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An Analysis of the Attributive Participle and the Relative Clause in the Greek New Testament

by Michael E. Hayes (Author)
Monographs XXVI, 382 Pages
Series: Studies in Biblical Greek, Volume 18

Summary

Many New Testament Greek grammarians assert that the Greek attributive participle and the Greek relative clause are "equivalent." Michael E. Hayes disproves those assertions in An Analysis of the Attributive Participle and the Relative Clause in the Greek New Testament, thoroughly presenting the linguistic categories of restrictivity and nonrestrictivity and analyzing the restrictive/nonrestrictive nature of every attributive participle and relative clause. By employing the Accessibility Hierarchy, he focuses the central and critical analysis to the subject relative clause and the attributive participle. His analysis leads to the conclusion that with respect to the restrictive/nonrestrictive distinction these two constructions could in no way be described as "equivalent." The attributive participle is primarily utilized to restrict its antecedent except under certain prescribed circumstances, and when both constructions are grammatically and stylistically feasible, the relative clause is predominantly utilized to relate nonrestrictively to its antecedent. As a result, Hayes issues a call to clarity and correction for grammarians, exegetes, modern editors, and translators of the Greek New Testament.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • Advance Praise for An Analysis of the Attributive Participle and the Relative Clause in the Greek New Testament
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Illustrations
  • Preface by D. A. Carson
  • Copyright Acknowledgments
  • Acknowledgments
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Chapter 1: Introduction: An Analysis of the Attributive Participle and the Relative Clause in the Greek New Testament
  • The Thesis
  • The Restrictive/Nonrestrictive Distinction
  • The Current Status of the Question
  • Attributive Participle Equivalent to Relative Clause
  • Relative Clause
  • The Attributive Participle
  • Necessity of This Study
  • Grammatical Necessity
  • Related Fields of Study
  • The Plan of the Monograph
  • The Methodological Procedure Employed
  • The Outcomes
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Chapter 2: Restrictivity
  • Introduction
  • Restrictivity as a Linguistic Category
  • Validity of Restrictivity as a Linguistic Category
  • Clarification of Terminology
  • Restrictivity and the Nature of Antecedents
  • Specific Restrictive Strategies
  • Restrictive Clauses
  • Attributive Participles and Relative Clauses
  • Examples of Restrictive Clauses
  • Summary of Restrictivity
  • Addendum 2-A: Restrictive Modification of Very Specific Substantives
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Chapter 3: Restrictive Clauses in the Greek New Testament
  • Introduction
  • Grammatical Assertions of Restrictive Clauses in the Greek New Testament
  • Summary of Previous Grammatical Assertions
  • Grammatical Assertions of James W. Voelz
  • The Restrictive Attributive Participle in the Greek New Testament
  • Noun Phrase Formation Patterns Containing an Attributive Participle
  • Summary of the Restrictive Attributive Participle in the Greek New Testament
  • The Restrictive Relative Clause in the Greek New Testament
  • Relative Clause Formation Patterns
  • Types of Subordinate Relative Clauses
  • Summary of the Restrictive Relative Clause in the Greek New Testament
  • General Tendencies of Restrictive Clauses in the Greek New Testament
  • Restrictive Attributive Participles
  • Restrictive Relative Clauses
  • Summary of Restrictive Clauses in the Greek New Testament
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Chapter 4: Nonrestrictivity
  • Introduction
  • Nonrestrictivity as a Linguistic Category
  • Validity of Nonrestrictivity as a Linguistic Category
  • Strictly Defining Nonrestrictivity—Negatively and Positively
  • Nonrestrictivity and the Nature of Antecedents
  • Specific Nonrestrictive Strategies
  • Continuum of Nonrestrictivity—Modification to Coordination
  • Nonrestrictive Clauses
  • Relative Clauses and Attributive Participles
  • Examples of Nonrestrictive Clauses
  • Summary of Nonrestrictivity
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Chapter 5: Nonrestrictivite Clauses in the Greek New Testament
  • Introduction
  • Grammatical Assertions of Nonrestrictive Clauses in the Greek New Testament
  • Summary of Previous Grammatical Assertions
  • Grammatical Assertions of James W. Voelz
  • The Nonrestrictive Relative Clause in the Greek New Testament
  • Relative Clause Formation Patterns
  • Types of Subordinate Relative Clauses
  • Summary of the Nonrestrictive Relative Clause in the Greek New Testament
  • The Nonrestrictive Attributive Participle in the Greek New Testament
  • Noun Phrase Formation Patterns Containing an Attributive Participle
  • Summary of the Nonrestrictive Attributive Participle in the Greek New Testament
  • General Tendencies of Nonrestrictive Clauses in the Greek New Testament
  • Nonrestrictive Relative Clauses
  • Nonrestrictive Attributive Participles
  • Summary of Nonrestrictive Clauses in the Greek New Testament
  • Addendum 5-A: Relative Pronoun Agreement
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Chapter 6: Final Synthesis, Implications, and Prospects
  • Introduction
  • The Question of Equivalence
  • The Accessibility Hierarchy
  • Relativization Strategies
  • Relativized Positions
  • The Accessibility Hierarchy Defined
  • The Accessibility Hierarchy and Specific Languages
  • Subject Relative Clauses and Attributive Participles in the Greek New Testament
  • General Characteristics
  • Subject Relative Clauses
  • Attributive Participles
  • Summary of Subject Relative Clauses and Attributive Participles
  • Illustrative Examples
  • Implications for Related Fields of Study
  • Exegesis
  • Punctuation Practices for Greek New Testament Texts
  • Translation Practices of the Greek New Testament
  • Summary of Implications
  • Prospects for Further Study
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Appendices
  • Appendix One: Participial Constructions in the Greek New Testament
  • Appendix Two: Relative Clauses in the Greek New Testament
  • Note
  • Index
  • Series index

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ILLUSTRATIONS

Figure 4.1: Continuum of Nonrestrictivity: Modification to Coordination

Table 6.1: General Statistics for Subject Relative Clauses and Attributive Participles

| xv →

PREFACE

Studies in Biblical Greek is an occasional series of monographs designed to promote and publish the latest research into the Greek of both Testaments. The series does not assume that biblical Greek is a distinct dialect within the larger world of koine: on the contrary, the assumption is that biblical Greek is part and parcel of the Hellenistic Greek that dominated the Mediterranean world from about 300 B.C. to A.D. 300. If the series focuses on the corpora of the Old and New Testaments, it is because these writings generate major interest around the world, not only for religious but also for historical and academic reasons.

Research into the broader evidence of the period, including epigraphical and inscriptional materials as well as literary works, is welcome in the series, provided the results are cast in terms of their bearing on biblical Greek. In the same way, the series is devoted to fresh philological, syntactical and linguistic study of the Greek of the biblical books, with the subsidiary aim of displaying the contribution of such study to accurate exegesis.

The majority of Greek grammarians confidently assert that the attributive participle and the relative clause are semantically equivalent. By carefully analyzing every instance of both of these constructions in the Greek New Testament, Dr. Hayes challenges this assertion. Originally written as a doctoral dissertation at Concordia Seminary (St. Louis), this work locates ← xv | xvi → the difference between the two constructions in the restrictive/nonrestrictive distinction. In brief, the attributive participle usually restricts its antecedent except under certain prescribed conditions, while the relative clause, when both constructions are feasible both grammatically and stylistically, primarily relates to its antecedent in a nonrestrictive fashion. A firm grasp of the evidence and the arguments will doubtless enrich the work of a new generation of exegetes and commentators.

D. A. Carson
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

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COPYRIGHT ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

BWHEBB, BWHEBL, and BWTRANSH (Hebrew); BWGRKL, BWGRKN, and BWGRKI (Greek) PostScript® Type 1 and TrueType fonts Copyright ©1994–2015 BibleWorks, LLC. All rights reserved. These Biblical Greek and Hebrew fonts are used with permission and are from BibleWorks (www.bibleworks.com). It is requested that any other distribution or derived publication would comply with displaying and preserving the copyright.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The completion of this work was no small task. I am deeply grateful to all who have supported, encouraged, challenged, guided, mentored, and taught me, not only in my theological studies, but also in my life as a whole. Without my family, my church, my fathers in the faith, my professors and my Lord, this work would have never been started or completed.

My wonderful wife, Rachel, and my daughters, Hope, Hannah, and Mary, have all sacrificed and spent too many days without the presence of a husband and father. Rachel has helped, encouraged, challenged, loved, supported, and forgiven me throughout this whole process. I am deeply grateful for my family’s love, support, and sacrifice. Their presence in my life is truly a gift from God and my highest calling. Furthermore, I am deeply grateful for the strong support and belief of my mother, Trudy Hayes.

I was brought to the waters of baptism at my church, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Orange, California, on July 21, 1974. I am humbled to serve now as one of her pastors. My first fathers in the faith found me here and helped my mother raise me in the Lord. They complemented her strong support and belief in me. Byron Porisch, foremost of my fathers in the faith, powerfully opened the Holy Scriptures to me and helped instill in me a desire and thirst to read, understand, apply, and communicate the Word of God. God ← xix | xx → completely changed the trajectory of my life through Byron, whom I consider my “father in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (1 Corinthians 4:15 ESV). I am grateful for his wife and three daughters, who no doubt sacrificed much, so that countless youth could experience the grace of the Heavenly Father through Byron’s ministry to youth.

Professor Kenneth Block first taught me the Greek of the New Testament with fervor, discipline, and deep respect for the Holy Scriptures. Many other professors at Concordia University Nebraska; Concordia University Irvine; and Concordia Seminary St. Louis have helped to shape me and this project in one way or another. I am thankful for all of them.

I am extremely grateful for, James W. Voelz, PhD, Professor of Exegetical Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Voelz first introduced me to the possibility of this study and has provided extremely helpful feedback through to the completion.

In many ways, completing this work has been one of the most difficult tasks in my life. Many challenging life situations arose while working on it; it is only by the Grace of my Lord Jesus and his faithfulness to me through his Word and his people that this study was completed. All glory and honor are to him.

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ABBREVIATIONS

ASV American Standard Version of the Holy Bible. New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1901.

BDAG Bauer, Walter, Frederick W. Danker, William F. Arndt, and F. Wilbur Gingrich. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. 3d ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

BHS Karl Elliger and Willhelm Rudolph, eds. Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. 5th ed. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1997.

BYZ Robinson, Maurice A. and William G. Pierpont. The New Testament in the Original Greek: Byzantine Textform. Southborough, Mass: Chilton, 2005.

CAB La Biblia. Barcelona: Herder, 2003.

DNT Ioannidis, Symeon. Discipleship New Testament in Modern Greek. Chattanooga, Tenn.: AMG Publishers, 2011.

ECM Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung, hrsg. Novum Testamentum Graecum editio critica maior. IV: Die katholische Briefe. 1. ← xxi | xxii → Lieferung: Der Jakobusbrief. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1997.

Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung, hrsg. Novum Testamentum Graecum editio critica maior. IV: Die katholische Briefe. 2. Lieferung: Der Petrusbriefe. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2000.

Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung, hrsg. Novum Testamentum Graecum editio critica maior. IV: Die katholische Briefe. 3. Lieferung: Der 1. Johannesbrief. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2003.

Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung, hrsg. Novum Testamentum Graecum editio critica maior. IV: Die katholische Briefe. 4. Lieferung: Zweite und Dritte Johannesbrief. Der Judasbrief. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2005.

ESV The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Crossway Bibles, 2007.

GWN God’s Word Translation. Holiday, Florida: Green Key Books, 2003.

LBA La Biblia De Las Américas. The Lockman Foundation, 1986.

MET Metaglottisis Greek New Testament. Spiridon Karalis, 2004.

NA27 Aland, Barbara, Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, and Bruce M. Metzger, eds. Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland. 27th ed. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgeksellschaft, 1998.

NASB95 New American Standard Bible. The Lockman Foundation, 1995.

NASB77 New American Standard Bible. The Lockman Foundation, 1977.

NEG Nouvelle Édition de la Bible. Société Biblique de Genève, 1975.

NIV The Holy Bible: New International Version. Colorado Springs, International Bible Society, 1984.

NKJV Holy Bible: The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982.

NRSV New Revised Standard Version. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989. ← xxii | xxiii →

NVI La Santa Biblia, Nueva Versión Internacional. Colorado Springs: International Bible Society, 1999.

PER Biblia del Peregrino. Bilbao: Mensajero, 1997.

R95 Reina, Casiodoro de, and Cipriano de Valera. Santa Biblia: Reina-Valera 1995. Bogotá, Colombia: Sociedades Bíblicas Unidas, 1995.

RSV Revised Standard Version. New York: Thomas Nelson, 1971.

RVA Reina, Casiodoro de, and Cipriano de Valera. Santa Biblia: Antiguo y Nuevo Testamentos: Versión Reina-Valera Actualizada. El Paso, Texas: Editorial Mundo Hispano, 1989.

SBLGNT Holmes, Michael W. ed. The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Atlanta Georgia: Society of Biblical Literature, 2010.

SRV La Santa Biblia: Reina-Valera: Antiguo Testamento y Nuevo Testamento. 1909.

TGV The Holy Bible in Today’s Greek Version with Deuterocanonicals. New York: American Bible Society, 2011.

TWOT Harris, R. Laird, Gleason L. Archer Jr. and Bruce K. Waltke. The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1980.

WH Westcott, Brooke Foss, and Fenton John Anthony Hort. The Greek New Testament: with Comparative Apparatus Showing Variations from the Nestle-Aland and Robinson-Pierpont Editions. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2007.

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INTRODUCTION

An Analysis of the Attributive Participle and the Relative Clause in the Greek New Testament

And let us be sure of this: we will not long preserve the gospel without the languages. The languages are the sheath in which this sword of the Spirit is contained; they are the casket in which this jewel is enshrined; they are the vessel in which this wine is held; they are the larder in which this food is stored; and, as the gospel itself points out, they are the baskets in which are kept these loaves and fishes and fragments. If through our neglect we let the languages go (which God forbid!), we shall […] lose the gospel.1

Martin Luther, in “To the Councilmen of All Cities in Germany that They Establish and Maintain Christian Schools,” asserts the necessity for studying the Scriptures in the original languages.2 Luther condemns the Waldensian brothers upon their disregard for the Biblical languages when he states, “In short, they may lead saintly lives and teach sacred things among themselves, but so long as they remain without the languages they cannot but lack what all the rest lack, namely, the ability to treat Scripture with certainty and thoroughness and to be useful to other nations.”3 This sentiment demonstrates the underlying motivation for this monograph, namely, to treat Scripture with “thoroughness.”

This thoroughness is not an end in itself but exists “to be useful to other nations” by bringing clarity not only to the exegesis of the Greek New Testament but also its translation into other languages. The theologian and pastor ← 1 | 2 → must not merely utilize translated texts but must work in the original languages of the Bible with thoroughness. Our study aids exegetes to interpret the text more readily with thoroughness so that all nations might be able to rightly understand its message.

Among its many roles, the Church serves as steward of the Scriptures. If the Church does not seek linguistic clarity at all levels, it neglects its duty to preserve, guard, and bring the message of the Scriptures to all nations. This study seeks to add to this linguistic understanding through analyzing the attributive participle and the relative clause in the Greek New Testament.

The problem we aim to address consists of a lack of clarity concerning how rightly to interpret certain adjectival clauses (both attributive participles and relative clauses). For example, the exegete/translator has some decisions to make with the relative clause in Rom 11:2a: οὐκ ἀπώσατο ὁ θεὸς τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ ὃν προέγνω. The NIV translates the clause, “God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew,” while the ESV translates the clause, “God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.” By placing the comma after people, the NIV seems to be saying something additional about God’s people. That is, God did not reject all of his people, and by the way, he foreknew all his people. The ESV, however, by not placing the comma after people, seems to be saying that God may have rejected some of his people, but the ones he foreknew, a subset of all of his people, those he did not reject. So, did God not reject all of his people or did he not reject only a remnant of them?

Another example to illustrate the problem comes from 1 Thess 2:14–15 and the usage of an attributive participle: τὰ αὐτὰ ἐπάθετε καὶ ὑμεῖς ὑπὸ τῶν ἰδίων συμφυλετῶν καθὼς καὶ αὐτοὶ ὑπὸ τῶν Ἰουδαίων, τῶν καὶ τὸν κύριον ἀποκτεινάντων Ἰησοῦν καὶ τοὺς προφήτας.4 How should the exegete interpret the attributive participle? The ESV translates, “the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets,” while GWN translates, “the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets.” By placing the comma after the Jews, the ESV seems to be saying something additional about all Jews. In essence, it assigns the killing of Jesus and the prophets to the Jewish people as a whole. The GWN, however, by not placing the comma after the Jews, seems to be limiting the referent of the Jews to a subset of the Jewish peoples as a whole. Such a reading assigns the killing of Jesus and the prophets to a limited number of the Jewish people not the Jewish people as a whole.

Scholars have looked at examples such as these and taken either side, or they are oblivious to the distinction and don’t address it at all. The exegete must decide whether or not the clauses are to be taken as restrictive or nonrestrictive. ← 2 | 3 → The purpose of this study is to bring linguistic clarity and provide direction for the exegete/translator when confronted with such interpretive difficulties.

The Thesis

Many scholars (Chrys Caragounis, Ernest Burton, Friedrich Blass, BDF, Archibald Robertson, Nigel Turner, and James W. Voelz5)6 assert that the Greek attributive participle and the Greek relative clause are “equivalent.” This study demonstrates, however, that the attributive participle is primarily utilized to restrict its antecedent except under certain prescribed circumstances, and that when both constructions are grammatically and stylistically feasible, the relative clause is predominantly utilized to relate nonrestrictively to its antecedent. It is proposed that a comprehensive survey of the relative clause and the attributive participle in the Greek New Testament demonstrates the limitations of their purported equivalence.

The Restrictive/Nonrestrictive Distinction

While the nature of restrictive and nonrestrictive strategies will be further addressed in their respective chapters, it will prove helpful to offer an introduction into this often confused distinction. Generally speaking, in linguistic typology, various restrictive and nonrestrictive modifying strategies can be employed to modify a head-noun: words, phrases, or clauses. “In ‘restrictive’ modification, the linguistic identity of the head is dependent upon the accompanying modification; if it is not, the modification being inessential, the term non-restrictive is used.”7 So, nonrestrictive modifiers add nonessential descriptive detail to their heads but do not limit, specify, or identify them; they can be eliminated from the sentence without changing its basic meaning.8 In English and Spanish, nonrestrictive clauses are set-off by commas. In the following examples, the nonrestrictive strategies (in italics) could be eliminated from the sentence without changing the essential meaning of the sentence:

1. My father, who was here yesterday, is fine.

2. My father, hale and hearty, was here yesterday.9

3. Mi hermano, que vive en México, tiene dos hijos.10 Translation: My brother, who lives in Mexico, has two sons (i.e., there is only one brother, and he lives in Mexico). ← 3 | 4 →

Restrictive modifiers limit the head concept, narrowing or specifying the meaning of the noun phrases they modify. The information provided is essential to the meaning of the sentence. In English and Spanish, restrictive clauses are not set-off by commas. In the following examples, the restrictive clauses (in italics) could not be eliminated from the sentence without changing the essential meaning of the sentence:

Details

Pages
XXVI, 382
ISBN (ePUB)
9781433137907
ISBN (MOBI)
9781433137914
ISBN (PDF)
9781453919125
ISBN (Hardcover)
9781433135071
Language
English
Publication date
2018 (April)
Published
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2018. XXVI, 382 pp., 1 b/w ill., 3 tables

Biographical notes

Michael E. Hayes (Author)

Michael E. Hayes is an ordained pastor in the Lutheran church. He serves as Minister to Adults at historic St. John’s Lutheran Church in Old Towne Orange, California, where he preaches, teaches, leads discipleship ministries, and produces video curricula for small groups. He earned the doctor of philosophy degree in exegetical theology from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

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Title: An Analysis of the Attributive Participle and the Relative Clause in the Greek New Testament