RE: EIMI with Temporal Clauses

From: Williams, Wes (
Date: Mon May 11 1998 - 12:16:30 EDT

> >
> > The word EIMI in itself says nothing about how long someone existed.
> Absolutely not!! We are on the same page here!
        Well George, our lively discussion has proven beneficial and

> > The adverbial phrase PRIN ABRAAM GENESQAI
> > tells us at the most that Jesus was in existence before Abraham's birth
> and
> > the EIMI reveals that his existence continues unbroken from that point
> of
> > reference to the time of speaking. It says nothing about how long the
> one
> > who became Jesus existed prior to Abraham. Theologically, I believe the
> one
> > who became Jesus existed for long times prior to Abraham's birth, but I
> > cannot honestly use John 8:58 to prove that since at most it tells me
> that
> > he simply existed prior to Abraham.
> Tis easy to lose track of tenses here, Wes. John 8:58 does NOT tell
> anyone 'that He simply existed prior to Abraham.' EIMI is present
> tense, you see... He IS EXISTING prior to Abraham and indefinitely at
> that. Nor does it say that 'Jesus was in existence before Abraham's
> birth'... It says that He IS EXISTING. The difference is utterly
> crucial to this text. There ain't no WAS to the Logos, my friend...
> Only IS.
George, let us move on to another instance of EIMI with a temporal clause,
John 14:9. When Jesus said to Phillip:

    Am I with you so long a time, or,
    Have I been with you so long a time
    (EIMI translation depends on your translation principles)

I have two questions for you.

(1) For how long a time is Jesus with Phillip in the past?

(2) What do you think about the Greek "Present of Past Action Still in
Progress" construction? Is there any merit to our understanding it to assist
an accurate English translation?

Wes Williams

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:39:43 EDT