ζήσασα "had lived" Luke 2:36

The forum for those who still struggle with morphology, syntax, and idiom, or who wish to discuss basic questions about the meaning of Greek texts, syntax, or words.
Forum rules
This is not a place for students to ask for the answers to their homework assignments. Users who do that may be banned.
Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3606
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: ζήσασα "had lived" Luke 2:36

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 26th, 2015, 6:20 pm

Thomas Dolhanty wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς, ζήσασα μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς ἕως ἐτῶν ὀγδοήκοντα τεσσάρων

I haven't changed the verb form, but I suspect this now means "She was well along in years, having lived with her husband from her virginity until she was 84". Did I get that right? In both English and Greek, the two sentences use the same verb form.
I have a further question about your adjustment to the text: must the participle in this context be aorist? Your translation says "having lived with her husband ..." meaning that he is now off the scene. I agree with that translation because I think the aorist participle expects that.
I'm not sure whether the verb ζήσασα in relation to προβεβηκυῖα implies "but no longer" apart from the rest of the context. As I read this modified sentence (not the original), she is now well along in years, she has lived with her husband until she was 84, and ζήσασα refers to the time of living with her husband until she was old, without implying a time in which she no longer does live with her husband. As I read it, if there is a time after which she no longer lives with her husband, it is not a time that ζήσασα refers to here. But I could be wrong - I'm trying to study tense with respect to the participle more systematically now than I have in the past, but I have a lot to learn.
Thomas Dolhanty wrote:My question is (like Jacob's question at the start), how would I change this sentence to indicate she and her husband have been living together (i.e. are still living together) since 'her virginity' and she is now 84 years old? Would a simple replacement of ζήσασα with the present tense participle accomplish that? (Of course this is a different sentence than Jacob's. His sentence is constrained by the 'seven years' and 'she was a widow'.)
If it were present tense, it would describe a time simultaneous with προβεβηκυῖα, but it should describe the time from her youth leading up to her current old age. Compare to 1 Timothy 5:5-6 ἡ δὲ σπαταλῶσα ζῶσα τέθνηκεν, where ζῶσα portrays her as living at the same time that she has died, not at a time previous to her death. 1 Timothy 5:5-6 does not say that she has been living all along.

Let me simplify one the original sentence a little further:
αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς, ζήσασα ἕως ἐτῶν ὀγδοήκοντα τεσσάρων
I think that now says "she was well along in years, having lived until she was 84 years old". It does not imply that she is no longer living.
0 x


ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Thomas Dolhanty
Posts: 401
Joined: May 20th, 2014, 10:13 am
Location: west coast of Canada

Re: ζήσασα "had lived" Luke 2:36

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » April 26th, 2015, 9:50 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote: ... αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς, ζήσασα μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς ἕως ἐτῶν ὀγδοήκοντα τεσσάρων ...

Let me simplify one the original sentence a little further:
αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς, ζήσασα ἕως ἐτῶν ὀγδοήκοντα τεσσάρων
When I look at this a bit more closely, I think that there is a problem with both your original modified sentence, and the new one. The problem is that there is no indicative verb in either. Unless I am wrong (and I surely could be), you need something other than just participles in this sentence for it to stand alone.
M. Culy (Baylor Handbook, Luke, pg 89), regarding ζήσασα in Luke 2:36, wrote: “The function of the participle is made more difficult by the lack of an explicit main verb for it to modify. It should likely be viewed as a modifier of the periphrastic (ἦν) προβεβηκυῖα (cf Plummer, 72) The participial clause and verse 37 then provide an explanation for her advanced age.”
I think if your sentence is to stand alone without some larger context, then you have to keep the ἦν. Thus it would read something like:

Καὶ ἦν Ἅννα προφῆτις, αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς, ζήσασα ἕως ἐτῶν ὀγδοήκοντα τεσσάρων
.
…. and I am not sure about αὕτη here, which Culy (ibid, pg 88) describes in Lk 2:36 as “Nominative subject of an implied equative verb with προβεβηκυῖα.”

I think that ἦν is rather important in the original as it sets the whole sentence up as an imperfective – especially when viewed as the time-defining part of “the periphrastic (ἦν) προβεβηκυῖα”. Furthermore, Lk 2:36 sits in a very clearly understood context. To put together participles – aorist or present - without any time reference for the whole ‘sentence’ has probably given us something that is impossible to pin down.

When I scroll through a list of all the aorist participles in Luke, the overwhelming time reference of the aorist form is that which describes “antecedent time to that of the controlling verb” (Wallace, pg 614).
0 x
γράφω μαθεῖν

cwconrad
Posts: 2110
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
Contact:

Re: ζήσασα "had lived" Luke 2:36

Post by cwconrad » April 27th, 2015, 7:16 am

I'm going to ignore the ongoing dialogue of the preceding days (it seems to me to have moved far beyond the "quick participle question" and perhaps outside the purview of the Beginners Forum) and attempt to go back to the original question.
Jacob Rhoden wrote:Quick participle question. I'm just doing some accordance searches to check if I understand things correctly.
Luke 2:36 Καὶ ἦν Ἅννα προφῆτις, θυγάτηρ Φανουήλ, ἐκ φυλῆς Ἀσήρ· αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς, ζήσασα μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἔτη ἑπτὰ ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς....
Is it correct to say that you know that she is no longer living with the husband (i.e. he died, or left or something) by the form of ζήσασα? (What happens does become obvious in the next verse, I am interested in the grammar though, not the next verse:
Luke 2:36 Καὶ ἦν Ἅννα προφῆτις, θυγάτηρ Φανουήλ, ἐκ φυλῆς Ἀσήρ· αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς, ζήσασα μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἔτη ἑπτὰ ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς 37 καὶ αὐτὴ χήρα ἕως ἐτῶν ὀγδοήκοντα τεσσάρων, ἣ οὐκ ἀφίστατο τοῦ ἱεροῦ νηστείαις καὶ δεήσεσιν λατρεύουσα νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν.
No, the form ζήσασα itself does not tell you that her husband has died; it tells you only that she has lived with her husband; ἔτη ἑπτὰ ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς tells you that the span of her life with her husband has been seven years. It is verse 37 that tells you of her 84 years of widowhood. I would say that ζήσασα allows for her being a widow at the end of those seven years but doesn't defiinitely affirm that she is. The aorist participle ζήσασα simply indicates a span of seven years during which Anna has lived with her husband. On the other hand, προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς indicates that she is far advanced in years, so that we can infer from that fact and the other fact (that she lived seven years from girlhood with her husband) that her husband is dead. But the ζήσασα phrase by itself does not force the conclusion
Jacob Rhoden wrote:Accordance says the word is ζαω, How do you modify it to imply the husband is still alive and well and in the same house? ζαουσα? I found ζῶσα via an accordance search, maybe its that? I have no idea the rule that gets you from ζαω to that though :D
In order to indicate that clearly, I'd probably rewrite the sentence by removing every implication of her husband's death, something like this:
Καὶ ἦν Ἅννα προφῆτις, θυγάτηρ Φανουήλ, ἐκ φυλῆς Ἀσήρ· αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς, ζήσασα μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἔτη  ἐνενήκοντα ἕν ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς, ἣ οὐκ ἀφίστατο τοῦ ἱεροῦ νηστείαις καὶ δεήσεσιν λατρεύουσα νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν.
Admittedly it's a bit awkward to have Anna keeping busy night and day in the temple while she's been 'living" with her husband. It would appear that it is her widowhood that frees her for constant attendance at the temple as a prophetess. But your question really doesn't call for a commentary on the careful Lucan accounting for the woman's whole existence. If all you want to say is that she was living with her husband at this time you could use the present participle ζῶσα to indicate continuous ongoing life. The aorist participle ζήσασα does not by itself (as I noted above) indicate that her husband has died but simply indicates that she has lived with her husband during those years -- his death, however, is constated from the other contextual factors. There's no discounting the importance of those other contextual factors for making it clear that her life with her husband was relatively short.
0 x
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Thomas Dolhanty
Posts: 401
Joined: May 20th, 2014, 10:13 am
Location: west coast of Canada

Re: ζήσασα "had lived" Luke 2:36

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » April 27th, 2015, 8:22 am

cwconrad wrote:In order to indicate that clearly, I'd probably rewrite the sentence by removing every implication of her husband's death, something like this:

Καὶ ἦν Ἅννα προφῆτις, θυγάτηρ Φανουήλ, ἐκ φυλῆς Ἀσήρ· αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς, ζήσασα μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἔτη ἐνενήκοντα ἕν ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς, ἣ οὐκ ἀφίστατο τοῦ ἱεροῦ νηστείαις καὶ δεήσεσιν λατρεύουσα νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν.
Hmmm. Interesting - especially ἔτη ἐνενήκοντα ἕν. Thank you.
cwconrad wrote:I'm going to ignore the ongoing dialogue of the preceding days (it seems to me to have moved far beyond the "quick participle question" and perhaps outside the purview of the Beginners Forum) and attempt to go back to the original question.
Whether here or in a new thread though, and for my own understanding of the Greek participle, I wonder if you would comment on my post immediately preceding yours. It is when one attempts to generate language, it seems, that one's poverty of understanding is discovered. Am I correct in my understanding of the Greek participle that it is similar to the English participle in that it cannot stand alone in a sentence? As I understand it now, to construct a 'sentence' in Koine where the only verbal form is participles would be like constructing an English 'sentence' something like, "While going to the office, before talking to the man."
0 x
γράφω μαθεῖν

cwconrad
Posts: 2110
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
Contact:

Re: ζήσασα "had lived" Luke 2:36

Post by cwconrad » April 27th, 2015, 9:51 am

Thomas Dolhanty wrote:
cwconrad wrote:In order to indicate that clearly, I'd probably rewrite the sentence by removing every implication of her husband's death, something like this:

Καὶ ἦν Ἅννα προφῆτις, θυγάτηρ Φανουήλ, ἐκ φυλῆς Ἀσήρ· αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς, ζήσασα μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἔτη ἐνενήκοντα ἕν ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς, ἣ οὐκ ἀφίστατο τοῦ ἱεροῦ νηστείαις καὶ δεήσεσιν λατρεύουσα νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν.
Hmmm. Interesting - especially ἔτη ἐνενήκοντα ἕν. Thank you.
cwconrad wrote:I'm going to ignore the ongoing dialogue of the preceding days (it seems to me to have moved far beyond the "quick participle question" and perhaps outside the purview of the Beginners Forum) and attempt to go back to the original question.
Whether here or in a new thread though, and for my own understanding of the Greek participle, I wonder if you would comment on my post immediately preceding yours. It is when one attempts to generate language, it seems, that one's poverty of understanding is discovered. Am I correct in my understanding of the Greek participle that it is similar to the English participle in that it cannot stand alone in a sentence? As I understand it now, to construct a 'sentence' in Koine where the only verbal form is participles would be like constructing an English 'sentence' something like, "While going to the office, before talking to the man."
I really don't think anything more needs to be said here beyond that the participial phrases in Lk 2:36-37 are appended to and qualify the main clause, Καὶ ἦν Ἅννα προφῆτις, θυγάτηρ Φανουήλ, ἐκ φυλῆς Ἀσήρ. They're not independent -- I think that's what you're asking. I wouldn't call them periphrastic either, since there's no ἦν used or even understood with them, rather they all qualify the main clause and link by number gender and case to Ἅννα: "Anna, who was well along in life, having lived with her husband for seven years since her girlhood, ... " Luke does write nice periodic sentences with clearly intelligible patterns of subordination, and the sentence we're dealing with is one of them.
0 x
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Post Reply

Return to “Beginners Forum”