Re: Jn 7:28, 30; ELHLUQA ... ELHLUQEI

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Fri May 01 1998 - 14:26:59 EDT

At 11:51 AM -0500 5/1/98, Paul S. Dixon wrote:
>Why is ELHLUQEI in Jn 7:30 pluperfect and not perfect, as is ELHLUQA in
>7:28? Is this just a case where the perfect and pluperfect forms would
>be identical (if they were in the same person), but where the tenses are
>contextually derived (hOTI OUPW ELHLUQEI hH hWRA AUTOU)?

I'm not sure I've understood your question any better than George did, but
here's my take on it:

The forms would not be identical in any case. Here are the paradigms
        Perfect Pluperfect
These at any rate are the more common Koine forms. The Perfect active is
conjugated with A Primary endings, whereas the Pluperfect active is
conjugated basically upon the Perfect active stem in E-, athematically.

But perhaps you're really questioning the LOGIC of the different tenses in
7:28 and 7:30; I think that is simply a matter of 7:28 being Jesus' words
cited directly: "I HAVE come," whereas 7:30 must be past tense within the
narrative. I do think that most other NT writers probably would have been
content to use an aorist (HLQEN) here, since the aorist can and usually
does convey the force of a pluperfect (e.g. in a past counter-factual
condition, or even to indicate temporal priority to another past occasion
or event), but John's gospel has a predilection for the perfect tense,
which makes it not unreasonable that he should also use the pluperfect
rather than aorist to express priority to a past time.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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