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Re: perfect tense vs. periphrastic perfect
- To: Timo.Flink@mime.mikkeliamk.fi
- Subject: Re: perfect tense vs. periphrastic perfect
- From: Carlton Winbery <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 22 May 1997 08:25:07 -0600
- Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org
Timo Flink wrote;
>I'm a kind of a newbie on New Testament Greek and I would like to know
>how to best differentiate between the perfect tense and the periphrastic
>perfect. How much and in what way they differ? I know the perfect
>tense as being a completed action done in the past with result in the
>present time, but what about that periphrastic one?
>This in mind, how do you translate ESTE SESWSMENOI in Ephesians 2:8
>? Is it some kind of a statement about persistence of the salvation
>through present time?
I have read the fine posts that have been written in answer to this
question, but I would like to call attention to John 20:30-31.
In vs 30 . . . (signs) which OUK ESTIN GEGRAMMENA in this book . . .
In vs 31 . . . these things GEGRAPTAI in order that . . .
It would be difficult to demonstrate any difference in meaning between the
two. As in other places in John the variation seems to be stylistic and
insignificant for translation.
Concerning Eph. 2:5, 8; the use of the periphrastic there may be said to
emphasize the existing state more than an indicative perfect passive would,
but there are a number of places where the perf. pass. ind. would do the
same-- Lk 24:46 "It stands written . . ."; Phil. 2:24 "I am persuaded . .
." I can see little significant difference in the meaning; perhaps a
slightly increased emphasis on the existing state?
I would translate Eph. 2:5, 8 "You are saved . . ." Keep in mind the
strong contrast in this chapter between what you were and what you are now.
Surely Paul is emphasizing an existing state. The word "saved" may need
some work also. Nida's note on it relating it to the concepts of healing,
rescuing, or delivering should be kept in mind.
Carlton L. Winbery
Fogleman Professor of Religion
Chair, Division of Religious Studies
voice 318 487-7241
fax 318 442-4996