[Fwd: Tense of TETAGMENOI in Acts 13:48]

James S. Murray jsmurray at execpc.com
Sun Jul 4 21:35:49 EDT 1999

Carl Conrad wrote (snip):

> On 07/01/99, ""James S. Murray" <jsmurray at execpc.com>" wrote:
> > "Carl W. Conrad" wrote:
> > Carl,  Just to clarify, would it be true, then, that the verb tense in any kind
> > of dependent clause is generally relative to the main verb; i.e. a present
> > tense would denote action taking place at the same time as the action of the
> > main verb, an aorist would denote action prior to the action of the main verb,
> > and so forth?  I understand that this is generally true with participles,
> > unless it is an aorist participle describing attendent circumstances.  My
> > question is if this is also true of any verb form in a dependent clause? Hope
> > this makes sense?
> This question cannot be answered with a generalization that will cover all
> types of dependent clauses, because infinitives, participles, subjunctives,
> and optatives depend more on aspect than on time information.

Oops!  I was thinking of the indicative, and I can see where I made this too broad to
answer.  Mea culpa.  Like Abraham, I'll risk trying your patience with a (hopefully)
more limited question :) .

What I'm really trying to understand is why HSAN TETAGMENOI in Acts 13:48 is action
prior to the main verb EPISTEUSAN.  The options I've considered are:

1. The pluperfect periphrastic, as a participle, is still time relative to the main
verb.  Based on subsequent posts and further reading in Wallace, I suspect this is

2.  The periphrastic should be understood as equivalent to a pluperfect indicative,
and that the action (and its results) have been completed in the past relative to the
writer.   If this is the case, would it be the fact that it is imbedded in a
substantive clause that puts it prior to the Gentiles believing, as it is action that
helps define the subject of EPISTEUSAN?  Or is it semantics?  It seems to me this is
the gist of Paul Dixon's post.


Jim Murray
Racine, WI

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