English vs. Greek

Eric S. Weiss eweiss at gte.net
Thu Aug 10 09:44:34 EDT 2000


I was reading Rev. 21:5 and wondering whether to translate it as: "Behold, 
I am making all things new" or "Behold, I make all things new." This got me 
thinking:

In English, if I were to answer the question, "What do you do in the 
morning?" I would say:

I wake up
I get dressed
I eat breakfast
I brush my teeth

If someone was there while I was doing these things, and asked me at 
appropriate intervals what I was doing, I would respond:

I am waking up
I am getting dressed
I am eating breakfast
I am brushing my teeth

I don't know if these "-ing" words are participles or gerunds (I don't 
remember!), but there does seem to be a way in English, as above, to 
distinguish between kind of an "aoristic" series of descriptions of 
activities and a "present/continuous" description of one doing the 
activities.

However, in Greek, it seems to me that BOTH listings would be rendered in 
the present indicative. Hence my confusion on how "best" to translate 
Revelation 21:5. What "markers" or other grammatical methods would or does 
or should KOINH use to make this distinction?

(Maybe my mind is asleep and I am asking a stupid question because Greek 
has an obvious way of doing this! If so, I apologize, and I'll get some 
coffee!)



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