Re: 1 John 1,1

Date: Sat Apr 04 1998 - 02:44:13 EST

gat wrote:
> In 1 John 1,1 there is a very interesting change of tenses:
> hO AKHKOAMEN (perf.) - what we have heard
> hO EWRAKAMEN (perf.) TOIS OFQALMOIS hHMWN - what we have seen with
our eyes
> and then it changes to aorist:
> hO EQEASAMEQA (aor.) - what we looked at
> KAI hAI XEIRES hHMWN EYHLAFHSAN (aor.) - and touched with our hands
> Why is the change of tenses? One could simply say that John speaks
> about the same thing (have seen, looked at) and just for a change
he is
> using once perf. and once aor. tense. Is it significant or it
> matter?

The first two [perf.] tenses refer to actual first hand historical
events that are over and done with, but not without consequences. The
second is a result of the first, the third of the second, and the
fourth of the third. Progression is a key here.

hO HN AP'ARKHS 'That which was from beginnings' Seems to be refering
to the beginnings of the apostles' discipleships.

hO AKHKOAMEN 'That which we heard' Seems to refer to the discipling
entry point, where they first heard about Christ, prior to actually
seeing Him face to face.

hO EWRAKAMEN TOIS OFQALMOIS hHMWN 'That which we saw with our own
eyes' follows the hearing about Him.

These two phrases complete the physical-historical witness of the
author[s] [Editorial 'we'?] Then comes the first aorist, which
follows as a consequence of what the disciples saw with their own

hO EQASAMEQA 'That which we see' And notice that this is a middle,
classic aorist [ErootSA construction]. The root differs from the
physical seeing in 2 [before it] Thus, as an abstract 'tense', in the
middle voice, the author is showing what happened next, from the
earliest beginnings of them all. They received a new kind of inner
[middle] vision that is different from physical seeing. This carries
the force of 'envisioning', and the consequent dedication of their
lives in this seeing to Christ. So the 'time' of this tense is the
time from their new 'seeing' until their deaths, which includes past,
present and future.

KAI 'And', as a consequence perhaps?

hAI XEIRES hHMWN EYALAFHSAN 'the hands of us feel' Because of the
envisioning, the bringing of that 'seeing' into the building of
Christ's church, involving a certain kind of action. Was there a
physical 'Laying on of hands?', or should this be taken as a 'groping
in the dark' [without the Light of Christ in the flesh] metaphor, or
is it something else? At any rate, it is a life-long venture
following the new 'seeing'.

PERI TOU LOGOU THS ZWHS 'concerning the word of Life [is]'

I'm out of time ~ Hope this helps...


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