Re: Romans 8:30-Future?

From: Edgar Foster (
Date: Wed Apr 22 1998 - 20:42:32 EDT wrote:
> Edgar Foster wrote:
> > Dear Carl,
> > I would translate Rom. 8:30 offhand: "those he also glorified."
> >
> > The event happened in the past, is happening in the present (first
> > century) and will happen in the future. Therefore, it is a
> > transcendent "event," not per se "futuristic."
> Dear Ed ~
> I know this is an old saw, but this translates so easily in the simple
> idiomatic English [timeless] present...
> "...these He also glorifies." ... As do all the 'gnomic' aorists in
> this passage.
> To put it in the English past tense quite simply does not translate
> the Greek. This passage does not select an event, but describes the
> process of ANY occurrence of that kind of event... Even
> 'predestinates' ~ For can one say that God does not predestinate now
> and in the future, as well as in the past?

Dear George,

I know you have strong feelings about the treatment of the aorist and
I respect your views. But I cannot second these viewpoints in toto. I
see no reason why Paul's words should be viewed as a process, instead
of a past occurrence with universally applicable ramfications. If we
bring up the issue of God's prognosticative abilities, this is an
example of interpreting the passage theologically.

> If we translate it as a past tense, there is no hope for the present
> and future of this process of predestination, calling and glorifying.

I don't agree. If we view TOUTOUS KAI EDOXASEN as a gnomic aorist,
then it is universally applicable. It continues to take place into
futurity since it transcends time. Another example of this usage is 1
could be paraphrased: "grass has shriveled and flowers have fallen."
Does this mean that the process is still not taking place today? No,
but this rendering does justice to the aorist tense while still
allowing room FOR the literary aorist. Even if we say: "grass withers
and flowers fall," this could still be construed as a universal
principle. We could also say, "men live and men die." This has
happened in the past, it happens in the present, and it will happen in
the future.

> Inventing a bunch of names for the various occurrences of the aorist
> [where it is a preconceived 'past' tense designation (via its
> augment)] chops off the wings of this magnificent verb form, and has
> it flopping around on the ground in the past, in the present, in the
> future... alternately... and only contextual wizardry can sort it all
> out. In the timeless idiomatic English present, it can be translated
> effortlessly, simply, consistently and clearly, with vision, every
> time it is seen in use.

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