From: Jim West (jwest@Highland.Net)
Date: Thu Jun 04 1998 - 15:11:31 EDT
Thanks for your note. I Jn 1:8, in my view, fits in with what Moulton says
on p. 114 of vol 3, (on the aorist subjunctive) "This represents a definite
event as occuring only once in the future, and conceived as taking place
before the time of the action of the main verb. It is very near the meaning
of otan and is often more than mere probability."
Now, unless I am mistaken (!), the main verb of this verse is ecomen, a
present tense. If the action of eipwmen takes place before the action of
the main verb, then it is a past event.
Blass (sec. 373) says "ean with the present subjunctive refers to the
future"... "The aorist subjunctive appears in the great majority of cases,
both in general conditions and in those referring to something impending,
and occasionally also in those referring to something which was impending in
It is this last sentence that I take note of- "and occasionally also in
those referring to something which was impending in past time".
I take this to mean, in other words, that the aorist subjunctive in a 3rd
class conditional sentence sometimes refers to a past event.
It is this understanding which I apply to the verb estin. It is a present
tense verb which, neverthless because of its context, has reference to a
past event that is being narrated. I.e., the historical present.
It is, I concede, possible that I have misundertood Blass and Moulton.
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