Conditions, moods, and tenses in Jn 15:6-7

richard smith rbsads at aol.com
Sat May 4 12:16:22 EDT 2002


Jn 15:6 EAN MH TIS MENHi EN EMOI, EBLHQH EXW hWS TO KLHMA KAI EXHRANQH KAI
SUNAGOUSIN AUTA KAI EIS TO PUR BALLOUSIN KAI KAIETAI

Jn 15:67   EAN MEINHTE EN EMOI KAI TA hRHMATA MOU EN hUMIN MEIVHi, hO EAN
QELHTE AITHSASQE, KAI GEVHSETAI hUMISN.

Is it best to understand verse 6 as present general, with the present
subjunctive in the protasis, and the latter 2 present tense indicative
verbs in the apodosis?

The difficulty for me is the treatment of the 2 aorist passive verbs in
the apodosis.  Are they best understood as gnomic or proleptic aorists?
something else?

Does the use of the aorist indicative verbs preclude understanding the
verse as a present general? Perhaps then the aorist is used proleptically
and the condition is future more probable?

But, perhaps if the aorist verbs are proleptic, the verbs are aorist
because of their relationship with the subsequent present tense verbs. 
The branch had to be cast out and withered before "they" gathered them and
burned them.

This understanding might allow for the aorist use with a present general
3rd class (5th class) condition, which is the type condition that seems to
me most accurately to describe verse 6.

And there seems to be a shift from a present general condition in verse 6
to a future more probable condition in verse 7. A shift from the general
precept highlighted by the indefinite pronoun, to a specific circumstance
highlighted by the 2nd person plural verb form?

And verse 7 further contrasts with verse 6 by using the aorist subjunctive
in the protasis and the future indicative in the apodosis.  However it
also has an aorist in the apodosis.

Should the aorist imperative AITHSASQE be understood as an imperative of
command, permission or condition?

Obviously I am rambling around, and I apologize.  But understanding the
shifts of moods and tenses, not to mention person, within these two verses
seems to get more difficult every time I read them.

I am sure the advice not to make so much of grammatical classifications is
warranted, but I would like to gain greater appreciation of tense/aspect,
mood, and useage in my reading.

Any help is appreciated.  Fortunately, my lectionary reading will change
after Sunday, and I can move on to another reading.<g>

Thanks,

Richard Smith
Chattanooga, TN



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