Acts 17:27 - infinitives

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Matthew Longhorn
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Acts 17:27 - infinitives

Post by Matthew Longhorn » March 26th, 2018, 5:36 pm

ἐποίησέν τε ἐξ ἑνὸς πᾶν ἔθνος ἀνθρώπων κατοικεῖν ἐπὶ παντὸς προσώπου τῆς γῆς, ὁρίσας προστεταγμένους καιροὺς καὶ τὰς ὁροθεσίας τῆς κατοικίας αὐτῶν 27 ζητεῖν τὸν θεόν, εἰ ἄρα γε ψηλαφήσειαν αὐτὸν καὶ εὕροιεν, καί γε οὐ μακρὰν ἀπὸ ἑνὸς ἑκάστου ἡμῶν ὑπάρχοντα.

I am struggling to get my head around the use of the infinitive ζητεῖν in this text. Cascadia syntax graphs (not sure how to show a screenshot here) indicates that it is a subordinate adverbial clause from the head verb ἐποίησέν but for some reason it just doesn't nicely fit in my mind. It seems easier to me to make it some sort of adverbial purpose use and as a nested subordinate to ὁρίσας. Any help would be appreciated. Beginning to annoy me

Aland, K., Aland, B., Karavidopoulos, J., Martini, C. M., & Metzger, B. M. (2012). Novum Testamentum Graece (28th Edition, Ac 17:26–27). Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft.
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Acts 17:27 - infinitives

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » March 26th, 2018, 8:28 pm

NA27 Acts 17:26 ἐποίησέν τε ἐξ ἑνὸς πᾶν ἔθνος ἀνθρώπων κατοικεῖν ἐπὶ παντὸς προσώπου τῆς γῆς, ὁρίσας προστεταγμένους καιροὺς καὶ τὰς ὁροθεσίας τῆς κατοικίας αὐτῶν 27 ζητεῖν τὸν θεόν, εἰ ἄρα γε ψηλαφήσειαν αὐτὸν καὶ εὕροιεν, καί γε οὐ μακρὰν ἀπὸ ἑνὸς ἑκάστου ἡμῶν ὑπάρχοντα.

Culy & Parsons 2003, p339: ζητεῖν "a second purpose of ἐποίησέν in apposition to κατοικεῖν ἐπὶ παντὸς προσώπου τῆς γῆς" (with qualifications see their treatment of κατοικεῖν).

ὁρίσας ... Participle clause is parenthetical between two appositional infinitives. A paraphrase of Culy & Parsons

I'm just reporting, not stating an opinion in regard to this analysis.
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Matthew Longhorn
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Re: Acts 17:27 - infinitives

Post by Matthew Longhorn » March 27th, 2018, 2:33 am

Thanks Stirling, the thing that has been throwing me is the distance between the two infinitives which made me struggle to see the ζειτειν as being in apposition. Happy to go with that if that is reasonable though - will just need to adjust my expectations
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RandallButh
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Re: Acts 17:27 - infinitives

Post by RandallButh » March 27th, 2018, 5:46 am

Yes, Culy and Parsons are correct. Why?
Because the ᾽times and boundaries' don't do the seeking, people do the seeking, which implicitly links back to the first infinitive phrase of 17.26 κατοικεῖν.
In a fully punctuated text a comma could be used to separate the ορισας ... αυτῶν phrase from ζητεῖν.
In speech this would have been much clearer because of a natural bracketing of the phrases by minute pauses.
People tended to speak verb-phrase by verb-phrase, with only occasional dangling pieces over long stretches, thank you Thoucydides (and everyone going for a rhetorical flourish/gotca).
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Matthew Longhorn
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Re: Acts 17:27 - infinitives

Post by Matthew Longhorn » March 27th, 2018, 6:44 am

Thanks Randall, that is a really helpful explanation. A lot left for me to learn!
Out of interest, wouldn’t it be more natural to have a connective between the two infinitives? Stripping out the participle section it would end up as κατοικειν...ζειτειν which seems odd
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Matthew Longhorn
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Re: Acts 17:27 - infinitives

Post by Matthew Longhorn » March 27th, 2018, 6:47 am

Or if they are appositiknal is this why there is no connective?
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RandallButh
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Re: Acts 17:27 - infinitives

Post by RandallButh » March 27th, 2018, 7:35 am

Yes, they become appositional.

Incidentally, your spelling of ζητειν [ζειτειν] reflects a non-Koine pronunciation, 5c BCE. The first-century ει was not first-century η, but ι. First century phonetics were IPA: [zetin].
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Matthew Longhorn
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Re: Acts 17:27 - infinitives

Post by Matthew Longhorn » March 27th, 2018, 7:45 am

Sorry, was walking and typing on my phone (bad practice) so wasn’t paying as much attention to spelling as I should.
Just one further query then, being slightly dense. Apposition explains or clarifies the word it is related to (I think), this would mean it would be saying “he made from one man every nation amongst men to live... namely to seek him”. Possibly no longer a grammatical question - but does that actually make sense?
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Acts 17:27 - infinitives

Post by Barry Hofstetter » March 27th, 2018, 9:11 am

Just thought I would pull all this together and clarify a bit:

26 ἐποίησέν τε ἐξ ἑνὸς πᾶν ἔθνος ἀνθρώπων κατοικεῖν ἐπὶ παντὸς προσώπου τῆς γῆς, ὁρίσας προστεταγμένους καιροὺς καὶ τὰς ὁροθεσίας τῆς κατοικίας αὐτῶν 27 ζητεῖν τὸν θεόν, εἰ ἄρα γε ψηλαφήσειαν αὐτὸν καὶ εὕροιεν, καί γε οὐ μακρὰν ἀπὸ ἑνὸς ἑκάστου ἡμῶν ὑπάρχοντα.

Here is what C&P say on κατοικεῖν (and I do agree with them that these are infinitives of purpose):

κατοικεῖν. Pres act inf κατοικέω. The infinitive probably should be taken as denoting purpose, though Bruce (383) and Barrett (842) call it epexegetical. It cannot be an object infinitive (contra Rogers and Rogers, 275) since the main verb already has a direct object: πᾶν ἔθνος. Although the infinitive could be complementary to ἐποίησέν and part of a causative construction (“He caused all the races … to live”), such a reading does not make good sense with ἐξ ἑνὸς.

And on ζητεῖν (again):

ζητεῖν. Pres act inf ζητέω (a second purpose of ἐποίησέν in apposition to κατοικεῖν ἐπὶ παντὸς προσώπου τῆς γῆς [v. 26]; but see above on κατοικεῖν).

Culy, M. M., & Parsons, M. C. (2003). Acts: A Handbook on the Greek Text (pp. 338–339). Waco, TX: Baylor University Press.

As for the lack of καί I think it's quite likely the distance involved may eliminate the need for a connective, or it could be asyndeton, the omission of a connective for rhetorical purposes where one might otherwise be expected.
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Matthew Longhorn
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Re: Acts 17:27 - infinitives

Post by Matthew Longhorn » March 27th, 2018, 9:14 am

Thanks for the patience all and the help
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