From: Steven Lo Vullo (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Mar 04 2002 - 22:58:45 EST
on 3/4/02 1:17 AM, Kevin Cauley at firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> I agree that language is flexible and that the author has his choice of how
> to express himself. It was not my intention to put words in the mouth of
> the author here, merely to call attention to an alternative way that the
> sentiment might have been expressed and then to pose the question, why did
> he express it in this specific way? There may not have been any difference
> in the mind of the author; but there MAY HAVE BEEN and if it is POSSIBLE
> that there may have been, it is possible that the author expressed this in a
> GRAMMATICAL way. Calling attention to the possible ways that an author can
> say things helps the reader to ask the question, why did he say it like
> *that* specifically.
I think he said it like that specifically because the future tense of
LHMYESQE, combined with its lexical meaning, is semantically desireable for
expressing the future reception of a promise, which is what is in view here.
The object of LHMYESQE, THN DOREAN TOU hAGIOU PNEUMATOS, is called hH
EPAGGELIA ("the promise") in the next verse. See also THN EPAGGELIAN TOU
PATROS MOU (Luke 24.49); THN EPAGGELIAN TOU PATROS (Acts 1.4); and
especially THN ... EPAGGELIAN TOU PNEUMATOS TOU hAGIOU LABWN PARA TOU PATROS
(Acts 2.33). KAI introducing a clause with a future tense verb or verbs
after a clause or clauses with imperative verbs is one (good) way to express
the future reception of a promise or promises based on the fulfillment of
the requirements expressed by the imperative or imperatives. Note another
example of this construction from 2 Cor 6.17-18:
17. EXELQATE EK MESOU AUTWN KAI AFORISQHTE, LEGEI KURIOS, KAI AKAQARTOU MH
hAPTESQE: KAGW EISDEXOMAI hUMAS 18. KAI ESOMAI hUMIN EIS PATERA KAI hUMEIS
ESESQE MOI EIS hUIOUS KAI QUGATERAS, LEGEI KURIOS PANTOKRATWR.
"Therefore, 'come out from their midst and be separate,' says the Lord,
'and do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you, 18 'and I will
be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me,' says the
The clauses with the future verbs are called TAUTAS TAS EPAGGELIAS in the
following verse (7.1). It is clear here that the fulfillment of "these
promises" is dependent on the discharge of the actions required by the
imperatives. Semantically, we may express this relationship in a couple of
ways: consecutive (result) or conditional. We may see the promises as the
result of the discharge of the commands, or as conditioned on the commands.
"Come out from their midst and be separate, and do not touch what is
unclean. The result will be that I will welcome you, and be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me." Or, "If you will come out from
their midst, and be separate, and not touch what is unclean, I will welcome
you, and be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me."
Thus, other constructions could have been used to the same effect.
> To illustrate, if I had a set of tools in front of me: a hammer, some
> pliers, and a screwdriver; and someone saw me take the screwdriver and walk
> into the other room, he might say, "Well, he didn't use the hammer, so I
> guess that he didn't need to drive a nail." Your point is true that he
> might have used the screwdriver to drive a nail (by using the handle of the
> screwdriver, something which my wife finds amusing that I do from time to
> time), but most likely, if he had the three tools in front of him and could
> select among them, he would have chosen the hammer because he needed to use
> a hammer.
I don't think the analogy holds, since we are not talking about language
being used inappropriately. There are different ways of expressing an idea
that are equally valid, while using a screwdriver to drive a nail is an
inappropriate use of that tool. At least I would presume the carpenters out
there would think so.
Steven Lo Vullo
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