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

Shumaker, Dave DShumaker at bbc.edu
Thu May 7 09:06:42 EDT 2009

Are you saying that John 2:18 (ercetai) is not referring to the future?

Wallace's GGBB (535-537) discusses the "Futuristic Present" and calls it quite common.

I personally am quite suspicious of saying the futuristic present is emphasizing the "certainty of what will happen."  To use an English example, If I ask someone what she is planning on doing tomorrow, and she says, "I am going to the museum," I don't necessarily see this futuristic present as emphasizing certainty (or even emphatic--as Wallace suggests).  At this point, the whole exercise starts to feel like talking about the Aorist as a one-time act.  To put it in a different way, is the surety of Jesus' "coming" in the character of God's promise, or intrinsic to the "futuristic present?"


-----Original Message-----
From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Eddie Mishoe
Sent: Thursday, May 07, 2009 12:59 AM
To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] 1 John 1.9 Ed Glasscock in latest BibSac

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.

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

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