthen you concerning these things." In other words, I see two possibilities:

  • The pronoun te could be the direct object of confirmare, or
  • The infinitive phrase te confimare could be the direct object of volo

My question is:

Is this truly an ambiguity which can only be decided by context, or am I overlooking some grammatical rule that would settle the matter?


1 Answer 1


I don't think you are overlooking any grammatical point that could decide one way or the other; these types of constructions are inherently ambiguous. I think one might give some weight to the word order - a pronoun preceding the infinitive might tend to weigh in favour of its being the subject, and of course the converse, but that would not be definitive.

(Oh, in case you're wondering, referring to the Greek doesn't really help.)

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