Re: Romans 3:23

Date: Sat Apr 04 1998 - 01:44:08 EST

Stevens, Charles C wrote:
> On 3 April 1998 at 2:52PM, Jonathan Robie responds to my query about
> aspect in this verse:
> <<That's not unusual in either Greek or English:
> > "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"
> >
> > >What's going on with what seems to me to be a contrast between the
> > >aspects of these two verbs, and what conclusions might legitimately
> > be
> > >drawn from that contrast?
> >
> > Well, we aren't all necessarily sinning right now, but we all have
> > sinned.
> > And we all fail to attain to the glory of God right now.>>
> >
> Well, I guess what I'm trying to get at is that I've run into those that
> claim that the sinning is all in the past. While the English would
> support that, the past-tense sense of the aorist seems to me to be much
> less strong than the English would indicate, I think.
> My personal theological perspective is that our (present tense) falling
> short of the glory of God is not due to our (past) sinning but at least
> in part by the individual (punctiliar) acts of sin (past, present,
> future) that are part of our lives. To presume that the Romans Paul
> were addressing had utterly ceased sinning by the time they were being
> addressed does not seem to me likely from a practical standpoint. We
> all continue to "come short" of the glory of God, and one of the
> reasons we do so is because we encountered, are encountering, and will
> continue to encounter points of weakness and failure.
> Is such a perspective defensible?

Chuck ~

Such a perspective is not only defensible, it is required ~ By the
aorist 'tense' ~ Which is NOT a past tense at all, but a past-future
abstract, whose time includes past, present and future, without
selecting any particular instance of the action. 'I eat every day' is
the idiomatic English equivalent of the Greek aorist. It includes
yesterday, last week, today, and tomorrow, God willing! :-) I really
do not understand why everyone seems to think that it is a past, or
completed, or 'snapshot' form of verb tense. When the past marker, E,
or its equivalent precedes the root, which is followed by the future
marker, the S, with an A marker often found in the ending
[anstractive], then it is NOT a past or historical or other some such
tense. This is driving me a tad farther toward whackorooniville!!

George Blaisdell

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