More on Participles . . .

From: Thomas Bond (
Date: Wed Oct 29 1997 - 09:31:50 EST

While we are on the topic of participles . . .

The grammars I have read indicate that, with particples, it is the "kind"
or action, not "time" that is most important. But, they also indicate that
generally an aorist participle indicates action prior to that of the main
verb, a present contemporaneous, etc. However, this later "rule" -- I know
this is a loaded term -- is not always applied. What grammars indicate
"when" these options are not to be applied?

In this regard, I am currently doing research in Philippians, and when
reading the "hymn" -- some suggest it is -- in 2:6 ff, I was intrigued by
the use of participles: hOS EN MORFHi QEOU hUPARXWN . . . hHGHSATO . . .
ALLA hEAUTON EKENWSEN . . . LABWN . . . GENOMENOS, etc. These particples
are "normally"
translated as contemperaneous to the actions of the various verbs. Is
there any grammatical reason for doing so? Or, is this something akin to
the discussion taking place regarding Jn. 1? I admit to being a novice in
Greek and am not trying to raise a theological issue. It just seems to me
that there is inconsistency in determining when an aorist participle is
considered as indicating something as happening prior to the action of the
main verb, or when it is to be understood as contemperaneous.

Thomas Bond

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