Re: 1 John 1:9

From: Mary L B Pendergraft (
Date: Mon Nov 30 1998 - 16:04:07 EST

At 10:09 AM 11/30/98 -0700, wrote:
>I recently read comments by a certain author on 1 John 1:9. He said that in
>light of the Greek in the passage, it should be translated, "If we confess
>sins, he is faithful and just to have forgiven us our sins and to have
>purified us from all unrighteousness." Are the verbs "to forgive" and "to
>purify" really supposed to be understood as past tense?
> Casey Gagnon
> Tempe, AZ

Your intuition is correct: The verbs that show up in English as
infinitives are subjunctives in Greek, and so not past time.
The question I felt about this verse was how we should understand the hINA
clause: They're usually (90% of the time?) clauses of purpose, but that
didn't ring true in this context. Sure enough, BAG (sv. hINA II.1.2) cite
this as an ex. of a result clause: "..God is faithful and just, with the
result that he forgives our sins....."


Mary Pendergraft
Associate Professor of Classical Languages
Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem NC 27109-7343
336-758-5331 (NOTE: this is a new number)

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