Re: John 8:58, <ego eimi> & <aiwnios>

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Aug 20 1996 - 13:11:43 EDT

At 5:26 AM -0500 8/20/96, Ron Henzel wrote:
> > Well, assuming for the sake of argument that Jesus had as much to
> > declare, then we might offer that Jesus could have said the following:
> > "I have been in existence from all past eternity."
> Excellent point! Somehow I just *knew* that somebody would come up
> with something like this!
> I can't say that I recognize the construction, however. Both
> <pantos> and <aiwnios> (which I believe you misspelled) look like two
> adjectives in search of a noun. Perhaps you had something in mind
> like <pro chronwn aiwniwn> (2 Tim. 1:19). Anyway, your basic point
> seems to be that if Jesus had used a construction involving the
> adjective <aiwnios> ("eternal") would have expressed eternal
> existence more explicitly. Point well taken. I don't have time
> to check for parallels to your example right now. Can you provide
> some?

There's nothing wrong with that construction: AIWN is a noun modified by
PANTOS: "before _any/and every_ world-age."

What I'm wondering is why we aren't considering the existence referred to
in Jesus' EIMI as essentially _timeless_, wherefore there's something a
little bit odd--or at least paradoxical (perhaps intentionally so) in the
suggestion that what is timeless has a temporal relation to an event in

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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