As I prepare to post my exegesis of Ephesians 4.17-19, I thought I’d run an Passage Guide in Logos to see what was out there.pas I came across a discussion that directly referenced our confusing participle in Ephesians 4.18.
The Fribergs directly states that they thinks its a periphrastic construction. Their words are worth quoting in full:
Periphrastic constructions (identified by a plus sign in the direction of the other member of the pair, v+ +v) have a base verb whose only purpose is to give grammatical information; it has no semantic content. In our analysis there are two kinds of periphrastic constructions. The first is an empty verb and a participle. The common empty verb is εἰμί, though in several instances in Luke’s writings ὑπάρχω performs this function (Acts 8.16; 19.36); προϋπάρχω (Luke 23.12 and Acts 8.9) seems to bear the semantic component of “previously” and thus isn’t thought periphrastic. We examined possible instances of ἒρχομαι and γίνομαι as the empty verb but found in each case that the potential base added some semantic content. (The base verb is usually finite. It may also be a participle (e.g. Ephesians 4.18) or an infinitive (Luke 9.18).) The second kind of periphrastic construction is μέλλω and an infinitive, although this construction indicates some sense of futurity (…was/is going to…). (The form of μέλλω is usually finite or participial. It may also be infinitival (e.g. Acts 19.27).) In both kinds of constructions the base may be either before or after the related participle or infinitive. Periphrastics range from moderately to highly certain. All constructions analyzed here as periphrastics may be read as having an implied choice. In one case, John 1.9, the choice is spelled out: the participle is either nonperiphrastic (in which case it is accusative and masculine) or periphrastic (nominative and neuter).
Barbara Friberg et al., vol. 1, Analytical Greek New Testament: Greek Text Analysis (Baker’s Greek New Testament Library; Cedar Hill, Texas: Silver Mountain Software, 2001).