Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Jonathan Robie
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Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 29th, 2015, 9:01 am

In another thread, we have been discussing this verse:
Luke 2:36 wrote:Καὶ ἦν Ἅννα προφῆτις, θυγάτηρ Φανουήλ, ἐκ φυλῆς Ἀσήρ· αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς, Ζήσασα μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἔτη ἑπτὰ ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς,
Grammars often say or imply that a participle must have a finite main verb, but I see quite a few examples (391 in the GNT) where it's not clear to me that this is the case. I've started thinking in a direction that may be unconventional or wrong, so I'm posting this thread to share some query results and make sure that I'm interpreting things correctly. If not, I'd rather not waste time and effort running in the wrong direction.

Let's stick with ζάω for a few examples:
2 Tim 4:1 wrote:Διαμαρτύρομαι ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ, τοῦ μέλλοντος κρίνειν ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς, καὶ τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ·
1 Peter 4:5 wrote: οἳ ἀποδώσουσιν λόγον τῷ ἑτοίμως ἔχοντι κρῖναι ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς.
In these verses, the main verb seems to be the infinitive κρίνειν / κρῖναι, and ζῶντας refers to those who are living at the time of judgement.

There are 17 instances of non-finite forms of ὁράω as the main verb, the participle seems to be relative to the time of seeing. For instance:
Matthew 14:26 wrote:ἰδόντες δὲ αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης περιπατοῦντα
The present tense περιπατοῦντα should be interpreted with respect to ἰδόντες - they saw Jesus walking around.
Matthew 18:31 wrote:ἰδόντες οὖν οἱ σύνδουλοι αὐτοῦ τὰ γενόμενα
The aorist γενόμενα should be interpreted with respect to ἰδόντες - they saw what had happened.

I have 391 results along these lines, some aren't actually relevant, and I think I'm missing some examples that I can find by improving my query, but let's start here before I put more work into it. Am I interpreting these examples correctly?
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Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » April 29th, 2015, 12:30 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:Grammars often say or imply that a participle must have a finite main verb, but I see quite a few examples (391 in the GNT) where it's not clear to me that this is the case. I've started thinking in a direction that may be unconventional or wrong, so I'm posting this thread to share some query results and make sure that I'm interpreting things correctly. If not, I'd rather not waste time and effort running in the wrong direction.

Let's stick with ζάω for a few examples:
2 Tim 4:1 wrote:Διαμαρτύρομαι ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ, τοῦ μέλλοντος κρίνειν ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς, καὶ τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ·
In these verses, the main verb seems to be the infinitive κρίνειν / κρῖναι, and ζῶντας refers to those who are living at the time of judgement.
I don't understand. Of course in 2Tim4:1 it doesn't have a finite main verb because it's an adjectival/substantival participle, not verbal (using vocabulary of Wallace). Finite main verb refers to verbal participles. They have different kind of grammatical function than adjectival/substantival participles.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 29th, 2015, 12:41 pm

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:Of course in 2Tim4:1 it doesn't have a finite main verb because it's an adjectival/substantival participle, not verbal (using vocabulary of Wallace). Finite main verb refers to verbal participles. They have different kind of grammatical function than adjectival/substantival participles.
Yeah, that was a bad example. But what about this one?
Matthew 14:26 wrote:ἰδόντες δὲ αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης περιπατοῦντα
Looks like the first thing I need to do is filter out adjectival and substantival participles from my query results ... but I think that still leaves some verbal participles along these lines.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » April 29th, 2015, 12:53 pm

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote: Finite main verb refers to verbal participles.
If "Finite main verb refers to verbal participles." then I'm really confused. I would have said these two terms - finite verb and participle (of any kind) - are mutually exclusive!

A participle, by definition, is not finite, right?
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 29th, 2015, 1:24 pm

Thomas Dolhanty wrote:
Eeli Kaikkonen wrote: Finite main verb refers to verbal participles.
If "Finite main verb refers to verbal participles." then I'm really confused. I would have said these two terms - finite verb and participle (of any kind) - are mutually exclusive!

A participle, by definition, is not finite, right?
I think he was saying that only verbal participles have a finite main verb.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » April 29th, 2015, 1:59 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Thomas Dolhanty wrote:
Eeli Kaikkonen wrote: Finite main verb refers to verbal participles.
If "Finite main verb refers to verbal participles." then I'm really confused. I would have said these two terms - finite verb and participle (of any kind) - are mutually exclusive!

A participle, by definition, is not finite, right?
I think he was saying that only verbal participles have a finite main verb.
Yes. I see the context now. Sorry Eeli. Whew! The stars are still in their orbit! The universe is still "unfolding as it should"!
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George F Somsel
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Re: Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by George F Somsel » April 29th, 2015, 2:15 pm

Yes. I see the context now. Sorry Eeli. Whew! The stars are still in their orbit! The universe is still "unfolding as it should"!
Yes,
God's in his heaven
All's right with the world.
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Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » April 29th, 2015, 2:36 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote: But what about this one?

Matthew 14:26 wrote:
ἰδόντες δὲ αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης περιπατοῦντα
As I read this, the participial phrase is still in a subordinate relationship to the main verb, which is ἐταράχθησαν. "But seeing him walking upon the water ..." is not meant to stand alone, but to expand on the reason that they were terrified. Matthew did not intend to say, "But they saw him walking upon the water" dead stop; rather, as I read it anyway, the participial construction must 'find' a finite verb.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 29th, 2015, 2:49 pm

Thomas Dolhanty wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote: But what about this one?

Matthew 14:26 wrote:
ἰδόντες δὲ αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης περιπατοῦντα
As I read this, the participial phrase is still in a subordinate relationship to the main verb, which is ἐταράχθησαν. "But seeing him walking upon the water ..." is not meant to stand alone, but to expand on the reason that they were terrified. Matthew did not intend to say, "But they saw him walking upon the water" dead stop; rather, as I read it anyway, the participial construction must 'find' a finite verb.
I didn't mean to imply that there was a dead stop, but I do think that the time of περιπατοῦντα is relative to ἰδόντες - he was walking around when they saw him, no?

Another example:
Matthew 6:5 wrote:ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς καὶ ἐν ταῖς γωνίαις τῶν πλατειῶν ἑστῶτες προσεύχεσθαι
I think the time of ἑστῶτες should be understood relative to προσεύχεσθαι, not to some other verb, no? Or how about this one:
Matthew 05:13 wrote:εἰς οὐδὲν ἰσχύει ἔτι εἰ μὴ βληθὲν ἔξω καταπατεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων.
As I read this, βληθὲν is to be interpreted relative to καταπατεῖσθαι - βληθὲν ἔξω describes the circumstances under which it is trampled.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » April 29th, 2015, 3:16 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Thomas Dolhanty wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote: But what about this one?

Matthew 14:26 wrote:
ἰδόντες δὲ αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης περιπατοῦντα
As I read this, the participial phrase is still in a subordinate relationship to the main verb, which is ἐταράχθησαν. "But seeing him walking upon the water ..." is not meant to stand alone, but to expand on the reason that they were terrified. Matthew did not intend to say, "But they saw him walking upon the water" dead stop; rather, as I read it anyway, the participial construction must 'find' a finite verb.
I didn't mean to imply that there was a dead stop, but I do think that the time of περιπατοῦντα is relative to ἰδόντες - he was walking around when they saw him, no?
I'm really glad you started this thread, Jonathan, because I want to clarify this in my own mind too. Right now, my understanding is that the Greek participle works the same as an English participle in the sense that it cannot carry the main verbal function of a sentence.

That is, you cannot write an English sentence like, "Going to the lake", or "Going to the lake, while talking to a man." By definition an English participle cannot stand alone as the main verb in a sentence. If the Greek participle is different in this sense, I do not understand the difference.

This is what I understand from the statement, " ...a participle must have a finite main verb ...". As to the temporal relationship, I think it is defined by ἐταράχθησαν, and because it is aorist, the time can be either before or during the time of the main verb for an aorist participle (Wallace). The whole phrase as a unit explains why they were afraid. What happens within the phrase (seeing him walking upon the water), as I understand it, has no bearing on the question - or else I'm missing something. The whole phrase must be read as relating to the main verb.
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