Re: Romans 8:30-Future?

Date: Thu Apr 23 1998 - 13:32:48 EDT

Edgar Foster wrote:

> 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...
> Earlier, I strongly disagreed with you here, George. But then I went
> back and reflected on a few examples and I personally can't say that
> you're totally in error with regard to the aorist and English present,

This right here is the crux, Ed ~ As translators we are simply
ignoring the HUGE difference between the two English forms of the
present. 'I am reading' is different from 'I [do] read'. In English
the aorist has collapsed into the idiomatic simple present, with no
'-ing' attached. In EVERY case in the Greek, this '-ing' NEEDS to be
attached when the present tense is seen, and in NO case when the
aorist is seen. THEN the Greek has a chance of making its meaning
available in English, at least to some degree.

> but I don't think that Rom. 8:30 is an example of a literary aorist
> which should be translated using the English present. As mentioned
> hitherto, some grammarians favor viewing Rom. 8:30 as a "futuristic
> aorist" and THEN rendering it with the English present tense ( this
> seems to differ from what you're saying though). Our approach will
> depend on whether we view Rom. 8:30 as gnomic or "futuristic."

If you tell me "George, my book arrives soon.", and I turn around and
tell Carl, "Carl, Ed just told me his book will be arriving soon.", I
have just become your editor, because you did NOT say 'will be
arriving'. You may even have MEANT to say that, in which case I am a
'good' editor for you, but as a translator I have failed to say to
Carl what it was that you said to me. Yes, you can INFER that it
'will be arriving', but that is NOT what was said. The danger of such
editorializing of what you 'really' said is indicated in John 21,
where folks INFERRED that Lazarus would not die, which would seem to
be the case, given what it was that Christ did in fact say.

It really doesn't matter HOW 'we view' 8:30 [as gnomic or
'futuristic'], you see, we just need to translate the aorist
accurately, which is without time specificity. To my mind, it is
gnomic, if that means timeless.
> > "...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?
> I think your last question is more of a theological/philosophical
> consideration than a grammatical one.

Sorry, you are right!

 Let me address the "event" issue
> though.
> I see no reason why we should view Paul's words as a process. The
> context simply does not demand such a rendering. Note these citations
> from the RSV:
> Rom. 8:24-"in hope we WERE saved" (past occurrence).

It may be a past event, but it is here described timelessly. We ARE
saved... Yesterday, today, tomorrow...
> vs. 28-"all things work together for good for those who love God, who
> are called according to his purpose" (universally applicable).

This is correct.
> vs. 29-"those whom he FOREKNEW he also PREDESTINED to be conformed to
> the image of his Son" (past occurrence).

Wrong... Timeless occurrence ~ Those whom he previously KNOWS, he
> vs. 30-"And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom
> he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also
> glorified."

Wrong again ~ See how simply and easily and intelligibly it translates
in the simple [non-ongoing] English presend, Ed, and How much greater
becomes the scope of this passage.
> Read in context, Rom. 8:30 seems to describe a past event which is
> universally applicable.

Indeed it does, and should be translated accordingly, in simple
present tense.
> > 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.
> Ah, but there is. :-) Even if God's predestinating activities is
> viewed as occurring in the past.

But not if they are viewed as ONLY in the past, which past tense
> > 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.
> If you're suggesting that we translate the aorist everytime in the
> English present, this simply will not do.
> If that's the case, what about when the aorist describes past events?
> (1 Cor. 15:3) What about Rom. 3:23? Would you translate it with the
> English present?

Not the 'ongoing' present, my friend ~ Gotta run ~



This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:39:35 EDT