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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sonte1 The writer

is "an official of some importance" (G. & H.) who bears a

Greek name. We may observe that the participial use we

are discussing is in the papyri not at all a mark of inferior

education. Though fairly certain, it was not very common.

It may be recalled that in a prehistoric stage Latin used the

participle for an indicative, where the 2nd plur. middle for

some reason became unpopular; and sequimini = e[po

only established itself in the present, but even produced

1 Add PP ii. 19 a]ciw? se. . . dou>j ktl (q.v.), and G 30 (=Witk. p. 83).


analogy-formations in future and imperfect, and in the subjunc-

tive.1 Cf the constant ellipsis of est in perfect indic. passive. If

further analogies may be permitted, we might refer to the plaus-

ible connexion claimed between the 3rd plural indicative and

the participle in all languages of our family: bheronti (ferunt,

febairand, etc.), and bheront- (ferens, fe

bairands). These analogies are only adduced to show that the

use of the participle always lay ready to hand, with or without

the auxiliary verb, and was a natural resource whenever the

ordinary indicative (or, less often, imperative) was for any

cause set aside. In D we find this use apparently arising

from the literal translation of Aramaic: see Wellh. 21.

We may proceed to give some NT passages in which the

participle appears to stand for an indicative: those where

the imperative is needed were even on pp. 180 ff. As before,

we shall begin with those from Winer's list (p. 441 f.) in which

we may now reject his alternative construction. Rom 511


tion seems forced. The a-text MSS correctly glossed the true

reading with their kauxw2 we might have to

take refuge in explaining e[rmhneuo

felt ourselves tied to o{j sunanth

xABC2DEK 17. But it seems clear that we may here

accept the conjecture of C*LP and the later MSS, the

doubled sigma being a primitive error parallel with those in

1135 gunai?kaj (xAD and the new Oxyrhynchus papyrus) and

114 au]tou? t&? Qe&? (where Hort's au]t&? tou? Qeou?) is now found

in the papyrus, as well as in Clement): this is an excellent

witness to the scrupulous accuracy of the b-text in preserving

even errors in its ancient source. In Heb 810 1016 didou

is parallel to e]pigra

maintained: the LXX had didou>j dw

omit dw

Hebrew?), leaving didou

Winer (p. 717) would make e]pigra

ciple, as in Col 126, 1 Co 737, etc. In Ac 245 eu[ro

at the goal by the way of anacoluthon--Luke cruelly reports
1 Sequimini imperative has a different history: cf the old infinitive e[pe
sacamane. See p. 241.


the orator verbatim. In 2 Co 75 qlebotaken in this way: perhaps pareklh

the main verb. ]Apagge

sives) of Ac 2620 would be explained thus, though the influence

of e]geno

irregularity, the Syrian revisers would hardly have admitted

it. In Rom 126 e@xontej is I think for e@xomen: see above,

p. 183. In Rev 102 e@xwn is for ei#xen: Winer allows that

" e]sti<, [rather h#n] may be supplied." So 2112.14. A different

class of participle altogether is that coming under the head

of "hanging nominative," which our own nominative absolute

translates so exactly that we forget the genitive presumed in

the Greek. Heb 101 will be a case in point if the text is

sound—Westcott and Peake accept du

supported by the combination DH boh vg: the RV (so W. F.

Moulton, Comm. in loc.) follows the construction expressly

vouched for by Theophylact, reading e@xwn as an "absolute

clause." In Phil 130 e@xontej similarly takes the place of a gen.

abs. (or dat. agreeing with u[mi?n) the construction is taken up

as if e]la1 The idiom in fact is due merely

to anacoluthon: see other exx. in WM 716 and Jannaris

HG 500. Answering Viteau, who as usual sees Hebraism

here, Thumb observes (Hellenismus 131) that the usage is

found in classical Greek, and in Hellenistic both in and

outside Biblical Greek, "and is the precursor of the process

which ends in MGr with the disappearance of the old

participial constructions, only an absolute for in -ontaj

being left." This construction is identical, to be sure, with

the nom. pendens unaccompanied by the participle: it is as

common in English as in Greek, and just as "Hebraistic" in

the one as in the other.2

Participles We saw when we first introduced the

with ei#nai. participial substitute for indicative or impera-

tive (p. 182), that its rationale was practically

the suppression of the substantive verb. Our next subject

will therefore naturally be the use of the participle in peri-

1 Lightfoot rejects the alternative punctuation (WH) which. would treat

h!tij . . . paEGT in loc).—rightly, it

seems to me. 2 Add 1 Th 211: see Dr G. Milligan in loc.


phrastic tenses. Since the question of Semitism is rather

acute here, we will deal with it first. Blass (pp. 202 ff.)

discovers the influence of Aramaic especially in the peri-

phrastic imperfect: in the case of Mt, Mk, Lk and Ac 1-12

"this is no doubt due to their bring direct translations from

Aramaic originals"---"based on direct translations," would be

a better way to put it. Schmid (Attic. iii. 113 f.) has a

valuable note, in which, after sketching the extent of this

periphrasis in classical Greek and literary Koinh<, he remarks

that in Par P he can only find it in future-perfects, and

twice in optative with aor. participle. Comparing this scanty

result with “the extraordinary abundance of the participial

periphrasis in NT . . ., one can of avoid separating the NT

use from that of the Koinh<, and deriving it from the Heb. and

Syr. application of the participle.” We can of course have no

objection to this, within limits. In translated Greek, as we

have seen again and again, we expect to find over-literal

renderings, — still more to find an overdoing of correct

idioms which answer exactly to locutions characteristic of the

language rendered. The latter is the case here. No one

denies that periphrasis is thoroughly Greek: see the page

and a half of classical exx. in Kuhner-Gerth i. 38 ff. It is

only that where Aramaic sources underlie the Greek, there

is inordinate frequency of a use which Hellenistic has not

conspicuously developed. Cf Wellh. 25. The exx. in

Jn (see Blass 203 n.) and Paul we may treat on purely

Greek lines. By way of further limiting the usage, we

observe that the imperfect is the only tense in which corre-

spondence with Aramaic is close enough to justify much of a

case for dependence. No less a authority than Wellhausen

warns us not to carry the thesis into the imperative: " @Isqi

in imperative before participle or adjective often occurs

(Mk 534, Lk 1917), and in consideration of Prov 35 LXX is

not to be treated as an Aramaism" (Comm. on Mt 525). Then

we note the papyrus usage. '' @Exwn e]sti< and de

other impersonal verbs) are both classical and vernacular.

The future e@somai c. perf. part. s well kept up in the papyri,

and so is the periphrastic pluperfect: thus, OP 285 (i/A.D.)

o{n h@mhn e]ndedume

paramemetrhkui?a. There can be no thought of Aramaisms

here.1 But BU 183 (i/A.D.), e]f ] o{n xro

limited illustration for the present participle in this usage.

Winer however cites Lucian, observing that its common appear-

ance in the LXX "was but seldom suggested by the Hebrew."

In classical Greek Rutherford showed (CR xvii. 49) that the

idiom imparts a special emphasis. So in Thuc. i . 54 h#san de

tinej kai> geno

actually made to N." Antiphon (Fr. M. 3. 67) h#n o[ gri?foj

e]ntau?qa r[e

Aristoph. Ach. 484 e!sthkaj; ou]k ei# katapiw>n Eu]ripi

"afraid to go! not effectually saturated with Euripides!" May

we not apply this in the originally Greek parts of NT—e.g.

Gal 122f., "I was entirely unknown only they had been hear-

ing"? (Cf Lightfoot.) Paul has only one other ex. in imperfect,

Phil 220, where e]pipoqw?n and a]dhmonw?n seem decidedly adjec-

tival, and not at all improved by reading them as imperfect.

(No one would cite 2 Co 519.) Blass well remarks that in

Jn "in most passages" h#n has a certain independence of its

own"; and he further notes that in Ac 13-28, where

Aramaic sources are almost entirely absent, the Semitisms

fail, except in 2219, in a speech delivered in Aramaic. The

total number of exx. of pres. partic. with imperf. of ei#nai is

for Mt 3 (only 729 possibly Aramaising), Mk 16, Lk 30,

Ac (1-12) 17, (13-28) 7, Jn 10, Paul 3, 1 Pet 1.2 Large

deductions would have to be made from these figures, on any

theory, to get the maximum of exx. for the supposed literal

translation of an Aramaic periphrastic imperfect. Even in

Mk and Luke the h#n is generally very distinct from the

participle; and whatever was the Aramaic original, we may

be quite sure that such expressions as we find in Mk 1032 or

Lk 433 owe nothing to it in this way. See p. 249.

The participle as a whole has diverged so little from

earlier usage that we have not very much more to say.

The tenses need no further discussion in this volume; and

for our present purpose little need be added to what was

said about the articular participle on pp. 126 f. An

1 Three papyri of iii/A.D. have aor. ptc. with in fut. perf. sense. Note

Syll. 92852 (ii/B. C.) a]pokekrimeRan. 721 shows this in colloquial

Attic. So Col 121.

2 I count e[stwn h#n, and give Jn 19, but not Lk 323
idiomatic use of o[ w@n may be noted in Ac 131 kata> th>n

ou#san e]kklhsi13 D tou? o@ntoj Dio>j

Articular Propo po1 Cf Ramsay's

Participle. remark (Ch. in Rom. Emp. 52, quoting J. A.

Robinson), that in Ac o[ w@n "introduces some

technical phrase, or some term which it marks out as having

a technical sense (cf 517 131 2817) and is almost equivalent

to tou? o]nomazome

this in Eph 11 to the text with e]n ]Efe

the usual view needs no defence against such an alternative.

With ai[ ou#sai, in Rom 131 we may compare Par P 5 (ii/B.C.)

e]f ] i[ere i[ereiw?n tw?n o@ntwn kai> ou]sw?n. On the crucial

passage Rom 95 see SH p. 235 f., with whom I agree, though

the argument that "He who is God over all," would have

to be o[ e]pi> p. q. might perhaps be met by applying the

idiom noted above for Ac, with a different nuance. Qeo

may still be subject, not predicate, without making w@n

otiose: the consciousness of Ex 314 might fairly account

for its insertion. It is exegesis rather than grammar which

makes the reference to Christ probable. One other Pauline

passage claims a brief note, Col 28, where the natural o{j


ness and individuality to the reference" (Lightfoot). Rela-

tive clauses are frequently ousted by the articular participle,

which (as Blass observes) had become synonymous therewith.

There is a marked diminution in the use of the parti-

ciple with verbs like tugxa

Participle as etc. But this was, partly at any rate, mere

Complement. accident, for tugxacommon in the papyri: "I happen to be"

is a phrase NT writers would instinctively avoid. Kalw?j


participle greatly predominates) is the normal way of saying

"please" in the papyri, and is classical. So 3 Jn 6, and

in the past Ac 1033, Phil 414: cf 2 Pet 119. I cannot agree

with Blass's "incorrectly eu# pra29 (p. 245)

1 Cf respectively BM p. 136 (18 A.D.) e]pi> tai?j ou@saij geitni(ii/A. D. ), a]po> tou? o@ntoj e]n kw

as tou? o@ntoj mhno>j Xoia


except in the query he attaches to the remark. Surely this

is an ordinary conditional sentence, "If you keep yourselves

free from these things, you will prosper"? Eu# poih

vernacular usage, would suggest "you will oblige us"; but

Blass can hardly mean this. With verbs like oi#da, o[mologw?,


regularly in 2 Co 122, 1 Jn 42 (not B), 2 Jn 7, Lk 846,

Ac 2410, but is generally replaced by acc. and inf. or a o!ti

clause. So Par P 44 (ii/B.C., Witk. p. 58) gi

reu?sqai, and the recurrent ginw

participle cf BU 151 (Christian period—i@sqi), TP 1 (ii/B.C.


suggests culture), al. Of course Phil 411, e@maqon . . . ei#nai, " I

have learned how to be," is classically correct: 1 Tim 513 is

in any case no ex. of manqa

"learn that they are going about." (The RV rendering is

supported by Winer with Plato Euthyd. 276B of oi[ a]maqei?j a@ra

sofoi> manqa

sofoj me


as passive of dida

Weiss, the absolute manq. seems intolerable, and there is no

real alternative, unless with Blass we boldly insert ei#nai.)

Participial We come then to the manifold uses of

Clauses. the participle as forming an additional clause

in the sentence. This is one of the great

resources of Greek, in which the poverty of Latin shows

markedly by contrast. Our own language comes much

nearer, but even with the help of auxiliaries we cannot

match the wealth of Greek: thus, we cannot by our participle

distinguish lelukw

however has its disadvantages, such as the possibility of

supplying in translation particles as widely apart as because

and although. But it seldom happens that serious ambiguity

arises from this absence of strict logical differentiation.

We need spend little space in classifying participial

usages. We have already seen (pp. 170 f.) that one important

criterion has disappeared in Hellenistic, by the encroachments

In Conditional of mh< over the whole field, when in classical

Greek it was essentially conditional. We


return to this point presently. The participle in conditional

clauses is still found very freely. It stands for e]a

aor. subj. in Lk 925 compared With Mt 1626; for ei] c. pres.

indic. in 1 Co 1129. There seem to be no exx. of its sub-

stitution for ei] c. opt., or ei] c. indic. irreal.; but this is an

accident, due to the relatively small number of sentences of

Conjunctive,” the kind. Another class is called by Blass

“conjunctive”: 1 Tim 113 a]gnow?n e]poi

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