From: Carl W. Conrad (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Mar 31 1997 - 13:33:38 EST
At 10:57 AM -0600 3/31/97, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>I was struck by the present participle hUSTEROUNTAI in this verse, and hope
>I'm not overinterpreting it:
>Roma 3:22 (GNT) DIKAIOSUNH DE QEOU DIA PISTEWS IHSOU CRISTOU EIS PANTAS TOUS
>PISTEUONTAS. OU GAR ESTIN DIASTOLH, 23 PANTES GAR hHMARTON KAI hUSTEROUNTAI
>THS DOXHS TOU QEOU 24 DIKAIOUMENOI DWREAN TH AUTOU CARITI DIA THS
>APOLUTRWSEWS THS EN CRISTW IHSOU:
(1) Let it be said first of all that hUSTEROUNTAI is NOT a present
participle but an ordinary 3 pl. middle verb (those who prefer to call it
passive or deponent are free to do so); the comparable participle would be
hUSTEROUMENOI--you are, I believe, confusing hUSTEROUNTAI with what would
be an active present participle of this verb IF it had forms in the active
voice, namely hUSTEROUNTES. The silly little morphological fact that one
has to remember about active participles (including what is morphologically
speaking still an active participle, the aorist passive) is that they have
masculine and neuter forms in the 3rd declension, feminine forms in the 1st.
>A present participle presents the action during its course, so I would think
>that this verse should be interpreted "for all sinned, and fall short of the
>glory of God", not "for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of
>God". We still fall short. All of us. Even if we no longer sinned, we still
>fall short because we *have* sinned; there is no distinction between Jew and
>Gentile here - we are both justified as a gift by his grace. We fall short
>and we are justified as a gift - both statements are present participles,
>and refer to the same PANTES.
>Is this a valid interpretation?
>Also, I assume that DIKAIOUMENOI has true passive force here, but
>hUSTEROUNTAI has middle force. Am I on target here?
(2) To answer the hUSTERON question PROTERON, Yes, regarding these two
verbs, you've rightly identified the voice.
(3) I think that you are rightly understanding the sense of v. 23, but now
that you have posed it, I find that I am far from fully satisfied about the
relationship between the aorist and present tenses in this linkage--23
PANTES GAR hHMARTON KAI hUSTEROUNTAI. And here's where the people who want
to make much of aspect need to enter in and help us. My inclination is to
understand this combination as meaning "Everyone sins and is
continually/repeatedly coming up short of the glory of God"--the aorist
implying the simple unadorned fact, and not as a reference to past time in
particular but as a timeless truth, while the present indicates not so much
an ongoing state as a recurrent failure.
I think this is really a very interesting case for analysis in terms of
aspect. What do the people who have settled opinions on verbal aspect have
to say about this instance?
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
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