From: Carlton Winbery (winberyc@popalex1.linknet.net)
Date: Tue Feb 11 1997 - 05:57:43 EST

Tom wrote;
>>>>>I was challenged recently to study whether or not a believer has two
natures or one. Is a believer simultaneously old man and new or has the
old man died and now the believer is new only. The text which can
answer this question is Eph 4:22-24 and the three infinitives.

. . . EDIDAXQhTE. . . APOQESQAI (aorist inf)<<<<<

The construction here makes the infinitive the direct object of the verb.
"you were taught" . . . What? "to put away"

>>>>>>>ANA(N)EOUSQAI (present inf)
ENDUSASQAI (aorist inf)

Imperatives or indicatives? This is the question!<<<<<<

I would take these the same as the above. They indicate what they were taught.

>>>>>>>The shift in tense appears to be very important here. If these were
commands wouldn't it be assumed that all should be present tense? If
the believer is being commanded to put off and put on, why aorist tense?
Doesn't the aorist point to an undefined action, but other places Paul
wants put off and on to be continuous activity?<<<<<<<<<

I would not see them as direct commands but what they were taught. Of
course, Paul expects that they will live up to what they were taught. I
would show diff. in the tenses only in this way, "You were taught to put
off . . . to continually be renewed . . . and to put on . . ."

>>>>>>>A close parallel passage in Colossians 3:9-10 states,


Here both appear as aorists and seem to point to an action in the past.
They are used as the basis for moral behavior (Do not lie to one

Ah, here is the rub. Don't ascribe time to aor. ptcs. They are
circumstantial, describing the circumstance under which they should live
without lying to each other.

>>>>>>>Romans 6:6 has,


Again the old man is crucified in an aorist event<<<<<<

The ptc is circumstantial to the last verb in vs. 5. "We are of the
resurrection, knowing this . . ." I am always reluctant to think that Paul
was putting these down as steps toward righteousness, but rather describing
differing aspects of the total experience of the righteous God in his acts
of forgiveness.

>>>>>>>>These Scriptures seem to portray the old man as a put off and crucified
entity. But the key text is Eph 4:22-24. If that passage is imperative
than the old man still lives though dead and must be put off. If not
then the old man is dead and believers are new only and put off sinful
deeds not the old man<<<<<<<<<<<

Paul tends to describe the church and also the Christian person in
idealistic terms and then (esp. in the later chapters of a letter) say to
those to whom he is writing, "Now become this." I think that it is a
mistake to take his tenses too seriously, esp. ptcs. and infs.

Carlton L. Winbery
114 Beall St.
Pineville, LA 71360
Fax 442-4996
e-mail winberyc@popalex1.linknet.net
Phone 318 487-7241 Home 448-6103

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