Re: Mt 28:19a, attendant circumstantial partic.

From: Paul F. Evans (
Date: Wed Oct 29 1997 - 08:20:49 EST

Paul, Carl, et. al.,

Paul Wrote:

> "2. Attendant Circumstance: translate as finite verb + and (it
> describes
> an action that, in some sense, is coordinate with the finite
> verb;
> "piggy-backs" on mood of main verb); five structural clues
> usually
> found:
> - tense of participle: aorist
> - tense of main verb: aorist
> - mood of main verb: imperative or indicative
> - participle precedes the main verb (both in word
> order and time of event)
> - frequent in narrative, infrequent elsewhere" (p. 759)

I am wondering from what Carl said earlier if I have this right in my mind.
 I am beginning to see from the discussion that we are to understand the
participles in a similar way to a string of English finite verbs, so that
the action expressed by them is on the "same level" (I don't know of a more
scholarly way to express this) as that of the main verb in the Greek. Am I

In this case, MAQHTEUSATE, BAPTIZONTES, and DIDASKONTES express the mission
in a threefold sense. The mission is to make disciples, baptize and to
teach. What if anything is the effect of the present tense of the
participles, other than linking their action as contemporaneous to that of
the finite verb? In other words is there anything inherently durative
about the action expressed by the participles that is not expressed in the
aorist verb (a suggestion made by someone on the list earlier)? Or are we
to understand the action of the particples in light of the tense of the
main verb, since the present simply links the participles to the verb in a
particular way but says nothing about whether the action is durative or
punctiliar? If these are attendant circumstance participles, exactly what
does that mean? That the action of the participles supports the main verb
(close to instrumental), or that the action of the participles is simply
connected with the verb but "independent" of it in all practical senses.

I am trying to grasp to what extent participles depend upon the main verb,
and if there is any independent character about them. This may be a naive
suggestion, but I have heard many arguments for the dependence of
participles which then went on to make wild assertions about them as though
they expressed a great deal of independent quality. (I am asking about
participles in general not only this particular case.) It seems to me that
one cannot have it both ways!

Paul F. Evans
Thunder Swamp Pentecostal Holiness Church
MT. Olive


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