[B-Greek] 1 Cor. 7:11 "EAN DE KAI CWRISQH"

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Sat Feb 8 01:09:24 EST 2003

> Greetings B-Greeks,
> According to my limited Greek knowledge, it seems that most translations
> disregard the aorist tense of EAN DE KAI CWRISQH in 1 Corinthians 7:11.
> That is, to me it seems Paul's message to the Corinthians addresses the
> case where the reader or hearer of his letter "has ALREADY separated"
> from her husband -- and not that he is presenting the possibility of
> seperation for those Corinthians who upon the receipt of Paul's letter
> had not yet separated.
> Thanks for showing me grammatical considerations I'm not yet aware of!
> David

As Ann has said the difference between aorist and present subjunctive in
these constructions is not a matter of tense, but of aspect. The present
"tense" is used mainly in cases of a general nature which may occur at any
time or repeatedly. It is often connected with whatever, whenever, whoever.
The aorist is used when their is focus on a particular possibility. Assuming
this particular event happens or has happened, what then?
EAN with future is rare. I could only find two instances in the GNT (Luke
19:40, Acts 7:7). It seems that in these cases there is focus on the future
eventuality of the event mentioned.

Compare also with the similar construction in 1 Cor 7:28.

Iver Larsen

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