Moods in Gal. 2:2

How do I work out the meaning of a Greek text? How can I best understand the forms and vocabulary in this particular text?
Forum rules
This is a beginner's forum - see the Koine Greek forum for more advanced discussion of Greek texts. Please quote the Greek text you are discussing directly in your post if it is reasonably short - do not ask people to look it up.

When answering questions in this forum, keep it simple, and aim your responses to the level of the person asking the question.
Post Reply
Charlie Johnson
Posts: 32
Joined: June 1st, 2011, 6:44 am

Moods in Gal. 2:2

Post by Charlie Johnson » June 26th, 2011, 9:26 pm

ἀνέβην δὲ κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν• καὶ ἀνεθέμην αὐτοῖς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ὃ κηρύσσω ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, κατ᾽ ἰδίαν δὲ τοῖς δοκοῦσιν, μή πως εἰς κενὸν τρέχωἔδραμον.

I understand the shift in tense, but I'm wondering why Paul would shift from a subjunctive (τρέχω) to an indicative (ἔδραμον).

Also, since the indicative and subjunctive forms of τρέχω are identical, do we read it as subjunctive because that's what's required by the μή πως? If so, that leads back to my original question, why the subjunctive isn't retained.
0 x



Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1628
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Moods in Gal. 2:2

Post by Barry Hofstetter » June 26th, 2011, 10:23 pm

Charlie Johnson wrote:ἀνέβην δὲ κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν• καὶ ἀνεθέμην αὐτοῖς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ὃ κηρύσσω ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, κατ᾽ ἰδίαν δὲ τοῖς δοκοῦσιν, μή πως εἰς κενὸν τρέχωἔδραμον.

I understand the shift in tense, but I'm wondering why Paul would shift from a subjunctive (τρέχω) to an indicative (ἔδραμον).

Also, since the indicative and subjunctive forms of τρέχω are identical, do we read it as subjunctive because that's what's required by the μή πως? If so, that leads back to my original question, why the subjunctive isn't retained.
Greetings, Charlie. This is not the only place Paul does it -- cf. 4:11 and 1 Thess 3:5. Lightfoot suggests, and I agree, that the change in mood is necessitated by the change in tense. The present subjunctive is used in τρέχω because the thought involves the consequences of possible future result from present action. The thought of the aorist tense in ἔδραμον involves the results of a past action that now cannot be changed.
0 x
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε

Charlie Johnson
Posts: 32
Joined: June 1st, 2011, 6:44 am

Re: Moods in Gal. 2:2

Post by Charlie Johnson » June 27th, 2011, 1:03 am

I looked in Robertson's grammar, and finding it somewhat opaque, followed a citation to Goodwin's Syntax of the Moods and Tenses. There I found this:

Image

If what Goodwin describes here is what Paul is doing in the passage, would the meaning be something like this: "Lest I was running in vain, or had run in vain (but I had not in fact run in vain)"?
0 x

Charlie Johnson
Posts: 32
Joined: June 1st, 2011, 6:44 am

Re: Moods in Gal. 2:2

Post by Charlie Johnson » June 29th, 2011, 1:46 pm

I wouldn't mind some more feedback on this issue. Is Lightfoot's, Robertson's, or another solution preferable?
0 x

Post Reply

Return to “What does this text mean?”