Re: Romans 12:9-19 Imperatival participles

Carlton Winbery (
Mon, 23 Dec 1996 17:50:41 +0400

Brent Hudson wrote;
>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. :-)
Most translations that I have examined, including the NRSV, translate I
Peter 2:18 as a participle used to express a command. I have long felt
that the use of participles in I Peter is more sophisticated than most of
the rest of the NT. It seems to me that I remember a dissertation at
Southern Bap. Theo. Sem. or maybe at Southwestern in Ft. Worth on the use
of participles in I Peter. I consulted it when I was writing an article on
I Peter. Some have suggested that participles of command are not unlike
participles in inscriptions in Greek or even in wise sayings that use
participles like we in English use finite verbs. We must not judge
function in Greek by function in English. We in English usually have a
subject expressed by a substantive, but such is unnecessary in Greek.

Carlton L. Winbery
Fogleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
Fax (318) 442-4996
Phone (318) 487-7241