Revelation 1:1 ἀποστείλας Nominative Verb?

Grammar questions which are not related to any specific text.
joshua.hough
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Revelation 1:1 ἀποστείλας Nominative Verb?

Post by joshua.hough » May 5th, 2019, 2:49 pm

I am new to studying Greek and have been doing so on my own for about 6 months now. I am more interested in learning what the different pieces of of grammar mean than in simply finding an English translation.

I am currently using Biblehub's Lexicon to pick up the different pieces of Greek grammar that each word's form entails, and then picking the word apart to find out what it means. I hope to one day be able to read Greek, but this is my first stepping stone on my way there. Anyways to the question!

Biblehub shows the following
αποστειλας verb - aorist active participle - nominative singular masculine
apostello ap-os-tel'-lo: set apart, i.e. (by implication) to send out (properly, on a mission) literally or figuratively -- put in, send (away, forth, out), set (at liberty).

The aorist participle was tricky for me to find out, but all in all I think I have a pretty good grasp on it. What I am struggling with is I saw that the verb is active so I went to see which noun or pronoun is the subject of the verb and thus doing the action of sending out. I expected either τοῦ or ἀγγέλου to have nominative within its descrtiption to mark the subject of the verb αποστειλας, but neither do. Instead, as I posted above, αποστειλας itself says nominative singular masculine.

I am not sure what this means for a verb itself to be nominative and thought this was a form only held for nouns and pronouns.

Any help? Thank you
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Peng Huiguo
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Re: Revelation 1:1 ἀποστείλας Nominative Verb?

Post by Peng Huiguo » May 6th, 2019, 4:59 am

ἀποστείλας works in tandem with ἐσήμανεν as an adverbial participle, saying how the ἐσήμανεν was done (sent out thru an angel). There's a similar expression in 1 Cor 4:12

Code: Select all

κοπιῶμεν (verb) ἐργαζόμενοι (participle) ταῖς ἰδίαις χερσίν
We toil         by working               with our own hands
This type of participle agrees in case, number and gender with its subject, and θεός matches it. Furthermore ἐσήμανεν seems to be a co-action of the earlier ἔδωκεν which has θεός as subject.

A participle is like a verb used as an adjective, so, like "a sitting duck". And adjective/participle can function like a noun, like "the sitting is long and tedious", except a greek participle more often refers not to the action itself but to the subject of the action ("the sitting one"). You can sense some of this in the above verses.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Revelation 1:1 ἀποστείλας Nominative Verb?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » May 6th, 2019, 6:22 am

motrcolt wrote:
May 5th, 2019, 2:49 pm
I am new to studying Greek and have been doing so on my own for about 6 months now. I am more interested in learning what the different pieces of of grammar mean than in simply finding an English translation.

I am currently using Biblehub's Lexicon to pick up the different pieces of Greek grammar that each word's form entails, and then picking the word apart to find out what it means. I hope to one day be able to read Greek, but this is my first stepping stone on my way there. Anyways to the question!

Biblehub shows the following
αποστειλας verb - aorist active participle - nominative singular masculine
apostello ap-os-tel'-lo: set apart, i.e. (by implication) to send out (properly, on a mission) literally or figuratively -- put in, send (away, forth, out), set (at liberty).

The aorist participle was tricky for me to find out, but all in all I think I have a pretty good grasp on it. What I am struggling with is I saw that the verb is active so I went to see which noun or pronoun is the subject of the verb and thus doing the action of sending out. I expected either τοῦ or ἀγγέλου to have nominative within its descrtiption to mark the subject of the verb αποστειλας, but neither do. Instead, as I posted above, αποστειλας itself says nominative singular masculine.

I am not sure what this means for a verb itself to be nominative and thought this was a form only held for nouns and pronouns.

Any help? Thank you
First, I strongly advise you to acquire a beginning grammar, a teaching textbook, and work through it systematically from beginning to end. That will give you the elements needed to understand the language. There are plenty of resources online that will help you with this, including the textkit forum (similar to this forum, but with attention to all periods of Greek, and for a bonus, Latin).

https://www.textkit.com/

 Ἀποκάλυψις Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἣν ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ ὁ θεὸς δεῖξαι τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ ἃ δεῖ γενέσθαι ἐν τάχει, καὶ ἐσήμανεν ἀποστείλας διὰ τοῦ ἀγγέλου αὐτοῦ τῷ δούλῳ αὐτοῦ Ἰωάννῃ...

ἀπεστειίλας modifies the subject of ἐσήμανεν, which is θεός.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Revelation 1:1 ἀποστείλας Nominative Verb?

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » May 6th, 2019, 4:53 pm

motrcolt wrote:
May 5th, 2019, 2:49 pm
I am new to studying Greek and have been doing so on my own for about 6 months now.
A note on the Apocalypse: It isn't standard Greek. The syntax is artificial, somewhat less difficult for english speakers than most Koine. It was the first book I read in Koine. Wouldn't suggest it for others.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

Shirley Rollinson
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Re: Revelation 1:1 ἀποστείλας Nominative Verb?

Post by Shirley Rollinson » May 8th, 2019, 12:30 am

motrcolt wrote:
May 5th, 2019, 2:49 pm
I am new to studying Greek and have been doing so on my own for about 6 months now. I am more interested in learning what the different pieces of of grammar mean than in simply finding an English translation. - - - -
Welcome to B-Greek - If you'd like to build up facility in grammar you are very welcome to try the Online textbook - it's free, and I hope it takes things gently enough for students to start reading and understanding what they read without too much difficulty.
It starts at http://www.drshirley.org/greek/textbook02/index.html
Also, everyone in B-Greek is always ready to help. We've all been beginners too :-)
Shirley Rollinson
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Revelation 1:1 ἀποστείλας Nominative Verb?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » May 9th, 2019, 10:11 pm

Shirley Rollinson wrote:
May 8th, 2019, 12:30 am

Also, everyone in B-Greek is always ready to help. We've all been beginners too :-)
Shirley Rollinson
Now that's a good reminder! Personally, I found beginning Greek not nearly as smooth going as Latin, but I felt the rewards outweighed the struggle, and stuck with it. I was right.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Jason Hare
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Re: Revelation 1:1 ἀποστείλας Nominative Verb?

Post by Jason Hare » May 14th, 2019, 12:15 am

motrcolt wrote:
May 5th, 2019, 2:49 pm
I am new to studying Greek and have been doing so on my own for about 6 months now. I am more interested in learning what the different pieces of of grammar mean than in simply finding an English translation.
Hi, “Motrcolt.” Welcome to B-Greek!

Truly, the journey into the Greek language is different for each one of us. Six months isn’t a lot of time to have been dealing with the language, and so you’re still at the beginning of what I hope will be a useful and meaningful trip on the road of life. (I hope I’m not mixing too many metaphors there!)

It’s a good idea to start right from the beginning, which would be working through a basic grammar book, as our friends Barry and Shirly have suggested above. When you’ve got a grasp of basic grammar, you’ll have a lot of your questions already answered by experience with the language. And then your questions about specific verses will tend to be more directed by the grammar and lexis.

You may have heard of Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek. It has a lot of resources associated with it (including a workbook, vocabulary flashcards, a free computer program for vocabulary review, and audio-visual lessons that can be purchased) that will allow you to make a lot of progress while being self-taught.

Shirly has put together a grammar for beginners, too, which she linked above.

As she said, we were all beginners at one time, and now is YOUR time! It’s great to be a beginner, and you should feel free to ask questions about Greek here on the forum.

I just wanted to join everyone in welcoming you and hoping that you push forward with the language. We’re all about promoting learning of Greek around here!
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Jason A. Hare
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Jason Hare
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Re: Revelation 1:1 ἀποστείλας Nominative Verb?

Post by Jason Hare » May 14th, 2019, 1:35 am

motrcolt wrote:
May 5th, 2019, 2:49 pm
The aorist participle was tricky for me to find out, but all in all I think I have a pretty good grasp on it. What I am struggling with is I saw that the verb is active so I went to see which noun or pronoun is the subject of the verb and thus doing the action of sending out. I expected either τοῦ or ἀγγέλου to have nominative within its descrtiption to mark the subject of the verb αποστειλας, but neither do. Instead, as I posted above, αποστειλας itself says nominative singular masculine.

I am not sure what this means for a verb itself to be nominative and thought this was a form only held for nouns and pronouns.

Any help? Thank you
It’s a great idea to post the text of the verse that you’re quoting. In this case, Barry has already quoted the verse in his response above. I’ll do myself the favor of posting it again here:

Rev. 1:1 (NA28)
Ἀποκάλυψις Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἣν ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ ὁ θεὸς δεῖξαι τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ ἃ δεῖ γενέσθαι ἐν τάχει, καὶ ἐσήμανεν ἀποστείλας διὰ τοῦ ἀγγέλου αὐτοῦ τῷ δούλῳ αὐτοῦ Ἰωάννῃ...

The question comes directly from the phrase καὶ ἐσήμανεν ἀποστείλας διὰ τοῦ ἀγγέλου αὐτοῦ τῷ δούλῳ αὐτοῦ Ἰωάννῃ. The word ἥν should be assumed from the previous clause, supplying the direct object. We can, for our purposes, place αὐτήν in the clause and get the following:

[ὁ θεὸς] ἐσήμανεν [ταύτην τὴν ἀποκάλυψιν] ἀποστείλας [ἀυτὴν] διὰ τοῦ ἀγγέλου αὐτοῦ τῷ δούλῷ αὐτοῦ Ἰωάννῃ.
[God] communicated [this revelation], sending [it] through his angel to his servant John.

The main verb of this specific relative clause is ἐσήμανεν. It is offering more details about which revelation (ἀποκάλυψις) is under discussion here.

Participles hang on main verbs, giving circumstantial information and creating new clauses that are dependent on the main clause. The participle is declined like an adjective (since it is a “verbal adjective”), though it is a form of the verb.

In this case, the subject of the relative clauses is ὁ θεός, just as we see in the first of the finite verbs in the relative clause (ἔδωκεν). Both of these verbs have the same subject (“which God gave... and signified/communicated...”). The participle thus hangs on “signified/communicated,” indicating how God is stated to have communicated the revelation, sending it through his angel to his servant.

Hope this is helpful.
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Jason A. Hare
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Shirley Rollinson
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Re: Revelation 1:1 ἀποστείλας Nominative Verb?

Post by Shirley Rollinson » May 14th, 2019, 9:00 pm

motrcolt wrote:
May 5th, 2019, 2:49 pm
- - - - snip snip - - -
Biblehub shows the following
αποστειλας verb - aorist active participle - nominative singular masculine
apostello ap-os-tel'-lo: set apart, i.e. (by implication) to send out (properly, on a mission) literally or figuratively -- put in, send (away, forth, out), set (at liberty).

The aorist participle was tricky for me to find out, but all in all I think I have a pretty good grasp on it. What I am struggling with is I saw that the verb is active so I went to see which noun or pronoun is the subject of the verb and thus doing the action of sending out. I expected either τοῦ or ἀγγέλου to have nominative within its descrtiption to mark the subject of the verb αποστειλας, but neither do. Instead, as I posted above, αποστειλας itself says nominative singular masculine.

I am not sure what this means for a verb itself to be nominative and thought this was a form only held for nouns and pronouns.

Any help? Thank you
Participles are derived from verbs - but they are used like adjectives. "the singing canary" "a playing child"
and my favorite - from school Latin years and years ago "the 'having-gone-out' cat wants to come in again." - Greek and Latin do that sort of thing much more frequently than English 'having-gone-out' is the equivalent of an aorist participle derived from "go out". So the participles decline like adjectives and "agree" with the noun they describe.
αποστειλας has that particular ending because it follows a 3rd declension pattern. The person having done the sending out will be in the nominative singular and is the subject of the main verb in the sentence
Hope that helps,
Shirley Rollinson
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joshua.hough
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Re: Revelation 1:1 ἀποστείλας Nominative Verb?

Post by joshua.hough » May 19th, 2019, 1:48 pm

Thank you for all of the replies!

I have read each of them and have begun looking at the online textbook provided by Shirley for reference. Apologies for not following proper protocol with putting the full verse in the original post.

Back to the subject matter, when I took a class on the book of Revelation in college by a professor that of course spoke and read Greek, he taught on Revelation 1:1 that the verse gives a succession of the revelation, being handed down from God->Jesus->Angel->John->Bond-Servants.

Text: Ἀποκάλυψις Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἣν ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ ὁ Θεός, δεῖξαι τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ ἃ δεῖ γενέσθαι ἐν τάχει, καὶ ἐσήμανεν ἀποστείλας διὰ τοῦ ἀγγέλου αὐτοῦ, τῷ δούλῳ αὐτοῦ Ἰωάννῃ,

NIV Translation: The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,

So it seems that you are all in agreement that adverbial participle ἐσήμανεν ἀποστείλας has the subject of Θεός,. So in the NIV translation "He made it known by sending his angel" the He and his refer to God Θεός, and not Jesus Christ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ,. So according to the text, there are really two separate successions: God->Jesus and then God->Angel->John->Bond Servants according to this verse.

Not that I do not trust your take on this verse, but what exactly is it that shows that that ἐσήμανεν ἀποστείλας is talking about God and not Jesus. Is it simply that Θεός has the nominative form marking the subject while Ἰησοῦ and Χριστοῦ, have the genitive form showing possession, or are there additional clues that point towards this.

Thanks again.
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