Re: Circumstantial Participles

From: Joe A. Friberg (
Date: Sat Sep 11 1999 - 11:34:52 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: Joseph Brian Tucker <>
To: Biblical Greek <>
> 1. If one understands PEPOIQWS as circumstantian what is the controlling
> verb?

I'm not sure exactly what set of grammatical terminology you are using (I
would use 'adverbial' rather than 'circumstantial', but I will try to answer
with respect to the terms you have stated.

The independent/controlling verb is in 1.3: EUXARISTW 'I give thanks...'

> 2. Which of the special functions of circumstantial participles is used
> here?
> a. condition
> b. concession
> c. cause
**> d. manner
'being confident' = 'with confidence in this, that...'
Actually, I would rather call this function 'accompaniement' or 'attendant
circumstance' (the latter being Greenlee's category): this is a
separate/distinct action of 'being confident', which is different from a
true 'manner', which would be merely 'I give thanks...confidently'.

> 3. Could you provide a translation of this participle for the other 4
> categories? It would help me in determining and understanding
> circumstantial participles.
> a. condition
'if I were confident...'
> b. concession
'altho I am confident'
> c. cause
'since I am confident' This would be an alternative, but my thinking is
that the 'causal' category is already pretty full with the EPI phrase in
1.5, and that the 'confidence' of 1.6 is in addition to, or alongside of the
giving of thanks, not merely motivating it.
> d. manner
> 4. How would you classify hO ENARXAMENOS?
adjectival, substantival; its own clause fucntions as subject of EPITELESEI
> 5. Based on the understanding of the participles what is the good work God
> is doing?
The 'good work' is an object of a participial clause which is the subject of
a subordinate hOTI clause w/in a subordinate participial clause (1.6) within
the sentence 1.3-6. I am not sure the participles themselves contribute to
identifying what the good work is--they contribute mainly to the structuring
of the sentence. Context is the key: I think 1.5 provides the answer: the
part the Philippians are playing in the gospel--as saved individuals--is the
good work. This work of God in their lives is exemplified by the evidence
Paul gives in 1.7.

Hope that helps.

God Bless!
Joe A. Friberg
Arlington, Texas
MA Linguistics
MA Theology candidate

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