Date: Mon Oct 11 1999 - 11:28:41 EDT
On Mon, 11 Oct 1999 08:59:45 -0500 Steven Craig Miller
> The English translation "commits adultery" might give some the
> impression that the sin is committed only during the marriage
> ceremony. I wonder if the present tense might be better translated
> as: "living in adultery"?
> PD: << The problem is that the present tense may denote a
> progressive nuance, that is, "is committing adultery (in the act of
> remarriage)". This, of course, addresses the issue made by some
> over whether remarriage constitutes an on-going act of adultery.
> This cannot be proved by the use of the present tense. The nuance
> may be merely progressive. >>
> I find it interesting that at Matthew 19:9 we have three verbs, two
> are aorist and one is present tense.
> "And I say to you, whoever divorces [aorist] his woman, except for
> infidelity [or: prostitution [?]), and marries [aorist] another
> lives in adultery [present]."
> If the Matthean Jesus wanted to suggest that the act of adultery was
> a punctiliar act as opposed to a linear act, why didn't he keep to the
> aorist tense, why the switch to the present tense? The statement
> seems very clear to me. The Greek verb translated as "divorces" is
> in the aorist tense because it is viewed as a punctiliar act. The
> verb translated as "marries" is in the aorist tense because it is
> as a punctiliar act.
> But the verb translated as "lives in adultery" (or "commits
> adultery") is in the present tense because it is viewed as a linear
act. Why else
> the switch to the present tense?
Again, the present tense may denote what you are arguing for here,
but it does not have to. It may denote a progressive nuance (is
committing adultery in the act of remarriage).
Or, it may be a gnomic present, often referred to as the aorist present,
something that is timeless in reality, true of all time (compare the
use of SPEIRETAI in 1 Cor 15:42ff).
The point is you simply can not prove your thesis by an appeal to
the use of the present tense here.
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