Proffessor Blackwelder and participles

From: Nazarene3J (
Date: Fri Mar 13 1998 - 14:23:30 EST

    I have been reading Boyce W. Blackwelder's book, "Light from the Greek New
Testament" published in 1958. As a (novice, self-learning) Greek student I
have found his insights to be fascinating. I have some questions concerning
his discussion of the use of participles and the doctrine of salvation. Before
I ask them can anyone tell me anything about him. Is he still alive? Does/did
anyone of you know him personally?
   Now as to the questions I have. If I am understanding his reasoning
clearly, he indicates in his section on participles that salvation involves a
continuing action on the part of the believer. He cites John 3:14-16: "... so
must the Son of man must be lifted up: that whosoever believeth [PISTEUWN,
pres. part., goes on trusting] in him should not perish, but have [ECEI, pres.
subj., might continue to have] eternal life. For God so loved the world, that
he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth [PISTEUWN, pres.
part., goes on trusting] in him should not perish, but have [ECEI, might go on
having] eternal life.
     Professor Blackwelder also cites John 3:36: "He that believeth [PISTEUWN,
pres. part., goes on trusting] on the Son hath [ECEI, pres. indic. continues
to have] everlasting life.
     John 5:24: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth [AKOUWN,
pres. part] my word, and [PISTEUWN, pres. part., goes on trusting] on him that
sent me, hath [ECEI, pres. tense, goes on having] everlasting life."
   John 3:18: "The one who continues trusting [PISTEUWN, pres. part.] in him
is not condemned; the one who does not continue trusting [same construction
but with negative particle] is already condemned [KRISIN, perf. pass., is in a
state of condemnation] because he has not believed with abiding results
[PEPISTEUKEN, perf. tense, indicating permanent attitude of unbelief] in the
name of the only Son of God."
    With the understanding that these are just excerpts from his book, do the
above examples strike at the heart of the doctrine of eternal security? If so,
how does a doctrine like that come into being? Through inaccurate or
inadequate translations of the New Testament? If Professor Blackwelder's
translation of the above passages is accurate, how come the various
translations of the Bible do not all reflect these meanings? If he is wrong in
his translations, would one attribute this to any theological bias he may
have? If his is only one of many possible interpretations then one wonders why
God would allow His Word to be so ambiguous in such an important area as

                                                       Thank you, James Jackson

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