Make sure you read Croy section 135 carefully. The genitive absolute is a very common and extremely important construction in Greek.
In a genitive absolute construction, there is a participle in the genitive case and the subject of that participle is also put into the genitive case. The participle and its subject can then be simply added to another sentence, where there is a verb and a nominative subject. This allows Greek writers to combine two sentences in one!
λέγει ἡ γυνὴ τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα.
The woman says these words.
ἔκραξεν τὸ τέκνον.
The child cried out.
λεγούσης τῆς γυναῖκος τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα ἔκραξεν τὸ τέκνον.
The woman saying these words, the child cried out.
or: The woman said these words and the child cried out.
In this genitive absolute construction, there is a participle in the genitive (λεγούσης) with a subject in the genitive (γυναῖκος) and an object in the accusative as you would expect (ῥήματα). This genitive absolute is tacked onto a sentence that has its own main verb (ἔκραξεν) with a subject in the nominative case as you would expect (τέκνον).
Although it is not something used in everyday speech, English also has an absolute construction:
All things have been considered.
The plan looks like it is a good idea.
All things considered, the plan looks like a look idea.
All things are equal.
I prefer to go to the movies tonight rather than tomorrow.
All things being equal, I prefer to go to the movies tonight rather than tomorrow.
For those of you who have studied Latin, the genitive absolute will be very familiar - it is the Greek equivalent of the Latin ablative absolute (as you can see, the ablative case disappeared in Greek, and many of its functions have been taken over by the genitive case).
Biblical Greek Online. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. Page last updated: April 9, 2005 8:06 PM