[B-Greek] Eph 4:22: time of "being corrupted"

Harold Holmyard hholmyard3 at earthlink.net
Fri May 9 06:57:24 EDT 2008


Hi, Iver,
>>
>> Almost every English translation in Eph 4:22 takes TON FQEIROMENON as
>> something like "which is being corrupted." However, my understanding is
>> that the temporal force of a participle is governed by the time of the
>> main verb. Here is an online statement of that principle from a website
>> teaching NT Greek:
>> http://www.ntgreek.net/lesson31.htm
>>
>> To the extent that the tense of a participle indicates time, it will
>> indicate time only relative to the main verb. Present tense participles
>> usually indicate action coincident with the time of the main verb.
>
> If I understand it correctly, this applies to the case where a 
> participle is the head of a
> subordinated clause which is then modifying the verb in the main 
> clause. In Eph 4:22 we have a different grammatical construction where 
> the participle modifies and is part of a noun phrase in the same was 
> as an adjective or rankshifted relative clause modifies the head noun. 
> Therefore, I wouldn't look for a main verb to attach it to.


HH: I was aware of the distinction you are making, but since the rule is 
expressed so generally, I assumed that it must encompass even the time 
of attributive participles. I admit that I felt uncertain in this regard 
precisely because of this distinction you note. But a participle seems 
to need to get its time signal from somewhere.


>> hUMEIS DE OUC hOUTWS EMAQETE TON CRISTON, EI GE AUTON HKOUSATE KAI EN
>> AUTWi EDIDACQHTE, KAQWS ESTIN ALHQEIA EN TWi INSOU, APOQESQAI hUMAS KATA
>> THN PROTERAN ANASTROFHN TON PALAION ANQRWPON TON FQEIROMENON KATA TAS
>> EPIQUMIAS THS APATHS, ANANEOUSQAI DE TWi PNEUMATI TOU NOOS hUMWN
>>
>> But you did not thus learn Christ, if indeed you heard about him and in
>> him were taught, just as truth is in Jesus, that you should put off,
>> according to the former conduct, the old man which was being corrupted
>> according to the lusts of deceit, and be renewed in the spirit of 
>> your mind.
>
> Paul is describing "the old person" in various ways. One aspect is 
> that it is following the former way of life. Another aspect is that it 
> is decaying or on the way to destruction. A third aspect is that it 
> follows the "deceptive lusts/selfish desires".


HH: I am having a problem saying that the old man "is" doing this or 
that because Paul says that the old man was crucified with Christ:

Rom. 6:6 For we know that our old man was crucified with him so that the 
body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves 
to sin —

>
> Present participles are often used to describe a general 
> characteristic without any aspect of time or at least without focus on 
> it.
>
> So, translation is more of matter of context and theology. I see the 
> teaching as past, the putting aside as present, but the description of 
> their former life as past. In our Danish version we said:
> "Derfor skal I aflægge den gamle livsstil, som I havde før i tiden, da 
> I blev bedraget af jeres
> begær og var på vej mod fortabelsen."
> (That is why you should put aside the old way of life, which you used 
> to have/lead, when you were
> deceived by your selfish desires and on the way to lostness.)

HH: The problem I have with this is that Colossians says that we have 
put off the old man with his practices:

Col. 3:9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old man 
with its practices

Col 3:9 MH YEUDESQE EIS ALLHLOUS, APEKDUSAMENOI TON PALAION ANQRWPON SUN 
TAIS PRAXESIN

Iver, I have a few related thoughts that I will address to Carl's post.

Yours,
Harold
>





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