Re: article on Matt 4:1-11

From: Jim West (
Date: Fri May 29 1998 - 23:55:05 EDT

At 10:16 PM 5/29/98 -0500, you wrote:
>What I'd like to ask the list is; if "Ei=since" is an undisputed
>rendering or is it biased in some way? Let me say at the outset, it
>would be great IF it's assumed true. Then we would have the devil
>himself testifying that Jesus is the Son of God. However I have been
>challenged on this in the past and am now more careful of how I
>translate EI in present particular conditions.

Jeff is right, of course, that this sentence, a first class conditional,
should be translated as an indicative of fact = "since". This is not a
theological interpretation but a purely grammatical one.

>Goodwin says that nothing is implied as to the fulfillment of the
>condition and that "the protasis *simply states* a present or past
>particular supposition" - Goodwin's Greek Grammar SS-1390

he is wrong here.

>Smyth is probably the most specific when he says, "Simple present or
>past conditions simply *state* a supposition with no implication as to
>its reality or probability. SS-2298

that may be true in proper Attic; but it is untrue of Koine.

>It seems to me that an appropriate translation of EI in the passage
>quoted by Mr. Gibson would be -*suppose* you are the Son of God...-
>rather than -*since* you are...-

that is incorrect. Jeff is right.

>I'm not set in stone on this and would be glad for one of you to
>instruct me further.
>Kevin Mullins
>Flroence, AL



Jim West, ThD
Quartz Hill School of Theology

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