[b-greek] Re: GEGONAMEN

From: Stephen C. Carlson (scarlson@mindspring.com)
Date: Tue Feb 13 2001 - 02:05:33 EST


At 04:02 AM 2/13/01 -0000, Mark Wilson wrote:
>Heb. 3:14
>METOCOI GAR GEGONAMEN TOU CRISTOU EANPER THN ARCHN THS hUPOSTASEWS MECRI
>TELOUS BEBAIAN KATASCWMEN
>
>I have a question on the Perfect of GEGONAMEN used with MECRI TELOUS.

I understand the protasis (conditional clause) of EAN(PER) + subj.
KATASCWMEN to set up a future more vivid condition (the future is
also indicated by MECRI TELOUS). In a future more vivid condition,
the apodosis (conclusion) refers to a future time, which the perfect
can occasionally do especially if it replaces a future perfect (a
very rare periphrastic beast in the active voice anyway). When
the perfect stands in for the future perfect, it is so vivid that
it anticipates the action almost as a certain occurrence. See
Smyth 1950 and 2326.

>Does this verse say that we could become partners AT THE END of this process
>if certain conditions are reached? In other words, whether or not we
>"become" partners is only determined at the end (MECRI TELOUS), right?

As I understand the force of this verse, technically we *will*
at the end of the process become partners of Christ, if we
just hold our first confidence firm until the end -- but
that is not the emphasis of the passage. Rather, the writer
anticipates becoming partners of Christ so vividly as if it
has already happened.

>Or put another way, before the end is reached, we can not become partners in
>the sense
>that this verse is describing, since becoming a partner can not take place
>MECRI TELOUS.

I don't think this is the implication. Rather the future reality
of becoming partners of Christ is so vivid that we should feel it
today while we are holding our first confidence firm.

>Either way, how should we understand the Perfect of GEGONAMEN here?

In sum, as a future perfect only more vivid.

Stephen Carlson
--
Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@mindspring.com
Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
"Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35

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