From: MikeBzley (MikeBzley@aol.com)
Date: Sun Mar 29 1998 - 13:52:35 EST
I have been looking at the use of the subjunctive in the GNT. There is one
example of its use which I find particularly odd, and which is translated in
every English translation I have as though it was present indicative and not
The passage is John 5:19 - OU DUNATAI hO UhIOS POIEIN AF hEAUTOU OUDEN EAN MH
TI BLEPHi TON PATERA POIOUNTA; A GAR AN EKEINOS POIHi, TAUTA KAI hO UhIOS
I can understand the use of the subjunctive BLEPHi following EAN, but not its
use in POIHi, which all the translations treat as though it was POIEI.
It seems to me that the only reason for John to use the subjunctive there is
to introduce the idea of potentiality as opposed to actuality. If this is
true, then I feel the passage should be translated as, ".... for the things
that the latter (the Father) would do, those very same things the Son does".
In other words, it seems to me that John is saying that God shows Jesus what
he wants done, and Jesus does it, not that Jesus sees what God does and copies
it. However this does seem to be at odds with the preceding clause, which
implies that Jesus has to see God doing something before he is able to do it
himself. Or am I just being ignorant?
Does anyone have any views on this?
CARIS, ELEOS, EIRHNH
Bushey, Hertfordshire, UK
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