perfect in Jn 20:23

richard smith rbsads at
Sun Mar 31 21:06:55 EST 2002


Is the sense of the perfect verb tense that the disciples know, as a
result of receiving the Holy Spirit, that the sins have already been
forgiven, and they speak with the knowledge of what has already been done
in heaven and of the continuing impact of that already heavenly completed
act of remission?

Is the sense of the verb tense that the disciples have, as a result of
receiving the Holy Spirit, the authority (and responsibility?) to forgive
sins, and that at the moment in which the disciples send away or retain
the sins of anyone, that sin is gone or remains respectively, with the
continuing impact thereof?

Is the sense best understood, as it is rendered generally in English
translation, with the present tense?

It may be that personal theology must be relied upon for this answer, but
I'd at least like to know if I getting close to considering the perfect
tense aspect in ways that are reasonable for exegesis of this passage, or
if I am trying to make too much out of the aspect of the tense chosen for
the verse.

A related passage is Mt 18:18.  (A side question is about the use of the
future tense EIMI with the perfect participle. Is this considered a
periphrastic construction? is the participle a predicate adjective?)

Another question concerning the exegesis of Jn 20;23, might it be correct
to consider that the placement of TIVWN before the verb was intended to
give emphasis to that word, with the effect that absolutely anyone's sins
may be forgiven by the disciples.


Richard Smith
Chattanooga, TN

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