Finding every command in a bible book

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Barry Metz | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Nov 10 2015 11:36 AM

What is the simplest way to get a list of verses from the book of Hebrews that have commands/imperatives?

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 10 2015 12:52 PM

This is the easiest way to find all of the imperatives

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Barry Metz | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 10 2015 1:08 PM

Thank you.

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Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 10 2015 1:13 PM

Welcome to the forums, Barry!

Let me add to Fred's answer. Once you run the Morph search, you can save it as either (A) a Passage List, which can be exported to Word for editing or external use, or (B) a Visual Filter (which I encourage you do), which can then be turned on or off from the VF menu whenever you want to see the imperatives in Hebrews.

This drop down menu is accessed by clicking on the panel menu icon, which is the hourglass-looking thing at the top of the search menu.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

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Lew Worthington | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 10 2015 7:32 PM

I might add a note, too, regarding the Greek. There are other ways in Koine to express a command than using the imperative, grammatically and logically.

1. The future indicative can also function as an imperative. (This is similar to English: "You will pick up your clothes," commonly means the same as "You shall pick up your clothes.") Conversely, imperatives are sometimes used in conditionals, and in those cases, may not necessarily denote a command.

Also, prohibitions can be regarded as types of negative command. In these cases, the subjunctive is often used.

Finally, certain conditional statements or participial expressions carry imperative force. This is more a logical than a grammatical thing, but a verse such as John 14:21 ("They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me") certainly contains an implicit commandment to obey Jesus, even if the sentence itself is not a command.

There's more to it, but this is just off the top of my head. All of this is to say that a morph search might not get everything, and might give you some false positives.

Posts 462
Dave Moser | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 11 2015 7:16 AM

Lew Worthington:
participial expressions carry imperative force

This is a very frequent occurrence and is very difficult to construct a search for. Here's an example from Eph 6 that I'm preaching in two weeks:

  • stand - Imperative Verb (Eph 6:14)
  • fasten the belt of truth - Participle (Eph 6:14)
  • put on the breastplate of righteousness - Participle (Eph 6:14)
  • put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace - Participle (Eph 6:15)
  • take up the shield of faith - Participle (Eph 6:16)
  • take the helmet of salvation - Imperative Verb (Eph 6:17)
  • praying at all times - Participle (Eph 6:18)
  • keep alert - Participle (Eph 6:18)

There are 8 instructions here but only two of them are imperative verbs! That's because participles of means/manner carry the force of an instruction.

I suppose you could construct a syntax search to find participles and infinitives that are subordinate to imperative verbs but that's not my strong suit. So I'll let someone else give you advice on that.

(Another famous passage that is nearly all participle-commands is the Great Commission.) 

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Lew Worthington | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 11 2015 7:23 AM

That's a great example, Dave. As I posted my last message, I started thinking about how I might search all the possibilities, but since I started thinking about even more ways commands might be implied in Greek, and since there are some folks in this forum for whom searches are second nature, I took the easy way out. Smile

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 11 2015 8:18 AM

Dave Moser:
This is a very frequent occurrence and is very difficult to construct a search for.

Well Wallace states, "The imperatival participle is quite rare." (GGBTB 24.2.2.b.1.a) He may be referring to the participle alone, not as you are, with a participle expressing means or manner. Nevertheless it would be impossible to search for with the current level of tagging.

Dave Moser:
There are 8 instructions here but only two of them are imperative verbs! That's because participles of means/manner carry the force of an instruction.

Even though they carry the force of an imperative, they are not in this case independent commands. Here they are functioning adverbially, explaining how to stand (manner, means, but associated with the initial imperative). This is significant in exegesis because it tells us we can't  separate the participles from their ruling verb in our interpretation.

I'd argue that the ruling verb in verses 18-21 is the imperative of verse 14.That would mean that praying and being alert are also part of being able to stand (verse 14). You may disagree.

I'm sure I'm not saying anything you don't know, but there are judgement calls involved which makes a straightforward search impossible to construct.

To further muddy the water, in addition to participles sometimes having the force of an imperative, there are hortatory subjunctives, prohibitive subjunctives, imperatival infinitives, the use of ἵνα to create a command, and others.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

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Lew Worthington | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 11 2015 8:28 AM

Mark Smith:

To further muddy the water, ...

Indeed, that was my original idea, namely, that it would be muddy, to say the least. Without inferring too much from the OP, it is possible he wanted to find all the verses in which commands were given, whether they were given adverbially or otherwise.

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Frank Sauer | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 11 2015 9:22 AM

Really appreciate this thread. Very beneficial search string, that I look forward to using consistently.

A quick question for our search string experts: How would the search string command be generated to limit the command to a certain type, example: a command to pray, worship or submit (search for every command to pray in the NT)

Posts 462
Dave Moser | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 11 2015 12:03 PM

Mark Smith:
Even though they carry the force of an imperative, they are not in this case independent commands. Here they are functioning adverbially, explaining how to stand (manner, means, but associated with the initial imperative). This is significant in exegesis because it tells us we can't  separate the participles from their ruling verb in our interpretation.

I'd argue that the ruling verb in verses 18-21 is the imperative of verse 14.That would mean that praying and being alert are also part of being able to stand (verse 14). You may disagree.

I'm sure I'm not saying anything you don't know, but there are judgement calls involved which makes a straightforward search impossible to construct.

Agreed.

The OP asked for "commands" which could be interpreted as a logical category which is more broad than the grammatical category of "imperative." In that sense, participles of means/manner subordinated to imperatives are instructions for how to carry out the main verb and would logically (rather than grammatically) fall into the category of command.

In the end it all boils down to what the OP means when he asks for "commands."

Frank Sauer:
A quick question for our search string experts: How would the search string command be generated to limit the command to a certain type, example: a command to pray, worship or submit (search for every command to pray in the NT)

Unfortunately I think you will need to do this for every lemma that has to do with prayer. The concept of prayer isn't only indicated by the word "pray." It's also indicated by the words "ask God," "petition," etc. You could string together all of the possible prayer-verbs with the search operator OR but that would get messy and you'll likely get false positives... 

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 11 2015 2:11 PM

Frank Sauer:
A quick question for our search string experts: How would the search string command be generated to limit the command to a certain type, example: a command to pray, worship or submit (search for every command to pray in the NT)

Here, sense-based searching is helpful

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