From: Carl W. Conrad (email@example.com)
Date: Wed May 31 2000 - 08:34:28 EDT
At 4:41 AM +0000 5/31/00, Emory Pitts wrote:
>TIS EUGENHS EPOREUQH EIS CWRAN MAKRAN
>LABEIN hEAUTWi BASILEIAN KAI UPOSTREYAI
>KAI EGENETO EN TWi EPANELQEIN
>AUTON LABONTA THN BASILEIAN
>I think most translate verse 15: "When he returned after receiving the
>Why do we translate this with the preposition "after?"
>Earlier in verse 12 we are told that he went away to receive this kingdom;
>so it makes sense to translate verse 15 with "after." I guess I am trying to
>understand why the Aorist LABONTA expresses antecedent time to another
>Aorist verb. Of course, I am not 100 percent sure that it modifies another
>Aorist, but it looks that way to me.
The circumstantial aorist participle does not, in fact, ALWAYS refer to an
action prior in time to the action of the main verb--but nevertheless it
does so more often than not--by far, so much so that a standard Greek
narrative construction is one or two circumstantial aorist participles in
agreement with the subject of a main verb in a pattern indicating the
sequential order of the actions. And yes, here there is the prior
information of vs. 12 that the person in question did in fact go into a far
country to receive his kingdom (it's usually assumed, I think, that this
context is taken from Archelaus' journey to Rome to be authorized to be
king of Judea after the death of Herod the Great); but even without that, I
think the assumption about 19:15 would be that LABONTA THN BASILEIAN must
refer to action preceding the return.
There is no hard and fast rule on this temporal relationship of an aorist
participle to another verb--there are occasions when it can NOT be assumed,
but nevertheless one ought probably to test that likelihood before
considering any alternative.
>I understand that EGENETO with EN TWi plus the Infinitive expresses
>contemporaneous time. Which I would then take as "It happened when he
>So the Aorist LABONTA happened before this. Is that what this Aorist
>Also, what is "it" happened referring to?
You need the whole text of Lk 19:15: KAI EGENETO EN TWi EPANELQEIN AUTON
LABONTA THN BASILEIAN KAI EIPEN FVNHQHNAI AUTWi TOUS DOULOUS TOUTOUS hOIS
DEDWKEI TO ARGURION, hINA GNOI TI DIEPRAGMATEUSANTO.
[KAI EGENETO ... KAI + narrative verb] is a Hebraism first seen in the
Greek OT (LXX) where it seems to represent Hebrew W' YHi ... W' ... "and it
came to pass that ..." and then frequently used in NT Greek narrative. A
form of this construction that is less jarring in terms of ordinary Greek
grammar and that is seen more frequently is: [EGENETO DE ... hOTI (+
narrative verb)]; here the hOTI clause is a noun clause functioning as the
subject of EGENETO, and I suppose that one would explain the grammar of
[KAI EGENETO ... KAI (+ narrative verb)] the same way--that the clause
introduced by the second KAI is the subject of EGENETO. Originally, I
think, this unhellenic coordination of clauses introduced by KAI in
narrative is an imitation in Greek of the typical Waw-consecutive
construction in Hebrew; it's one of the most distinct syntactic Semitisms
in the GNT. The best discussion of this that I've ever seen is in Conybeare
and Stock's grammatical introduction to _Selections from the Septuagint_,
##40ff. In fact, so useful is that grammatical introduction of Conybeare
and Stock's book that it's been published separately (by Zondervan) as _A
Grammar of Septuagint Greek_--while by no means thorough, it's a very
useful compendium of LXX grammar and helpful too, in my opinion, to
students of the NT wanting to get a grip of distinctive features of Jewish
Greek that derive from Hebrew usage.
>I realize my questions are fairly basic, but I really do appreciate
>responses from all of you!
Just pass it on when you get the chance!
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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