aorist participles

Grammar questions which are not related to any specific text.
Jonathan Robie
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Re: aorist participles

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 3rd, 2015, 2:06 pm

First off, I went back and edited my message to make it clear that I'm annoyed at some commentaries, not at you.
I don't understand what difference in meaning is proposed in the original Greek, and get annoyed by discussions that seem to involve more theology than careful reading of the text. NOTE: The discussions I'm talking about are in the commentaries I looked at, not in this thread.
Now back to Glen ...
grogers wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:I'm not sure how to read the question, it feels like a category error. Nobody is inserting εἴ into the Greek text, and it doesn't exist in the English text. Whatever the Greek text means, it means it in Greek. Whatever the English text means, it means it in English. Here's what you said for Luke 9:25:
Perhaps I was misunderstood on this point. I was not suggesting that anyone had inserted εἴ into the Greek but that they had inserted 'if' into the English which seems somewhat unwarranted. Perhaps I am wrong and am missing the point entirely.
I don't know what you mean by "inserted" into the English. When you translate, you try to create a text that conveys the meaning of the original text as well as you can. Can you explain the difference in meaning between those translations that translate with "if" and those that do not? If you think they understand the underlying Greek text differently, in what way?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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grogers
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Re: aorist participles

Post by grogers » April 3rd, 2015, 2:18 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:I don't know what you mean by "inserted" into the English. When you translate, you try to create a text that conveys the meaning of the original text as well as you can. Can you explain the difference in meaning between those translations that translate with "if" and those that do not? If you think they understand the underlying Greek text differently, in what way?
I can but I am really not that interested in the difference in the meaning. What I am trying to determine is whether or not the KJV and Webster's translation are justified from a grammatical point of view in translating this as "If they shall fall away." I am trying to determine whether or not such a translation violates the integrity of the Greek.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: aorist participles

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 3rd, 2015, 2:28 pm

grogers wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:I don't know what you mean by "inserted" into the English. When you translate, you try to create a text that conveys the meaning of the original text as well as you can. Can you explain the difference in meaning between those translations that translate with "if" and those that do not? If you think they understand the underlying Greek text differently, in what way?
I can but I am really not that interested in the difference in the meaning. What I am trying to determine is whether or not the KJV and Webster's translation are justified from a grammatical point of view in translating this as "If they shall fall away." I am trying to determine whether or not such a translation violates the integrity of the Greek.
I don't think so, but that's really a question about the best way to translate this text into English, not about the meaning of the text.

Do you have a question about the meaning of the Greek text?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

grogers
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Re: aorist participles

Post by grogers » April 3rd, 2015, 2:36 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:First off, I went back and edited my message to make it clear that I'm annoyed at some commentaries, not at you.
I don't understand what difference in meaning is proposed in the original Greek, and get annoyed by discussions that seem to involve more theology than careful reading of the text. NOTE: The discussions I'm talking about are in the commentaries I looked at, not in this thread.
Now back to Glen ...
grogers wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:I'm not sure how to read the question, it feels like a category error. Nobody is inserting εἴ into the Greek text, and it doesn't exist in the English text. Whatever the Greek text means, it means it in Greek. Whatever the English text means, it means it in English. Here's what you said for Luke 9:25:
Perhaps I was misunderstood on this point. I was not suggesting that anyone had inserted εἴ into the Greek but that they had inserted 'if' into the English which seems somewhat unwarranted. Perhaps I am wrong and am missing the point entirely.
I don't know what you mean by "inserted" into the English. When you translate, you try to create a text that conveys the meaning of the original text as well as you can. Can you explain the difference in meaning between those translations that translate with "if" and those that do not? If you think they understand the underlying Greek text differently, in what way?
Can I, strictly from a point of grammar, read an aorist participle such as παραπεσόντας as a conditional verb when it is not preceded by εἴ? If so why and if not why?
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: aorist participles

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 3rd, 2015, 3:04 pm

grogers wrote:Can I, strictly from a point of grammar, read an aorist participle such as παραπεσόντας as a conditional verb when it is not preceded by εἴ? If so why and if not why?
Let me reword your question: Can an aorist participle such as παραπεσόντας indicate a condition on which the fulfillment of the idea indicated by the main verb depends?

I think it can. We've already seen that in Luke 9:25:
Luke 9:25 wrote:τί γὰρ ὠφελεῖται ἄνθρωπος κερδήσας τὸν κόσμον ὅλον ἑαυτὸν δὲ ἀπολέσας ἢ ζημιωθείς;
So I guess the next question is this: Does παραπεσόντας indicate a condition on which Ἀδύνατον γὰρ πάλιν ἀνακαινίζειν εἰς μετάνοιαν depends?

I think it does. Suppose they had been enlightened and tasted the heavenly gift and become sharers of the Holy Spirit and had tasted the good word of God and the powers of the coming age, but had not fallen away. Would we even be talking about whether or not they could be renewed again to repentance?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

grogers
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Re: aorist participles

Post by grogers » April 3rd, 2015, 4:46 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
grogers wrote:Can I, strictly from a point of grammar, read an aorist participle such as παραπεσόντας as a conditional verb when it is not preceded by εἴ? If so why and if not why?
Let me reword your question: Can an aorist participle such as παραπεσόντας indicate a condition on which the fulfillment of the idea indicated by the main verb depends?

I think it can. We've already seen that in Luke 9:25:
Luke 9:25 wrote:τί γὰρ ὠφελεῖται ἄνθρωπος κερδήσας τὸν κόσμον ὅλον ἑαυτὸν δὲ ἀπολέσας ἢ ζημιωθείς;
So I guess the next question is this: Does παραπεσόντας indicate a condition on which Ἀδύνατον γὰρ πάλιν ἀνακαινίζειν εἰς μετάνοιαν depends?

I think it does. Suppose they had been enlightened and tasted the heavenly gift and become sharers of the Holy Spirit and had tasted the good word of God and the powers of the coming age, but had not fallen away. Would we even be talking about whether or not they could be renewed again to repentance?
Thank you. That is what I was looking for all along. The difference I see between the text in Luke and the one in Hebrews is that the one in Luke is conditional even without adding the if in English. I do not see this to be the case in the Heb text in the midst of the other aorist participles. If παραπεσόντας can be read as conditional, can the other aorist verbs in these two verses also be read as conditional? Am I trying to over think this?
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: aorist participles

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 3rd, 2015, 6:34 pm

grogers wrote:Thank you. That is what I was looking for all along. The difference I see between the text in Luke and the one in Hebrews is that the one in Luke is conditional even without adding the if in English.
What do you mean by that? There's no such thing as a "conditional verb" in Greek grammar. Your interpretation of the way this verb is used is that it indicates a condition, and in an English translation, you might use the word "if" to indicate that. This is interpretation, and all translation involves interpretation, which is why translators are called interpreters.
grogers wrote:I do not see this to be the case in the Heb text in the midst of the other aorist participles. If παραπεσόντας can be read as conditional, can the other aorist verbs in these two verses also be read as conditional? Am I trying to over think this?
I do suspect that you are trying to overthink this, but I also think a lot of the commentaries are. Who is it impossible for? For these people:

Code: Select all

    [ τοὺς   
       [ ἅπαξ φωτισθέντας ]
       [ γευσαμένους τε τῆς δωρεᾶς τῆς ἐπουρανίου ]
       [ καὶ μετόχους γενηθέντας πνεύματος ἁγίου ]
       [ καὶ καλὸν γευσαμένους θεοῦ ῥῆμα δυνάμεις τε μέλλοντος αἰῶνος, ]
       --- time shift ---
       [ καὶ παραπεσόντας, ]
    ]
There's a time shift between the good spiritual times, then falling away. How do you express that in English? You could say that with "and who have fallen away", but if you want to be clear that there is a time shift you could say "and who have then fallen away", which clearly indicates the three times in view. If you don't mind representing an aorist with a present, you could say "and who then fall away", which is a little easier to read and feels like more natural English to me. I suspect that's also what the King James is trying to accomplish with the future and the conditional in "if they shall fall away", distinguish the "good times" from the time of falling away.

But there's no such thing as a conditional verb, this is all an attempt to convey what the Greek says in English, it involves interpretation, and something is always lost in translation.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

grogers
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Re: aorist participles

Post by grogers » April 3rd, 2015, 6:46 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
grogers wrote:Thank you. That is what I was looking for all along. The difference I see between the text in Luke and the one in Hebrews is that the one in Luke is conditional even without adding the if in English.
What do you mean by that? There's no such thing as a "conditional verb" in Greek grammar. Your interpretation of the way this verb is used is that it indicates a condition, and in an English translation, you might use the word "if" to indicate that. This is interpretation, and all translation involves interpretation, which is why translators are called interpreters.
grogers wrote:I do not see this to be the case in the Heb text in the midst of the other aorist participles. If παραπεσόντας can be read as conditional, can the other aorist verbs in these two verses also be read as conditional? Am I trying to over think this?
I do suspect that you are trying to overthink this, but I also think a lot of the commentaries are. Who is it impossible for? For these people:

Code: Select all

    [ τοὺς   
       [ ἅπαξ φωτισθέντας ]
       [ γευσαμένους τε τῆς δωρεᾶς τῆς ἐπουρανίου ]
       [ καὶ μετόχους γενηθέντας πνεύματος ἁγίου ]
       [ καὶ καλὸν γευσαμένους θεοῦ ῥῆμα δυνάμεις τε μέλλοντος αἰῶνος, ]
       --- time shift ---
       [ καὶ παραπεσόντας, ]
    ]
There's a time shift between the good spiritual times, then falling away. How do you express that in English? You could say that with "and who have fallen away", but if you want to be clear that there is a time shift you could say "and who have then fallen away", which clearly indicates the three times in view. If you don't mind representing an aorist with a present, you could say "and who then fall away", which is a little easier to read and feels like more natural English to me. I suspect that's also what the King James is trying to accomplish with the future and the conditional in "if they shall fall away", distinguish the "good times" from the time of falling away.

But there's no such thing as a conditional verb, this is all an attempt to convey what the Greek says in English, it involves interpretation, and something is always lost in translation.
Point taken. I supposed I should have said a conditional aorist. This is how Wallace regards it, "This participle implies a condition on which the fulfillment of the idea indicated by the main verb depends. Its force can be introduced by if in translation. This usage is fairly common." DBW. But every example he offered was in a present participle with the exception of one perfect and one aorist - Jn 9:25. Have I misunderstood Wallace?
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Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: aorist participles

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » April 3rd, 2015, 7:42 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote: I suspect that's also what the King James is trying to accomplish with the future and the conditional in "if they shall fall away", distinguish the "good times" from the time of falling away.
I don't think the "shall" in the KJV would be regarded as future, but as modal = "they certainly will". It was common usage in earlier English, and is still common in formal usage, such as in legal documents.
grogers wrote:Point taken. I supposed I should have said a conditional aorist. This is how Wallace regards it, "This participle implies a condition on which the fulfillment of the idea indicated by the main verb depends. Its force can be introduced by if in translation. This usage is fairly common." DBW. But every example he offered was in a present participle with the exception of one perfect and one aorist - Jn 9:25. Have I misunderstood Wallace?
I don't think you need Wallace to tell you how to say something in English, though!. As has already been said, the Greek passage describes an outcome for a group of people who have experienced certain blessings and then followed a certain course of behaviour. There are many different ways to describe that in English. Again, as has already been said pretty clearly, the translator's task is to try to reflect the essential meaning of the Greek, and this task will actually be impeded if you get too hung up on trying to produce a one-to-one word parallel between the two languages.

Perhaps it would be useful to ask yourself exactly what you understand the Greek text of this passage to be saying, and then sit down and see how many different ways you can express this idea in English accurately . It will most likely take you quite a while to exhaust the possibilities. From your list, you could then select what YOU think best reflects the Greek - but that doesn't mean it is the ONLY way or the MOST PRECISE way or the BEST way - or even the MOST ATTRACTIVE way to say it in English. Such an exercise, if you did it a few times for different passages, would demonstrate to you the 'art' of translating a passage faithfully.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: aorist participles

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 4th, 2015, 10:13 am

Thomas Dolhanty wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote: I suspect that's also what the King James is trying to accomplish with the future and the conditional in "if they shall fall away", distinguish the "good times" from the time of falling away.
I don't think the "shall" in the KJV would be regarded as future, but as modal = "they certainly will". It was common usage in earlier English, and is still common in formal usage, such as in legal documents.
grogers wrote:Point taken. I supposed I should have said a conditional aorist. This is how Wallace regards it, "This participle implies a condition on which the fulfillment of the idea indicated by the main verb depends. Its force can be introduced by if in translation. This usage is fairly common." DBW. But every example he offered was in a present participle with the exception of one perfect and one aorist - Jn 9:25. Have I misunderstood Wallace?
I don't think you need Wallace to tell you how to say something in English, though!. As has already been said, the Greek passage describes an outcome for a group of people who have experienced certain blessings and then followed a certain course of behaviour. There are many different ways to describe that in English. Again, as has already been said pretty clearly, the translator's task is to try to reflect the essential meaning of the Greek, and this task will actually be impeded if you get too hung up on trying to produce a one-to-one word parallel between the two languages.

Perhaps it would be useful to ask yourself exactly what you understand the Greek text of this passage to be saying, and then sit down and see how many different ways you can express this idea in English accurately . It will most likely take you quite a while to exhaust the possibilities. From your list, you could then select what YOU think best reflects the Greek - but that doesn't mean it is the ONLY way or the MOST PRECISE way or the BEST way - or even the MOST ATTRACTIVE way to say it in English. Such an exercise, if you did it a few times for different passages, would demonstrate to you the 'art' of translating a passage faithfully.
I'd put TD's comments here in this post as one of top-ten on B-Greek.
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