Re: Greek Help?

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Tue Aug 26 1997 - 17:28:02 EDT

At 04:26 PM 8/26/97 -0400, Michael A. Ferrando wrote:
>On Tue, 26 Aug 1997, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>Well, good to hear it, the pressure's off then.

There's precious little pressure here - I make mistakes all the time, but
people don't mind correcting me and teaching me the next step. Pressure only
comes in for those people who cling to their errors and defend them against
all comers ;->

>Doesn't this verse reflect the same structure as v.21
>(except for the EDWKEN)?
>And more so, it seems from my readings that there are very
>few NT comparatives that use hWSPER GAR... hOUTWS KAI structure.
>The use of HWSPER is rare in the NT.

hWSPER occurs 36 times in the NT. I don't know if that is rare. Of these
times, 12 uses are hWSPER GAR. A quick search of the GNT showed 19 uses of
hWSPER...hOUTWS. I haven't checked these all carefully, but here they are:

Matt 12:40 Matt 13:40 Matt 24:27 Matt 24:37 Luke 17:24 John 5:21 John
5:26 Roma 5:12 Roma 5:19 Roma 5:21 Roma 6:4 Roma 6:19 Roma 11:30 Roma 11:31
1Cor 11:12 1Cor 15:22 1Cor 16:1 Gala 4:29 Jame 2:26

>And there is an alternate reading in the Sinaticus and D of hWS.
>Without the particle would the force be strengthened of the correlative
>adverbs or lessened? I found very little on the difference of useage
>between hWS and hWSPER.

To me, hWSPER GAR..hOUTOS KAI does feel like a stronger construction than
hWSPER...hOUTOS. That also comes across in the English translation: "just the same way also" is stronger than " the same way". You may
notice that I'm avoiding your technical vocabulary: I'm not quite sure what
the precise meaning of "strengthening the force of the correlative adverbs"
is. (Besides, my native language is Anglo-Saxon...)
>As much as I agree with you, isn't the "status" in John 1
>denoted by the use of the imperfect? esp. 1.18.

I don't think that there is an aorist form of EIMI, so the writer didn't
really decide to use the imperfect instead of the aorist - this is the only
way to express "was" in Greek...

>but here the "giving" is in aorist?
>Why not use the imperfect here too?

The first answer: because there is an aorist form for "giving", so the
writer has a choice.

Another answer: The imperfect, like the present, portrays the action as it
is happening (the difference is that the imperfect says that it is
portraying a past event as it is happening, and the present does not say
whether the event is past or not). The aorist portrays an action from the
time of completion.

>> >edoken is 3p. 1 aor. act. ind.
>> >
>> >Robertson's Word Pictures state "timeless aorist" concerning
>> >this verse.

Carl took this to be equivalent to the gnomic aorist. Robertson
distinguishes the two in his grammar "this is not a gnomic aorist, but
merely a timeless aorist", but it is not at all clear to me what he means by
"timeless aorist".
>I agree. I think that they just wanted to concentrate
>on the revelation of the Son, instead of the paradox in the verse.
Well, there *is* paradox in the verse, and the worst thing to do with
paradox is to try to construct a theology that removes the paradox.

>According to one source, A Greek guide to translation of John
>by Newman, I can get the exact source if you want, the wieght
>of the adverbs lie upon the EKEI and EKEIN, not on the aorist.
>That is the confusing thing.

Yes, it is confusing. Can you show me some English sentences where
discussing "the weight of the adverbs" will help me understand how to
interpret the sentence correctly? It is easy to get lost in all this
grammatical terminology. The weight of the adverbs, of course, can't lie on
the aorist, because there is no such thing as an aorist adverb.


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

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