Range and function of ἐγένετο

Gryllus and Roger at Carm. deny that ἐγένετο can function like the aorist of the verb εἶναι. But this is false. Following came to my remembrance:

Numbers 21:9

καὶ ἐγένετο ὅταν ἔδακνεν ὄφις ἄνθρωπον, καὶ ἐπέβλεψεν ἐπὶ τὸν ὄφιν τὸν χαλκοῦν, καὶ ἔζη.

and

Luke 1:5

Ἐγένετο ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Ἡρῴδου βασιλέως τῆς Ἰουδαίας ἱερεύς τις ὀνόματι Ζαχαρίας ἐξ ἐφημερίας Ἀβιά, καὶ γυνὴ αὐτῷ ἐκ τῶν θυγατέρων Ἀαρών, καὶ τὸ ὄνομα αὐτῆς Ἐλεισάβετ.

etc, etc.....
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Gryllus and Roger at Carm. deny that ἐγένετο can function like the aorist of the verb εἶναι. But this is false. Following came to my remembrance:

Numbers 21:9



and

Luke 1:5



etc, etc.....

ειμι is aspectually vague and does not have an aorist.
Gryllus and Roger at Carm. deny that ἐγένετο can function like the aorist of the verb εἶναι. But this is false. Following came to my remembrance:

Numbers 21:9



and

Luke 1:5



etc, etc.....

I don't recall saying that. Can you quote me? You may be aware ειμι does not have an aorist form. Perhaps that is what you meant.

The only thing I can recall is an objection to your using εγενετο in translation Greek as a parallel to the BDAG entry for προς τινα ειναι. Is that what you are referring to.

In that context the main problem I had was that your examples did not give an example of ones λόγος being προς oneself.

Did you find that?
 
ειμι is aspectually vague and does not have an aorist.


I don't recall saying that. Can you quote me? You may be aware ειμι does not have an aorist form. Perhaps that is what you meant.

The only thing I can recall is an objection to your using εγενετο in translation Greek as a parallel to the BDAG entry for προς τινα ειναι. Is that what you are referring to.

In that context the main problem I had was that your examples did not give an example of ones λόγος being προς oneself.

Did you find that?

Of course ειμι does not have an aorist form. But ἐγένετο certainly can and does function like an aorist of the verb εἶναι.

How about I put it this way: can ἐγένετο function like ἦν (or like the imperfect of εἰμί) ?
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Of course ειμι does not have an aorist form. But ἐγένετο certainly can and does function like an aorist of the verb εἶναι.

How about I put it this way: can ἐγένετο function like ἦν (or like the imperfect of εἰμί) ?

How do you define function? Ην has stative aspect and γινομαι does not. Not even εγενετο.

Γινομαι expresses a change, even if some translations don't show it. But ειμι never does. But don't confuse this with the eisegetical "eternal ην." One could say the male mayfly ην, even though it only lives for 2 days, as long as the state is viewed within that 48 hour period.
 
The Koine ἦν at John 1:1 functions exactly like the English "was," which is a simple past tense. In this regard then, to say that ἦν here functions like an "aorist" is more accurate than saying that it is functioning like an "imperfect." In John 1:1 ἦν is NOT conveying ongoing aspect (which is a feature of the imperfect tense). The ἦν in John 1:1a, b, c is conveying a single, discrete action (simple action) each time. Also the temporal distinction between the aorist and the imperfect in Koine is less shark than in earlier Greek, and with ἦν in John 1:1 it is practically non-existent. So if ἐγένετο can function like an aorist of the verb εἶναι
then it is able to function just like ἦν in John 1:1b.
 
How do you define function?

By "function" here I mean a word's meaning, including it's aspect and tense.

Ην has stative aspect and γινομαι does not. Not even εγενετο.

Γινομαι expresses a change, even if some translations don't show it. But ειμι never does. But don't confuse this with the eisegetical "eternal ην." One could say the male mayfly ην, even though it only lives for 2 days, as long as the state is viewed within that 48 hour period.

But it does, and ἐγένετο certainly also. I don't think you really understand what a stative aspect is. In linguistics, a stative verb is one that describes a state of being, in contrast to a dynamic verb, which describes an action. In every use of ἐγένετο in the GNT , it functions as a stative "to be" verb. In fact the only question is whether it is able to function otherwise (as a dynamic word of action).

Look here for starters:

καὶ ἰδοὺ σεισμὸς ἐγένετο μέγας· ἄγγελος γὰρ Κυρίου καταβὰς ἐξ οὐρανοῦ καὶ προσελθὼν ἀπεκύλισεν τὸν λίθον καὶ ἐκάθητο ἐπάνω αὐτοῦ.

Matthew 28:2

There "was" a great earthquake. Just because we can also say there "came to be" (equivalent of "was" in this sense) , it does not mean that ἐγένετο here is functioning as a dynamic verb of action.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
The Koine ἦν at John 1:1 functions exactly like the English "was," which is a simple past tense. In this regard then, to say that ἦν here functions like an "aorist" is more accurate than saying that it is functioning like an "imperfect." In John 1:1 ἦν is NOT conveying ongoing aspect (which is a feature of the imperfect tense). The ἦν in John 1:1a, b, c is conveying a single, discrete action (simple action) each time. Also the temporal distinction between the aorist and the imperfect in Koine is less shark than in earlier Greek, and with ἦν in John 1:1 it is practically non-existent. So if ἐγένετο can function like an aorist of the verb εἶναι
then it is able to function just like ἦν in John 1:1b.

You are placing too much weight on ειμι being aspectually vague. I am not aware of any instance of ειμι which does more than depict a state. I am not aware of any instance of γινομαι that does not depict a change. For that reason I don't see them as equivalent.

Just because two verbs are similar in some respects does not mean they are in other respects.

I did provide you with parallel accounts where έρχομαι and γινομαι were equated.

Can you provide the same sort of parallel for ειμι and γινομαι?
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
By "function" here I mean a word's meaning, including it's aspect and tense.



But it does, and ἐγένετο certainly also. I don't think you really understand what a stative aspect is. In linguistics, a stative verb is one that describes a state of being, in contrast to a dynamic verb, which describes an action. In every use of ἐγένετο in the GNT , it functions as a stative "to be" verb. In fact the only question is whether it is able to function otherwise (as a dynamic word of action).

Look here for starters:



Matthew 28:2

There "was" a great earthquake. Just because we can also say there "came to be" (equivalent of "was" in this sense) , it does not mean that ἐγένετο here is functioning as a dynamic verb of action.

There are 3 verbal aspects, perfective, imperfective and stative.

See this summary of Porter by Rodney Decker.

The stative verb vs action verb is different. We are not talking about the same thing.

Perfective aspect means completed, imperfective means incomplete and stative is not specified.

The fact that ειμι has no aorist or imperfect does not mean the verb can indicate a change in state like γινομαι does.

That's my current understanding but I am open to improving it.

And to be fair there are disagreements among the experts like Porter and Fanning.
 
There are 3 verbal aspects, perfective, imperfective and stative.

See this summary of Porter by Rodney Decker.

The stative verb vs action verb is different. We are not talking about the same thing.

Perfective aspect means completed, imperfective means incomplete and stative is not specified.

The fact that ειμι has no aorist or imperfect does not mean the verb can indicate a change in state like γινομαι does.

That's my current understanding but I am open to improving it.

And to be fair there are disagreements among the experts like Porter and Fanning.

But you did not engage with the grammar at hand. Forget for a moment that you are unable to properly define a "stative verb."

Look at the following, there is not even "a change in state" here with ἐγένετο, let alone that the following is a dynamic word of action:

ναί, ὁ Πατήρ, ὅτι οὕτως εὐδοκία ἐγένετο ἔμπροσθέν σου.

Matthew 11:26

ἐγένετο here functions like ἦν.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
But you did not engage with the grammar at hand. Forget for a moment that you are unable to properly define a "stative verb."

Look at the following, there is not even "a change in state" here with ἐγένετο, let alone that the following is a dynamic word of action:



Matthew 11:26

ἐγένετο here functions like ἦν.

As I stated before, the change is not visible in all translations, and need not be. But it is always there.

It appears here the GNT sees an implied movement strengthened by έμπροσθεν which includes προς and implies movement as προς is want to do.

Good News Translation
Yes, Father, this was how you were pleased to have it happen.

BDAG has a gloss (this verse is not associated with any of them) of "come into a certain state... prove to be."

Many instances of γινομαι indicate a change like this without a literal movement in space.
 
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You are placing too much weight on ειμι being aspectually vague. I am not aware of any instance of ειμι which does more than depict a state. I am not aware of any instance of γινομαι that does not depict a change. For that reason I don't see them as equivalent.

Just because two verbs are similar in some respects does not mean they are in other respects.

I did provide you with parallel accounts where έρχομαι and γινομαι were equated.

Can you provide the same sort of parallel for ειμι and γινομαι?

That was a nonsense parallel which was easily debunked.

Mark 1:4

ἐγένετο Ἰωάνης ὁ βαπτίζων ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν.

Luke 3:3

καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν περίχωρον τοῦ Ἰορδάνου κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν,

In Mark 1:4 there are two actions, "baptizing" (ὁ βαπτίζων) and "preaching" (κηρύσσων) connoted by the two participles. The is no corresponding action related to ἦλθεν from Luke 3:3 in Mark 1:4 .

In Luke 3:3 we have two actions also, one denoted by the verb ἦλθεν (which action, as already mentioned, is non existent at Mark 1:4 and is related to John's going into all of the territory of Jordan) and the other by the participle κηρύσσων. So for you to say that ἐγένετο in Mark 1:4 connotes the action denoted by ἦλθεν in 1 Luke 3:3 is laughable.
 
As I stated before, the change is not visible in all translations, and need not be. But it is always there.

It appears here the GNT sees an implied movement strengthened by έμπροσθεν which includes προς and implies movement as προς is want to do.

Good News Translation
Yes, Father, this was how you were pleased to have it happen.

BDAG has a gloss (this verse is not associated with any of them) of "come into a certain state... prove to be."

This is not a matter of "change not visible in a translation," but of a verse where there is no "change" ( or "transformation" -- ex. John 1:14 , John 2:9) denoted at all by ἐγένετο in the original Greek sentence. It is the equivalent of ἦν.

What is the apparent "change" not captured by ἐγένετο at Matthew 11:26 in translation
?

Many instances of γινομαι indicate a change like this without a literal movement in space.

And this is one other reason which should give you pause before you jump to the conclusion that ἐγένετο is a dynamic, non-static verb like ἦλθεν.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
That was a nonsense parallel which was easily debunked.

Mark 1:4



Luke 3:3



In Mark 1:4 there are two actions, "baptizing" (ὁ βαπτίζων) and "preaching" (κηρύσσων) connoted by the two participles. The is no corresponding action related to ἦλθεν from Luke 3:3 in Mark 1:4 .

In Luke 3:3 we have two actions also, one denoted by the verb ἦλθεν (which action, as already mentioned, is non existent at Mark 1:4 and is related to John's going into all of the territory of Jordan) and the other by the participle κηρύσσων. So for you to say that ἐγένετο in Mark 1:4 connotes the action denoted by ἦλθεν in 1 Luke 3:3 is laughable.


Mark 1:4
English Standard Version
John appeared [εγενετο], baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

John was present or appeared at a particular time, and before that he was not.

Luke 3:3
English Standard Version
And he went [ἦλθεν] into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness

Mark uses εγενετο and the ESV says “appeared”. This is a change of state from not being in the wilderness to being there.

Luke instead says he “went” into the Jordan region. He could have said “appeared” but did not. Both have the same meaning.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
This is not a matter of "change not visible in a translation," but of a verse where there is no "change" ( or "transformation" -- ex. John 1:14 , John 2:9) denoted at all by ἐγένετο in the original Greek sentence. It is the equivalent of ἦν.

What is the apparent "change" not captured by ἐγένετο at Matthew 11:26 in translation
?



And this is one other reason which should give you pause before you jump to the conclusion that ἐγένετο is a dynamic, non-static verb like ἦλθεν.


My translation of Mt 11:26 would be:

Yes, O Father because in this way it proved to be pleasing to you.
 
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My hyper literal translation of Mt 11:26 would be:

Yes, O Father because in this way it proved to be pleasing to you.

That would be a nonsensical translation as God's own desire is pleasing to him, not that it is proved to be pleasing to him. Not to mention that you have to add "in this way" into the translation. Suffice it to note that no one translates it the way you do. Also, as a side note, a real stative verb involves real dynamic action and must be able to use the continuous aspect. ἐγένετο does not have the latter capability.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
That would be a nonsensical translation as God's own desire is pleasing to him, not that it is proved to be pleasing to him. Suffice it to note that no one translates it the way you do. Also, as a side note, a real stative verb involves real dynamic action and must be able to use the continuous aspect. ἐγένετο does not have the latter capability.

I am using a gloss from BDAG, "prove to be." Thayer has "come to pass" or "happen."

As in the GNT:
Good News Translation
Yes, Father, this was how you were pleased to have it happen.

I cannot find any support for your view.
 
Mark 1:4
English Standard Version
John appeared [εγενετο], baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

John was present or appeared at a particular time, and before that he was not.

Luke 3:3
English Standard Version
And he went [ἦλθεν] into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness

Mark uses εγενετο and the ESV says “appeared”. This is a change of state from not being in the wilderness to being there.

Luke instead says he “went” into the Jordan region. He could have said “appeared” but did not. Both have the same meaning.
Apostle Luke does not say that. He says rather that John the Baptist went into "all of" [ εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν περίχωρον τοῦ Ἰορδάνου ] (not just "into") the Jordan region. This implies dynamic continuous action into different territories of the Jordan. εγενετο simply does not have this range in the GNT, as far as I can tell.
 
I am using a gloss from BDAG, "prove to be." Thayer has "come to pass" or "happen."

As in the GNT:
Good News Translation
Yes, Father, this was how you were pleased to have it happen.

I cannot find any support for your view.

"Happen" is not a "to be" verb, i.e. "come to be." So you cannot equate the two. A correct translation would be "Yes, Father, this was how you were pleased to have it be." So you are simply adding words into the text now to justify your position.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Apostle Luke does not say that. He says rather that John the Baptist went into "all of" [ εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν περίχωρον τοῦ Ἰορδάνου ] (not just "into") the Jordan region. This implies dynamic continuous action into different territories of the Jordan. εγενετο simply does not have this range in the GNT, as far as I can tell.

Regardless, "appeared" is a change of location and "went into" is the same change of location.

Εγενετο is a change of location in this text.
 
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Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
"Happen" is not a "to be" verb, i.e. "come to be." So you cannot equate the two. A correct translation would be "Yes, Father, this was how you were pleased to have it be." So you are simply adding words into the text now to justify your position.

I did not make up "happen". BDAG and Thayer use it for γινομαι.
 
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