Stephen Carlson wrote:
1 John 2:3 wrote:Καὶ ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν ὅτι ἐγνώκαμεν αὐτόν, ἐὰν τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ τηρῶμεν.
What is the force of the perfect ἐγνώκαμεν? Robertson says it's an "intensive perfect." How would the meaning be different from an aorist, say ἔγνωμεν?
I can't of course give any definitive answer and I'm ready to accept what others have said. But I still think Robertson can be defended. If the "normal" meaning of perfect is the state resulting from a past action, what is the state resulting from a state? It's nothing more or less than more of that state.
For me this makes perfect sense. If we say "I have built a house" the result is a house standing there, not more of the same action. The action and the resulting state are two different things. In English we can of course say "I have been there" or "I have known him" but it includes the end of the state and lack of it at the present moment, unlike the Greek perfect. But stative events, at least some of them, don't have any goal in "real world", and linguistically speaking they don't include any goal or endpoint or change of state. Therefore it's meaningless to speak about a state resulting from a state. Where does this lead to? The writer could have used the present tense if he would have wanted to speak about the present moment, or aorist if he would have wanted to speak about knowing in the past. Why use the perfect tense? Because the only possible result from a state is more of that state, "state on top of state", which is the state intensified.
I'm not saying Robertson used this kind of logic. But we would do well to remember that Robertson had read quite much Greek literature and might have developed a good "sense" for things, and really felt that the perfect here has an intensifying sense. His classification isn't necessarily a sign of overclassification or classification for its own sake or of wanting to see meaning in every detail. Many of the past and present "dead grammarians" can have a gut feeling based on the good knowledge of the language (not just about
the language, like I do...).