Participles as commands

Edward Hobbs (
Mon, 23 Dec 1996 16:00:04 -0500 (EST)

From: LUCY::EHOBBS "Edward Hobbs" 23-DEC-1996 15:56:59.50
To: IN%""
Subj: RE: Romans 12:9-19 Imperatival participles

Brent Hudson writes:

Why not take v.9 as a simple sentence: "Love is without
hypocrisy" and the participles as picking up on this with a
further description of AGAPH. Thus, one could add the words "it
is" with each participle to point it back to v.9.

Love is without hypocrisy--hating evil, clinging to good,
[it is] devoted with respect to brotherly love.
[It] outdoes the other with respect to honour.
[It is]...

Thus the particles are descriptive not imperatival in nature.
Still, I have this nagging feeling that I have missed something
simple. Perhaps someone could point out the error of my ways. .
.this solution seems too simple to be correct. :-)

This is a lovely solution, and right in principle--but not in grammar.
hH AGAPH is feminine singular, but all these participles are masculine
plural. So they can't really be modifying "Love".

My own 1977 T-G Grammar of Greek used this passage as evidence of a
participial transformation for commands, but it always bothered me. A few
years ago, one of my students here (a Bulgarian woman, who had five years
of Greek before getting here, and was a whiz) made a very plausible
suggestion, which I will try to find time soon to write up for the List.
All in all, it's an amazing passage.

Edward Hobbs