From: Ronald Ross (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Mar 23 1997 - 02:25:26 EST
Eric Weiss wrote:
> Stanley Porter's "rule" for periphrastic participles confuses me. In his
> IDIOMS OF THE GREEK NEW TESTAMENT he states (pp. 45ff.):
> "In determining whether a given instance of EIMI and a participle is
> periphrastic, it is useful to keep in mind that no elements may
> intervene between the auxiliary verb [EIMI] and the participle except
> for those which complete or directly modify the participle (not the verb
> EIMI). Hence 2 Cor. 2.17 (OU ... ESMEN hWS hOI POLLOI
> KAPHLEUONTES TON LOGON TOU QEOU [we are not like many, peddling the word
I can see Porter's point in 2 Cor. 2.17, because the verb ESMEN seems to
me to belong to another clause: "We ARE not like many . . ."
> of God; NOT: we are not peddling the word of God, as do many]) and Lk.
> 1.21 (HNhO LAOS PROSDOKWN TON ZACARIAN [the people were there,
> expecting Zacharias]) are not periphrastic constructions, since in each
> case the grammatical subject is placed between the auxiliary verb and
> the participle."
However this example seems to be clearly a periphrastic construction.
Curiously, in Porter's translation of the passage he sticks in the word
"there". If that is correct, then he could assume that here too the
verb EIMI is in a different clause (The people WERE there . . .) But I
don't see where he gets the word "there" from. The passage seems to me
to say, "The people were expecting Zechariah . . ." and seems plainly
periphrastic. I also don't know why he says that such cases cannot be
periphrastic because the "grammatical subject is placed between the
auxiliary verb and the participle." So what? I presume that this
passage could have either order:
HN hO LAOS PROSDOKWN TON SAXARIAN or hO LAOS HN PROSDOKWN TON SAXARIAN
(and doubtless several other word orders) and be equally grammatical
(though there may be pragmatic differences), and I don't see why the
particular placement of the grammatical subject in a language like Greek
is going to determine whether or not the phrase is periphrastic. The
RSV, NRSV, NEB, NIV, TEV, RVR (Spanish) and others all translate this as
a periphrastic construction, which is not proof, but it is still
> Zerwick (GRAMMATICAL ANALYSIS) and Perschbacher (REFRESH YOUR GREEK)
> consider the Lk. 1.21 participle periphrastic, as does Friberg's
> Analytical GNT (which also considers the 2 Cor. 2.17 participle
> periphrastic). I also find Porter's "rule" failing at Luke 2:33 (KAI HN
> hO PATHR AUTOU KAI hH MHTHR QAUMAZONTES EPI TOIS LALOUMENOIS PERI
> AUTOU), for it seems to me that HN...QAUMAZONTES must be periphrastic
> (even though it seems to follow the same pattern as Luke 1.21) - unless
> I misunderstand what Porter is saying. Not surprisingly, Zerwick and
> Perschbacher and Friberg consider Luke 2.33 periphrastic.
I agree with you.
Department of Linguistics
University of Costa Rica
UBS translation consultant
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