[B-Greek] Dative participial clauses
iver_larsen at sil.org
Sun Jul 1 17:09:23 EDT 2007
It seems to me that we did not quite finish the discussion of participial clauses as the one in Luke
>From my point of view, which is descriptive linguistics rather than traditional Greek grammar, I am
wondering if there are two different types, where one functions like a relative clause dependent on
a noun or pronoun, and the other functions as a temporal clause dependent on a verb in a main
clause. The relative clause in dative is very common when it further describes a noun in the dative.
The second one is the tricky one, where the analysis is not very clear and apparently disputed.
Steve Runge listed some examples, and I'd like to add a few. Before looking at Mark 16:12 and 14,
I'd like to quote 16:9
Mark 16:9 Ἀναστὰς δὲ πρωῒ πρώτῃ σαββάτου
ANASTAS DE PRWI PRWTHi SABBATOU
[Jesus] having arisen early on the first [day] of the week
ἐφάνη πρῶτον Μαρίᾳ τῇ Μαγδαληνῇ
EFANH PRWTON MARIAi THi MAGDALHNHi
he first of all revealed himself to Mary Magdalene
The implicit subject in the participial clause is the same as in the main clause (Jesus). It is
therefore in the nominative. The clause sets the time before the main event, and it is usually
translated by a temporal subordinate clause as in NCV: After Jesus rose from the dead early on the
first day of the week, he showed himself first to Mary Magdalene. Notice the dative form of the
temporal word PRWTHi [hHMERAi].
The NET bible seems to present a different analysis by saying:
"Early on the first day of the week, after he arose, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene"
They take ANASTAS as a time clause in itself and connects the time words with the main verb EFANH. I
find this analysis dubious and unlikely to be correct.
In verses 10 and 11 we see how the disciples in general refused to believe that Jesus had risen,
even when told so by Mary.
Mark 16:12 Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα δυσὶν ἐξ αὐτῶν περιπατοῦσιν ἐφανερώθη
META DE TAUTA DUSIN EX AUTWN PERIPATOUSIN EFANERWQH
After these things he showed himself to two of them who were walking along
ἐν ἑτέρᾳ μορφῇ πορευομένοις εἰς ἀγρόν·
EN hETERA MORFHi POREUOMENOIS EIS AGRON
in a different form [and] who were walking towards the countryside.
I can see two possible analyses. META TAUTA in itself could be the temporal setting and DUSIN EX
AUTWN the fronted dative object for FANEROW. The phrase "two of them [disciples]" would then be
highlighted, because the previous context said that the disciples did not believe. But now, two of
them saw with their own eyes. There are then two participial clauses attached to DUSIN, and they
both function as relative clauses further describing the nominal as indicated in the translation
above. They are in plural dative because the nominal is in plural dative. These two disciples who
were walking along and who were going away from the city.
The other analysis is to take a longer temporal setting clause:
META DE TAUTA DUSIN EX AUTWN PERIPATOUSIN
As two of them later were walking along,
EFANERWQH [AUTOIS] EN hETERA MORFHi POREUOMENOIS EIS AGRON
he showed himself [to them] in a different form as they were going towards the countryside.
In this case, the dative object in the main clause only appears in the deep structure, because it
can be supplied from the previous clause. This is not uncommon in Greek. It is not a matter of the
verb being intransitive, but of the object being understood from context. The second object would
often be supplied in translation and apparently also in many Greek manuscripts where some have such
a second repeated object, others do not. Notice also that the subject in the initial temporal clause
corresponds to the object in the main clause.
V. 13 then tells us that these two disciples went and reported to the rest (including the 11 main
disciples), but still they refused to believe.
Mark 16:14 Ὕστερον [δὲ] ἀνακειμένοις αὐτοῖς τοῖς ἕνδεκα ἐφανερώθη
hUSTERON DE ANAKEIMENOIS AUTOIS TOIS hENDEKA EFANERWQH
Later he showed himself to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table.
Again, I see two options.
Either AUTOIS TOIS hENDEKA is the fronted dative object for FANEROW with an extra fronted
participle. However, I cannot explain why ANAKEIMENOIS should be fronted, and this makes me think
that the alternative analysis as a temporal setting clause is preferable.
The translation would then be more like:
As the eleven [disciples] themselves were later reclining at table, he showed himself [to them].
Again, the subject in the temporal setting clause corresponds to the object in the main clause.
Mat 8:23 Καὶ ἐμβάντι αὐτῷ εἰς τὸ πλοῖον
KAI EMBANTI AUTWi EIS TO PLOION
And after he had entered the boat,
ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ
HKOLOUQHSAN AUTWi hOI MAQHTAI AUTOU
his disciples followed/joined him
In this case I find the relative clause option impossible. The sense can hardly be that his
disciples followed him who had entered the boat. It looks much more like a setting in a subordinate
clause for the main verb. After he had entered the boat, then his disciples followed him. This
analysis can account for the AUTWi as subject in the participial clause and then AUTWi as dative
object in the main clause.
Mat 9:27 Καὶ παράγοντι ἐκεῖθεν τῷ Ἰησοῦ
KAI PARAGONTI EKEIQEN TWi IHSOU
And as Jesus was on his way away from there,
ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ δύο τυφλοὶ κράζοντες καὶ λέγοντες
HKOLOUQHSAN AUTWi DUO TUFLOI KRAZONTES KAI LEGONTES
two blind men who were shouting and who were saying... followed him.
Again the relative clause option does not work, whereas the subordinate temporal setting clause
Mat 9:28 ἐλθόντι δὲ εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν
ELQONTI DE EIS THN OIKIAN
But after he had entered the house
προσῆλθον αὐτῷ οἱ τυφλοί
PROSHLQON AUTWi hOI TUFLOI
the blind [people] came up to him
Again, the participial clause seems to function like a temporal setting clause rather than a
relative clause. The subject in the setting clause corresponds to the object in the main clause.
Mat 14:6 Γενεσίοις δὲ γενομένοις τοῦ Ἡρῴδου
GENESIOIS DE GENOMENOIS TOU hHRWDOU
When Herod's birthday celebrations had come around,
ὠρχήσατο ἡ θυγάτηρ τῆς Ἡρῳδιάδος ... καὶ ἤρεσεν τῷ Ἡρῴδῃ
WRCHSATO hH QUGATHR THS hHRWiDIADOS..KAI HRESEN TWi hERWDHi
the daughter of Herodias danced... and it pleased Herod
The dative participial clause is difficult to explain except as a temporal setting clause. Dative is
often used for temporal setting, for instance in the parallel in Mark 6:21 τοῖς γενεσίοις αὐτοῦ TOIS
GENESIOUS AUTOU (at his birthday celebrations). The dative object for HRESEN does not correspond to
the subject in the termporal setting clause.
Lk 8:27 ἐξελθόντι δὲ αὐτῷ ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν
EXELQONTI DE AUTWi EPI THN GHN
As he came out (from the boat) onto the land
ὑπήντησεν [αὐτῷ] ἀνήρ τις
hUPHNTHSEN [AUTWi] ANHR TIS
a certain man came up to him
The presence of the second AUTWi in some manuscripts seems to support the analysis of the first part
as a temporal setting clause. All English versions supply such an object in the main clause.
Luke 17:7 Τίς δὲ ἐξ ὑμῶν δοῦλον ἔχων ἀροτριῶντα ἢ ποιμαίνοντα,
TIS DE EX hUMWN DOULON ECWN AROTRIWNTA H POIMAINONTA
Who of you who has a slave who has been plowing and tending sheep,
ὃς εἰσελθόντι ἐκ τοῦ ἀγροῦ ἐρεῖ αὐτῷ
hOS EISELQONTI EK TOU AGROU EREI AUTWi
who as he [the slave] has come in from the field, will say to him?
In the first part the two accusative participles clearly describe the slave, and most English
versions would use a relative clause. In the second part, it is more tricky whether the participial
clause is simply a fronted relative clause describing AUTWi or whether it is a temporal setting
clause. Most English versions take it as a temporal setting clause with NET being an exception.
Act 7:26 τῇ τε ἐπιούσῃ ἡμέρᾳ ὤφθη αὐτοῖς μαχομένοις
THi TE EPIOUSHi hHMERAi WFQH AUTOIS MACOMENOIS
On the next day he showed himself to them as they were fighting.
This is different, but I find it interesting that the temporal setting is in the dative.
Act 28:10 καὶ ἀναγομένοις ἐπέθεντο τὰ πρὸς τὰς χρείας
KAI ANAGOMENOIS EPEQENTO TA PROS TAS CREIAS
And as (we) were setting out to sea they presented (us) with the things for our needs
Here there is no hHMIN in the text, although it must be understood as an implied object for the
verb. There is a hHMAS in the preceding context which is pragmatically carried forward.
In all these cases - with the exception of Mat 14:6 - the dative participle might be construed as
dependent on an explicit or implicit nominal in the dative. But I am wondering whether it would also
be possible to take the participial clause as a separate temporal clause as Steve Runge suggested,
so that the dative is governed by it being temporal rather than by being dependent on a dative
nominal? That would explain some of the otherwise unexplainable frontings. All the examples I have
been able to find in the GNT seem to share such a temporal setting. It is necessary that the subject
in the participial clause is different from the subject in the main clause, since otherwise a
nominative participle would be used.
I don't know whether such constructions are also found in Classical Greek, but I am happy to be
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