ὶνα πας ὸ πιστευων

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ὶνα πας ὸ πιστευων

Postby rhutchin » August 23rd, 2012, 3:38 pm

This particular phrase is found in John 3:15,16 and five other times in the NT.

If I am reading my Greek resources correctly, πιστευων is a participle and interesting to me, singular.

I know that this sounds like a translation issue, but I am really interested in the reason a writer in Greek would use the participle rather than a verb. Does this mean that, grammatically proper use of πας ὸ requires that it be linked with a participle/noun? With a noun, it seems to mean "all the x" which is expected. Is there ever an instance where πας ὸ would be linked with a verb?

Also, πας ὸ appears 56 times and is linked the most with a participle and less often with a noun. The straightforward sense of the term is "everyone" and combined with the participle seems to refer to everyone doing whatever the verb calls for - looking, hearing, believing - yet again consistently translated as looks, hears, believes. Is there a reason why the Greek participle never seems to be translated as an -ing word in English?

Why is the participle singular? Does that have any significance in how we are to understand what the writer is saying? Could the plural be used?

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Re: ὶνα πας ὸ πιστευων

Postby David Lim » August 23rd, 2012, 10:58 pm

rhutchin wrote:Does this mean that, grammatically proper use of πας ὸ requires that it be linked with a participle/noun? With a noun, it seems to mean "all the x" which is expected.


I think the phrase should be understood as "πας { ο { πιστευων } }". "πας ο" is not one unit, but "πας" is a determiner that modifies "ο πιστευων".

rhutchin wrote:Is there ever an instance where πας ὸ would be linked with a verb?


No, because the definite article is also a determiner and expects either a noun phrase or adjectival phrase immediately following it, not a verb.

rhutchin wrote:Is there a reason why the Greek participle never seems to be translated as an -ing word in English?


In my opinion, the present participle denotes an action or event occurring at the present time with respect to the focus. In this case the focus is the "act of believing" itself. Whether or not it is continuous is not specified by being a present participle, so it does not always correspond to the English continuous participle "believing". Rather, "ο πιστευων" just means "the [one] who believes" and "πας ο πιστευων" means "every [one] who believes".

rhutchin wrote:Why is the participle singular? Does that have any significance in how we are to understand what the writer is saying? Could the plural be used?


Yes, to say "all the [ones] who believe", we can say "παντες οι πιστευοντες" (see 2 Thes 2:12 which uses the aorist). One possible reason the author used the singular instead is to emphasize the individuality of the act of believing.
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Re: ὶνα πας ὸ πιστευων

Postby rhutchin » August 25th, 2012, 2:35 pm

David Lim wrote:
rhutchin wrote:Does this mean that, grammatically proper use of πας ὸ requires that it be linked with a participle/noun? With a noun, it seems to mean "all the x" which is expected.


I think the phrase should be understood as "πας { ο { πιστευων } }". "πας ο" is not one unit, but "πας" is a determiner that modifies "ο πιστευων".

In my opinion, the present participle denotes an action or event occurring at the present time with respect to the focus. In this case the focus is the "act of believing" itself. Whether or not it is continuous is not specified by being a present participle, so it does not always correspond to the English continuous participle "believing". Rather, "ο πιστευων" just means "the [one] who believes" and "πας ο πιστευων" means "every [one] who believes".


OK, that seems reasonable. However, if your analysis is correct, then the translation of the article with the participle would seem to be, in this case, "the one believing" "the [one] who believes" or "the believer." Adding πας would then get "every believer."

However, every translation, which totals a large number of translators, has consistently rendered the participle as believes or hears or sees etc. Thus, grammatically, it appears that they have sliced ὸ from the participle and attached it to πας so that we get πας (every) ὸ (one) doing the action of the participle (believes, hears, etc.). If they had kept the article and participle together grammatically, it seems to me that they would have gotten a different translation - believers, hearers, etc.

So, where you have "the [one] who believes," this should be "the (one) believing" and "πας ο πιστευων" would then mean "every [one] believing" or "every believer."

Well, I am confused about how one is to understand the article + participle. Maybe the article + participle creates a kind of idiom that ignores a straightforward grammatical analysis (as I would think could be done).
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Re: ὶνα πας ὸ πιστευων

Postby David Lim » August 25th, 2012, 10:46 pm

rhutchin wrote:OK, that seems reasonable. However, if your analysis is correct, then the translation of the article with the participle would seem to be, in this case, "the one believing" "the [one] who believes" or "the believer." Adding πας would then get "every believer."


I see nothing wrong with "the [one] who believes" or the paraphrase "the believer" for "ο πιστευων". Anyway I think "ο πιστευων εις X" would be more accurately translated as "the [one] who entrusts [himself] to X".

rhutchin wrote:However, every translation, which totals a large number of translators, has consistently rendered the participle as believes or hears or sees etc. Thus, grammatically, it appears that they have sliced ὸ from the participle and attached it to πας so that we get πας (every) ὸ (one) doing the action of the participle (believes, hears, etc.). If they had kept the article and participle together grammatically, it seems to me that they would have gotten a different translation - believers, hearers, etc.


But I also see nothing very wrong with translations rendering it as "everyone who believes". According to English dictionaries, "every one" should only be used to refer to individual entities in a group, such as "every one of them is wrong". So technically my translation is not correct modern English. However you will notice that old English uses "every one" instead of "everyone", such as in the KJV.

rhutchin wrote:So, where you have "the [one] who believes," this should be "the (one) believing" and "πας ο πιστευων" would then mean "every [one] believing" or "every believer."


"every one believing" is not correct English, and is not easily understood correctly because as I said earlier "believing" implies some ongoing action, but "ο πιστευων" doesn't. "every believer" is a paraphrase of "every { one who believes }". Compare:
"the one who believes will have life" / "the believer will have life"
"every one who believes will have life" / "every believer will have life"

rhutchin wrote:Well, I am confused about how one is to understand the article + participle. Maybe the article + participle creates a kind of idiom that ignores a straightforward grammatical analysis (as I would think could be done).


See Funk 747 (http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/project/funk-grammar/pre-alpha/lesson-51.html), which gives examples showing alternatives to the articular participle that imply that it is not an idiom.
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Re: ὶνα πας ὸ πιστευων

Postby rhutchin » August 27th, 2012, 4:09 pm

David Lim wrote:
rhutchin wrote:So, where you have "the [one] who believes," this should be "the (one) believing" and "πας ο πιστευων" would then mean "every [one] believing" or "every believer."

"every one believing" is not correct English, and is not easily understood correctly because as I said earlier "believing" implies some ongoing action, but "ο πιστευων" doesn't.
"every believer" is a paraphrase of "every { one who believes }".
Compare:
"the one who believes will have life" / "the believer will have life"
"every one who believes will have life" / "every believer will have life"


Funk has this:

747.1 Πᾶς is frequently used with an articular participle, in first predicate position:
(29) πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων Jn 3:15
everyone who (whoever) believes
(30) πᾶν τὸ ὀφειλόμενον Mt 18:34
everything that is owed
(31) πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας Mt 18:16
all those who were sick (lit., all those having it badly)
(32) πάντα τὰ γεγραμμένα Lk 21:22
all that is written

I am not really sure what you mean when you say that o + participle does not refer to an ongoing action. In the above examples, the participle seems to denote an ongoing condition (if not an action). The person is described as believing and continues in that believing state; an object is described as owed and continues to be owed; the person is described as sick and continues to be sick; something is described as written and continues to be described as written.

Are we saying the same thing or did you intend a different conclusion?
Last edited by rhutchin on August 27th, 2012, 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ὶνα πας ὸ πιστευων

Postby David Lim » August 27th, 2012, 9:22 pm

rhutchin wrote:
David Lim wrote:Funk has this:

747.1 Πᾶς is frequently used with an articular participle, in first predicate position:
(29) πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων Jn 3:15
everyone who (whoever) believes
(30) πᾶν τὸ ὀφειλόμενον Mt 18:34
everything that is owed
(31) πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας Mt 18:16
all those who were sick (lit., all those having it badly)
(32) πάντα τὰ γεγραμμένα Lk 21:22
all that is written

I am not really sure what you mean when you say that o + participle does not refer to an ongoing action. In the above examples, the participle seems to denote an ongoing condition (if not an action). The person is described as believing and continues in that believing state; an object is described as owed and continues to be owed; the person is described as sick and continues to be sick; something is described as written and continues to be described as written.

Are we saying the same thing or did you intend a different conclusion?


You got me right. Though Funk did not give examples here concerning this, he did not say that the present participle means an ongoing condition or action. Here are some examples where it is neither an ongoing action nor an ongoing condition:
[Matt 5:28] εγω δε λεγω υμιν οτι πας ο βλεπων γυναικα προς το επιθυμησαι αυτην ηδη εμοιχευσεν αυτην εν τη καρδια αυτου
[Matt 7:8] πας γαρ ο αιτων λαμβανει και ο ζητων ευρισκει και τω κρουοντι ανοιγησεται
[Matt 7:21] ου πας ο λεγων μοι κυριε κυριε εισελευσεται εις την βασιλειαν των ουρανων αλλ ο ποιων το θελημα του πατρος μου του εν τοις ουρανοις
[Matt 7:26] και πας ο ακουων μου τους λογους τουτους και μη ποιων αυτους ομοιωθησεται ανδρι μωρω οστις ωκοδομησεν αυτου την οικιαν επι την αμμον
[Luke 10:16] ο ακουων υμων εμου ακουει και ο αθετων υμας εμε αθετει ο δε εμε αθετων αθετει τον αποστειλαντα με
[Luke 16:18] πας ο απολυων την γυναικα αυτου και γαμων ετεραν μοιχευει και ο απολελυμενην απο ανδρος γαμων μοιχευει
[Luke 24:21] ημεις δε ηλπιζομεν οτι αυτος εστιν ο μελλων λυτρουσθαι τον ισραηλ αλλα γε και συν πασιν τουτοις τριτην ταυτην ημεραν αγει αφ ου ταυτα εγενετο
These may be called "generic/gnomic presents". In some cases it refers to an ongoing action or condition at the (generic) time in focus, but in others it simply refers to a single action at that time, including Matt 7:8, Luke 16:18.
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Re: ὶνα πας ὸ πιστευων

Postby Jason Hare » August 28th, 2012, 12:33 am

Hello, R (what is your name, by the way? Would you please put that in your signature?),

rhutchin wrote:I am not really sure what you mean when you say that o + participle does not refer to an ongoing action. In the above examples, the participle seems to denote an ongoing condition (if not an action). The person is described as believing and continues in that believing state; an object is described as owed and continues to be owed; the person is described as sick and continues to be sick; something is described as written and continues to be described as written.


I just read these two passages today as parallels:

Mt 13,18-23
Ὑμεῖς οὖν ἀκούσατε τὴν παραβολὴν τοῦ σπείραντος. παντὸς ἀκούοντος τὸν λόγον τῆς βασιλείας καὶ μὴ συνιέντος ἔρχεται ὁ πονηρὸς καὶ ἁρπάζει τὸ ἐσπαρμένον ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ παρὰ τὴν ὁδὸν σπαρείς. ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ τὰ πετρώδη σπαρείς, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τὸν λόγον ἀκούων καὶ εὐθὺς μετὰ χαρᾶς λαμβάνων αὐτόν, οὐκ ἔχει δὲ ῥίζαν ἐν ἑαυτῷ ἀλλὰ πρόσκαιρός ἐστιν, γενομένης δὲ θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ διὰ τὸν λόγον εὐθὺς σκανδαλίζεται. ὁ δὲ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας σπαρείς, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τὸν λόγον ἀκούων, καὶ ἡ μέριμνα τοῦ αἰῶνος καὶ ἡ ἀπάτη τοῦ πλούτου συμπνίγει τὸν λόγον καὶ ἄκαρπος γίνεται. ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ τὴν καλὴν γῆν σπαρείς, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τὸν λόγον ἀκούων καὶ συνιείς, ὃς δὴ καρποφορεῖ καὶ ποιεῖ ὃ μὲν ἑκατόν, ὃ δὲ ἑξήκοντα, ὃ δὲ τριάκοντα.


L 8,11-15
Ἔστιν δὲ αὕτη ἡ παραβολή· Ὁ σπόρος ἐστὶν ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ. οἱ δὲ παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν εἰσιν οἱ ἀκούσαντες, εἶτα ἔρχεται ὁ διάβολος καὶ αἴρει τὸν λόγον ἀπὸ τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν, ἵνα μὴ πιστεύσαντες σωθῶσιν. οἱ δὲ ἐπὶ τῆς πέτρας οἳ ὅταν ἀκούσωσιν μετὰ χαρᾶς δέχονται τὸν λόγον, καὶ οὗτοι ῥίζαν οὐκ ἔχουσιν, οἳ πρὸς καιρὸν πιστεύουσιν καὶ ἐν καιρῷ πειρασμοῦ ἀφίστανται. τὸ δὲ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας πεσόν, οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ ἀκούσαντες, καὶ ὑπὸ μεριμνῶν καὶ πλούτου καὶ ἡδονῶν τοῦ βίου πορευόμενοι συμπνίγονται καὶ οὐ τελεσφοροῦσιν. τὸ δὲ ἐν τῇ καλῇ γῇ, οὗτοί εἰσιν οἵτινες ἐν καρδίᾳ καλῇ καὶ ἀγαθῇ ἀκούσαντες τὸν λόγον κατέχουσιν καὶ καρποφοροῦσιν ἐν ὑπομονῇ.


It's interesting that Matthew uses the present participle while Luke uses the aorist, given that they are parallel accounts of the same parable. It seems that ὁ ἀκούων and οἱ ἀκούσαντες refers to the same group of people. One could generalize it to πᾶς ὁ ἀκούων even (to make it relevant to the OP's πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων). It would seem that context needs to determine whether or not we should take πιστεύων in any kind of continuous sense, not just the form itself. Certainly we would not think that the one who hears in verse 22 of the Matthew passage, for instance, is someone who continuously believes. It is certainly someone who believed the message only for a limited time, yet Matthew employed the present participle.
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Re: ὶνα πας ὸ πιστευων

Postby Dean_Poulos » October 6th, 2012, 1:33 pm

Jason,

I could be wrong, I'm not home to check myself, but is not πιστεύων a'present active participle in the Greek. If I'm correct, Participles denote a continuous action. So the could be both presently and continuously believing or having faith in Jesus. One who stops believing would not be being referred to in this verse even if he/she initially believed. Everyone who is continuously believing in him is a fuller translation of the text. I can't say this make any translation wrong, but could it possibly make sence if it read: "Whosoever are the "believing ones." An initial and continues action?

Is this possible? Thank you.

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Re: ὶνα πας ὸ πιστευων

Postby Jason Hare » October 6th, 2012, 7:50 pm

Dean_Poulos wrote:Jason,

I could be wrong, I'm not home to check myself, but is not πιστεύων a'present active participle in the Greek. If I'm correct, Participles denote a continuous action. So the could be both presently and continuously believing or having faith in Jesus. One who stops believing would not be being referred to in this verse even if he/she initially believed. Everyone who is continuously believing in him is a fuller translation of the text. I can't say this make any translation wrong, but could it possibly make sence if it read: "Whosoever are the "believing ones." An initial and continues action?

Is this possible? Thank you.

Dean


I think that's exactly the question. Did you see my last post in this thread regarding the parallels of the present and aorist participles in Matthew and Luke's version of the parable of the sower?
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Re: ὶνα πας ὸ πιστευων

Postby MAubrey » October 6th, 2012, 11:11 pm

Jason Hare wrote:It's interesting that Matthew uses the present participle while Luke uses the aorist, given that they are parallel accounts of the same parable. It seems that ὁ ἀκούων and οἱ ἀκούσαντες refers to the same group of people. One could generalize it to πᾶς ὁ ἀκούων even (to make it relevant to the OP's πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων). It would seem that context needs to determine whether or not we should take πιστεύων in any kind of continuous sense, not just the form itself. Certainly we would not think that the one who hears in verse 22 of the Matthew passage, for instance, is someone who continuously believes. It is certainly someone who believed the message only for a limited time, yet Matthew employed the present participle.

Hi Jason, no. present participles are always imperfective and aorist participles are always perfective. The situation you're seeing here involves two issues. The first is that the choice of aspect is not dependent on the situation "in the real world," but only on how the author wants to present the situation. But we also have the challenge of a very fine distinction between the English progressive aspect and the Greek imperfective aspect.

English and Greek have subtly distinct verbal systems for the category of aspect. In English we have a distinction between a progressive aspect and a non-progressive aspect. Thus, we have a contrast like:
Examples wrote:(1) Rachel is eating dinner (present progressive)
(2) Rachel eats dinner (present non-progressive)
(3) Rachel was eating dinner (past progressive)
(4) Rachel ate dinner (past non-progressive)

You can see here that in English we have a contrast between past and present and progressive and non-progressive. Both progressive, whether present or past, express a situation as both incomplete and ongoing. That is to say, in both (1) and (3), Rachel is involved in the process of eating (ongoing) and has not yet finished (incomplete).

Likewise, examples (2) and (4) say nothing whatsoever about whether Rachel is currently eating (non-ongoing), but we do know from them that she has eaten something at some point in the past and has finished it (complete). For our purposes, example (2) is particularly significant for another reason. Of these clauses, example (2) not only suggests that Rachel has eaten in the past and has finished, but that she will likely eat again in the future. Example (2) lends itself the best to having habitual or gnomic meaning. Habitual meaning is not ongoing. It does not express situations that are in progressive, so the English progressive is insufficient for expressing it.

Conversely, the Greek present is not a progressive aspect. It is an imperfective aspect. So while the progressive, as in English, is both incomplete and ongoing, the imperfective, like what we have in Greek, only expresses situations that are incomplete, independent of whether they're ongoing or not. The result of this distinction is that Greek imperfectives allow for habitual or gnomic interpretations, where the English progressive would not. So we have a situation where the communicative function of present and the aorist overlap with each other.

So in a sense, the answer here is that, yes, both Matthew 18 and Luke 8 are saying "the one who hears" rather than "the one who is hearing (continually)." In both cases, Jesus is present talking about atemporal/gnomic situations and either the choice of the aorist or the present is acceptable.

To summarize then:
Greek imperfectives (like the present) may express situations that are incomplete, including (but not limited to): continuous, iterative, habitual, gnomic meanings.

English progressive may express situations that are both incomplete and ongoing: including (but not limited to): continuous and iterative, but not habitual or gnomic.

Greek aorists
may express situations that are complete or "wholistic," including (but not limited to): punctiliar, constative, gnomic.

English non-progressives may express situations that are complete or "wholistic" or regular, including (but not limited to): punctiliar, constative, gnomic, and habitual.

So when it comes to Greek present participles, if they don't translate well into English as continuous or ongoing, they're probably either gnomic or habitual, meaning that cannot be expressed with the English progressive. That doesn't mean that the Greek participle isn't imperfective. It means that Greek isn't English.
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