Re: Some questions on the usage of participles

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Apr 26 1999 - 12:17:12 EDT

At 11:42 AM -0500 4/26/99, Moon-Ryul Jung wrote:
>Carl, what would you say about the following statements from p. 1105,
>A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research,
>"(b) Attributive Participle
>(a) Anarthrous. The article is not of course necessary with the
>attributive participle any more than with any other attributive adjective.
>..... This construction is not so common ..., and yet it is not wholly
>absent from the NT. ... It is not always easy to draw the line between
>the anarthrous attributive participle and the predicate participle
>of additional statement."

While I won't say I'd never disagree with Robertson, I have the greatest
respect for his work and would always want to look carefully at what he has
to say before commenting; fortunately I have the volume before me and was
able to check out the section you're referring to. And I have no reason to
dispute what he says: there are some pretty clear examples like hUDWR ZWN;
on the other hand, there are instances that are not so clear. I think the
individual instances must be judged on their own merits. I notice that
Robertson lists here that interesting instance in Lk 6:48: hOMOIOS ESTIN
ANQRWPWi OIKODOMOUNTI OIKIAN, hOS...., where I raised the question whether
an Aramaic construction might conceivably underly our Greek formulation. In
general, I think I'd probably want to say that, IF you can convert the
participle into a relative clause identifying the noun with which the
participle agrees, it may well be an attributive participle. But I think it
is safer to assume, until one has examined the particular instance
carefully, that a participle anarthrously attached to a substantive is
predicative rather than attributive.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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