[B-Greek] Rev 9:1 - PEPTWKOTA

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Tue Jul 13 19:20:37 EDT 2010

On Jul 12, 2010, at 7:31 PM, Gareth Burton wrote:

> The following message was approved for list-distribution but somehow fell through the cracks.
> Forwarded for: Womble Song <womblesong at googlemail.com>
> Date: July 12, 2010 5:25:08 PM EDT
> To: greek B-Greek <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Subject: Rev 9:1 - PEPTWKOTA
> Hi. I am curious about the word PEPTWKOTA (fallen) in Rev 9:1.
> ειδον αστερα εκ του ουρανου πεπτωκοτα
> Some translations suggest that John sees the star actually fall from
> heaven but others do not, keeping the falling strictly past.
> I know PEPTWKOTA is the perfect participle. So "having fallen" seems
> reasonable.
> But in the Greek is this the "immediate" past that John would have
> witnessed in the vision or is it more the state of the star before
> John's vision of it began?
> Or is that non-determinable?

On the surface, this would appear to be an instance of a verb of perception (EIDON) with accusative noun and participle indicating an action perceived; since the participle is a perfect participle, the sense derived from this understanding of the construction is: "I saw that a star had fallen from the sky." That said, it should be noted that the author of Revelation is not noted for strict observance of conventional grammatical usage.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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