The Robertson link doesn't call it a passive at all. It claims 1) that Mathew 2:20 is an example of plural for singular, to "purposely conceal the identity of the person referred to" and that "the same principle applies" for Luke 12:20.
Matthew 2:20 is probably plural for singular, but it is not concealing anybody's identity. Herod was mentioned by name to Joseph in verse 2:13, and he has again been mentioned in verse 19. And in Luke 12:20, whose identity is being concealed precisely? God? If so, then Robertson's answer to this thread is that "'they' in Luke 12:20 refers to God."
The second link (DBF) makes exactly the same claim that "they" refers to God, but points us to Luke 6:38 and 16:9. In both cases that is debatable. Many people have read the plural of 6:38 to refer to mankind, and the old translations, made before the habit of theological smoothing of corners got quite so ingrained, all referred to "men" or "they" here.
16:9 borders on the silly as a citation, as the reader immediately discovers if he reads on to 16:22 where the subject of ἀπενεχθῆναι is specified. Luke's heavenly bestiary is a bit more inclusive.
Zerwick's discussion is very good and he cites another verse, Luke 12:48, for the same claim, though made somewhat less definitely than by the earlier grammars, that "they" is God. Yet Luke 12:48 is a general application of a parable and hardly stands for "God." And it is a mystery to me why he would bring up Luke 23:31 for comparison, even with a "?". Perhaps someone else has a guess.
But I'm happy that Jean has put forward an answer now: "They" is "God". That is a very religious and orthodox answer, of course, so it is hard to dispute with gusto. But I would suggest instead that Luke's heavenly taxonomy here (see again 16:22) is somewhat more expansive than that of the very orthodox Protestants that he has cited.
Statistics: Posted by jeidsath — Tue Oct 24, 2023 4:51 pm