Greenwood professor of hellenistic greek and indo-european philology in the victoria university of manchester tutor in new testament language and literature

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Ac 1033. The latter puts into the past a formula constantly

recurring in the papyri: thus FP 121 (i/ii A.D.) eu# poih

dousi dederis in Latin.

In Jn 1128 we have ei]pou?sa first for past action and then

ei@pasa (BC*) for coincident: the changed form is suggestive,

but is perhaps without conscious significance. One probable

example of coincident action may be brought in here because

of its inherent difficulty, though it belongs rather to lexicon

than to grammar. The participle e]pibalw72)--

which may well have been obscure even to Mt and Lk, who

both dropped it—has now presented itself in the Ptolemaic

papyrus Tb P 50, e]pibalw>n sune e]n th?i e[autou? gh?i


to and dammed up." It is true that in Tb P 13 e]piba

means "embankment," as Dr Swete has pointed out to me.2

But Dr F. G. Kenyon has since observed that if e]piba

were here used of casting up earth, it would add nothing to


explained in any case, there is good reason for taking the

word in the same sense in both places. Many versions

either take this view of e]pibalw


Mt and Lk substitute the ingressive aorist e@klausen. If this

account is right, e]pibalw

first point of the linear e@klaien, and the compound phrase

expresses with peculiar vividness both the initial paroxysm

1 This phrase, except for Ac 1915 259, occurs in the Semitic atmosphere alone;

so that we should look at the Hebrew rm,, which suggested it through the

medium of the LXX. (It is not Aramaic, Dalman thinks, Words 24 f.) The

form of the Hebrew prompts Dr Findlay to suggest that a]pokriqeiingressive,

ei#pen consecutive upon it. It is not fatal that a]pokriqh?nai is generally con-

stative. We should note here Ac 192, where the coincident aor. ptc. is doctrin-

ally important: cf RV. 2 See notes in Expos vi. vii. 113 and viii. 430.


and its long continuance, which the easier but tamer word of

the other evangelists fails to do.

No Evidence for There are even cases where the participle

that of Subse- seems to involve subsequent action. Thus in

quent Action. Pindar Pyth. iv. 189 we have, "when the

flower of his sailor-folk came down to Iolcos,

Jason mustered and thanked them all (le

This is really coincident action, as Gildersleeve notes; but

of course, had the poet felt bound to chronicle the exact

order of proceedings, he would have put the muster first.

I am strongly disposed to have recourse to this for the

much - discussed a]spasa13, though Hort's

suspicions of "prior corruption" induce timidity. It might

seem more serious still that Blass (p. 197) pronounces

"the reading of the majority of the MSS . . . not Greek,"1

for Blass came as near to an Athenian revenant as any

modern could hope to be. But when he says that the

"accompanying circumstance . . . cannot yet be regarded

as concluded," may we not reply that in that case Pindar's



which could only have been followed by a word- describing

the purpose before them on their journey. But in "they

arrived on a complimentary visit" I submit that the case is

really one of identical action. The RV text gives the meaning

adequately.2 There are a good many NT passages in which

exegesis has to decide between antecedent and coincident

action, in places where the participle stands second: Heb 912

will serve as an example. It would take too much space

1 Blass here slurs over the fact that not one uncial reads the future. The

paraphrastic rendering of the Vulgate cannot count, and a reading supported

by nothing better than the cursive 61 had better be called a conjecture outright.

(Blass's misquotation kath?lqon, by the way, is not corrected in his second

edition.) As little can I share his confidence that Jn 112 "is certainly an

interpolation" (p. 198 n.). What difficulty is there in the explanation he

quotes, "who as is well known did (or, has done) this"? (See p. 238.)

2 We may quote an example from the vernacular: OP 530 (ii/A.D.) e]c w$n

dw i[ma

"of which you will give 'my uncle' Sarapion 100 drachmae and redeem my clothes."

We should add that Dr Findlay would regard a]sp. in Ac l.c. as denoting the

initial act of kathTHE VERB: TENSES AND MODES OF ACTION. 133

to discuss adequately the alleged examples of subsequent

action participles for which Ramsay pleads (Paul, p. 212),

but a few comments must be ventured. In Ac 166 (WH)

—the first of a series of passages which Rackham (Acts,

p. 184) regards as "decisive"—we really have nothing to

show when the Divine monition was given. Assuming

Ramsay's itinerary correct, and supposing that the travellers

realised the prohibition as far on as Pisidian Antioch, the aorist

remains coincident, or even antecedent, for they had not yet

crossed the Asian frontier. In 2335 (and 2224) it is entirely

arbitrary to make assumptions as to the order of the items.

The former is "he said . . meanwhile ordering him . . .,"

which may perfectly well mean that Felix first told his

soldiers where they were to take Paul, and then assured

the prisoner of an early hearing, just before the guards led

him away. In 2224 Lysias presumably said in one sentence,

"Bring him in and examine him." In 1726 the o[ri

"later" than the e]poi

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