Re: 1 John 3:9

Date: Sat May 09 1998 - 11:20:08 EDT

MikeBzley wrote:

> And he cannot sin ([kai ou dunatai amartanein]). This is a wrong translation,
> for this English naturally means "and he cannot commit sin" as if it were [kai
> ou dunatai amartein] or [amartĂsai] (second aorist or first aorist active
> infinitive). The present active infinitive [amartanein] can only mean "and he
> cannot go on sinning," as is true of [amartanei] in verse 8 and [amartanăn] in
> verse 6.

Mike ~

If OU DUNATAI hAMARTANEIN [is not able to be sinning] means "is unable
to go on sinning", [I think you are accrurate in this] then the tense
relationship of the infinitive form to the action itself of the
infinitive verb must be foreward [future] in time, which is supported
by the sense of ongoingness in the present infinitive, [for
ongoingness 'ongoes' into the future]. In English, our infinitive
form [to be, to do, etc] supports this idea with the 'to's ~ "To be,
or not to be..." is clearly a pansive future use of our infinitive,
for instance.

Now if we think about this musically, in English, our little 'to' acts
like a little 'grace note' that introduces the arpeggio of the chord
in the present, but the chord itself in the aorist, both of them
following the 'to' and thus to the future of it.

My question then is, can we understand the Greek, which has no such
separate auxilliary particle ['to'] in its infinitive, to have the
same foreward thrust of meaning, as your example above would seem to
indicate? And if yes, then is there some way that we can understand
the Greek infinitive construction [of the infinitive word itself] so
as to see this 'future' meaning? [And perhaps 'hear' its 'grace

[Interesting note of present vs aorist infinitive in the English here
~ 'to be sinning' vs 'to sin'. Just an observation, mind you ~ That
ground has been covered... :-)]

George Blaisdell

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