Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Exegetical Theology

First Advisor

James Voelz

Scripture References in this Resource

Romans 11:2a; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15; 2 Corinthians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 7:7; Acts 10:18; Acts 10:32; Acts 17:3; Acts 4:10; Ephesians 1:6; Ephesians 2:2-3; Ephesians 6:17; John 1:13; John 1:26; John 12:1; John 14:24; John 15:20; John 6:50; Luke 2:11; Luke 6:48; Luke 6:49; Mark 14:71; Mark 5:25; 27; Matthew 1:16; Matthew 2:9; Matthew 25:34; Matthew 27:33; Matthew 6:4; Matthew 7:24; Philippians 3:8; Revelation 1:1; Romans 1:2; Romans 8:24


Hayes, Michael, E. "An Analysis of the Attributive Participle and the Relative Clause in the Greek New Testament." Ph.D. diss., Concordia Seminary, 2014. 379 pp.

Many New Testament Greek grammarians assert that the Greek attributive participle and the Greek relative clause are "equivalent." A survey of those assertions reveals a lack of comprehensive and original research with respect to this grammatical "rule. “James W. Voelz originally asserted that the two constructions were equivalent. In recent times, however, he has made exploratory observations concerning the restrictive nature of attributive participles and the possible nonrestrictive nature of relative clauses, thereby questioning the notion of equivalence. His observations have served as an impetus to reassess these grammatical constructions especially with respect to the restrictive/nonrestrictive distinction.

The present work puts forth the findings of an analysis of every attributive participle and relative clause in the Greek New Testament. The linguistic categories of restrictivity and nonrestrictivity are thoroughly presented. Multiple restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses (both attributive participles and relative clauses) are analyzed and general tendencies are noted. The Accessibility Hierarchy provides a helpful framework for accurately comparing the two constructions, focusing the central and critical analysis to the subject relative clause and the attributive participle.

The analysis of the present work leads to the conclusion that with respect to the restrictive/nonrestrictive distinction these two constructions could in no way be described as “equivalent." The attributive participle is primarily utilized to restrict its antecedent except under certain prescribed circumstances, and when both constructions are grammatically and stylistically feasible, the relative clause is predominantly utilized to relate nondestructively to its antecedent. As a result, this study serves as a call to clarity and correction for New Testament Greek grammarians, exegetes/commentators, and modern editors and translators of the Greek New Testament.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.