When to Treat Participles as Finite Verbs, e.g., Luke 10:18

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klitwak
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When to Treat Participles as Finite Verbs, e.g., Luke 10:18

Post by klitwak » December 27th, 2017, 1:43 am

I am looking at Luke 10:18 as part of a larger project but am pondering how to translate the participle at the end:
εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς· ἐθεώρουν τὸν σατανᾶν ὡς ἀστραπὴν ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ πεσόντα. (Lk. 10:18 BNT)

It could be that πεσόντα is adjectival: the falling Satan, if it is controlled by τὸν.
However, no translation that I have consulted takes that option and I'm not sure it is valid.
As an Aorist active participle, taken in isolation, this word should have a sense something like when/after having fallen. I cannot make that work in any way with the rest of the sentence because you do not see lightening after it has hit the ground. NAU, NET, and NRSV all render it as fall or falling. That seems to treat the Aorist participle more like a finite verb. So I am trying to figure out what grammatical/syntactical policy to follow here in deciding how to translate this word. Normally, when not adjectival, I expect an Aorist participle to refer to action before the time of the action of the main verb. I was beholding Satan after having fallen like lightening. That's possible but it is awkward. Thoughts?

Ken Litwak
Gateway Seminary
Ontario, California
Kenneth D. Litwak, Ph.D.
Reference and Instruction Librarian
Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary
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kennethlitwak@ggbts.edu
Adjunct Professor of New Testament in ExL
Asbury Theological Seminary
Wilmore, KY

MAubrey
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Re: When to Treat Participles as Finite Verbs, e.g., Luke 10:18

Post by MAubrey » December 27th, 2017, 10:24 am

Hi Ken,

If you look up θεωρέω in BDAG, you'll find that this verb commonly takes an accusative object that is a person used in conjunction with a participle:
BDAG wrote:W. acc. of pers. and a ptc. (TestSol 20:6; JosAs 4:2; Just., D. 101, 3) Mk 5:15; Lk 10:18; 24:39; J 6:19, 62; 10:12; 20:12, 14; 1J 3:17.
The usage seems to be restricted to a particular set of verbs. I find BDAG lists the same descriptor for οἶδα:
BDAG wrote:w. acc. of pers. and ptc. in place of the predicate (X., An. 1, 10, 16; TestJob 28:5; Just., A I, 12, 7.—B-D-F §416, 2; s. Rob. 1103) οἶδα ἄνθρωπον ἐν Χριστῷ … ἁρπαγέντα τὸν τοιοῦτον ἕως τρίτου οὐρανοῦ I know of a person in Christ … that he was transported into the third heaven 2 Cor 12:2. Also without the ptc. εἰδὼς αὐτὸν ἄνδρα δίκαιον (sc. ὄντα) because he knew that he was a just man Mk 6:20 (Chion, Ep. 3, 5 ἴσθι με προθυμότερον [ὄντα]). The obj. more closely defined by a declarative or interrog. clause: οἴδατε τὴν οἰκίαν Στεφανᾶ ὅτι ἐστὶν ἀπαρχὴ τῆς Ἀχαΐας = οἴδατε ὅτι ἡ οἰκία Στεφανᾶ ἐστιν ἀπαρχὴ τῆς Ἀ. 1 Cor 16:15.—Ac 16:3 v.l. An indirect quest. may take the place of ὅτι: οἶδά σε τίς εἶ Mk 1:24; Lk 4:34. οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶς πόθεν ἐστέ I do not know where you come from 13:25; cp. vs. 27 (ὑμᾶς is not found in all the mss. here); 2 Cl 4:5. τοῦτον οἴδαμεν πόθεν ἐστίν J 7:27; 9:29b.
There are likely others, I'm sure, but that's what BDAG lists. It appears that the more common construction is "W. acc. of pers. and inf."

All that to say is that this is still a respectable participle usage. It's simply a rather narrowly restricted one.
Mike Aubrey, Linguist
Koine-Greek.com

Jason Hare
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Re: When to Treat Participles as Finite Verbs, e.g., Luke 10:18

Post by Jason Hare » December 27th, 2017, 7:11 pm

In other words, it is just as it is in English:

"She saw the children playing in the yard."

In this case, πεσόντα is telling us what Jesus saw τὸν σατανᾶν doing. It could simply be considered a circumstantial participle. He saw him as he fell.
Jason A. Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: When to Treat Participles as Finite Verbs, e.g., Luke 10:18

Post by Barry Hofstetter » December 27th, 2017, 10:23 pm

klitwak wrote:
December 27th, 2017, 1:43 am
I am looking at Luke 10:18 as part of a larger project but am pondering how to translate the participle at the end:
εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς· ἐθεώρουν τὸν σατανᾶν ὡς ἀστραπὴν ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ πεσόντα. (Lk. 10:18 BNT)

It could be that πεσόντα is adjectival: the falling Satan, if it is controlled by τὸν.
However, no translation that I have consulted takes that option and I'm not sure it is valid.
As an Aorist active participle, taken in isolation, this word should have a sense something like when/after having fallen. I cannot make that work in any way with the rest of the sentence because you do not see lightening after it has hit the ground. NAU, NET, and NRSV all render it as fall or falling. That seems to treat the Aorist participle more like a finite verb. So I am trying to figure out what grammatical/syntactical policy to follow here in deciding how to translate this word. Normally, when not adjectival, I expect an Aorist participle to refer to action before the time of the action of the main verb. I was beholding Satan after having fallen like lightening. That's possible but it is awkward. Thoughts?
For the meaning to be adjectival, it would have to be in the attributive postition:

τὸν πεσόντα σατανᾶν or τὸν σατανᾶν τὸν πεσόντα.

Another way of phrasing the comments in BDAG is that certain verbs which set up indirect statement, instead of taking ὅτι + the indicative (and occasionally optative in secondary sequence, rare in the NT if at all) or the accusative + infinitive, instead take an accusative + supplementary participle. In translation we treat the accusative as though it were a nominative subject and the participle as though it were a main verb, "I was observing Satan fall like lightning from heaven." Thus the "rule" about the the priority of the aorist participle doesn't really obtain. It's treated instead as though it were an independent clause.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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