[b-greek] Re: Matthew 28:19,20

From: Kevin Cauley (cauley@airmail.net)
Date: Sun Mar 03 2002 - 00:56:43 EST

Respectfully, could you please cite a grammar or some other grammatical
authority that substantiates that viewpoint? (or even a clear example in
another passage of the GNT would be good) I know of several grammars that
say the action of the present participle takes place at the same time as the
action of the lead verb. I would be interested in studying a grammar that
states that the action of present active plural participles can be
subsequent to the main verb and then in a sequential manner.

Not to be a smart aleck, but I (sincerely) thought that it was plural
because it referred back to the fact of the main verb's being plural and
that the participle simply had to agree to the main verb. I was not aware
that the plurality of the participle itself could contain direct information
on how the participle is to be construed in its relationship to the main
verb (whew). Could you elaborate a little further on how the participles
being plural could imply sequential action (or did I miss something?)?

BTW, I am honestly trying to ascertain the relationships without trying to
put my or anyone else's theology in the mix. I am happy to examine all
possible *grammatical* ways that this could be construed.

Kevin Cauley

-----Original Message-----
From: B. Ward Powers [mailto:bwpowers@optusnet.com.au]
Sent: Saturday, March 02, 2002 9:50 PM
To: Biblical Greek
Subject: [b-greek] Re: Matthew 28:19,20

B-greekers all,

>On Fri, 1 Mar 2002 17:28:08 -0600 "Kevin Cauley" <cauley@airmail.net>
> >
> > Question: How do the participles BAPTIZONTES and DIDASKONTES relate
> > to the main verb MAQHTEUSATE from a strictly grammatical standpoint?
> > No theology please, just grammar/syntax.
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Kevin Cauley

I don't think it is possible. I don't think you can discuss this question
at all without one's theology playing a part. I will explain why.

I see this differently from the others who have responded so far.

>At 09:15 PM 020301 -0700, lance w seevers wrote:
>I would think that the present tense of BAPTIZONTES and DIDASKONTES
>indicates action that is concurrent with that of the main verb
>Walt Seevers

Instead, I see it as sequential action, consequent to the main verb
MAQHTEUSATE. First you make disciples, then those who become disciples are
to be baptized, and then they are to be taught. BAPTIZONTES is plural and
present tense because it is repeated action, serially with different
people. As people become disciples they are baptized. Then DIDASKONTES. The
baptized i.e. the recognized members of the Christian community, are to be
taught the Christian faith, what to believe, how to live.

So the verbs form a sequence of what is to happen: make disciples, then
baptize them, and then an ongoing program of teaching them. Present
participles after the main verb can be used to indicate a sequence of
events in this way.

Other contributions to this discussion have urged upon us the explanation
that the participles are instrumental: you make disciples BY MEANS OF
baptizing them and teaching them. I accept that GRAMMATICALLY this is a
possible interpretation of the main verb and present participles, but this
choice of interpretation is not grammatically REQUIRED, and I suggest
arises out of one's theology, not from the Greek grammar.

My theology (based upon my understanding of the overall teaching of
Scripture) is different, and does not include that baptism MAKES disciples
but rather that baptism is an AFFIRMATION and RECOGNITION that a person has
ALREADY become a disciple.

Now the last thing that I want is to inaugurate a theological discussion
about the relationship between baptism and becoming a disciple. That would
be a total no-no for this list. But I want to point out that some of the
contributions so far are presuming a particular theological stance, and
that this is influencing interpretations of the Greek. So let us be aware
when this is happening.

It seems to me that these participles COULD be taken as contemporaneous
with the main verb, even as indicating the INSTRUMENT for achieving the
activity of the main verb, or else as following the main verb in a sequence
(as I would hold), and the choice between these alternatives cannot be made
on grammatical grounds (for grammatically they are all valid possibilities)
but will be chosen on the basis of one's theological bias.

And I reckon that is about as far as we can go grammatically, before we get
into a discussion in which we start to defend our respective theological
viewpoints about baptism and its role.

And like everyone else, I then have my bias to defend.



Rev Dr B. Ward Powers Phone (International): 61-2-8714-7255
259A Trafalgar Street Phone (Australia): (02) 8714-7255
PETERSHAM NSW 2049 email: bwpowers@optusnet.com.au
AUSTRALIA. Director, Tyndale College

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