How important are participles in the Greek NT? Perhaps these frequency figures will give you some idea just how important they are. You can’t read the NT in Greek if you don’t know your participles!
Participles in the NT
Verses with [x] participles:
6 participles in one verse: 1
1 Cor 7:30
5 participles in one verse: 15
Matt 21:9; Mark 5:15; 6:2; 10:32; 15:29; Luke 17:7; Acts 9:39; 16:27; 24:25; 2 Cor 4:18; 6:9–10; Jude 1:12; Rev 2:17; 19:20
4 participles in one verse: 100
3 participles in one verse: 398
2 participles in one verse:
1,197 1,218 verses (2,436 participles). (Thanks to Mike Thigpen for correcting one of my search parameters.)
1 participle in a verse: 2,556
# ptcps in NT: 6,662
# vv. in NT: 7,941 (per GNT-T module in Accordance; = NA27, Accordance digital v. 3.9)
# vv. in NT with ptcps: 4,277
And for the really curious, there is one verse in the LXX which has 9 participles!
2 Macc 9:25, πρὸς δὲ τούτοις κατανοῶν τοὺς παρακειμένους δυνάστας καὶ γειτνιῶντας τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῖς καιροῖς ἐπέχοντας καὶ προσδοκῶντας τὸ ἀποβησόμενον, ἀναδέδειχα τὸν υἱὸν Ἀντίοχον βασιλέα, ὃν πολλάκις ἀνατρέχων εἰς τὰς ἐπάνω σατραπείας τοῖς πλείστοις ὑμῶν παρεκατετιθέμην καὶ συνίστων· γέγραφα δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν τὰ ὑπογεγραμμένα.
Trivia for other Accordance users
Here’s how to find these figures/verses.
Start with 2 construct windows with this pattern, each one having one more participle specified than the first:
Correction: the “within” constraint is not needed–and my use of 20 turns out to be too small since it misses 2 dozen verses with more than 20 words separating the participles.
Then compare the two construct result windows with a 3d search window and this criteria:
[CONTENTS GNT-T] [NOT] [CONTENTS GNT-T 2]
You have to iterate the 2 windows to get all the figures. The “GNT-T” window is always one number smaller than “GNT-T2.”
Reason for this is that a search for, say 3 participles also finds those with 4 or more (since it does have 3). The search essentially says, give me only those that have just 3 (i.e., whose references do not show up in a search for a verse with 4 participles).
See Accordance forums for the help necessary:
Topic: Another participle search query
Description: How to find vv with multiple participles
Author: Rod Decker
Date (begin): 1/31/2011
Thanks to Dr. J., JP, and Helen for the help to figure this one out! And Mike for pointing out a mistake.