Matt 28:19 Particples & Imperatives

Tim Duke tduke at westpac.com.au
Wed Jan 6 22:22:06 EST 1999


I have a question about the translation of matt 28:19, relating to the
relative strength/focus of the participle as opposed to the imperative:

"POREUQENTES OUN MAQHTEUSATE PANTA TA EQNH "

I am wondering whether this should be translated:
1) "Go {to all nations} and make disciples of all nations..."
or
2) "As you go (ie to all nations, implying that they were already
planning to go there anyway), make disciples of all nations..."
or
3) "As you go (ie where-ever you may go, whatever you may be doing),
make disciples.."
or
4) something else!

Can the range of meaning of POREUQENTES extend to "as you go about your
business" ie with nothing particular in mind (leaving TA EQNH as only an
object of MAQHTEUSATE); or is it more likely in this instance to be a
particular command which also takes TA EQNH as a kind of implied object?

If you have a series of imperatives, wouldn't it be natural to phrase
one of them as a participle (tending towards 1), especially if the focus
is on the one particular command?  Does the participle in this case
simply indicate a prior imperative which is a necessary precursor to the
main imperative?  Isn't it splitting hairs to insist that there is no
command "to go" since this is a participle?

What sorts of arguments would add weight to the respective translations?

Any other useful comments about this?

Thanks!

Tim Duke
Sydney





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