Re: John 20:21 -- ἀποστέλλω vs πέμπω
Posted: April 4th, 2017, 11:25 pm
StephenHughs wrote: We see Jesus here among us (if we are empathising / identifying with the disciples) or among the disciples (if we read the story of Jesus and the disciples), during the carrying-out-of-the-commission stage of ἀποστεῖλαι verb, and he is telling us or the disciples about that stage of the process that we or they weren't privy to. From our or the disciple's point of view the whole of the ἀποστεῖλαι process lies ahead of us or them, it is about the first step, the commissioning stage of the ἀποστεῖλαι verb or the sending, rather than the carrying-out-of-the-commission stage of ἀποστεῖλαι verb.
In effect then, the ἀποστεῖλαι verb represents two different things, the first is the complete and often more abstract idea of both the commissioning and the carrying-out-of-the-commission, and the second is the thing that can happen within any given nunc fluens (relatively speaking "now") period of time, ie just the commissioning.
Πέμπτειν has the same degree of containment within a limited time period as ἀποστεῖλαι in the sense of just "commissioning" or "sending" has. While πέμπτειν has much less meaning than ἀποστεῖλαι, we understand the added significance it has in these passages from the context of the passages. The degree of specificity of a vague verb is increased by the other words around it that give more specific information.
By way of comparison with English, while Greek expresses the move from vagueness to specificity by choice of words, or by the choice of meanings that the words have (to us or the individuals) in the narrative, English uses tense to do the same thing. Moving from the present perfect to the simple past in a narrative is roughly the same. "I have been to Beijing. I visited the Great Wall." is a general statement followed by a specific one. [That is the vaguer use of the present perfect without immediate present reference, ie the one like, "I have eaten rice (at some point at least in my life)", vs. "I have eaten some rice (so I feel full)".
I read it similarly, not regarding the two as merely synonyms, but as differing perspectives on two different apostleships. Christ, who has completed His Apostleship by the Father, refers to it in the Perfect, for the action has been perfected/completed [απεσταλκεν]. He has finished the course...
Christ's Apostles, however, are just now embarking on their Apostleship, and so he refers to their now being sent forth in the present tense of being sent as an embarkation, a starting out... [πεμπω].
"Just as the Father did apostle Me, I also am sending you..."
This wooden translation illustrates somewhat the difference of the two terms...