Re: Romans 12:9-19 Imperatival participles

James H. Vellenga (
Mon, 23 Dec 96 11:50:27 EST

> From: Jonathan Robie <>
> [snip]
> The translations interpret them as imperatives, and my grammars have a
> category for participles used as imperatives, but Wallace also notes that
> this construction occurs only in Romans 12 and 1 Peter in the GNT.
> I'm a little bothered that this is so different from other ways that the
> participle is used, and that there seems to be a special category just for
> Romans 12 and 1 Peter.
Actually, there's a string of participles in Eph. 5:19-21 which
most translators handle as imperatives.
> Do we see participles used this way outside the GNT? Can anybody help me
> understand how imperatival use of participles relates to the other ways
> participles are used?
Let me second Jonathan's question. My observation is that it's
possible to regard these participles as participles if you don't
insist on treating them as complete sentences. One ought not to
be surprised that Greek, like other languages, contains constructs
that aren't "legal" sentences (in English, at least, we call them
sentence fragments). Thus, in Rom 12, for example, one could
read in part

... the compassionate, in cheerfulness; the love, without
hypocrisy--hating the sordid, clinging to the good, cherishing
one another with the affection of brothers [and sisters], ....

This way you get an implicit imperative without a real one.
Could the same be happening in the Greek?