EDOQH/Mat. 28:16-20

>I do appreciate the responses to my query re. EDOTHE in Mt 28.19.  


>That having been said, I would like to ask how Rodney or Maurice, or David
>Moore (who responded to me personally),might translate Mt 28.19?  The reason
>I still ask this, even after Rodney has suggested that we can only give this
>answer in light of the "larger context, not from the verb form used here",
>because it is entirely possible that Mt 28.16-20 is not dependent on the
>of Matthew, and therefore cannot -- without slanting the evidence -- nece-
>ssarily be translated in the light of the rest of the Gospel.

>If this is the case -- or even, for the sake of argument, if it were --,
>then, Rodney, how would we know how to translate EDOTHE, or would we, as
>I would suggest, have two possibilities -- a past completed form ("was
>or a present completed form ("has been given")?  It would seem to me that
>your note would lead to this very series of options.  If this is the case,
>must we simply conclude that these two are the options, or can we go further
>to note which of the two is more likely without referring to the rest of the
>text?  That was more the point of my original question.

     At the risk of sticking my neck out, let me say that I would not
separate Mat. 28:16-20 from the rest of the book.  First of all, no extant MS
supports such a separation.  And second of all, IMO, the exegete should be
willing to bow to the best MS evidence available unless there are compelling
arguments for emendation of the text.  Most of the arguments I am aware of on
this passage are arguments from silence: i.e. that the three-membered
baptismal formula and the great comission are not mentioned in other parts of
the NT, and that some of the early fathers do not mention these or quote the
passage in question.  Although one might wonder about a tone in this passage
that seems to be different than that in the rest of Matthew, this may be
explained on other grounds; and the other arguments that may be cited -
mainly from silence - constitute insufficient evidence to legitimately allow
an excision of the passage.  At any rate, I don't see how even postulating a
different author for 28:16-20 could have any substantial effect on how EDOQH
should be understood.

     Notwithstanding emphases on the punctilliar aspect of the aorist
recently posted to this list, EDOQH in Mat. 28:18 could be understood in a
temporal sense.  Notice the temporal augment (the epsilon at the beginning of
the word) which is characteristic of those tenses in the indicitive mood that
refer to past time.  Although the punctilliar aspect of the verb is probably
never completely absent from the aorist, in the indicative, the aorist's
meaning is often substantially temporal.  In choosing what English expression
to employ in translating, we might select among "was given," "has been
given," or "is given."  I agree with Philip Graber that "was given" sounds
odd in English, so it is probably best to set that phrase aside.

     Of the other two possibilities, "is given" could be used (so KJV) if we
understood it as a simple, factual- rather than temporal statement.  The
aorist may be so understood; yet the verb EDOQH's being indicitive in mood
does suggest it has some temporal force.  To express that temporal dynamic,
it is probably best to go with the translation "All authority has been given
to me...."  The completeness that the perfect tense expresses also harmonizes
well with the immediate context's repeated emphasis on "all": "all
authority," "Heaven and Earth" (all of creation), "all nations," "all that I
have commanded," "all the days to the end of the world."

David L. Moore