Re: Estai dedemena (Mt. 18:18)

From: Ward Powers (
Date: Fri Nov 20 1998 - 01:44:50 EST

At 06:54 98/11/19 -0800, Glen Johnson wrote:
>Matthew 18:18 contains two uses of a future middle indicative of eimi
>coupled with a perfect passive participle (dew or luw). The NAS
>translates this as "shall have been bound/loosed" whereas the other
>Bibles that I checked translate it as "shall be bound/loosed" or "will
>be bound/loosed." I do not understand the rationale for neglecting the
>perfective idea of "have been" in the majority of translations. Can you
>explain this rationale to me?
>Now for a question about implications. It seems to me that the "shall
>have been bound/loosed" translation teaches that God wants us to seek
>the decision previously made in heaven. The "will be bound/loosed"
>translation teaches that heaven will ratify a decision made on earth. Am
>I correct, or am I missing something?
>Glen Johnson
>Seattle, Washington

Dear Glen,

In my book, you are absolutely spot on. The future middle indicative (it is
deponent) of EIMI plus perfect passive participle make up a future perfect,
and indeed the meaning of it is that what is done (binding and loosing,
howsoever these are to be interpreted) must be what has [first] been
determined in heaven.

And the fact that it is so often inaccurately translated as a straight
future does convey the wrong meaning - indeed, a meaning pretty well
opposite of what the future perfect is conveying. This translation as
future does imply that heaven will simply rubber-stamp what is done on
earth: and is so interpreted by not a few people.

Seeing that the future tense is so common in the Greek NT and the future
perfect so very rare, the choice of that tense here has to be accepted as
VERY significant. It HAS to be because future perfect (as distinguished
from future) meaning is intended.

Yes, you are absolutely spot on.



Rev Dr B. Ward Powers Phone (International): 61-2-9799-7501
10 Grosvenor Crescent Phone (Australia): (02) 9799-7501
SUMMER HILL NSW 2130 email:

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:08 EDT