Re: Mark 11:25-26

From: Steven Craig Miller (
Date: Fri Nov 26 1999 - 11:36:41 EST

<x-flowed>To: David A Bielby,

<< I'm looking at Mark 11:26's term AFIETE. Present Active
Indicative....I'm wondering about the correct application of the Present
Active Indicative in this verse. Is this verse saying "You should remain
in a state of forgiveness".....or is it relating another concept? >>

Concerning the present tense of AFIETE at Mk 11:25, Buist M. Fanning suggests:

<< In regard to positive commands, the point of this guideline is that
present aspect should normally be understand as 'customary' or 'multiple'
in sense, rather than progressive or descriptive in a narrow scope: it does
not mean 'keep on doing,' 'be constantly doing,' but 'make it your habit to
do,' or 'respond in this way whenever it is called for' >> (1990: 332-333).

<< Second question: I noticed in LSJ there are a number of colorful
illustrations for this word's useage. (I have BAGD and Spicq's at my
office). Are there any other clusters of potential word pictures or
illustrations to help one understand this crucial concept? Would etymology
be helpful here? (For those who read Theological French and Theological
German) >>

The meaning of a word is determined by its context and not necessarily its
usage elsewhere (which might be very different). As Nida and Louw, in their
"Lexical Semantics," warn: "Perhaps the most misleading approach to meaning
is the one based on etymology" (1992:2). Nonetheless, etymology can be a
very interesting historical study in itself. Here the etymology of AFIHMI
is well known. It derives from APO & hIHMI. Literally AFIHMI means "send
off" or "hurl" (a missile); it is used figuratively in a legal sense to
"release someone from a legal relation," whether office, marriage,
obligation, or debt, meaning "cancel, remit, pardon, forgive." And this
gets transferred over to the religious sense.

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)

"... it is widely agreed that the sociological condition that most
distinguishes modern Western societies from others (those considered
premodern or traditional, and those of Asia, Africa, and the Latin American
forests and highlands) is that modern ones are organized around the
expectation of continuous change and growth" (Charles Lemert, "Social
Things: An Introduction to the Sociological Life," 1997:67).

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