Re: John 6:29

From: Joe A. Friberg (
Date: Sun Oct 10 1999 - 22:05:39 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: David A Bielby <>
Sent: Sunday, October 10, 1999 3:29 PM

> Jn 6:29b
> I'm translating the conjunction and the Present Active Subjunctive
> functionally as 'to believe'. My questions are: Is there not a continuous
> sense in this phrase...and if so, how can we bring that out without being
> awkward in the translation?? Doesn't it seem that the english tends to
> lose that continuous state connotation? How can we adjust for that?

I would agree that this phrase is not *purpose*, but the definition of TO

As to the translation:

"that you believe" is the plain vanilla version; the construction
('that'-phrase) carries with it a bit of the subjunctive idea, and the pres.
tns. 'believe' carries some of the continuative idea. This transl. also
allows for the inceptive notion, which is lacking in phrases like 'continue
to believe. Is this phrase too light on the continuative idea?? Believe
itself generally carries a continuative character; if we mean a one-time
believe which is very short lived, we have to specify that.

Nevertheless, consider this alternative:
"that you have faith"
This might be stronger on the continuative notion, but should probably be
rejected because it is less active (believe is nominalized).

> Could it be translated "to always believe" or something like this?

Assumes too much--presses the continuative aspect too far. I think the
continuation as a principle/mode of one's life is the intent, but this would
not be negated by momentary lapses (as might be implied by "always blieve").

God Bless!

Joe A. Friberg
Arlington, Texas
MA Linguistics
MA Theology candidate

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