The Case Absolute In The New Testament -- By: Henry Anselm Scomp

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 059:234 (Apr 1902)
Article: The Case Absolute In The New Testament
Author: Henry Anselm Scomp

The Case Absolute In The New Testament

Prof. Henry Anselm Scomp

WE see that time is really the only idea which Matthew associates with the Genitive Absolute. The Capernaum tax-gatherer, or whoever wrote the Greek version of his Gospel, has not gone beyond the range of his native Aramaic in dealing with this participle construction. The participle time limitation of his native tongue still controlled the expression of his thought while handling the new garb for its vesture.

Let us see some further examples from the second Evangelist.


Chap. 1:42. — “And as soon as he had spoken (εἰπόντος αὐτοῦ), immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.” Here the participle seems to mark the time, inasmuch as the instrumentality employed in the cleansing was the putting forth of his hand by the Master, and the touching of the leper. See also John 18:22: “And when he had thus spoken (ταῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ εἰπόντος), one of the officers struck Jesus”; see, also, Acts 26:30; 28:25, 29.

The present participle has the same temporal relation; e.g., Luke 9:34: “While he thus spake (ταῦ δεΧ αὐτοῦ λέγοντος) a cloud came and overshadowed them,” etc.; so, also, 11:53; 13:17; 21:5. In chap. 13:17: “When

he had said these things (ταῦτα λέγοντος), all his adversaries were ashamed.” We have the cause, as well as the time, of the “were ashamed.” So, too, in Acts 20:9, where it is said of Eutychus, that as Paul was long preaching (διαλεγομένου τοῦ Παύλου ἐπὶ πλεῖον), “he sunk down with deep sleep and fell,” etc.; so, also, 24:25: “As he [Paul] reasoned (διαλεγομένου δὲ αὐτοῦ) of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled.” We shall remark further upon Luke’s usage of this construction.

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