Re: From whence it IS?

From: Jim West (
Date: Wed Jun 03 1998 - 10:44:16 EDT

At 07:36 AM 6/3/98 -0700, you wrote:
>It has been my observation (as well as many others; I think Wallace mentions
>this somewhere as well) that in the NT, LXX, and other places I've bothered
>to look, that ESTIN is NEVER used as an historical present. The only possible
>exception would be John 5:2, which, because of the preponderance of the
>contrary evidence, I don't think is an exception. I take it that it means
>that at the time of John's writing "the sheep gate...with five porticos" was
>still in existence, ie., "There _is_ in Jerusalem..." not "There _was_ in
>Jerusalem..." That would seem to mean that John's Gospel was written before
>AD70. I really don't have any theological axe to grind on this one, this is
>just a grammatical observation.

It is true that the narrative present, in this case, is a response to a
direct question. Nevertheless, that says nothing in reference to the
PURPOSE of the present tense. The original question, as I read it, had to
do with WHY the narrative present was used. And, in spite of Dale and (I am
sorry to have forgotten already) the fellow from Trinity, the matter of
direct or indirect discourse has nothing to do with that question. Further,
the comment above that estin is NEVER used as a historical present is
impossibly inaccurate and far too general to be meaningful.



Jim West, ThD
Quartz Hill School of Theology

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