ambiguity and participles

Jim Oxford JOxford at
Mon Jan 11 15:37:45 EST 1999

At 12:20 1/11/99, Perry L. Stepp wrote:

>As I'm working through 2 Tim, I am at times having trouble determining if a
>participle should be classified as substantival or attributive--I've
>probably found a dozen or so where I've had to spend at least a *little*
>time in deliberation before reaching a tentative conclusion.  As one
>obsessed with minutiae, I'm driven to distraction.
>For example, 2 Tim 3.6: EK TOUTWN FAR EISIN hOI ENDUNONTES . . . KAI
>Do I have two substantival participles (hOI ENDUNONTES and [hOI]
>AICMALWTIZONTES)?  Or do I have two attributive participles, modifying hOI?
>Or can the participles be classified as either?

hi perry.  have you had a look at brooks/winbery (especially pp. 143-44)?
you may want to consult this resource.  in the above passage, i would say
that the two participles are substantival, ie, article + participle
functioning as a substantive (noun), in this case as the compound subject
of a sentence with a "to be" verb.  if they were attributive participles,
then we would expect a noun to accompany the article and participle in an
attributive construction, with the participle making some kind of
modification or limitation to the noun it modifies.  in the above passage,
hOI delimits the two participles, not vice versa, thus, they (the
participles) could not be classified as attributive.

hope things are well with you in texas.


Jim Oxford
Ph D candidate in NT
Baylor University
joxford at

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