Re: John 1:5

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu May 07 1998 - 14:29:19 EDT

At 1:13 PM -0500 5/7/98, wrote:
>Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>> At 10:41 AM -0500 5/7/98, wrote:
>> >Hello Rich ~
>> >
>> >I can't offer you a trade, but I can GIVE you my read on this, which
>> >is that this present is the SAME present as EGW EIMI [As in "before
>> >Abraham was...] ~ Which is to say, the omnipresent of the present
>> >tense, and right smack dab in the middle of the ARCH!
>> Ah--but that is precisely the sort of present tense that Rich understands
>> FAINEI to be. My comment there was that FAINEI doesn't imply anything about
>> when the shining started, but insists that it is still going on. I would
>> say the same about the EIMI in the verse you cite: this one IS in fact
>> existential rather than a copula, and could therefore be set into English
>> "have been existing and still continue to exist."
>It IS Greek present tense, and only Greek present tense ~ Any other
>rendering EDITS the author of this work. We are translators, not
>editors. Am I just dense on this point here?

You might want to look at the poem of Parmenides: it started the whole ball
of metaphysics rolling and it is an analysis of the implications of the
present tense of EINAI: the four letters ESTI.

The present tense is an ASPECT: there's more than a temporal frame of
reference involved in it, there's also the imperfective or durative aspect.
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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