Mark 11:25-26

Steven Craig Miller scmiller at
Fri Nov 26 11:36:41 EST 1999

To: David A Bielby,

<< I'm looking at Mark 11:26's term AFIETE. Present Active 
Indicative....I'm wondering about the correct application of the Present 
Active Indicative in this verse.  Is this verse saying "You should remain 
in a state of forgiveness".....or is it relating another concept? >>

Concerning the present tense of AFIETE at Mk 11:25, Buist M. Fanning suggests:

<< In regard to positive commands, the point of this guideline is that 
present aspect should normally be understand as 'customary' or 'multiple' 
in sense, rather than progressive or descriptive in a narrow scope: it does 
not mean 'keep on doing,' 'be constantly doing,' but 'make it your habit to 
do,' or 'respond in this way whenever it is called for' >> (1990: 332-333).

<< Second question: I noticed in LSJ there are a number of colorful 
illustrations for this word's useage.  (I have BAGD and Spicq's at my 
office). Are there any other clusters of potential word pictures or 
illustrations to help one understand this crucial concept? Would etymology 
be helpful here? (For those who read Theological French and Theological 
German) >>

The meaning of a word is determined by its context and not necessarily its 
usage elsewhere (which might be very different). As Nida and Louw, in their 
"Lexical Semantics," warn: "Perhaps the most misleading approach to meaning 
is the one based on etymology" (1992:2). Nonetheless, etymology can be a 
very interesting historical study in itself. Here the etymology of AFIHMI 
is well known. It derives from APO & hIHMI. Literally AFIHMI means "send 
off" or "hurl" (a missile); it is used figuratively in a legal sense to 
"release someone from a legal relation," whether office, marriage, 
obligation, or debt, meaning "cancel, remit, pardon, forgive." And this 
gets transferred over to the religious sense.

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)
scmiller at

"... it is widely agreed that the sociological condition that most 
distinguishes modern Western societies from others (those considered 
premodern or traditional, and those of Asia, Africa, and the Latin American 
forests and highlands) is that modern ones are organized around the 
expectation of continuous change and growth" (Charles Lemert, "Social 
Things: An Introduction to the Sociological Life," 1997:67).

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