Greek Syntax: Sleepy Disciples

Hi folks, I’m back after an extended holiday. And for an upcoming home group study, I’m starting to work through the epistle to the Colossians. So I’ve been reading it recently. In reading, I came across Colossians 1.9, which has the phrase “we have not ceased to pray for you”. In looking at the word “pray”, I noticed this is a predicator (“pray”, in an embedded clause) with an adjunct (“for you”). At least, that’s how the ESV translates it. So I wondered what other sorts of adjuncts modify the word used here for “pray” (προσεύχομαι).

This was the beginning of a rabbit trail, but a fun one. I won’t detail the syntax search (I’ve done similar searches before, check the syntax archives) but I would like to poke around a bit in one area where some interesting hits were grouped together.

In searching for adjuncts that modify προσεύχομαι, I happened across Matthew 26.36-46. In those 10 verses, there are three instances of προσεύχομαι. The first (v. 36) has two adjuncts, the second (v. 42) has three adjuncts, and the third (v. 44) has four adjuncts.

This concentration seemed interesting, so I poked through the text further. I spent all of 15 minutes or so thinking about this before I recorded the one-take video below, but it is an example of the kinds of thoughts that slowing down and examining the clause structure through the syntax graph can generate.

Serendipitous discovery facilitated.


  1. Rick, that was most interesting. I enjoyed listening to/watching you Flash video illustrating the Greek clause structure.

  2. Hi Rick
    I stumbled across your video at 4:30am today as I was studying 1 thess 5 23 in my logos applc.
    I don’t even remember how I got out into cyberspace this AM.
    Anyway, I didn’t even know I had let alone know what it was. After watching your video I typed it into My Library and sure enough there it was / is!
    Fantastic! Even I get the grammar (parts o’speech) with all the pop up helps. Neato keeno.
    Thanks for doing your 15 minutes of fame last August!