Present Participle and Faith

From: B.J. Williamson (
Date: Tue May 09 2000 - 12:28:03 EDT

In a footnote on page 621 of Dan Wallace's
Exegetical Syntax (1996), the following statements are noted
in relation to John 3:16:

"The aspectual force of the present O PISTEUWN seems to be
in contrast with O PISTEUSAS... Thus, it seems that since
the aorist participle was a live option to describe
a "believer," it is unlikely that when the present was used,
it was aspectually flat. The present was the tense of choice
most likely because the NT writers by and large saw continual
belief as a necessary condition of salvation."

He also notes that it is "not due to the present tense only, but
to the use of the present participle of PISTEUW, especially in
soteriological contexts in the NT."

My question centers around Dan's use of "continual belief"
as a "necessary condition" of salvation.

I assume that nobody would deny that the present participle
pictures the action in progress, but to state that this
"continual" aspect of the present participle becomes a "necessary condition"
moves beyond the nature of verbal aspect.

In other words, equating the "continual" aspect with a
"necessary condition" seems extreme to me.

Any thoughts?

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