Eph 4.22-24

From: Brian E. Wilson (brian@twonh.demon.co.uk)
Date: Tue Feb 11 1997 - 12:53:57 EST

>Tom wrote:
>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?


My thoughts on this are that you cannot command anyone to do anything
except in the future. You cannot tell your friend to do something
yesterday, or even at the moment you are uttering the command, since by
the time he or she has heard the command it is already a later moment in
history. Logically, all imperatives are future-directed. I would
suggest, therefore, that the tenses of the words in Eph 4.22-24 make no
difference to the meanings if they are to be taken as imperatives. The
meaning can be teased out only by studying the context and the various
possibilities and probabalities, if it can be teased out at all.

I have not come across anything in books or articles on what I have
written above. It is just my own way of thinking. Would any one who
knows more grammar than myself like to comment and correct me as
appropriate? Is it true that the tense of an imperative is irrelevant to
its meaning?!
Brian E. Wilson

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