Re: 1 John and epistolary aorists

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Mon Apr 28 1997 - 17:15:55 EDT

At 04:04 PM 4/28/97 GMT, Mark Goodacre wrote:
>> Let me try an easier question: does anybody know of another instance
>> where GRAFW is interspersed with EGRAPSA in an epistolary sense?
>> (Other verbs will also do; I'm just picking on EGRAPSA because it is
>> the most common verb used in an epistolary sense.) Especially in a
>> place where it isn't just inconsistent style, but seems to be used
>> intentionally?
>> Jonathan
>> ********************************************************************
>> ****** Jonathan Robie
>> POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road,
>> Durham, N.C., 27703
>> ********************************************************************
>> ******
>As I mentioned last week, 1 Cor. 5.9 -13 is fascinating in this
>regard - Paul either wrote or writes in v. 9 (EGRAPSA) and NUN DE
>EGRAPSA in v. 11. Both could be epistolary aorists (as I would
>think), or perhaps only the latter, hence 'I wrote . . . but now I
>write'. An interesting one.

Yes, it is interesting. I just looked at 14 translations, and none of them
takes both instances as epistolary. Either both are taken as references to a
past letter, or the first is taken as a reference to a past letter and the
second is taken to be epistolary.

To me, the NUN DE does seem to indicate the current time, and it seems to be
in opposition to the EGRAPSA in verse 9 - "I wrote...but now I have
written". Doesn't this opposition make it unlikely that both uses are

Incidentally, in a fairly recent series of posts, I think that we reached
some consensus that NUN+Verb.Aorist generally functions much like the
perfect, pointing to the present state.


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703

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