MAubrey wrote: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.
Jason Hare wrote:Well and good, and I would agree with your discussion (not something I wasn't already aware of). So, explain how this general picture applies to the specific parallel accounts that I mentioned above. That's what the question is about.
Barry Hofstetter wrote:Any implications about the continuing or non-continuing nature of the action would have to be supplied from context.
More Examples wrote:1) There only one possible option and the alternative is ungrammatical.
a. This bottle contains two pints of milk (grammatical).
b. *This bottle is containing two pints of milk (ungrammatical).
2) There are multiple options, but each conveys a notably different proposition (my examples 1-4 in my previous post are of this type).
a. Sally sleeps in the room next door (grammatical, marks the propositions as being habitual, but makes no claim about whether Sally is sleeping right now).
b. Sally is sleeping in the room next door (grammatical, marks the proposition as a current, ongoing situation regardless of whether she regularly sleeps there).
3) There are multiple options, but each the propositional content remains unchanged.
a. I had a chat with him the other day (grammatical, x happened in the past).
b. I was having a chat with him the other day (grammatical, same propositional content--x happened in the past--but with a subtle difference in conceptualization).
Mt 13:18-23 wrote: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.
Lk 8:11-15 wrote: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.
Alan Patterson wrote:I am sure you have read GGBB. In one footnote, Dan Wallace says that the (incomplete?) ὸ πιστευων, for example, is likely continuous, ongoing (maybe even in a salvific context), in the particular verse he was addressing. I'm sure everyone who read that footnote must have been frustrated. Now, it is possible that I misunderstood what Wallace was saying, but I do remember not believing my eyes when I read it. I do not have GGBB in front of me so I can't give you the footnote number. Do you know the footnote I am talking about? Did I misunderstand Wallace? Based on your statements above, I assume you would be a little taken back by Wallace's footnote, if I read it right. I can give the footnote to anyone who wants it tonight.
“δράσαντι παθεῖν” τριγέρων μῦθος τάδε φωνεῖ
... opp. πάσχω, freq. in Trag., and in prose, e.g. Antipho 2 δ 5, al., Hp.Epid.4.43, al., D.S.5.55.6, al., Ph.1.44, al., etc. εὖ δρῶσαν, εὖ πάσχουσαν A.Eu.868; ἄξια δράσας ἄξια πάσχων Id.Ag.1527; κακῶς δράσαντες οὐκ ἐλάσσονα πάσχουσι Id.Pers.813; of one in extreme perplexity, τί πάθω; τί δὲ δρῶ; Id.Th.1062, cf. Ch.899; δρῶν ἀντιπάσχω χρηστά S.Ph.584; prov., “δράσαντι παθεῖν” τριγέρων μῦθος τάδε φωνεῖ A.Ch.313; δράσαντι γάρ τοι καὶ παθεῖν ὀφείλεται Id.Fr.456, cf. S.OT1272; τά γʼ ἔργα μου πεπονθότα .. μᾶλλον ἢ δεδρακότα acts of suffering rather than of doing, Id.OC267; ὁ δρῶν the doer, whoever he be, A.Ag.1359, etc.; ὁ δράσας the culprit, Pl.Lg.879a, cf. S.Tr.1108; ὁ δεδρακώς Id.OT246, D.23.40 ...
Even more examples wrote:(1) John loaded the truck with hay.
(2) John loaded the hay into the truck.
The kind of statement here in Barry's post, which essentially concludes the same thing you did, Jason, if your own post a few back is wrong:
Barry Hofstetter wrote: "Any implications about the continuing or non-continuing nature of the action would have to be supplied from context"
The aspectual distinction does not disappear. Aspectual implications are always always always present. But it's also wrong because its the wrong aspectual implication. The Greek imperfective, whether indicative, imperative, participle, infinitive, etc, does not denote ongoing situations. It expresses incomplete situations. But its always there, even in substantival participles. What in the world is the point in having a choice between two forms if you can't use them?
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