[b-greek] Re: GINWSKW plus Perfect Tense

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Wed Oct 11 2000 - 06:27:48 EDT

At 5:44 AM +0000 10/11/00, Mark Wilson wrote:
>Throughout 1st John, John uses the Perfect Tense of GINWSKW. A commentary I
>am reading insists that this should be translated "come to know."
>Although he does state that the Perfect Tense is not a past tense, but
>indicates the current state attained based on a past action, I am having a
>hard time understanding his "come to know."
>I think many on this list have preferred the emphasis to fall on the state
>reached, as in: "are in a state of knowing [him]."
>To me, "come to know" has a repetitive sense. To "come to know" seems to
>imply an often repeated process of getting to know him more and more until
>at last a state of knowing him is attained. How does the Perfect zero in on
>this process? Does not the Perfect simply show the final outcome, as it

I would be more inclined to translate the aorist of GINWSKW (EGNWN) as "I
have come to know" or "I recognized." The perfect form EGNWKA I would
understand more as "I fully recognize"--the state consequent upon
successful completion of GINWSKEIN. "Come to know" seems to me to express
more the staged process involved in the -SK- infix in the present-stem of
words like GINWSKW (and that present stem is not retained in tense stems
other than the present). I do think that colloquial English "I've gotten to
know him" is better expressive of the perfect aspect; its emphasis is
rather on the success of the process.

It's worth noting too that although GINWSKW and OIDA overlap and are
occaasionally used in the same sense, GINWSKW more generally refers to
intimate familiarity with a person or thing, while OIDA generally refers to
intellectual discernment of a truth (but be wary of any too precise a
distinction--it isn't always observed in practice).


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
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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