Past participle + future tense

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intrelis
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Past participle + future tense

Post by intrelis »

Ὁ ἐμβάψας μετ' ἐμοῦ ἐν τῷ τρυβλίῳ τὴν χεῖρα οὗτός με παραδώσει
This is the sentence that has been troubling me.

First we have aorist participle of ἐμβάπτω, then future active of παραδίδωμι. As far as I have learned, the tense of the participle is relative to the tense of the main verb in the sentence. But I am not used to seeing past participle with the verb in future tense, how does that work?
Would it be :
The one who dipped in the bowl the hand, that one shall betray me.
Which would suggest the act of dipping already occurred, a past tense relative to the main verb and the time of speaking. Or:
The one who dips in the bowl the hand, that one shall betray me.
Which makes the action precede the betray verb, but when considering the time of speaking it has yet to occur.

I couldn't find specific information in the only Ancient Greek grammar available in my language, so any help is appreciated, even a link to relevant resources.

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jeidsath
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Re: Past participle + future tense

Post by jeidsath »

Without that "ὁ", it would be understood the second way:

ἐμβάψας μετ' ἐμοῦ ἐν τῷ τρυβλίῳ τὴν χεῖρα παραδώσει μέ

He will hand me over, having dipped his hand with me in the guac.

[Enoch Powell thinks τὴν χεῖρα is bad here, says it should be the sop that is dipped, not the hand. You can see sort of see his point, although Powell, though great, says a lot of wild stuff. Still, us crazies have got to stick together.]

Anyway, the above could be said any time before the action of the main verb, even before Judas was born, etc. The relation is to the verb, not the speaker.

But ὁ ἐμβάψας...οὗτος is subtly different. It's an identification, and in fact reads like one very specific individual (despite the fact that everyone is presumably dipping in at the meal). Does the verb really anchor it in time? Not quite as much, I don't think. The moment of identification could easily be the temporal anchor.

To me, what it really feels like is some sort of wisdom saying, as if Ὁ ἐμβάψας μετ' ἐμοῦ is a semi-mystical/prophetic appellation, not description.

So my read, adding some capitalization to make my point about it reading like an appellation:

The One Who Has Dipped With Me His Hand in The Guac, this is the one that shall hand me over.
"Here stuck the great stupid boys, who for the life of them could never master the accidence..."

Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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jeidsath
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Re: Past participle + future tense

Post by jeidsath »

Eerie similarity to Proverbs 19:24 and 26:15:

ὁ ἐγκρύπτων εἰς τὸν κόλπον αὐτοῦ χεῖρας ἀδίκως, οὐδὲ τῷ στόματι οὐ μὴ προσαγάγῃ αὐτάς.

κρύψας ὀκνηρὸς τὴν χεῖρα ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ αὐτοῦ οὐ δυνήσεται ἐπενεγκεῖν ἐπὶ τὸ στόμα.

κόλπος is a "a dish" in the Hebrew, apparently.
"Here stuck the great stupid boys, who for the life of them could never master the accidence..."

Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

phalakros
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Re: Past participle + future tense

Post by phalakros »

intrelis:

This is a good question and a bit tricky to answer concisely. In short, it’s not quite right to say that “the tense of the ptcp is relative to the tense of the main verb,” though it’s sometimes taught like that. Scholars have long debated this topic without many gains.

Participles are coded for aspect. They don’t themselves express relative time, but very often relative time is the obvious interpretation based on context. Aorist ptcps, for example, have completed/perfective aspect and are thus frequently used to talk about actions that are completed before the main verb. Here’s a short, clear example from Homer of what I mean (taken from an article by Rijksbaron on this topic):

ὣς εἰπὼν ἔνδυνε περὶ στήθεσσι χιτῶνα (K.131)

After he spoke he put the tunic about his chest.

The aor εἰπών expresses a completed action. Based on context (including the meaning of the verb ἔνδύνω, to put on), the obvious interpretation is that one action (speaking) happens before a second (donning). Relative time is implied. But contrast:

ὣς εἰπὼν ὤτρυνε μένος καὶ θυμὸν ἑκάστου (Ε.470)

Thus he spoke and roused the strength and heart of each man.

Here we’re clearly not talking about two separate actions in temporal order (speaking first followed by rousing). Rather, εἰπών expresses a completed action, and we interpret it as the manner in which the rousing takes place (traditionally called a “coincident aorist”).

##The main take away: don’t expect that participles can always be interpreted according to relative time. ##

For resources, I’d start with the Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek. Rijksbaron, The Syntax and Semantics of the Verb in Classical Greek is a very good introduction in general, but a bit weak on this point.

I have a few thoughts on your interesting Mt passage that I may write up when I have a moment.

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jeidsath
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Re: Past participle + future tense

Post by jeidsath »

ὣς εἰπὼν ὤτρυνε μένος καὶ θυμὸν ἑκάστου (Ε.470)

Thus he spoke and roused the strength and heart of each man.

Here we’re clearly not talking about two separate actions in temporal order (speaking first followed by rousing). Rather, εἰπών expresses a completed action, and we interpret it as the manner in which the rousing takes place (traditionally called a “coincident aorist”).
I'm not convinced by the manner argument of a lack of any temporal information in this particular line. First notice that ὤτρυνε is an instantaneous action in Greek, more like "spur" or "launch" in that way than a word admitting of process like "rouse".

In English, an instantaneous state-change action following immediately upon a process action can be expressed like this: "he turned the key and unlocked the door." Greek, however, will translate "turned" with the aorist participle, followed by an aorist finite verb (probably) for unlocking.

The actions of unlocking and turning do not occur in parallel, nor as separate events. But the temporal relation (an instantaneous event occurring at the end of a completed process event) is precisely communicated in Greek, though in English only by context.

For this line of Homer (though I'd be interested in seeing other examples of a coincident aorist participle, especially in prose), the relation in time is much easier to see if you switch to an instantaneous verb like the Greek:

By saying this he fired up the strength and heart of each.

The saying is a completed action, and they are fired up by it at the moment he finishes speaking.
"Here stuck the great stupid boys, who for the life of them could never master the accidence..."

Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

phalakros
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Re: Past participle + future tense

Post by phalakros »

About the relative time issue, I think our disagreement is largely terminological and I don’t want to quarrel. I fully agree that “the saying is a completed action.” The stirring/rousing comes about only as something dependent on εἰπών. My point is to contrast that with the first example, where the aor ptcp refers to an action independent and totally anterior to the main verb ἔνδυνε. The key fact is that Greek ptcps don’t express, on the level of grammar, the difference between the two (unlike say English).

Not infrequently I have had students who were taught with a strict relative-tense approach to Greek participles (as they learned in Latin) be completely baffled by sentences like the second Homeric example above. When in fact it’s a completely regular part of the grammar.

Respectfully, I didn’t say that there was “a lack of any temporal information in this particular line.”

intrelis
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Re: Past participle + future tense

Post by intrelis »

Thank you both for the explanations and sorry for the late reply!

I know participle indicative doesn't always have to be viewed as a preceding time related event, but aren't such structures as the above examples almost always cause and effect? That's why often it bothers me to translate "participle + verb" with "verb and verb", I feel like the causal connection is lost. Though that may not be the case in English.

In regards to my original question, I had a thought, which I wanted to run by someone with more experience. If the author wanted to express the idea of "... whoever dips (next, from now on) his hand..." would he not have used a form of subjunctive in the sentence? Having the participle be indicative definitely makes one think Judas had already dipped his hand.

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Re: Past participle + future tense

Post by mwh »

There’s no such thing as an indicative participle. Participles don’t have moods. The participle in question is aorist, and aorist participles, as phalakros said, have aspectual significance, not necessarily temporal (though usually that too).

There are a number of ways of saying "... whoever dips (next, from now on) his hand….” The most normal one would be ὅστις αν ἐμβάψῃ …(aor.subjunctive with ἄν). Again the aorist would be aspectual, not temporal.

— As for the Homeric ὣς εἰπὼν ὤτρυνε μένος καὶ θυμὸν ἑκάστου, I disagree with Joel, and also I think with phalakros. I take ὤτρυνε as imperfect, not aorist. And I take ὣς εἰπών as always having the same relationship with whatever the following main verb may be.

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