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

From: John M. Moe (
Date: Wed Oct 29 1997 - 12:34:29 EST

Carl W. Conrad wrote:


> The interesting thing here is that we have an aorist imperative and
> coordinated with it two present-tense participles. Now the aspect "geeks"
> may each of them have their own preferred way of explaing this, but it
> seems to me that the sense of the aorist imperative is a simple command:
> "this is what you are to achieve," Then the force of the two present
> participles, it seems to me, is that these are things that are to be done
> EACH AND EVERY TIME that one achieves the objective of making a
> disciple--so that the force of the present participles is to indicate
> repetition, even though the aorist imperative doesn't specify when or how
> often or how long the process of making disciples is to last. I'd try to
> express the force of it in this paraphrase: "Your mission is to make
> disciples, and every time that you do so, you should baptize and instruct
> the new disciple thoroughly in all the lore that you have received from
> me." Does that help?

Could it be that the participles are present because discipeling is not a one
time act (as our English "make disciples" would imply) but describes the whole
life of the church? As Carl so well stated "the sense of the aorist imperative
is a simple command: 'this is what you are to achieve,'" The Apostles and their
followers are to disciple, by baptizing and teaching. The church is continually
baptizing and teaching, and although baptism is a onetime activity for the
individual, the teaching goes on in life longtfor each individual disciple. To
be a disciple is to be in the learning process.
 The present participles lead me to believe that the "Great Commission" is
greater than it is commonly understood to be. I hear Christ giving the church
is marching orders to not only "MAKE disciples" but to "disciple" i.e. a life
long nurturing in the faith. This leads to the question of how you translate
MAQHTEUW in this relatively unusual transitive usage, but that's another

John M. Moe.

I apologize for the strange things my email program is inserting in my
messages. I thought I had cured it but apparently I have not. If it is too
much of a distraction let me know and I will refrain from posting till I find
out what the problem is. Thanks!

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:35 EDT