Re: Present tence copulative verbs

Date: Mon Aug 31 1998 - 17:38:29 EDT

Jonathan Robie wrote:
> At 12:15 AM 8/31/98 -0700, wrote:
> >This has been an amazing thread. The grammar of John 8:58 does not
> >tell us that Jesus existed before Abraham. [Or more correctly, before
> >the birth of Abraham.] The grammar clearly tells us that Jesus *is
> >[now] existing* prior to Abraham's birth. That grammatical fact, in
> >and of itself, argues strongly for the omnitemporal present of Jesus'
> >existence. Yet all parties want to translate the present [EIMI] as a
> >past tense. If you don't like the enigma of the present tense of I AM
> >in John, then you dont like enigma!! :-)
> I agree with you that PRIN ABRAAM GENESQAI, EGW EIMI "Before Abraham came
> into being, I am" is different from PRIN ABRAAM GENESQAI, EGO HMHN "I
> existed before Abraham came into being", and this distinction is being
> ignored by many here. However, I don't think it is accurate to say that the
> present tense is omnitemporal.

Well, the present tense, of course, is not omnitemporal ~ Obviously!!

In this case, however, it very much is used omnitemporally, because of
the great priorness of the time before the birth of Abraham. The
alternative to omnitemporality would be that Jesus existing before
Abraham is a special case... maybe.

> This verse tells us that Jesus exists, and has existed since before
> Abraham, but does not tell us when he began to exist.

This is where it gets tricky, because this verse does not tell us that
"Jesus...has existed since before Abraham." It tells us that He *is
[now] existing* prior to Abraham [to birth]. Omnitemporality of the
existence of Jesus is the only way I can make sense of this
construction ~ And everyone else seems to want to understand it

It does not say anything about Jesus 'beginning' in some time in the
remote and prehistorical past, because EIMI is a present tense. That
doesn't leave much wiggle room, in terms of the unity in time of
Jesus' existing now with the time period prior to the birth of

If NOW EXISTING includes all time, as would seem to be the direction
of this thought in terms of the history of Abraham, then to find the
beginning of that time, in which HN hO LOGOS ~ Well, this is headed
outside the grammar issues, but in terms of [human] linear time, there
is no past beginning possible.

It IS pondersome to think about... This statement is hugely enigmatic
~ And deserves a very careful look, in terms of Jesus abidence within
the ARCH and the time relationships involved with.

Lisa Messmer..................ICQ# 5666415
George Blaisdell

Have you seen Dulcie? Look for her Heart!

Last Chance for Animals...Fight Pet Theft!

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