2 Peter 1:20
wross at farmerstel.com
Fri Dec 11 13:57:41 EST 1998
>>* shouldn't GINETAI be translated "is becoming", as opposed to "has come"?
>GINETAI is apparently used here in a gnomic (or atemporal--I think Porter
>and the aspecters would say) sense here. So not "prophecy is (now
>becoming..." but "prophecy (regularly) comes about (at whatever it does
>about)..." (To others [Carl?]: I wouldn't take GINOMAI here as a copula;
>would you and why?)
>Well, certainly "was" should be ruled out, no? The reference is definitely
>not referring to the prophets of old doing the becoming or occurring in any
>way. It is something contemporary that the prophecy (or rather, every
>prophecy) is (not) doing. Every prophecy of Scripture is not becoming its
I wouldn't read the Greek in those terms.
1) The gnomic (maybe Porter's term was "timeless"?) idea is well-served by
general statement, "No prophecy [i.e., whether in the past, present or
ever comes about by these means..."
John 7:52 They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee?
Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.
7:52 apekriyhsan kai eipon autw mh kai su ek thv galilaiav ei ereunhson kai
ide oti profhthv ek thv galilaiav ouk eghgertai
The alternate text for eghgertai is egeiretia (present tense - is arising).
King James seems to have misplaced the negation. It is not "No prophet", but
"a prophet" "has not arisen" (or, "is not arising").
When Herod demanded of the chief priests and the scribes where the Jew King
was to be born, they all had no trouble telling him:
4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people
together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by
6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the
princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my
They knew that Elijah, Elisha, Johah, Nahum and Hoseah all sprang from
2) The Greek present *tense* need not refer to present *time*, depending on
the context. If Peter is refering to the production of the OT prophetic
scriptures, then it is valid to translate the gnomic GINETAI into English as
"[No prophecy] *came* about ..." That is, the present tense of GINETAI
certainly does _not_ preclude such a reference in itself. If Peter is
refering to present interpretation of the prophetic scriptures, then GINETAI
could be translated as a present tense in English. The point being,
context, not the tense of GINOMAI, will resolve the dilemma.
Peter's discourse in vs 21 uses the aorist HVEXQH (vs 21) and is translated
"was" "was brought". Context strongly indicates to me that he is referring
to the current "releasing" or "interpreting" of what was written in the
past, not to the production of the writing (until 21, when he uses the
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