Fwd: Meaning of the perfect tense
CWestf5155 at aol.com
CWestf5155 at aol.com
Tue Jan 9 15:21:17 EST 2001
In a message dated 01/09/2001 12:15:04 PM Mountain Standard Time,
emory2oo2 at hotmail.com writes:
> First I do not believe that this has read "pragmatic" factors into the
> semantic value, rather it would be more accurate to say that this reads
> "theological" factors into the semantic value, right?
> Although I do not personally hold to perserverance as the Reformed folks
> I think that Cindy may ALSO have gone too far in her statement,
> grammatically speaking.
> To say that "In other words, this passage is NOT [emphasis mine] about
> the perseverance of the saints, and the grammar does NOT [emphasis mine
> again] assume it," seems to go too far by eliminating a possible
> implicature. In other words, this passage may not be about perserverance,
> but grammatically, is it eliminate?!! That seems like a positive assertion
> to me. It might be interpreted to mean that this use of the Perfect
> "grammatically" eliminates (positive assertion) any implicature about
> This seems to be swinging the pendulum too far back.
Not at all. It isn't to say that it is inconsistent with it disproves it or
contradicts it--it is to say the perfect indicates an existing condition or
state--it could be permanent, but that isn't the force of the tense.
Neither am I saying that the author could not be holding to a view of
perseverance of the saints--you just couldn't prove that it indicates "the
permanency of the step of salvation" by the use of the perfect tense here.
You would need that to come from further information in the context. In other
words, theoretically, this construction could occur in a discussion about the
perseverance of the saints and does not exclude the possibility.
And yes, this is a reading derived from the kind of traditional definition
that both Rod and Jonathan described in the post that the perfect means
"completed action with abiding results" that reads pragmatic factors into the
semantic value and goes too far, that is, if you hold that the perfect
indicates an existing condition or state.
PhD Student, Roehampton
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