verbless conditional Gal. 3:18 what mood?

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Stirling Bartholomew
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verbless conditional Gal. 3:18 what mood?

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » September 13th, 2012, 2:54 pm

Gal. 3:18 εἰ γὰρ ἐκ νόμου ἡ κληρονομία, οὐκέτι ἐξ ἐπαγγελίας· τῷ δὲ Ἀβραὰμ δι᾿ ἐπαγγελίας κεχάρισται ὁ θεός.

The protasis εἰ ... ἐκ νόμου ἡ κληρονομία is assumed to be false and is only stated so it can be shot down. The apodosis οὐκέτι ἐξ ἐπαγγελίας leads right into a contrary statement τῷ δὲ Ἀβραὰμ δι᾿ ἐπαγγελίας κεχάρισται ὁ θεός.

The unstated verb in the protasis would probably be in a secondary tense. But what mood is it in?
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Re: verbless conditional Gal. 3:18 what mood?

Post by timothy_p_mcmahon » September 13th, 2012, 11:24 pm

Aren't most CTFs indicative?
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Re: verbless conditional Gal. 3:18 what mood?

Post by Louis L Sorenson » September 13th, 2012, 11:42 pm

The text of Gal. 3:18 is verbless: εἰ γὰρ ἐκ νόμου ἡ κληρονομία [?????], οὐκέτι ἐξ ἐπαγγελίας [?????] · τῷ δὲ Ἀβραὰμ δι᾿ ἐπαγγελίας κεχάρισται ὁ θεός.

κατὰ Smyth: A Greek Grammar
Smyth §2292. Only one class of conditional sentences distinctly expresses non-fulfilment of the action
1. Present or Past
Protasis: εἰ with the imperfect indicative.
Apodosis: ἄν with the imperfect indicative.
εἰ ταῦτα ἐποίεις, καλῶς ἂν ἐποίεις if you were (now) doing this, you would be doing well; if you had been doing this, you would have been doing well.

2. Past
Protasis: εἰ with the aorist indicative.
Apodosis: ἄν with the aorist indicative.
εἰ ταῦτα ἐποίησας, καλῶς ἂν ἐποίησας if you had done this, you would have done well.
Present: Gal. 3:18 εἰ γὰρ ἐκ νόμου ἡ κληρονομία [ἦν], οὐκέτι ἐξ ἐπαγγελίας [ἂν ἦν]· τῷ δὲ Ἀβραὰμ δι᾿ ἐπαγγελίας κεχάρισται ὁ θεός.
Past: Gal. 3:18 εἰ γὰρ ἐκ νόμου ἡ κληρονομία [ἐγένετο] , οὐκέτι ἐξ ἐπαγγελίας [ἂν ἐγένετο] · τῷ δὲ Ἀβραὰμ δι᾿ ἐπαγγελίας κεχάρισται ὁ θεός.

οὐκέτι in the apodosis would imply the indicative, but the presence of ἂν brings the whole contingency into the realm of possiblity/impossibility - and hence seem to imply the subjunctive. But Greek used the indicative. But are there any examples of contrary to fact statements which have mixed moods?
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: verbless conditional Gal. 3:18 what mood?

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » September 14th, 2012, 2:16 pm

Ok, the indicative is used in contrary to fact conditionals but this passage lacks verbs in both the protasis and apodosis. There is no ἂν in the apodosis. There is a follow on clause τῷ δὲ Ἀβραὰμ δι᾿ ἐπαγγελίας κεχάρισται ὁ θεός which contradicts the hypothetical scenario set out in the conditional construction. So we have a few standard elements but nothing like a prototypical form of the contrary to fact conditional.

The optative following εἰ in protasis would not serve in this context since the optative (assuming it was still in use) didn't have the appropriate semantic profile for a vehement contradiction, yes? no? not sure about this.

thank you Louis and Timothy.
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David Lim
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Re: verbless conditional Gal. 3:18 what mood?

Post by David Lim » September 15th, 2012, 12:15 am

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:Gal. 3:18 εἰ γὰρ ἐκ νόμου ἡ κληρονομία, οὐκέτι ἐξ ἐπαγγελίας· τῷ δὲ Ἀβραὰμ δι᾿ ἐπαγγελίας κεχάρισται ὁ θεός.

The protasis εἰ ... ἐκ νόμου ἡ κληρονομία is assumed to be false and is only stated so it can be shot down. The apodosis οὐκέτι ἐξ ἐπαγγελίας leads right into a contrary statement τῷ δὲ Ἀβραὰμ δι᾿ ἐπαγγελίας κεχάρισται ὁ θεός.

The unstated verb in the protasis would probably be in a secondary tense. But what mood is it in?
I took it to be in the present indicative in both. In general I think most such statements with ellipsis of the copulative can be understood to be in the present indicative, which is the most generic, while using an explicit copulative would specify more precisely. See Matt 6:23, Rom 11:6, 1 Cor 15:13-17,29, Gal 2:17 for counter-factual conditions and consequences that use present indicatives, whether explicit or omitted. Thus I take Gal 3:18 as referring to the "generic inheritance" as being out of promise, giving Abraham's inheritance as a counter-example to the contrary hypothesis that "inheritance is out of law"; "If inheritance is truly out of law, it can no longer be out of promise. But to Abraham God granted it through promise."
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Re: verbless conditional Gal. 3:18 what mood?

Post by cwconrad » September 15th, 2012, 8:19 am

David Lim wrote:
Stirling Bartholomew wrote:Gal. 3:18 εἰ γὰρ ἐκ νόμου ἡ κληρονομία, οὐκέτι ἐξ ἐπαγγελίας· τῷ δὲ Ἀβραὰμ δι᾿ ἐπαγγελίας κεχάρισται ὁ θεός.

The protasis εἰ ... ἐκ νόμου ἡ κληρονομία is assumed to be false and is only stated so it can be shot down. The apodosis οὐκέτι ἐξ ἐπαγγελίας leads right into a contrary statement τῷ δὲ Ἀβραὰμ δι᾿ ἐπαγγελίας κεχάρισται ὁ θεός.

The unstated verb in the protasis would probably be in a secondary tense. But what mood is it in?
I took it to be in the present indicative in both. In general I think most such statements with ellipsis of the copulative can be understood to be in the present indicative, which is the most generic, while using an explicit copulative would specify more precisely. See Matt 6:23, Rom 11:6, 1 Cor 15:13-17,29, Gal 2:17 for counter-factual conditions and consequences that use present indicatives, whether explicit or omitted. Thus I take Gal 3:18 as referring to the "generic inheritance" as being out of promise, giving Abraham's inheritance as a counter-example to the contrary hypothesis that "inheritance is out of law"; "If inheritance is truly out of law, it can no longer be out of promise. But to Abraham God granted it through promise."
Counterfactual conditions in Greek, as was noted in the original query, regularly have secondary indicative tenses in both protasis and apodosis -- either imperfect ("present" counterfactual) or aorist ("past" counterfactual). A present tense would in that case be out of question here. I think ἦν is called for here in both clauses: "If inheritance were based on Law, then it would not be based on promise. But the fact is that God gave his grace to Abraham by means of a promise."

On the other hand, if we assume that this is not a counterfactual condition at all, but a simple condition with no implications: (If x, then y). "If the inheritance is based on law, then it isn't based on promise. But ... " The present indicative is appropriate then, and indeed no verb is more commonly elliptical than ἐστι(ν).
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Louis L Sorenson
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Re: verbless conditional Gal. 3:18 what mood?

Post by Louis L Sorenson » September 15th, 2012, 8:35 am

Funk, A Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek §857.4
Contrary to classical usage, ἄv is sometimes omitted in the apodosis:
(10) οὐκ εἶχες ἐξουσίαν κατ’ ἐμοῦ οὐδεμίαν,
εἰ μὴ ἦv δεδομένον σοι ἄνωθεν Jn 19:11
You would have no power over me,
unless it had been given you from above
Cf. Jn 15:22, 24; Gal 4:15.
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Re: verbless conditional Gal. 3:18 what mood?

Post by Stephen Carlson » September 15th, 2012, 11:52 am

Louis L Sorenson wrote:Funk, A Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek §857.4
Contrary to classical usage, ἄv is sometimes omitted in the apodosis:
(Cf. Jn 15:22, 24; Gal 4:15.
Some later MSS of Gal will supply the ἄv in 4:15.
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David Lim
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Re: verbless conditional Gal. 3:18 what mood?

Post by David Lim » September 16th, 2012, 12:24 am

cwconrad wrote:[...]

On the other hand, if we assume that this is not a counterfactual condition at all, but a simple condition with no implications: (If x, then y). "If the inheritance is based on law, then it isn't based on promise. But ... " The present indicative is appropriate then, and indeed no verb is more commonly elliptical than ἐστι(ν).
Yes this is what I meant, except that I thought the statement after this rendered the condition counter-factual at least from the writer's perspective. To clarify, do you consider the conditions in 1 Cor 15:13,16 to be counter-factual?
[1 Cor 15:13,16] ει δε αναστασις νεκρων ουκ εστιν ουδε χριστος εγηγερται [...] ει γαρ νεκροι ουκ εγειρονται ουδε χριστος εγηγερται
From the writer's perspective, the consequences are patently false, hence aren't the conditions called counter-factual?
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Re: verbless conditional Gal. 3:18 what mood?

Post by cwconrad » September 16th, 2012, 5:13 am

David Lim wrote:
cwconrad wrote:[...]

On the other hand, if we assume that this is not a counterfactual condition at all, but a simple condition with no implications: (If x, then y). "If the inheritance is based on law, then it isn't based on promise. But ... " The present indicative is appropriate then, and indeed no verb is more commonly elliptical than ἐστι(ν).
Yes this is what I meant, except that I thought the statement after this rendered the condition counter-factual at least from the writer's perspective. To clarify, do you consider the conditions in 1 Cor 15:13,16 to be counter-factual?
[1 Cor 15:13,16] ει δε αναστασις νεκρων ουκ εστιν ουδε χριστος εγηγερται [...] ει γαρ νεκροι ουκ εγειρονται ουδε χριστος εγηγερται
From the writer's perspective, the consequences are patently false, hence aren't the conditions called counter-factual?
No, I would say that neither Gal 3:19 nor 1 Cor 15:13, 16 is counter-factual. By definition counter-factual constructions are imaginary and hypothetical, as "If the inheritance were based on law, then it would not be based on promise." In traditional English, counterfactual conditions require a verb in the subjunctive. Or so I was taught; it's possible that linguistic change -- i.e., popular usage -- has erased that distinction in between counterfactual and simple conditional constructionss over the years. FWIW, I note that the Wikipedia article asserts this distinction:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterfa ... onditional
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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