Re: "I will" build my church

The tense in the Matthew text is the Greek future, oikodomhsw.  This tense 
may correspond with any of the great and hence rather ad hoc variety of 
English future tenses (eight possibilities!):
        SIMPLEX               PROGRESSIVE
     I will/shall build    I will/shall be building
     I am to build         I am to be building
     I am about to build   I am about to be building
     I build               I am building
- Note that English in fine Germanic fashion very often uses the present 
tense with a future sense (e.g., "They arrive next week," "We're doing that 
chapter tomorrow"), so that in some contexts, particularly where the future 
point of time is specified in the context, even a present tense translation 
might be acceptable.  The context here offers no such time specifier, so 
this option is not advisable.
- Typical North American and other colonial usage diverges much from 
homeland English on the matter of "shall" vs. "will", so I skip any comment 
and apologize to the purists on this point.
- The "am to" constructions often (but not always!) include a tone of 
obligation:  "They are to arrive next week" may or not mean "They are 
supposed to arrive...."  Using this construction, "I am to build..." could 
put a different spin on this verse, to be sure.
- Futures done with the "am about to" construction show the elegant 
brinksmanship of the Greek MELLEIN, which can imply either future or 
thwarted action, sometimes both simultaneously!  Probably not a good choice 

Remember always, always, that English tenses match very poorly with Greek 
tenses, given the wealth of the English tense system (22 "tenses", by my 
count in my 1992 article in _Classical_World_).  The Greek present tense, 
say FAINOMAI, may be best rendered with the simple present I APPEAR, or the 
progressive present, I AM APPEARING, or the emphatic/asseverative I DO 
APPEAR, or even the present perfect progressive, I HAVE BEEN APPEARING 
(which is the English tense used for time frames that include both past and 
present), depending on the context.  Subordinate clauses in English also 
follow a "sequence of tense" rule, generally switching to past tense if the 
governing clause is in a past tense, as the verb "began" in the clause, 
"She was claiming that the twenty-first century began in the year 2000."

On the other hand, it would be quite a stretch to suppose that the Greek 
f_u_t_u_r_e would explicitly refer to the past or to the present.  Beware 
of improperly reversing that sense of the English present form that so 
often means "future" time, and of trying to make that imply that the Greek 
future form means "present" time or past time.  I think you have to rethink 
your interpretation somewhat.

--David N. Wigtil.  Technology Assessment.  U. S. Department of Energy.
Graeca leguntur in omnibus fere gentibus,
Latina suis finibus exiguis sane continentur.   (Cicero, "Pro Archia")
(Greek works are read in practically all nations;
 Latin works are confined in their rather small territory.)
                     [ How things can change! ]
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______________________________ Reply Separator 
Subject: "I will" build my church
Author:  hedrickd@ochampus.mil_at_internet at X400PO
Date:    8/24/94 7:58 PM

Posted-Date: Thu, 25 Aug 1994 06:58:48 +0700 
X-Sun-Charset: US-ASCII
Content-Length: 213

Matt 16:18

Can anyone tell me the tense of I will, in this passage?

Could someone pls break this down for me.

I believe that this is meant as I have been, will be and 
I am right now building my church.