[B-Greek] 2 John 7
Steven Lo Vullo
slovullo at mac.com
Sat Aug 21 16:42:55 EDT 2004
On Aug 21, 2004, at 3:14 PM, Steven Lo Vullo wrote:
> On Aug 18, 2004, at 9:06 PM, Mitch Larramore wrote:
>> hOTI POLLOI PLANOI EXHLQON EIS TON KOSMON, hOI MH
>> hOMOLOGOUNTES IHSOUN CRISTON ERCOMENON EN SARKI
>> What is the significance of ERCOMENON being in the
>> Present Tense? John has elsewhere warned against those
>> who deny that Jesus CAME (Aorist) in the flesh.
>> My first thought was the Present Tense was used to
>> coincide with hOI hOMOLOGOUNTES, as if those whom John
>> is warning against are those who currently do not
>> confess 'the coming of Jesus' in the flesh.
> Mitch, this is a good question. The usual answer is that ERCOMENON
> (present middle participle of ERCOMAI) "treat[s] the Incarnation as a
> continuing fact which the Docetic Gnostics flatly denied" (Robertson's
> Word Pictures). The main evidence for this understanding is the
> similarity to 1 Jn 4.2, where "we have ELHLUQOTA (perfect active
> participle) in this same construction with hOMOLOGEW, because there
> the reference is to the definite historical fact of the Incarnation"
> (Robertson again). However, because of the stative nature of the
> perfect, it seems to me that IT would better convey the idea not only
> of the "definite historical fact of the incarnation," but also of "the
> incarnation as a continuing fact." The present used for such a purpose
> seems to me quite awkward, as if a continual coming in the flesh were
> In cases of indirect discourse it is sometimes helpful to think about
> what the direct discourse would be. In this case something like,
> IHSOUS CRISTOS ERCETAI EN SARKI. This is what John's opponents do not
> confess, or deny. I suggest that the most natural way to take this is
> as a present with a future sense, a sense that is not at all foreign
> to ERCOMAI in the present tense. Robertson seems to indicate that
> others hold this view, since he says, "There is no allusion here to
> the second coming of Christ." A NET note says, "The present participle
> could suggest a reference to the (future) second advent, but based on
> the similarity to 1 John 4:2 it is probably best to take it as
> referring to the incarnation."
> There are two main reasons people hold to the conventional view: (1)
> Because of the analogy to 1 Jn 4.2; (2) Because there is no evidence
> of an heretical teaching concerning the future coming of Jesus in the
> flesh. I think the first begs the question and the second is an
> argument from silence. It seems to me that a denial of Jesus coming
> again in the flesh is a corollary of the idea that he did not come in
> the flesh in the first place, or of the idea that Jesus was really a
> human being, but that at his baptism the Christ spirit came upon him,
> forsaking him at the crucifixion. This particular misunderstanding or
> misrepresentation may have been based on passages such as John
> 14.16-18, where Jesus promises that the Father will give his disciples
> the Spirit, immediately upon which he says, "OUK AFHSW hUMAS ORFANOUS,
> ERCOMAI PROS hUMAS (note the future sense of the present). Some may
> have misunderstood this as meaning the only future coming of Jesus
> would be in the form of the Spirit (or in the form of spirit).
To illustrate what I said above, note the words of Stott, which are
"But here the participle is present, erchomenon, 'cometh in the flesh'
(RV). IN STRICT GRAMMAR [my emphasis] this should refer to a future
coming, and some have wondered if a reference to the Parousia,
mentioned twice explicitly in the First Epistle (ii.28, iii.2), is
intended. However, since we know of no early controversy as to whether
Jesus Christ would come again in the flesh, whereas these Epistles are
concerned to assert that His first coming was in the flesh, the latter
is almost certainly in mind here."
Is this sufficient to override "strict grammar?" I have my doubts.
Steven Lo Vullo
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