HYPOSTASIS of the Participle

clayton stirling bartholomew c.s.bartholomew at worldnet.att.net
Tue Oct 27 15:03:05 EST 1998

This morning I ran across two participles in Acts 15:40 and while I was
mulling over these participles asking myself if they were circumstantial or
adjectival, I decided to look once again at this subject in the grammars. I
first took a look at my latest purchase, Persherbacker and from that source
determined that both of these participles were adverbial in function.

Then I took a look at another popular contemporary work on syntax where on
page 622 there was a discussion of adverbial participles. While reading
through the paragraph on terminology I found the following statement of the
author's conclusions:

"The participle is a verbal adjective and hence its adverbial nature comes
from the verbal side as well as the adjectival." 

I find this statement a bit strange. Why would the adverbial nature come from
the "verbal side"? 

I think the point of this statement is to highlight the bipartite nature of
the participle. I could not help thinking of the trinitarian and
christological controversies in the early church while reading this. It seems
that this author is trying to define multiple natures within a single
participle. I wonder if anyone has managed to come up with a unitarian or
monophysite definition of the participle.

Comments anyone? 

Another related question that keeps teasing me about circumstantial
participles is the nature of their syntactical function. It seems to me that a
circumstantial participle can be both adjectival and adverbial at the same
time and in the same place. For example EPILEXAMENOS in Acts 15:40 seems to
qualify as both as an adjectival and also as an adverbial. The semantics of
the context strongly favors the adverbial reading but the word order seems to
allow for the adjectival interpretation. 

I know I have asked similar questions before but the Greek participle is such
a enigma that I just keep coming back to it. 

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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