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Q Can a participle be modal and have an article?
Can a modal participle be attributive? In the original, is there an article before the word faith in Gal. 2:20, "the faith of the Son of God"?

 
 
A The answers are ‘no’, ‘no’, and ‘no’. But let me elaborate some.  

First of all, I take it by “modal” participle you are referring to the adverbial, circumstantial, or verbal particlple? In other words, the participle with modal or logical functions? A.T. Robertson says: “All articular participles are, of course, attributive” (A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in Light of Historical Research, p. 1106). Robertson’s attributive participle is what others call adjectival. The reason this is true is that the article identifies, specifies or particularizes (sort of like an adjective would) and the modal participle is, by nature, verbal and relates to the action the verb is performing. There are circumstances where the attributive participle can, in a round about way, have a modal force, but the reverse is not true.

The second question is probably answered above. It is just not in the syntactical nature of the modal participle to be attributive. Now it is possible for the attributive participle to be anarthrous, that is, without the article, just as any attributive adjective can and as a substantive can be definite without the article. So a participle without the article could be mistaken for a modal participle. It is the context which governs the decision.

Thirdly, in the Greek text of Gal. 2:20 there is no article with the word ‘faith’. I’m not sure what you are trying to figure out here but bear in mind, the absence of the article does not convey indefiniteness, it normally conveys the idea of quality or character. Greek substantives are intrinsically definite; indefiniteness is conveyed with specific help words. The definiteness of ‘faith’ here is reinforced by the following phrase (which has the article), literally, “the in the Son of God.” Paul may simply be leaving the article out because faith is an abstract noun (compare 5:22) or to stress the quality of faith which is in the Son of God.

 

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