Re: John 1:5

Date: Fri May 08 1998 - 10:50:43 EDT

Williams, Wes wrote:

> While it is true that the Greek Present "form" generally refers to
> present time, there are other considerations for translators. Here is
> some food for thought. An adverbial temporal clause modifying the
> present verb form can throw the starting point into the past. A
> translator needs to take a temporal time clause into consideration along
> with a verb form. In John 8:58 there is a temporal clause referring to
> past time "PRIN ABRAAM GENSQAI." PRIN is an adverbial coordinating
> conjunction. Which verb does PRIN modify? How does it modify the verb?
> What should a translator do with this verb form?

Wes ~ Good to hear from you!! Your presence brings great joy to me.

I was a little careless in my citation, not having re-looked at 8:58
since re-thinking the aorist. That GENESQAI is an aorist infinitive
middle, yes? I had lost sight of it in these terms...

Word order wise, ABRAAM is in the middle, and thus is the focus of the
three connected words, yes? And it is 'modified' by each word on
either side of it ~ 'distributes' to each, so to speak, and the first
and third words, then, might connect to and modify each other in some
way. So the question then becomes, what would PRIN GEGESQAI mean,
yes? English word substitution [Before (Abraham) to birth, for
instance] struggles.

Looks like GENESQAI here is the object of the preposition PRIN, and is
functioning as a noun, but if ABRAAM is accusative [is it?] then IT
becomes like the subject of an infinitive of indirect discourse, which
then in turn becomes in toto the object of the preposition.

This is FUN!! And especially following AMHN AMHN and followed by EGO
EIMI ~ Then the infuriation of the Jews and the attempted pelting of

So taken this way, it says "Before Abraham births" [or comes to be],
and without Abraham, it would read "Before birth", yes?

> Likewise, what effect does the temporal clause TOSOUTON CRONON have on
> EIMI in John 14:9 causing the following translations to modify the
> present form into a "Present of Past Action?" (cf Moulton A Grammar of
> N.T. Greek, Vol. III, 1963, p.62)
> John 14:9 "eimi" with past time clause = "I have been" (in the past and
> still am)
> KJV John 14:9 Have I been so long time with you
> ASV John 14:9 Have I been so long time with you
> NAS John 14:9 "Have I been so long with you
> NAB John 14:9 "Have I been so long with you
> NWT John 14:9 "Have I been with you men so long a time
> NIV John 14:9 "even after I have been among you such a long time?
> TEV John 14:9 "For a long time I have been with you all;
> NRS John 14:9 "Have I been with you all this time
> NKJ John 14:9 "Have I been with you so long
> BLE John 14:9 "I have been with you such a long time,
> WEB John 14:9 Have I been so long time with you
> RWB John 14:9 Have I been so long time with you,
> LIV John 14:9 even after all this time I have been with you?
> BBE John 14:9 have I been with you all this time,

"And is saying to him Jesus, "This much time with you I am being, and
not you have known me, Phillip?" Word substitution here only
struggles a little, and is easily adjusted to a normal English
sentence. The REAL question [to me] is 'What effect does EIMI have on
TOSOUTON CRONON, instead of vice-versa. Seems to be to me, Wes, that
as translators we had better let the reader figure it out, and just
say what the text says, without all of our presumed grammatical
insight that none of us seem to agree on. Then, at least, the reader
has a fighting chance...
Did I understand and address your focus here, Wes?

George Blaisdell

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