Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Judean syntax (Jude 1:20-21)

Here's one for you:
ὑμεῖς δέ ἀγαπητοί ἐποικοδομοῦντες ἑαυτοὺς τῇ ἁγιωτάτῃ ὑμῶν πίστει ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ προσευχόμενοι 21 ἑαυτοὺς ἐν ἀγάπῃ θεοῦ τηρήσατε προσδεχόμενοι τὸ ἔλεος τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον
I mean to update and pretty up this post later, when I have access to my tools. But here's the deal:
  1. You see that Jude has one finite verb (specifically one imperative), surrounded by three participles.
  2. Me, I dismiss out of hand renderings that reduce all the participles to imperatives.
  3. So what we have is one finite verb anchoring three participles. I've been surprised, though, not to find more syntactical comment on the relationship of the whole.
  4. The dominant idea is keep yourselves in the love of God.
  5. I take it that the first two participles indicate means: "by building yourselves up and praying"
  6. If you accept that, is the third also modal? If not, what?
Refinements, disagreements, discussion?

Have at it.


klavaza said...

Beautiful blog, my Latin teacher, 84 years old, insists to me to leave Latin and learn Greek ("you'll know what it is to be an analphabet", he says, instead of illiterate. Say hello to your four cats, I love cats too as well as Forbidden Planet! My english blog is http://enklavaza.blogspot.com. Congrats sir (your review of The Bridge to Terabithia is very accurate).

Caleb Kolstad said...


Your Greek skills are very impressive. I took all 3 participles as means- I thought Schreiner hit the grammar of this Text on the head in his NAC work.

Caleb Kolstad

DJP said...

Good catch, Caleb. (MacArthur doesn't notice it, as you'll see in Truth Wars.) I'll have to check Schreiner.

Pozvan! said...

Hi! I see this is an old post, but I'll still respond:

I studied Jude a lot, and preached it for a year (not every sunday, though).

My greek is not great, but I agree that the three participles modify the imperative:

Keep yourselves in the love of God, 1) by building yourselves up in the Faith; 2) by praying; and 3) by waiting for the mercy of our Lord;

So, we keep ourselves in God's love when we study the Bible, pray, and live lives that show we are waiting for Christ's imminent return.

In the context of the epistle, it is contrasted to false teachers who haven't got the Spirit (v.19), and thus cannot understand the Word, pray in vain (God will not answer), and do not live lives that are progressively sanctified.

—Mario Kushner

DJP said...

...and can only look to Christ's return with dread and loathing, as the end of all their schemes and activities.

Good point! Thanks for adding it.