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

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Sun Mar 03 2002 - 20:29:11 EST

At 2:02 PM -0800 3/3/02, c stirling bartholomew wrote:
>One more comment then I am off the the beach (sun is out!).

Must be nice up there in the great Northwest! Down here in the eastern
mountains it's cold and the wind is blasting away mightily!

>As I see it the semantic ambiguity of MAQHTEUSATE makes it nearly impossible
>to decide the sequence issue. If we view MAQHTEUSATE as an event that is
>over and done with in sort order, the view of the typical street evangelist,
>then it would be easy to see a sequence between MAQHTEUSATE and the
>following participles. However, not everyone is going to accept this
>reading. Some will want to think of MAQHTEUSATE as a process that takes
>years or even decades to bring to completion and they will accordingly go
>with the contemporaneous rather than the sequential reading of the
>participles. Obviously unless we are talking about the daily bath, BAPTIZW
>is going to be over and done with, but the process of MAQHTEUSATE may have
>just begun when BAPTIZW takes place, or it may be well on its way. And most
>all would agree that DIDASKW goes on for a life time.
>So the whole sequence issue hangs to some extent on the semantics of
>MAQHTEUSATE. Is it a discreet event or a process.
>The syntax of the finite verb followed by participles does very little if
>anything to help us solve this problem. It limits the range of possibilities
>but the argument is all about choosing one of the possible readings, so we
>can factor the syntax out of the discussion with little loss.
>Now I am going out.

Enjoy yourself.

I want to add one little suggestion; in my opinion a sequential reading of
the aorist + present tense forms would more likely be signalled by an
aorist participle and present infinitives: MAQHTEUSANTES BAPTIZETE ... KAI
DIDASKETE--but that notion of "making disciples" as a prior condition to
baptizing and teaching is not what I think the text indicates. I would
understand the sequence we're actually offered as (1) go forth and (2) turn
all nations into disciples (aor: get it done, however long it takes), (3)
baptizing and teaching (in the process of turning them into disciples).


Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months:: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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