Re: Matt 5:28 blepwn
Tom Launder (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sat, 7 Sep 1996 18:14:31 -0700
At 07:57 AM 9/4/96 -0500, you wrote:
>At 8:52 PM -0500 9/3/96, Tom Launder wrote:
>>I have a question about the present participle blepwn.
>>In Matt 5:28 Jesus speaks about an individual who looks at a woman to lust.
>>"PAS hO BLEPWN GUNAIKA PROS TO EPIQUMHSAI AUTHN HDH EMOIXEUSEN AUTHN EN THi
>>Is there any exegetical significance to the present tense (ex. the one who
>>is continually looking at a woman to lust). Or is this just a general
>>present participle denoting a certain class of people.
>>Is there the idea here of repeated action, thus the looking is tending
>>toward a habitual sinful pattern?
>I thought someone would take up this one quickly, but I see no one has.
>Personally I DON'T think there's any special significance to the "presence"
>of a Present tense here. The phrasing strikes me as Semitic, although I'm
>not really the best judge of that; if the Greek DOES represent an original
>Semitic formulation, then I would suspect that PAS hO BLEPWN is equivalent
>to KOL HA ROEH or the like--the Hebrew present participle used as a present
>tense--so that what we have here is a generalizing construction: "Everyone"
>means "anyone who ..." If, on the other hand, there isn't any Semitic
>formulation underlying Mt's Greek, I think that PAS hO BLEPWN GUNAIKA PROS
>TO EPIQUMHSAI AUTHN is equivalent to a standard present general condition
>in Greek, e.g.,
> hOSTIS AN GUNAIKA TINA BLEPHi hINA EPIQUMHSHi AUTHN ...
>The present tense is quite common in such a construction in classical Attic
>Greek, and I'm not sure an aorist BLEPSHi would make any significant
>Any other opinions?
>Carl W. Conrad
>Department of Classics, Washington University
>One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
>email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org
I have read the many responses on this issue and from what I understand most
would say that there is no significance to the present tense here. This
brings up a question: why would an author choose to use the present tense
then? From what I was taught, the aorist was the "default tense" for when
an author did not wish to express any thing significant about an action.
Yet now it seems that there is no real significance to the present tense
except by context and the nature of the word itself. Am I getting this?
Perhaps also it has to do with the fact that blepwn is substantized which
would lead to the participle tense having no real significance?
In 1 John there are many present substantival participles (legwn, poiwn,
miswn, agapwn, pisteuwn, exwn, etc.) which I remember adding "continually"
to the translation in my mind. Do I need to scrap altogether the continuous
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still
sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)