Present Participial ὑπάρχων of Phil. 2.6?

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R. Perkins
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Re: Present Participial ὑπάρχων of Phil. 2.6?

Post by R. Perkins » April 21st, 2016, 11:29 pm

Wes Wood wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:Even in the indicative, there is not such a correspondence between the Greek aorist indicative and the English simple past tense, to make an assumption like that.

The aorist form ἡγήσατο has to be interpreted in the situation that it is used in. The use of the aorist may be saying "past time ... [relative] to the writing of [the] letter" as you suggest, but that should be something that you conclude after weighing up the other possibilities that the Greek aorist has.

A book like Daniel Wallace's Greek grammar beyond the basics can be used to do that. Going through a list of umpteen aorists all dressed up in fancy names can be daunting, but stick at it. Consider all possibilities, short list them down to two or three, then assign a percentage of probability to all three of your shortlisted possibilities., rather than just choosing the one that seems right to your understanding of the meaning. By having a few in front of you, you will exercise more comparative and evaluative higher-order brain functions. Recognise that your choice - which may well be equ. to English simple past is the preferred option out of many possibilities, rather than the only correct answer. For now, look at the types of aorists that your textbooks list, and verbalise or write down your reasons for choosing or rejecting one or the other of them for this case. Divide or categorise your reasons into grammatical reasons, textual reasons, personal reasons or theological reasons. That will help you to make the process of choice more transparent. Later after training and over time, a reasonably objective way of determining the role and function of the aorist will develop in your reading. Practicing long-handled at the beginning will probably lead to you making reasoned choices as you read in future. Later - a few years later - as you feel that such analysis slows you down, letting context get you to the shortlist then deciding quickly will be a good way forward. Experience will be your teacher in that.
:?: :?: :?:

Who are you and what have you done with the real Stephen Hughes! :lol: Sorry, for the off topic post, but I couldn't resist.

In an attempt to remain near the topic at hand, what are some reasons why the participle could not be viewed as the main point of reference or topic around which the main verb is structured or interpreted? Please understand that I am not proposing anything or attempting to challenge the status quo, but I don't think I have heard/read any of the reasons for the current understanding. Thoughts?
Others who are far more learned in biblical Greek will have to elucidate on the above question, but I'll take a stab as a newbie :oops::

It's my understanding from the grammars cited above (e.g., Robertson, Dana & Mantey, etc.) that this is just the way Greek works inherently. That is, the participle is designed w.out a "watch" so that it takes its aspectual and/or time cue from the main verb - designed wearing a "watch" (a little metaphor going on here).

I suppose it would be akin to inquiring why conjunctions are used as connectives (?) - although I would equally like to understand this better. From my elementary understanding, this is simply the intended function of the participle (notwithstanding the purpose of the participle of means).

Now, I probably just revealed my ignorance even further :roll:! Will now run to the hills & put on the whole armor of God while I await my reproof :oops:!
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Present Participial ὑπάρχων of Phil. 2.6?

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 22nd, 2016, 12:19 am

Wes Wood wrote:what are some reasons why the participle could not be viewed as the main point of reference or topic around which the main verb is structured or interpreted? Please understand that I am not proposing anything or attempting to challenge the status quo, but I don't think I have heard/read any of the reasons for the current understanding. Thoughts?
am not sure if my understanding of modals in English is valid for auxiliary-type verbs in Greek. Is παύειν+ participle " to stop -ing" bringing attention to the stopping or to the action no longer done? The sense of wonder strikes me for infinitives following what seem to be functuonal rather than meaning words. There are also some verbd that by themselves (without a noun) have no meaning of their own. In that case the noun must be more important.
Wes' is a question that I have been thinking about too.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Present Participial ὑπάρχων of Phil. 2.6?

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 22nd, 2016, 12:44 am

R. Perkins wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:As a grammatical category, tense only exists in the indicative.
R. Perkins wrote:If my understanding here is correct, the participle ὑπάρχων would derive it's "time-ness" from the aorist ἡγήσατο, indicating simple past time (i.e., to the writing of Paul's letter to the Philippians).
Even in the indicative, there is not such a correspondence between the Greek aorist indicative and the English simple past tense, to make an assumption like that.

The aorist form ἡγήσατο has to be interpreted in the situation that it is used in. The use of the aorist may be saying "past time ... [relative] to the writing of [the] letter" as you suggest, but that should be something that you conclude after weighing up the other possibilities that the Greek aorist has.

A book like Daniel Wallace's Greek grammar beyond the basics can be used to do that. Going through a list of umpteen aorists all dressed up in fancy names can be daunting, but stick at it. Consider all possibilities, short list them down to two or three, then assign a percentage of probability to all three of your shortlisted possibilities., rather than just choosing the one that seems right to your understanding of the meaning. By having a few in front of you, you will exercise more comparative and evaluative higher-order brain functions. Recognise that your choice - which may well be equ. to English simple past is the preferred option out of many possibilities, rather than the only correct answer. For now, look at the types of aorists that your textbooks list, and verbalise or write down your reasons for choosing or rejecting one or the other of them for this case. Divide or categorise your reasons into grammatical reasons, textual reasons, personal reasons or theological reasons. That will help you to make the process of choice more transparent. Later after training and over time, a reasonably objective way of determining the role and function of the aorist will develop in your reading. Practicing long-handled at the beginning will probably lead to you making reasoned choices as you read in future. Later - a few years later - as you feel that such analysis slows you down, letting context get you to the shortlist then deciding quickly will be a good way forward. Experience will be your teacher in that.
Excellent exegetical advice. I have actually already consulted Wallace's GGBB - although I did not look at the various aorists as you suggest (a quick search of the aorist in my software pulled up almost 800 articles :shock:!). But, on pp. 542 & 555 Wallace informs us that "in the indicative mood" the aorist usually represents simple past time. On p. 625 he says that the present participle is "normally contemporaneous in time to the action of the main verb."

Will review your astute observations & suggestions again. I really like the appeal to exegetical integrity.
If you also looked at the definition of the English verb tense, identified the uses that are unusual or that require some thought to understand then avoid interpteting the Greek in those idiomatically English ways. Similar to the way that an English gloss in a dictionary that has some obscure sense in English doesn't mean that the full range of English meanings can be used for the Greek. The other end of the spectrum and also not good is literal translation. Translating by one-to-one equivalencs can lead to misunderstandings. Having familiarity with the languagr helps minimise such things.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Present Participial ὑπάρχων of Phil. 2.6?

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 22nd, 2016, 12:50 am

Wes Wood wrote:Who are you and what have you done with the real Stephen Hughes! 
The thread was at a point, where somebody needed to point out that Latin is spoken in Latin America. That stuff that I posted seemed to serve the same purpose.
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Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: Present Participial ὑπάρχων of Phil. 2.6?

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » April 22nd, 2016, 3:11 am

R. Perkins wrote: I suppose it would be akin to inquiring why conjunctions are used as connectives (?) - although I would equally like to understand this better. From my elementary understanding, this is simply the intended function of the participle
You're right. See for example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participle. I would like to think "function first": language, all languages have means to fullfill some functions. The functions use linguistic phenomena. Participles in all languages (where they exist and are correctly named, like in Greek, English and Finnish) fullfill the function of making verbs function like adjectives or adverbs. By its nature "an adverb is a word that modifies a verb, adjective, another adverb, determiner, noun phrase, clause, or sentence" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adverb). All languages have means to differentiate between foreground vs. background and backbone vs. fleshing out. Indicatives and participles can nicely partly fullfill these functions because of their nature.
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Re: Present Participial ὑπάρχων of Phil. 2.6?

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 22nd, 2016, 9:22 pm

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:Participles in all languages (where they exist and are correctly named, like in Greek, English and Finnish) fullfill the function of making verbs function like adjectives or adverbs. By its nature "an adverb is a word that modifies a verb, adjective, another adverb, determiner, noun phrase, clause, or sentence" ... All languages have means to differentiate between foreground vs. background and backbone vs. fleshing out. Indicatives and participles can nicely partly fullfill these functions because of their nature.
Is there any reasoning in linguistic theory that could have predicted that during the transition to Modern Greek - a process which entailed the loss of the participle - that the active participles of Koine Greek becoming (indeclinable) adverbs, while the middle-passive participles becoming (declinable) adjectives was what was expected to have happened?

In other words... I'm not saying that participles in Modern Greek have lost valence, but is it a divergence resulting from a loss of valance - of the active participle to intransitive usage only and the middle-passive to non-specification of the agent of change? Does valance theory make a prediction that if valance is lost, the active voice will tend to become adverbal, while when valance is lost, the middle-passive will become adjectival as happened in the change from Koine to Modern Greek?
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Present Participial ὑπάρχων of Phil. 2.6?

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 23rd, 2016, 10:08 am

Request: in the beginner's forum, can we please aim our answers at the level of the person asking the question? Some of these explanations go way beyond what I would expect a beginner to understand. There are probably simpler ways to answer his question.
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Re: Present Participial ὑπάρχων of Phil. 2.6?

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 25th, 2016, 8:19 am

R. Perkins wrote:
cwconrad wrote:My own take on the passage about which you ask is that the participle ὑπάρχων refers to the status of the subject at the time of the conclusion drawn as referred to in ἡγήσατο is that you are interpreting it rightly: he was formally divine at the time that he judged as he judged. I think you got it right and I don't think you needed to cite the array of grammarians' judgments on the matter -- that's why I responded as I did.
Thank you Dr. Conrad. I guess what I'm asking is that if the participle derives its "time-ness" from an aorist, this would seem to denote "simple past" activity (?).
Let me try to expand what I think Carl was saying.

Let's distinguish tense or absolute time (past, present, future, only present in the indicative) from aspect (ongoing or not completed, completed, completed in a way that results in a current state). Aspect basically means what things look like at the time of the main verb. Aspect also involves time, and the meaning of a verb may also say something about time, e.g. the verb begin has a clear time element. You have to combine all three to get the overall meaning.

In this case, ἡγήσατο is indicative and aorist, indicating past time. ὑπάρχων is a present participle so if someone had filmed a movie at the time of οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ you would see him ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων. ὑπάρχων is nominative, so the subject of ὑπάρχων is the same as the subject of ἡγήσατο.

When in doubt, look at examples that differ only by the part you are trying to understand. So what happens if we change ὑπάρχων to an aorist participle? There are two examples of this in the Septuagint:
Wisdom of Solomon 2:2 wrote:ὅτι αὐτοσχεδίως ἐγεννήθημεν, καὶ μετὰ τοῦτο ἐσόμεθα ὡς οὐχ ὑπάρξαντες · ὅτι καπνὸς ἡ πνοὴ ἐν ρισὶν ἡμῶν, καὶ ὁ λόγος σπινθὴρ ἐν κινήσει καρδίας ἡμῶν
ἐσόμεθα is the main verb, in future time - "we shall be". ὑπάρξαντες is an aorist participle, the verb's action is completed at the time of the main verb. Instead of "being", it's talking about "had been" - but it's "had been" at the future time indicated by ἐσόμεθα: "we shall be as though we had never existed".

Here's a similar example:
Sirach 44:9 wrote:καὶ εἰσὶν ὧν οὐκ ἔστι μνημόσυνον καὶ ἀπώλοντο ὡς οὐχ ὑπάρξαντες καὶ ἐγένοντο ὡς οὐ γεγονότες καὶ τὰ τέκνα αὐτῶν μετ ̓ αὐτούς.
Can you work out the meaning of the phrase in blue?

Incidentally, I highly recommend Rijksbaron's book on the Greek verb for simpler, clearer explanations of the participle, with lots of concrete examples.
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Re: Present Participial ὑπάρχων of Phil. 2.6?

Post by R. Perkins » April 26th, 2016, 3:30 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
R. Perkins wrote:
cwconrad wrote:My own take on the passage about which you ask is that the participle ὑπάρχων refers to the status of the subject at the time of the conclusion drawn as referred to in ἡγήσατο is that you are interpreting it rightly: he was formally divine at the time that he judged as he judged. I think you got it right and I don't think you needed to cite the array of grammarians' judgments on the matter -- that's why I responded as I did.
Thank you Dr. Conrad. I guess what I'm asking is that if the participle derives its "time-ness" from an aorist, this would seem to denote "simple past" activity (?).
Let me try to expand what I think Carl was saying.

Let's distinguish tense or absolute time (past, present, future, only present in the indicative) from aspect (ongoing or not completed, completed, completed in a way that results in a current state). Aspect basically means what things look like at the time of the main verb. Aspect also involves time, and the meaning of a verb may also say something about time, e.g. the verb begin has a clear time element. You have to combine all three to get the overall meaning.

In this case, ἡγήσατο is indicative and aorist, indicating past time. ὑπάρχων is a present participle so if someone had filmed a movie at the time of οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ you would see him ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων. ὑπάρχων is nominative, so the subject of ὑπάρχων is the same as the subject of ἡγήσατο.

When in doubt, look at examples that differ only by the part you are trying to understand. So what happens if we change ὑπάρχων to an aorist participle? There are two examples of this in the Septuagint:
Wisdom of Solomon 2:2 wrote:ὅτι αὐτοσχεδίως ἐγεννήθημεν, καὶ μετὰ τοῦτο ἐσόμεθα ὡς οὐχ ὑπάρξαντες · ὅτι καπνὸς ἡ πνοὴ ἐν ρισὶν ἡμῶν, καὶ ὁ λόγος σπινθὴρ ἐν κινήσει καρδίας ἡμῶν
ἐσόμεθα is the main verb, in future time - "we shall be". ὑπάρξαντες is an aorist participle, the verb's action is completed at the time of the main verb. Instead of "being", it's talking about "had been" - but it's "had been" at the future time indicated by ἐσόμεθα: "we shall be as though we had never existed".

Here's a similar example:
Sirach 44:9 wrote:καὶ εἰσὶν ὧν οὐκ ἔστι μνημόσυνον καὶ ἀπώλοντο ὡς οὐχ ὑπάρξαντες καὶ ἐγένοντο ὡς οὐ γεγονότες καὶ τὰ τέκνα αὐτῶν μετ ̓ αὐτούς.
Can you work out the meaning of the phrase in blue?

Incidentally, I highly recommend Rijksbaron's book on the Greek verb for simpler, clearer explanations of the participle, with lots of concrete examples.
Thank you much. I'll take a stab @ the LXX phrase you asked me to work out. Mind you, I'm a bit rusty since it's been a while since I've taken any classes - and this will likely be painful to read :oops::

καὶ ἀπώλοντο ὡς οὐχ ὑπάρξαντες

*καὶ = simple coordinating conjunction

*ἀπώλοντο = verb, aorist, middle, indicative, third person, plural

*ὡς = subordinating conjunction

*οὐχ = adverb modifying ὑπάρξαντες

*ὑπάρξαντες = main verb; aorist, active, participle, nominative, masculine, plural

Translation (?): and they were destroyed as not existing

Now, go easy on me :?. I did look at my Bible software to check parsing because, again, it's been a while since I've reviewed my paradigm charts.

Pardon my ignorance, but I'm a little confused on why we would change ὑπάρχων to an aorist participle in our search? My (elementary) understanding is that when doing exegesis-proper, we should search for the same words & forms under consideration in the current (1) chapter, (2) book, (3) author, (4) testament (OT or NT), (5) LXX, (6) papyri, (7) ECF, etc.

Unless, you're responding directly to my assertion above about the "time-ness" of an aorist, participial verb (which, upon further thought, is likely what you're addressing)? But, wouldn't this still alter the force of ὑπάρχων in Phil. 2.6? Honest question.

Will look further into this verbal source you linked above, although, I already have virtually every major grammar available (e.g., Dana & Mantey, GGBB, BDF, BBG, Robertson's Grammar, et. al.)....but always looking for other sources.

Thank you for taking the time to work with me on this - I've learned a *TON* from reading on this forum.

Addendum: I know a man who used to claim that because ὑπάρχων in this verse (Phil. 2.6) is a present participle then this demands the meaning that Christ is "presently" ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ? But, if my understanding is correct, the "present" participle - standing alone - has nothing to do w. "time" since it's dependent on the main verb in this syntactical construct (?).
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Re: Present Participial ὑπάρχων of Phil. 2.6?

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 26th, 2016, 8:12 am

R. Perkins wrote:My (elementary) understanding is that when doing exegesis-proper, we should search for the same words & forms under consideration in the current (1) chapter, (2) book, (3) author, (4) testament (OT or NT), (5) LXX, (6) papyri, (7) ECF, etc.
Yes, I should have probably pointed you that direction first, I was trying to answer the other question that you asked (see below). In this case, Lk 9:48, Lk 16:23, Lk 23:50, Acts 2:30, Acts 3:2, Acts 7:55, Acts 14:8, Acts 17:24, Acts 22:3, Rom 4:19, 1Cor 11:7, 2Cor 8:17, 2Cor 12:16, Gal 1:14, Gal 2:14, Phil 2:6

I find it really important to spend more time looking at examples than looking at grammars. The grammars are just trying to explain what is going on with these examples. So one way to move forward is to look at these examples and ask any questions you have about how ὑπάρχων interacts with the main verb in each sentence.

Sometimes it's also helpful to ask how it would be different if he had used a different tense. In this case, I may have complicated it beyond what is useful here.
R. Perkins wrote:Pardon my ignorance, but I'm a little confused on why we would change ὑπάρχων to an aorist participle in our search?
!!! SNIP !!!
Unless, you're responding directly to my assertion above about the "time-ness" of an aorist, participial verb (which, upon further thought, is likely what you're addressing)? But, wouldn't this still alter the force of ὑπάρχων in Phil. 2.6? Honest question.
Exactly. And I don't see any ignorance to forgive here.

I was asking how the meaning of a present participle differs from an aorist participle. In this case, it's complicated by the meaning of the verb, perhaps complicated too much to be helpful. But let's take a look at it:
καὶ ἀπώλοντο ὡς οὐχ ὑπάρξαντες
!!! SNIP !!!
*ὑπάρξαντες = main verb; aorist, active, participle, nominative, masculine, plural

Translation (?): and they were destroyed as not existing
This example is more complicated than I had realized when I chose it. I would have translated it "as though they had not existed", but other people might translate it differently, and I'm pretty sure the experts can have a long and complicated discussion about this - hopefully not in this thread.

I think it's probably easier to go through the present participles shown earlier, and compare them to this one. I imagine that's the best next step for you. Does that make sense? I think we need some guidance from you on what is most helpful.
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