Rom. 8:28... adverbial or adjectival prepositional phrase?

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Rom. 8:28... adverbial or adjectival prepositional phrase?

Postby Paul Thomson » February 17th, 2013, 6:33 pm

I have been trying to apply the lessons learned here concerning adjectival and adverbial prepositional phrases and distinguishing between the two.

If we look at Romans 8:28 we see -

A. οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν τὸν θεὸν πάντα συνεργεῖ εἰς ἀγαθόν, τοῖς κατὰ πρόθεσιν κλητοῖς οὖσιν.

:?: Should κατὰ πρόθεσιν be treated as an adjectival prepositional phrase, describing which/what type of invitees are meant? Or as an adverbial prepositional phrase, describing how it is that they are invited? I see that the NIV translates it as adverbial.

:?: What would be the difference in meaning between these two sentences?

A. οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν τὸν θεὸν πάντα συνεργεῖ εἰς ἀγαθόν, τοῖς κατὰ πρόθεσιν κλητοῖς οὖσιν.

B οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν τὸν θεὸν πάντα συνεργεῖ εἰς ἀγαθόν, τοῖς κλητοῖς κατὰ πρόθεσιν οὖσιν.

:?: Would it be reasonable to regard κατὰ πρόθεσιν in the first as adjectival, and κατὰ πρόθεσιν in the second as adverbial?

Enjoy!

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Re: Rom. 8:28... adverbial or adjectival prepositional phras

Postby MAubrey » February 17th, 2013, 7:50 pm

Paul Thomson wrote:I have been trying to apply the lessons learned here concerning adjectival and adverbial prepositional phrases and distinguishing between the two.

If we look at Romans 8:28 we see -

A. οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν τὸν θεὸν πάντα συνεργεῖ εἰς ἀγαθόν, τοῖς κατὰ πρόθεσιν κλητοῖς οὖσιν.

:?: Should κατὰ πρόθεσιν be treated as an adjectival prepositional phrase, describing which/what type of invitees are meant? Or as an adverbial prepositional phrase, describing how it is that they are invited? I see that the NIV translates it as adverbial.

It should be adverbial. It's difficult for a prepositional phrase to modify a noun (phrase) when there isn't one in the clause.
Paul Thomson wrote: :?: What would be the difference in meaning between these two sentences?

A. οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν τὸν θεὸν πάντα συνεργεῖ εἰς ἀγαθόν, τοῖς κατὰ πρόθεσιν κλητοῖς οὖσιν.

B οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν τὸν θεὸν πάντα συνεργεῖ εἰς ἀγαθόν, τοῖς κλητοῖς κατὰ πρόθεσιν οὖσιν.

:?: Would it be reasonable to regard κατὰ πρόθεσιν in the first as adjectival, and κατὰ πρόθεσιν in the second as adverbial?

No. Word order doesn't make those kind of distinctions. I would say the placing of κατὰ πρόθεσιν before κλητοῖς οὖσιν was so that the latter could be kept together (though that isn't necessary either). The prepositional phrase also functions to frame the predication in Greek in a manner that I'm not sure we could practically translate into English.
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Re: Rom. 8:28... adverbial or adjectival prepositional phras

Postby David Lim » February 17th, 2013, 10:39 pm

Paul Thomson wrote:If we look at Romans 8:28 we see -

A. οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν τὸν θεὸν πάντα συνεργεῖ εἰς ἀγαθόν, τοῖς κατὰ πρόθεσιν κλητοῖς οὖσιν.

:?: Should κατὰ πρόθεσιν be treated as an adjectival prepositional phrase, describing which/what type of invitees are meant? Or as an adverbial prepositional phrase, describing how it is that they are invited?

A prepositional phrase would naturally be understood as adverbial unless it naturally describes a noun like in "οι συν αυτω", in which "οι" takes it as if it were an adjective. Here there might be a slight ambiguity because "κλητοῖς" has an implicit verb, but it is most natural for "κατὰ πρόθεσιν" to modify the implicit verb rather than the noun; "to the ones called according to purpose".

Paul Thomson wrote: :?: What would be the difference in meaning between these two sentences?

A. οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν τὸν θεὸν πάντα συνεργεῖ εἰς ἀγαθόν, τοῖς κατὰ πρόθεσιν κλητοῖς οὖσιν.

B οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν τὸν θεὸν πάντα συνεργεῖ εἰς ἀγαθόν, τοῖς κλητοῖς κατὰ πρόθεσιν οὖσιν.

:?: Would it be reasonable to regard κατὰ πρόθεσιν in the first as adjectival, and κατὰ πρόθεσιν in the second as adverbial?

The second would have a totally different meaning of "the called ones who are according to purpose", which is semantically strange. You can't simply rearrange words within a phrase in any order because it may result in something which is understood differently due to the larger containing text.
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Re: Rom. 8:28... adverbial or adjectival prepositional phras

Postby David Lim » February 17th, 2013, 10:53 pm

David Lim wrote:
Paul Thomson wrote:B οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν τὸν θεὸν πάντα συνεργεῖ εἰς ἀγαθόν, τοῖς κλητοῖς κατὰ πρόθεσιν οὖσιν.

The second would have a totally different meaning of "the called ones who are according to purpose", which is semantically strange. You can't simply rearrange words within a phrase in any order because it may result in something which is understood differently due to the larger containing text.

On second reading, it seems even grammatically problematic. For the strange meaning I would have expected "τοις κλητοις τοις κατα προθεσιν ουσιν".
Anyway even "τοις ουσιν κλητοις κατα προθεσιν" would have the prepositional phrase being adverbial, just that it is now ambiguous; "to the ones who are ( called according to purpose" or "to the ones who are, according to purpose, called".
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Re: Rom. 8:28... adverbial or adjectival prepositional phras

Postby MAubrey » February 17th, 2013, 11:09 pm

David Lim wrote:The second would have a totally different meaning of "the called ones who are according to purpose", which is semantically strange. You can't simply rearrange words within a phrase in any order because it may result in something which is understood differently due to the larger containing text.

While this is true in principle, the key word in your statement is may. In this case, the change in word order would result in a propositionally identical statement to the original. It would not, as you have already noted, convey the meaning "the called ones who are according to purpose."
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Re: Rom. 8:28... adverbial or adjectival prepositional phras

Postby David Lim » February 17th, 2013, 11:26 pm

MAubrey wrote:
David Lim wrote:The second would have a totally different meaning of "the called ones who are according to purpose", which is semantically strange. You can't simply rearrange words within a phrase in any order because it may result in something which is understood differently due to the larger containing text.

While this is true in principle, the key word in your statement is may. In this case, the change in word order would result in a propositionally identical statement to the original. It would not, as you have already noted, convey the meaning "the called ones who are according to purpose."

Yes if you assume that it must be grammatical then it cannot convey the strange meaning I proposed, however would someone really write that in Greek and expect the reader to read it to mean the original?
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Re: Rom. 8:28... adverbial or adjectival prepositional phras

Postby MAubrey » February 18th, 2013, 12:25 am

David Lim wrote:however would someone really write that in Greek and expect the reader to read it to mean the original?

In a word?

Yes.
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Re: Rom. 8:28... adverbial or adjectival prepositional phras

Postby Paul Thomson » February 18th, 2013, 5:53 am

David Lim wrote:
Paul Thomson wrote:
If we look at Romans 8:28 we see -

A. οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν τὸν θεὸν πάντα συνεργεῖ εἰς ἀγαθόν, τοῖς κατὰ πρόθεσιν κλητοῖς οὖσιν.

Should κατὰ πρόθεσιν be treated as an adjectival prepositional phrase, describing which/what type of invitees are meant? Or as an adverbial prepositional phrase, describing how it is that they are invited? I see that the NIV translates it as adverbial.


It should be adverbial. It's difficult for a prepositional phrase to modify a noun (phrase) when there isn't one in the clause.


Why do you say "there is no noun in the clause"? κλητοῖς (invitees) is a noun? If κατὰ πρόθεσιν were adjectival, then the invitees under consideration are those who are κατὰ πρόθεσιν, as opposed to the invitees who are not κατὰ πρόθεσιν. By this I would consider Paul to be equating those who love God to those invitees who are living/behaving according to God's purpose, and he would be saying that God works all things for good for such people. There are invitees who are not living/behaving according to God's purpose, but are misbehaving. These don't love God and cannot expect God to work all things for their good. In Jesus' parable of the wedding guests (Matt. 22:2-14) these would be represented by the invitee who is not wearing the provided wedding garment according to the king's purpose (Matt. 22:11-12).

David Lim wrote:
Paul Thomson wrote:
What would be the difference in meaning between these two sentences?

A. οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν τὸν θεὸν πάντα συνεργεῖ εἰς ἀγαθόν, τοῖς κατὰ πρόθεσιν κλητοῖς οὖσιν.

B οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν τὸν θεὸν πάντα συνεργεῖ εἰς ἀγαθόν, τοῖς κλητοῖς κατὰ πρόθεσιν οὖσιν.

Would it be reasonable to regard κατὰ πρόθεσιν in the first as adjectival, and κατὰ πρόθεσιν in the second as adverbial?


No. Word order doesn't make those kind of distinctions. I would say the placing of κατὰ πρόθεσιν before κλητοῖς οὖσιν was so that the latter could be kept together (though that isn't necessary either). The prepositional phrase also functions to frame the predication in Greek in a manner that I'm not sure we could practically translate into English.


I was more thinking of Paul's putting κατὰ πρόθεσιν immediately after τοῖς , rather than his putting it before κλητοῖς οὖσιν.

I thought that fronting a prepositional clause with a definite article indicates that it is adjectival to the noun, rather than adverbial to the verb. I have given the sense I would draw from the first sentence if the phrase is regarded as adjectival. It is those invitees who are conforming according to the purpose for whom God works all things together for good, not those invitees who are not conforming to his purpose.

If the phrase were adverbial in the second sentence, it would qualify "being called" indicating how they are being called, namely how they became classified as invitees: they are invitees according to God's purpose, because God purposed to make them invitees.

So we have A - But we know that God works all things together for good for those who are loving God, for those invitees who are living in accordance with his purpose. This implies that not all who are invitees are loving God and and God is not working all things for good for all invitees.

And B - But we know that God works all things together for good for those who are loving God, for those who in accordance with his purpose are invitees. This implies that all invitees love God and God is working all things for good for all invitees.

Personally, since the phrase appears to me to be adjectival, I think Paul had A in mind, rather than B. Is that feasible? Or plausible?

God bless

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Re: Rom. 8:28... adverbial or adjectival prepositional phras

Postby Stephen Carlson » February 18th, 2013, 6:33 am

Paul Thomson wrote:Why do you say "there is no noun in the clause"? κλητοῖς (invitees) is a noun?


It seems to me that κλητοῖς is a verbal adjective, especially in connection with οὖσιν.

Paul Thomson wrote:If κατὰ πρόθεσιν were adjectival, then the invitees under consideration are those who are κατὰ πρόθεσιν, as opposed to the invitees who are not κατὰ πρόθεσιν. By this I would consider Paul to be equating those who love God to those invitees who are living/behaving according to God's purpose, and he would be saying that God works all things for good for such people. There are invitees who are not living/behaving according to God's purpose, but are misbehaving. These don't love God and cannot expect God to work all things for their good.


I'm not understanding the logic of the adjectival proposal, because when you paraphrase it, it is still adverbial "living according to God's purpose" or "behaving according to God's purpose." So the alternatives are not really adverbial vs. adjectival, but adverbial with a verb in the text (called) vs. adverbial with a verb not in the text (living/behaving). I think it simpler to go with the verb in the text instead of a verb not in the text.

Paul Thomson wrote:I thought that fronting a prepositional clause with a definite article indicates that it is adjectival to the noun, rather than adverbial to the verb. I have given the sense I would draw from the first sentence if the phrase is regarded as adjectival. It is those invitees who are conforming according to the purpose for whom God works all things together for good, not those invitees who are not conforming to his purpose.


I'm not aware of any such rule for fronting. In fact, I'm skeptical that it exists. Usually Greek uses word order for emphasis and other discourse effects, not for syntax. In other words, Greek is a discourse-configurational language, not a syntax-configurational language (like English). Perhaps you have some examples or citations to a grammar to explain what you mean.

I note here, that a third, non-textual verb is now being proposed to paraphrase the supposedly adjectival PP: "conforming according to the purpose".

Paul Thomson wrote:Personally, since the phrase appears to me to be adjectival, I think Paul had A in mind, rather than B. Is that feasible? Or plausible?


I don't think "adjectival" quite describes your proposal, at least precisely. It seems to me that "adverbial for a supplied verbal notion" is closer to the essence of the proposal, and the supplied verb (whether living / behaving / conforming) seems motivated mainly to avoid "called according to God's purpose" as if it clearly supports a particular side in the predestination debate.
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Re: Rom. 8:28... adverbial or adjectival prepositional phras

Postby David Lim » February 18th, 2013, 7:37 am

Paul Thomson wrote:
David Lim wrote: [...]

It seems that both times you quote me I didn't say what you quoted. :) And as to your question I would say that neither A nor B is right. Stephen has also noted, as we know already, that this question is probably due to theological questions, so I won't say any more than that.
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