aorist participles

Grammar questions which are not related to any specific text.
grogers
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Joined: February 7th, 2013, 6:43 pm

aorist participles

Post by grogers » April 2nd, 2015, 12:00 pm

Is there any example in the NT where an aorist participle or verb can be prefaced with "if"? For example; In Hebrews 6:6 the writer uses καὶ παραπεσόντας. Since this is an active aorist accusative is there any justification for the KJV and the Webster's translations to render this as "If they shall fall away..."?
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: aorist participles

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 2nd, 2015, 3:54 pm

grogers wrote:Is there any example in the NT where an aorist participle or verb can be prefaced with "if"? For example; In Hebrews 6:6 the writer uses καὶ παραπεσόντας. Since this is an active aorist accusative is there any justification for the KJV and the Webster's translations to render this as "If they shall fall away..."?
This is really a question of translation rather than what the Greek word means. I'd start by looking at the sentence as a whole.

Code: Select all

[ Ἀδύνατον γὰρ 
  [ τοὺς ἅπαξ φωτισθέντας γευσαμένους τε τῆς δωρεᾶς τῆς ἐπουρανίου καὶ μετόχους γενηθέντας πνεύματος ἁγίου καὶ καλὸν γευσαμένους θεοῦ ῥῆμα δυνάμεις τε μέλλοντος αἰῶνος, καὶ παραπεσόντας, ]
  [ πάλιν ἀνακαινίζειν εἰς μετάνοιαν, ]
  [ ἀνασταυροῦντας ἑαυτοῖς τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ παραδειγματίζοντας. ]
]
What is it impossible for them to do? [ πάλιν ἀνακαινίζειν εἰς μετάνοιαν, ]

Why is it impossible? [ ἀνασταυροῦντας ἑαυτοῖς τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ παραδειγματίζοντας. ]

For whom is it impossible? That's what [ τοὺς ἅπαξ φωτισθέντας γευσαμένους τε ... tells us. Most of this tells us about good things that happen before falling away:

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[ τοὺς   
   [ ἅπαξ φωτισθέντας ]
   [ γευσαμένους τε τῆς δωρεᾶς τῆς ἐπουρανίου ]
   [ καὶ μετόχους γενηθέντας πνεύματος ἁγίου ]
   [ καὶ καλὸν γευσαμένους θεοῦ ῥῆμα δυνάμεις τε μέλλοντος αἰῶνος, ]
   [ καὶ παραπεσόντας, ]
]

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[ those   
   [ once enlightened ]
   [ and have tasted the heavenly gift ]
   [ and become sharers of the Holy Spirit ]
   [ and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the coming age, ]
   [ and fallen away, ]
]
I suppose Webster put the "if" there because he is saying that it is the falling away part that makes it impossible, not the rest of that. It's not motivated by the verb form of παραπεσόντας.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

grogers
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Joined: February 7th, 2013, 6:43 pm

Re: aorist participles

Post by grogers » April 2nd, 2015, 4:30 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
grogers wrote:Is there any example in the NT where an aorist participle or verb can be prefaced with "if"? For example; In Hebrews 6:6 the writer uses καὶ παραπεσόντας. Since this is an active aorist accusative is there any justification for the KJV and the Webster's translations to render this as "If they shall fall away..."?
This is really a question of translation rather than what the Greek word means. I'd start by looking at the sentence as a whole.

Code: Select all

[ Ἀδύνατον γὰρ 
  [ τοὺς ἅπαξ φωτισθέντας γευσαμένους τε τῆς δωρεᾶς τῆς ἐπουρανίου καὶ μετόχους γενηθέντας πνεύματος ἁγίου καὶ καλὸν γευσαμένους θεοῦ ῥῆμα δυνάμεις τε μέλλοντος αἰῶνος, καὶ παραπεσόντας, ]
  [ πάλιν ἀνακαινίζειν εἰς μετάνοιαν, ]
  [ ἀνασταυροῦντας ἑαυτοῖς τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ παραδειγματίζοντας. ]
]
What is it impossible for them to do? [ πάλιν ἀνακαινίζειν εἰς μετάνοιαν, ]

Why is it impossible? [ ἀνασταυροῦντας ἑαυτοῖς τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ παραδειγματίζοντας. ]

For whom is it impossible? That's what [ τοὺς ἅπαξ φωτισθέντας γευσαμένους τε ... tells us. Most of this tells us about good things that happen before falling away:

Code: Select all

[ τοὺς   
   [ ἅπαξ φωτισθέντας ]
   [ γευσαμένους τε τῆς δωρεᾶς τῆς ἐπουρανίου ]
   [ καὶ μετόχους γενηθέντας πνεύματος ἁγίου ]
   [ καὶ καλὸν γευσαμένους θεοῦ ῥῆμα δυνάμεις τε μέλλοντος αἰῶνος, ]
   [ καὶ παραπεσόντας, ]
]

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[ those   
   [ once enlightened ]
   [ and have tasted the heavenly gift ]
   [ and become sharers of the Holy Spirit ]
   [ and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the coming age, ]
   [ and fallen away, ]
]
I suppose Webster put the "if" there because he is saying that it is the falling away part that makes it impossible, not the rest of that. It's not motivated by the verb form of παραπεσόντας.
Thank you for responding. I was unsure which forum would be most appropriate for this question. The reason I asked about the addition of the "if" with the aorist is because it seems to me to add a foreign element to the grammar. Is the addition of "if" grammatically correct and if not does it affect the integrity of the text? Just looking at the Greek it does not appear to me that the writer is presenting a what if scenario but is rather presenting a statement of fact that had occurred at some point in the past. If it is grammatically correct to translate this as "If they shall fall away..." then perhaps I need to examine this text from a little different perspective.
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Glen Rogers

Jonathan Robie
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Re: aorist participles

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 2nd, 2015, 5:25 pm

grogers wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:I suppose Webster put the "if" there because he is saying that it is the falling away part that makes it impossible, not the rest of that. It's not motivated by the verb form of παραπεσόντας.
Thank you for responding. I was unsure which forum would be most appropriate for this question. The reason I asked about the addition of the "if" with the aorist is because it seems to me to add a foreign element to the grammar. Is the addition of "if" grammatically correct and if not does it affect the integrity of the text? Just looking at the Greek it does not appear to me that the writer is presenting a what if scenario but is rather presenting a statement of fact that had occurred at some point in the past. If it is grammatically correct to translate this as "If they shall fall away..." then perhaps I need to examine this text from a little different perspective.
Translation is not a matter of mechanically transferring each word and grammatical form from one language to an exact equivalent in the other. You have to decide what it means, than figure out how best to express it in the other language. There's no word in Greek that means 'if' in that verse, and the verb is neither subjunctive nor optative (a participle can't be). But in a translation, you might want to make it clear that καὶ παραπεσόντας affects the condition of the people involved in a different way than the parallel clauses that precede it. Other translations do this in other ways.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

grogers
Posts: 43
Joined: February 7th, 2013, 6:43 pm

Re: aorist participles

Post by grogers » April 2nd, 2015, 5:37 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
grogers wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:I suppose Webster put the "if" there because he is saying that it is the falling away part that makes it impossible, not the rest of that. It's not motivated by the verb form of παραπεσόντας.
Thank you for responding. I was unsure which forum would be most appropriate for this question. The reason I asked about the addition of the "if" with the aorist is because it seems to me to add a foreign element to the grammar. Is the addition of "if" grammatically correct and if not does it affect the integrity of the text? Just looking at the Greek it does not appear to me that the writer is presenting a what if scenario but is rather presenting a statement of fact that had occurred at some point in the past. If it is grammatically correct to translate this as "If they shall fall away..." then perhaps I need to examine this text from a little different perspective.
Translation is not a matter of mechanically transferring each word and grammatical form from one language to an exact equivalent in the other. You have to decide what it means, than figure out how best to express it in the other language. There's no word in Greek that means 'if' in that verse, and the verb is neither subjunctive nor optative (a participle can't be). But in a translation, you might want to make it clear that καὶ παραπεσόντας affects the condition of the people involved in a different way than the parallel clauses that precede it. Other translations do this in other ways.
Yes, I understand that exactness is never always achievable between any two languages. I also understand the fact that the use of words in scripture are not always a matter of lexical definition. It would seem that the Holy Spirit often elevates language beyond its strict lexical confinements to express concepts that the words themselves cannot express. We see this in the use of Λόγος in John 1:1.
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Glen Rogers

timothy_p_mcmahon
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Re: aorist participles

Post by timothy_p_mcmahon » April 2nd, 2015, 11:29 pm

Wallace (632-633) describes and gives examples of the conditional use of the participle (although he specifically rejects that analysis in Hebrews 6).
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: aorist participles

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 3rd, 2015, 11:51 am

Greek expresses a lot of things using verb tenses and the relationships among verbs in clauses that can nest in a variety of ways, and has much freer word order than English. When you translate to English, you often add words to express things that Greek says in other ways. This is not a translation forum, but the key to understanding this particular sentence is the relationship between the participles in the first part and the infinitive ἀνακαινίζειν - not just the tense of each verb, but the relationships among the verbs given their tenses and role in the sentence as a whole.

Here's a simplified version that includes only 3 verbs:

Code: Select all

[ Ἀδύνατον γὰρ 
  [ 
     [ τοὺς ἅπαξ φωτισθέντας ]
     [ καὶ παραπεσόντας, ]
  ]
  [ πάλιν ἀνακαινίζειν εἰς μετάνοιαν. ]
]
As I understand it, φωτισθέντας and παραπεσόντας are aorist because they refer to a time prior to ἀνακαινίζειν. But you can't fall away until you have something to fall away from, so logically παραπεσόντας indicates a time after φωτισθέντας - that relationship is not expressed in the grammar, but several translations add something or other to indicate that difference in time.
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

grogers
Posts: 43
Joined: February 7th, 2013, 6:43 pm

Re: aorist participles

Post by grogers » April 3rd, 2015, 12:54 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:Greek expresses a lot of things using verb tenses and the relationships among verbs in clauses that can nest in a variety of ways, and has much freer word order than English. When you translate to English, you often add words to express things that Greek says in other ways. This is not a translation forum, but the key to understanding this particular sentence is the relationship between the participles in the first part and the infinitive ἀνακαινίζειν - not just the tense of each verb, but the relationships among the verbs given their tenses and role in the sentence as a whole.

Here's a simplified version that includes only 3 verbs:

Code: Select all

[ Ἀδύνατον γὰρ 
  [ 
     [ τοὺς ἅπαξ φωτισθέντας ]
     [ καὶ παραπεσόντας, ]
  ]
  [ πάλιν ἀνακαινίζειν εἰς μετάνοιαν. ]
]
As I understand it, φωτισθέντας and παραπεσόντας are aorist because they refer to a time prior to ἀνακαινίζειν. But you can't fall away until you have something to fall away from, so logically παραπεσόντας indicates a time after φωτισθέντας - that relationship is not expressed in the grammar, but several translations add something or other to indicate that difference in time.
Yes, I certainly agree. I researched quite a number of example in the NT where verbs are represented as conditional and in every example i found it is always either a verb that is a present participle or εἴ is already supplied in the text. There is only one example I have found where an aorist verb is translated as a conditional where the εἴ is not already supplied in the text and that is Luke 9:25. Here, the 'if' is added by most translators because even without the εἴ the text still remains conditional. Is there any grammatical support in Heb 6:6 for adding the εἴ in "if they fall away?" This would seem unwarranted and inconsistent with the flow of the other aorist verbs in 4-6.
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Glen Rogers

Jonathan Robie
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Re: aorist participles

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 3rd, 2015, 1:29 pm

grogers wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:As I understand it, φωτισθέντας and παραπεσόντας are aorist because they refer to a time prior to ἀνακαινίζειν. But you can't fall away until you have something to fall away from, so logically παραπεσόντας indicates a time after φωτισθέντας - that relationship is not expressed in the grammar, but several translations add something or other to indicate that difference in time.
Yes, I certainly agree. I researched quite a number of example in the NT where verbs are represented as conditional and in every example i found it is always either a verb that is a present participle or εἴ is already supplied in the text. There is only one example I have found where an aorist verb is translated as a conditional where the εἴ is not already supplied in the text and that is Luke 9:25. Here, the 'if' is added by most translators because even without the εἴ the text still remains conditional.
It's a good example, and it demonstrates that this meaning is possible.
Luke 9:25 wrote:τί γὰρ ὠφελεῖται ἄνθρωπος κερδήσας τὸν κόσμον ὅλον ἑαυτὸν δὲ ἀπολέσας ἢ ζημιωθείς;
I don't know if there are other examples or not - I'm reasonably good at searching Greek texts, but not at searching corresponding English translations. I don't know how to search for "aorist participles translated using an English conditional". But I would be surprised if this is the only such example.
grogers wrote:Is there any grammatical support in Heb 6:6 for adding the εἴ in "if they fall away?" This would seem unwarranted and inconsistent with the flow of the other aorist verbs in 4-6.
I'm not sure how to read the question, it feels like a category error. Nobody is inserting εἴ into the Greek text, and it doesn't exist in the English text. Whatever the Greek text means, it means it in Greek. Whatever the English text means, it means it in English. Here's what you said for Luke 9:25:
grogers wrote:Here, the 'if' is added by most translators because even without the εἴ the text still remains conditional.
So I guess the question is this: is there a conditional sense to παραπεσόντας in this particular sentence? Is Ἀδύνατον γὰρ πάλιν ἀνακαινίζειν εἰς μετάνοιαν conditional on having fallen? Translations express this in different ways - "and who have fallen away", "and then have fallen away", "if they shall fall away".

I don't like the verb tense "shall" here as a translation for the Aorist, but I guess it was used to distinguish the time of παραπεσόντας from the time of the earlier participles. In any of these translations, there seems to be three times (1) being enlightened and tasting and sharing in really good stuff, (2) falling away, (3) seeking repentance that is not possible or no longer possible.

I guess I should acknowledge that (1) there's a vehement theological debate that assumes a big difference between translations that use "if" and translations that do not, and (2) I don't understand what difference in meaning is proposed in the original Greek, and get annoyed by discussions that seem to involve more theology than careful reading of the text. NOTE: The discussions I'm talking about are in the commentaries I looked at, not in this thread.

So a request: instead of asking what words should be used in an English translation, can we focus on what the Greek does or does not mean?
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

grogers
Posts: 43
Joined: February 7th, 2013, 6:43 pm

Re: aorist participles

Post by grogers » April 3rd, 2015, 1:40 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
grogers wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote: I'm not sure how to read the question, it feels like a category error. Nobody is inserting εἴ into the Greek text, and it doesn't exist in the English text. Whatever the Greek text means, it means it in Greek. Whatever the English text means, it means it in English. Here's what you said for Luke 9:25:
Perhaps I was misunderstood on this point. I was not suggesting that anyone had inserted εἴ into the Greek but that they had inserted 'if' into the English which seems somewhat unwarranted. Perhaps I am wrong and am missing the point entirely.
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Glen Rogers

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