Re: Present tense copulative verbs

From: Kyle Dillon (
Date: Tue Sep 01 1998 - 17:26:22 EDT

-----Original Message-----
From: Carl W. Conrad <>
To: Kyle Dillon <>; Biblical Greek
Date: Tuesday, September 01, 1998 2:09 PM
Subject: Re: Present tense copulative verbs


>>This message, as well as this entire thread, is about determining whether
>>not John 8:58 is a PPA idiom. I personally don't think so. In English, a
>>present/perfect tense verb cannot be used with adverbials that describe
>>finished time periods (see
>> The same
>>also appears to be true in Greek. Psalm 90:2, Jeremiah 1:5, and John 8:58
>>seem to intentionally break this rule, in order to show that God
>I think we ought to be very leery of judging the possibilities of Greek
>grammar by English usage. Who shall declare the middle voice, and with what
>shall we compare it?

True. Not every Greek element/idiom has an English equivalent. And the
present and perfect tenses in Greek are not exactly like their English
counterparts. But from the examples of the Greek PPA idiom, we see that it
functions exactly like an English present perfect idiom modified by a
perfective adverbial, the only difference being that the Greek present tense
stative verb must be used to compensate for a lack of a perfect stative

>Carl W. Conrad
>Department of Classics/Washington University
>One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
>Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
> OR

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