Re: 1 John 1:9

From: Mary L B Pendergraft (
Date: Tue Dec 01 1998 - 05:54:11 EST

>At 10:09 AM -0700 11/30/98, 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 our 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?

And At 11:45 PM 11/30/98 -0500, Jim Beale wrote:
>I don't think so. The verse is constructed as follows:
>EAN + <pres act subj 1st pl>, hINA + <aor act subj 3rd sg>
>EAN introduces the protasis of the conditional. In this case,
>since the protasis is in the subjunctive, uncertainty is implied.
> (snip)
>The pair of aorist subjunctives in the apodosis seem to me to be
>quite similar to the future indicative.
  (and much more of interest)

But I urge a second look: The EAN-clause is indeed a present subjunctive,
but the apodosis is the clause that follows immediately:
PISTOS ESTIN, present indicative. This is a present general condition and
a separate thing from the hINA clause.


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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