Re: Proffessor [sic] Blackwelder and participles

From: Paul S. Dixon (
Date: Mon Mar 16 1998 - 14:22:33 EST

On Sun, 15 Mar 1998 22:37:15 -0800 "Dale M. Wheeler"


>I'm not sure that there is all that much difference between PISTEUW
>followed by EIS, EPI, or the simple dative. However, I think that
>your statement: "...something men do, i.e. putting paith [sic, faith]
>someone", in my mind, is a climax. In other words, at some point the
>act takes place, the conclusion is reached, the decision is made...
>normally after a period of consideration. I'd suggest that, as I've
>said to others on this topic, that, as I see it, you are reading a
>theological perspective into this. You are certainly free to hold
>any position you want on this, but after examining the uses in
>John (I gave the Subst Ptc uses in my post to Paul Dixon) I don't
>think that the unbounded durative nature of an Activity fits the
>Aktionsart of the verb. There may be some places where the Pres
>or Impf is used with the non-Subst Ptcs with "imperfective"
>Aspect, thus stressing either the process or the effect, but that
>should be made clear by contextual clues.

>Having said all that, I suppose its possible that PISTEUW could
>be, by Aktionsart, an Activity. But to be convinced of that, I'd
>need to see it used that way in a non-theological context...

I contend that the present participle in John's literature does denote
continued or habitual activity. Remember our lively discussion on
1 Jn 3:6-10 several months ago? You do not deny this nuance on
the present participle hO hAMARTANWN in v. 6, do you? If so, then
surely no one has seen God or known Him, 6b. In fact, unless we take
the characteristic/habitual nuance for the present tenses throughout this
section, then we are reduced to absurdity. Surely, the present tenses
in 3:9 make sense only with this understanding. Indeed, the present
tenses in the whole epistle appear to be selected by John in line with
the (or, at least, a) purpose of assuring believers that they have
eternal life (5:13).

It seems only if one posits a theological presupposition that saving
faith need
not be a continuing faith can he conclude that the present tenses used by
John in his literature denote something otherwise.

Paul Dixon

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