[B-Greek] On the Perfect Tense
kimmo.huovila at helsinki.fi
Thu Feb 26 08:59:04 EST 2004
On Thursday 26 February 2004 04:01, waldo slusher wrote:
> I was trying to reference the article on the Perfect
> at this website that was suggested for people to read.
> In the article we read:
> In 3:24, Paul uses the perfect GEGONEN in a further
> comment about the law, stating, hWSTE hO NOMOS
> PAIDAGWGOS hHMWN GEGONEN EIS CRISTON ("Therefore the
> law was our tutor until Christ"). It is difficult to
> maintain that GEGONEN expresses a dual temporality
> because of what has already been said about the law
> previously in vv. 17 and 19, where the law is
> restricted by deixis to a certain time frame (i.e. 430
> years after the covenant until the coming of the
> seed). Furthermore, the past pragmatic use of the
> perfect may also be indicated by the temporal use of
> EIS which can be translated as "until [Christ]". Any
> other use of the preposition would be inconsistent in
> the context where Paul is arguing for the displacement
> of the period of the law by the coming of Christ (cf.
> vv. 19, 23 and 25) . Although the aorist EGENETO would
> have been suitable grammatically and contextually, the
> perfect form was probably chosen to express the
> special significance of the law as a PAIDAGWGOS."
The problem with this argument is that Paul does not say that the law ceased
to be a PAIDAGWGOS at the advent of Christ (even accpeting the kind of
interpretation of vv. 17 and 19 that the law ceased to be in force). He says
that we are no longer hUPO PAIDAGWGON, not that the law is no longer a
PAIDAGWGOS. Perhaps the EIS refers to the goal of the PAIDAGWGOS, and is not
a temporal preposition?
> And without commenting on the merits of Fanning, I
> think if he does hold to this dual tempora reference
> (which I am not familiar enough with his views to
> comment on), then I would say that his dual
> temporality is quite evidently correct if one
> understands how a deictic point is contextually
> developed. The deictic point is an ever-shifting
> temporal focal point. The deictic point need not be
> the time of writing or speaking. The deictic point can
> be any time along the temporal spectrum.
I think this is not the usual definition of deixis. Do you mean a contextually
determined temporal frame? I think the deictic point is usually understood as
being in the time or speaking, writing, listening, or reading.
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