Re: Dan Wallace's Grammar

Alan M Feuerbacher (
Fri, 10 Jan 1997 06:04:29 -0800

Without my permission, Walt McFall recently forwarded a discussion
we were having on another forum. This other forum is intended for
informal, free-for-all style discussions and is in no way intended
to be a place for the relatively calm, orderly posts that are the
order of the day on B-Greek. Therefore, please take my comments
that Walt sent with a grain of salt. They were intended to provoke
comment and discussion from fence-sitters.

Following Rod Decker's advice, here is the gist of a question we
would like resolved:

In _Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics_ Daniel B. Wallace argues against
the idea that in John 8:58, the phrase "ego eimi" is a "historical
present" (p. 530-1). To do this, Wallace discusses an article by
Dennis Light and says that Light's argument has several flaws, among
which are:

(3) If this is a historical present, it is apparently the only
historical present in the NT that is in other than the third

I argued that Wallace failed to mention John 14:9 in the NT, and
passages like Genesis 31:38, 41 in the LXX, which from all references
I've seen are indisputable uses of "eimi" as a historical present.
I would think that a scholar like Wallace would know these passages
far better than an amateur such as myself. But since Wallace's
argument number (3) implies by omission that such passages do not
exist, he is failing to present information that shows that his
argument is incorrect. I argued that such an omission is deliberate
and unscholarly.

I invite comments about this. I would also invite comments on any
other arguments in the material Walt forwarded.

Alan Feuerbacher