[b-greek] Re: go AND make

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Fri Mar 09 2001 - 12:45:31 EST

At 11:16 AM -0800 3/9/01, dixonps@juno.com wrote:
>On Fri, 9 Mar 2001 09:52:55 -0600 "Carl W. Conrad"
><cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu> writes:
>> I rather doubt that the KJV translators were wanting in
>> astuteness to understand and deal with a simple idiomatic
>> structure such as this. One of the tricks of translation into
>> English one learns fairly early in the game is that, where
>> Greek tends subordinate antecedent acts in a sequence
>> by use of a preceding aorist participle, English prefers
>> coodinated verbs.
>> Here's an example chosen more or less at random Mk 6:17
>> renders as " For Herod himself had sent forth and laid
>> hold upon John, and bound him in prison ... "
>> Greek simply tends to subordinate verbal notions to what's
>> key or central; English verbal notions tend to be strung together
>> in "run-on" sentences. That is, of course, an over-generalization,
>> but I think it's no fundamental misrepresentation.
>Yes, and some of us learned this phenomenon by the label of attendant
>circumstantial participle. It does seem, however, that the KJ
>translators minimized this, while modern translations are recognizing it
>more. Am I wrong?
>On another front, it does seem the KJ translators tended to render the
>aorist participle with a main verb as denoting action antecedent to the
>action of the main verb, while modern translators are tending to minimize
>that significance. Acts 19:2 comes to mind (among others). The KJ
>has, "Have ye received the Holy Spirit since ye believed?" Here the
>aorist participle does follow the main verb, ELABETE PISTEUSANTES. is
>that significant, versus preceding it? At any rate, most modern
>translations render the aorist participle here coincidentally with the
>action of the main verb, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you
>believed?" (NASB, NIV), or "when you became believers" (NRSV,NAB), etc.

It seems to me that we discussed this at length a couple years ago in
connection with an adverbial participial phrase--where? in 2 Peter? I
should look up the thread; my observation was that these adverbial
participial phrases (with aorist ptc. esp.) do tend to fall preponderantly
BEFORE the main verb and to indicate action antecedent to the main verb,
while those falling AFTER the main verb tend more to be explanatory. I'll
check and see if I can find that thread.

On the other hand, I really doubt that the KJV translators were much (if at
all) less sophisticated in their understanding of the Greek they were
translating than moderns. They may have been working with an inferior Greek
text in terms of the witnesses on which it was based, but I suspect that
they knew their Greek far better than most of us today know it (who deal
with it regularly, that is) and I am absolutely sure that they formulated
the meaning in far, far better English of their era than most of us can do
in our own era.

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