Re: Mt 18:18 Pluperfect

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sat Mar 06 1999 - 08:00:30 EST

At 11:56 AM -0600 3/5/99, wrote:
>Denny Diehl here
>with a question on the rendering of the pluperfect in
>Mt 18:18. The NASB renders it:
> "Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth
> shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever
> you loose on earth shall have been loosed in
> heaven."
>Hagner, in his Word Commentary on Matthew translates
>it in the same fashion.
>However, FF Bruce says "the ineptitude of this use of the
>English future perfect" treats "the Greek future-perfect as
>if it had the same force as the English future-perfect,
>whereas the Greek future-perfect commonly has the force
>of a specially emphatic future, denoting the immediate
>performance of a future action, or the permanence of its
>results." (History of the Bible In English)

I saw this at the web-site last night but didn't have time to respond to it
from there, and now I have the original sending in my own mail this
morning. First of all, of course, it's not a pluperfect but a future
perfect. I've always thought this passage would be better converted as,
"whatever you bind on earth will stand as bound in heaven; and whatever you
loose on earth will stand loosed in heaven."

I've read what Jim West has written and won't comment on it beyond saying
that on this one I'm rather inclined to agree with Bruce, as my suggested
version will show. You might also want to check the B-Greek archives on
this one, as there's been plenty of correspondence on this passage,
including some lengthy exchanges between Ward Powers and myself, a few
months back.

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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