[B-Greek] 1 John 1.9 Ed Glasscock in latest BibSac

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Thu May 7 05:41:37 EDT 2009

On May 7, 2009, at 12:58 AM, Eddie Mishoe wrote:

> George writes:
> "Therefore to say that the verb ERXOMAI [sic, should be ERCOMAI] in  
> "Jesus is coming again" is NORMALLY used to describe a process and  
> may therefore be in media res therefore having a future aspect."
> I've disagreed with statements like this in the past, and plan on  
> doing so in the future.

I don't know whether the phrasing of this last sentence was chosen  
with due deliberation, but it strikes me as using present-tense  
formations to express what might as well be expressed in a future- 
tense formulation (of course, using an auxiliary). Let me rephrase it:  
"I have disagreed with such statements hitherto and shall/will   
dsagree with them hereafter." (I learned English grammar long enough  
ago to want to write "shall" instead of "will").

Revelation 22:20 reads LEGEI hO MARTURWN TOUTO: NAI, ERCOMAI TACU.  
In this instance it seems to me that the "deictic" marker TACU clearly  
indicates that ERCOMAI is to be understood in the sense of a future.  
That is also pretty clearly implied by the response with the  
imperative ERCOU: the "coming" is not immediately in process.

You might compare Mt 26:2 οἴδατε ὅτι μετὰ δύο  
ἡμέρας τὸ πάσχα γίνεται, καὶ ὁ υἱὸς  
τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται εἰς τὸ  
In this instance it is quite clear that GINETAI and PARADIDOTAI must  
be interpreted as referring to future time.

For reference, you might want to look at Wallace, GGBB, pages 535-537,  
"D.  Futuristic Present."

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

> George's sentence is quite obviously written in haste and lacks a  
> complete sentence structure; the point I want to chime in on is the  
> future tense/time. I'm not sure what a future "aspect" would even  
> entail.
> Many grammars will list several Present Tense (Indicative) verbs  
> that have some reference to the future (even to the past). I have  
> not read all the grammars on this topic, but I've personally not  
> found a Present Tense Indicative verb that refers to the future. I'm  
> happy to be introduced to some, but I've personally not run into one  
> in my own studies or in the several Greek Grammar books that speak  
> to this very issue. However, I am a big believer in deictic centers,  
> around which verbals are used. If a past time deictic center is  
> established, then a Present Tense used after this would reference an  
> "in progress" concept in relation to the deictic center, which  
> accounts for many Historical Presents of course.
> The idea behind the "Jesus is coming" is not that "Jesus will be  
> coming some time in the future." The Present Tense in constructs  
> like these, some argue, emphasize the certainty of a coming, and  
> should be translated something like "Jesus IS! coming; you can count  
> on that." And, since no man knows the day or hour of his coming, it  
> would be incorrect to say that "Jesus is coming in the future,"  
> since Jesus could have returned as the sentence was being written.  
> But this still is not the point. This Present Tense is much more  
> common than its Aorist counterpart, such as Romans "these he has  
> glorified" (Aorist tense). This is not intended to be, nor does it  
> contain, a temporal element. Many Present Tense, Aorist Tense, and  
> other verbs are not temporal propositions. This is of course true in  
> English. Open up any history book written in English and count, on  
> every page, the number of "historical presents." This concept is  
> very common, but is usually judged to be
> informal grammar. You won't find Luke writing informally, but Mark  
> is very comfortable with it. An author's style is often established  
> by grammatical uses of this type. William F. Buckley Jr may not have  
> been very comfortable with a Historic Present, but C. S. Lewis was.
> So, I'm unaware of any future referring Present Indicatives. You  
> reference of course a Present Subjunctive, which very often obeys  
> the rules of the Indicative, but by virtue of the Mood, it does not  
> have to.
> Eddie Mishoe
> Pastor
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