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Dr. Dan Wallace on ho pisteuon

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Dr. Dan Wallace on ho pisteuon

Postby mreeds » Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:57 pm

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Postby mreeds » Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:58 pm

Here's the reference for the excerpt I just posted


1. Daniel B. Wallace. Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House and

Galaxie Software, 1999, 2002), p. 621, note 22, emphasis added to all but the word continual.
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Postby IreneY » Mon Feb 27, 2006 11:50 pm

I don't know if that answers your question, but I don't see why the use of the present participle is problematic. I mean (and I am far from an expert on theological/religious matters), why would breathing interfere with believing (or vice versa if you wish)?

He/she who believes believes whatever else he/she may do (I think)
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Postby mreeds » Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:49 am

Are you suggesting that pas ho pisteuon demands one to continue to believe indefinitely in order to receive the results of the condition - not to perish but have everlasting life? That would be absurd - because what would happen to one who for a moment meets the condition and then after a few seconds drops dead? Are they stripped of the results in spite of meeting the conditions because they didn't continue their belief longer thereafter? That means pas ho pisteuon is demanding a length of time or a lifetime of unhindered belief in order to get the results. The problem is that no time or length is stipulated in the passage so then what happens to the one who stops believing are they too stripped of the results not to mention everlasting results. Everlasting by definition I thought was without end - no end it sight, if it's not everlasting than the wrong word is being used in 3.16

I hope you can see logic.
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Postby mreeds » Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:55 am

My bad I meant the stipulated condition and its results in meeting it are in

John 3.16 =

pas ho pisteuon heis autos mE apollumi all echE zOEn aiOnion
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Postby Bert » Tue Feb 28, 2006 2:54 am

I'm not the one able to give a second opinion on something Wallace has written. (If you had not given where you got your information, I would have used his book to answer your question. :) )
However, I agree with Irene. Breathing does not interfere with believing.
Doing a good job at work or at school does not either. Doing everyday tasks like cutting the lawn or doing the dishes can all be part of living in faith (of believing.)
I think that the difference between the present and aorist participle is that the present participle puts some emphasis on a life lived in faith.
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Postby mreeds » Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:16 am

breathing was just an example - so please scratch that


I) "WHOEVER BELIEVES" IS A NOMINATIVE PRESENT PARTICIPLE PORTRAYING A SINGLE MOMENT OF BELIEVING AND NOT A CONTINUOUS ONE

A) "PAS HO PISTEUON" = "WHOEVER BELIEVES" IS A NOMINATIVE PRESENT PARTICIPLE = A NOUN WHICH ONLY REQUIRES AN INSTANT OF BELIEVING

The phrase "whoever believes" in Jn 3:16 = "pas ho pisteuon" = relative pronoun "pas" = "everyone who" with a definite article "the" = "ho" + the present participle verb functioning as a noun, lit. "everyone who is the believing one".

[The Language of the New Testament, Eugene Van Ness Goetchius, Chas. Scribner's Sons, N.Y., 1965, p. 173]:

"Present participles may be used substantively [as a noun]... In the translation of such constructions into English one must usually resort to paraphrases of the types illustrated...

1) [Compare Ro 12:7]:

"If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach;"

"o didaskon" = the teaching one, the one teaching, the one who is teaching, the one who teaches.

So "pas ho pisteuon" = "everyone who is the believing one", i.e, everyone who is the believer at the moment one begins believing.

["Syntax of New Testament Greek", Brooks & Winbery, 1979, University Press, Lanham, Md, pp. 144]:

"THE SUBSTANTIVAL PARTICIPLE

The participle, like an adjective, may be used in the place of a noun or other substantive. The participle itself then functions as a noun. Its case, gender, and number are determined by its use in the sentence. It may be used in most of the ways in which a noun is used, e.g. as a subject nominative, as a dative of indirect object, as an accusative of direct object, etc. It may be used with or without an article. It always stands in the attributive position [following the article]."

2) [Compare Mk 6:14]:

'''King Herod heard about this, for Jesus' name had become well known. Some were saying, "John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.'''

"John the Baptist" = "iOannEs ho baptizOn" =

"ho baptizOn" = "the baptizing one" = present, active, participle as a noun = "the Baptist"

[Bob Wilkin states, Grace in Focus periodical, Jan/Feb 2006, Vol 21, Number 1, Grace Evangelical Society, Irving Texas, p. 2]:

"Herod had put John to death after imprisoning him for some time. John had not baptized anyone in a long time, yet Herod still called him "ho baptizOn" We still call him that today, even though he hasn't baptized anyone for 2000 years! John was only the Baptist when he was in the water baptizing people. Each time he came out of the water after conducting bapisms, he would cease being ho baptizOn. Of course, using that reasoning, since John stoped baptizing forever when he was imprisoned, his baptism was a false or spurious baptism all along!"


[Dr. Robert Wilkin states, The Grace Report, Monthly Report of the Grace Evangelical Society, Irving, Tx. ges@faithalone.org, Mar 1999, Notes and Letters, p. 4]:

'''The articular participle (=the article "the" [='ho'] plus a participle [ex. pisteuon = believing] functions as a verbal noun. Thus ['ho pisteuon' =] 'the one who believes' does not mean ''he who keeps on believing and believing and believing' but means 'the believer.' [i.e., one who at some time exercised a single moment of faith alone in Christ alone]. Anyone who comes to faith in Christ is from that moment forward 'the believer.' '''

In other words, the nominative present participle has in view one who at some moment in present time exercised a single moment of faith in whatever is specified, in this case, trusting that God gave His one and only Son for one as a believer.

B) "PAS HO PISTEUON" = "WHOEVER BELIEVES" IS NOT A SIMPLE CONTINUOUS PRESENT TENSE & THUS DOES NOT CONVEY CONTINUOUS ACTION

The phrase "whoever believes" in Jn 3:16 is not a simple continuous present tense as some contend in order to demand that one maintain a constant state of believing so that one will continue to possess eternal life otherwise lose it; rather, as previously indicated, it is the relative pronoun "whoever" with the definite article "ho" = "the" and the present, active nominative participle verb "pisteuon" = "pas ho pisteuon"= "everyone who is the believing one" = a noun.

Consider the individuals who are found guilty of various offenses before a magistrate in a court in the times of the ancient Roman Empire - New Testament times. The magistrate declares before the group of guilty people in koine Greek, the language of the New Testament, in a statement that directly parallels the second half of Jn 3:16, 'Whoever pays his fine shall not perish in jail, but have freedom to go, with his life.' Does the present tense of 'Whoever pays' demand continuous - uninterrupted payment of the fine in order for an individual to "have freedom to go, with his life?" The answer is obvious, the present tense does not always demand continuous uninterrupted action in the present. Just as the payment of the Magistrate's fine was done once in present time such that it results in freedom - the payment not having to be continuous; so the believing in Christ as Savior, when it begins in present time, immediately results in the aorist tense completed action of never perishing and the present tense reception of eternal life such that the believing need not continue in order to keep the result of never perishing and possession of eternal life continuous because the never perishing is a completed action and the eternal life by its very nature once received is continuously eternal.

If I were to say, "In the morning I get on a bus, pay my fare with a bus pass, and get off where I work;" does the phrase 'pay my fare' mean I continually pay the fare until the ride ends, or is it in a moment of present time until the end is achieved, i.e., about 1 second to swipe the pass through the slot on top of the fare box? Same with 'I get on the bus' is not continual nor is 'get off'. Present tense is simply a present moment of action until the context determines when the action ceases. This is true in the koine Greek also.

Furthermore, even if the simple present tense were the verb in the original Greek text - and it is not - a special context and/or additional words such as "diapantos" = continually, must be inserted into the text in order to convey the idea of continuous believing. The Greek present tense by itself does not convey such an idea - nor does its counterpart in English. Simple present tense action in the absence of qualifiers demands a singular action in the present moment without requiring that it continue into later moments in any language. No first century Greek reader or hearer was likely to get a meaning such as 'continue to believe' without the necessary additional qualifiers to the simple present tense.
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Postby Paul » Tue Feb 28, 2006 4:38 am

Hi, and welcome to Textkit.

mreeds wrote:If I were to say, "In the morning I get on a bus, pay my fare with a bus pass, and get off where I work;" does the phrase 'pay my fare' mean I continually pay the fare until the ride ends, or is it in a moment of present time until the end is achieved, i.e., about 1 second to swipe the pass through the slot on top of the fare box? Same with 'I get on the bus' is not continual nor is 'get off'. Present tense is simply a present moment of action until the context determines when the action ceases. This is true in the koine Greek also.


The imperfective aspect of the present tense also denotes habitual or customary action.

mreeds wrote:Furthermore, even if the simple present tense were the verb in the original Greek text - and it is not - a special context and/or additional words such as "diapantos" = continually, must be inserted into the text in order to convey the idea of continuous believing. The Greek present tense by itself does not convey such an idea - nor does its counterpart in English. Simple present tense action in the absence of qualifiers demands a singular action in the present moment without requiring that it continue into later moments in any language.


Aspect discloses, from the speaker's perspective, the internal temporal structure of the verb's action. Generally, imperfective aspect discloses that action as ongoing (or habitual). I think it is certain that, under this aspect, a Greek present tense form can indeed mean "continue to X".

Cordially,

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Postby IreneY » Tue Feb 28, 2006 7:19 am

Far from me to claim understanding the English language perfectly but I think that, in English too, the present tense can denote sth of an indefinite (continuous) nature.

If I say that the Moon revolves around the Earth (which I am pretty sure is a correct sentence from all aspects), I mean for a number of years far exceeding the life span of normal people.

On another note, I think that the "if one drops dead" is not a good example; since the time-span of indefinite is in fact indefinite, it is not a matter of time measurement but of continuity of belief.
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Postby mreeds » Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:21 pm

Both of you have appeared to have ignored the following comments:

Furthermore, even if the simple present tense were the verb in the original Greek text - and it is not - a special context and/or additional words such as "diapantos" = continually, must be inserted into the text in order to convey the idea of continuous believing. The Greek present tense by itself does not convey such an idea - nor does its counterpart in English. Simple present tense action in the absence of qualifiers demands a singular action in the present moment without requiring that it continue into later moments in any language. No first century Greek reader or hearer was likely to get a meaning such as 'continue to believe' without the necessary additional qualifiers to the simple present tense
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Postby annis » Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:59 pm

mreeds wrote:The Greek present tense by itself does not convey such an idea - nor does its counterpart in English. Simple present tense action in the absence of qualifiers demands a singular action in the present moment without requiring that it continue into later moments in any language.


On the contrary, in English an unmodified present tense is precisely the verb form you use to represent a continuous, general statement: I walk to work; dogs bark; my former boss is a drooling lackwit.

Further, Greek also used unmodified present tense verbs to represent continuous, habitual action. See Smyth 1877-1876
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Postby mreeds » Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:38 pm

I walk to work; dogs bark; my former boss is a drooling lackwit.


Agreed but are you continually performing the action as we speak, 'I walk to work'? That's the issue here? Ho pisteuon because of the article 'the' in front of the verb denotes a noun (a verbal noun). Is describing an individual who at one time did not believe but then at some point in time performed the action, believe, therefore becoming the believing one.

See the above example of the bus drive to get to work. Notice the actions were performed once to achieve the destination, to get to work. The individual will probably or probably not repeat this action again. He may have purchased a car, so no need to perform those particular actions again to use a bus to get to work.

These are examples of present perfect aspects as opposed to present imperfect aspects. Imperfect as noted correctly are habitual but to what end is the issue. As we saw the action of walking to work can end, does that mean the ability to walk or getting to one's particular destination ceases to exist to use the bus drive analogy?

But were dealing with the eternal state which results in any one who meets the condition in Jn 3.16. Notice the results when one meets the condition in Jn 3:16.

[condition] but whosoever believes on Him = hina pas ho pisteuO heis autos

One believed on Him (the Son) which in practice takes a moment to do just like getting on a bus for the first and last time took one only once to do but never again because they now drive a car.

So the result of having believed on Him 5 4 3 2 1 =

[the results] should not perish but have eternal life = mE apollumi all echE zOEn aiOnion


Notice the first and second results are intrinsic values affecting the one who believed on the Son =


- never perish -

(inconclusive of what is - so look further in the verse or context for meaning)



- but have life eternal

(is conclusive of what is - for eternal modifies the believing one's life. The non-temporal one, spiritual one - see previous contexts vv. 3-13 for meaning)


Recall eternal means existing for an infinite, i.e., limitless, amount of time

Therefore if the condition was met once - when one became the believing one for the first time resulting in them a state of never perishing but posessing eternal life. Then the life of one is eternal (recall defined as - no end in sight conceptually).

So can the definition of eternal be reversed once its essence has begun in one who later failed to believe? if that's the case then the authors usage of the word eternal = aiOnion was a wrong word to use. He should have used another word to denote temporal or potential life.

This would also demonstrate the author implies pulling a bait and switch from not perishing to perishing of anyone, who in spite of meeting the condition at one time fails to continue meeting the condition even for a few moments thereafter.

Notice none of this is even hinted at in the entire context in John 3 - no length of time to believe - even no mention of a threshold that one can get by in not meeting the condition, if it were continual which it is not.

If there exists the potential the definition of eternal can be reversed. Than conceptually God who is also eternal would also be subject to such modification.

This would have serious ramifications possibly rendering the Word of God to no use... Are you ready to go there?
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Postby IreneY » Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:05 pm

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Postby mreeds » Wed Mar 01, 2006 10:14 pm

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Postby IreneY » Wed Mar 01, 2006 10:51 pm

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Postby mreeds » Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:31 pm

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Postby Paul » Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:50 pm

mreeds wrote:Both of you have appeared to have ignored the following comments:

Furthermore, even if the simple present tense were the verb in the original Greek text - and it is not - a special context and/or additional words such as "diapantos" = continually, must be inserted into the text in order to convey the idea of continuous believing. The Greek present tense by itself does not convey such an idea - nor does its counterpart in English. Simple present tense action in the absence of qualifiers demands a singular action in the present moment without requiring that it continue into later moments in any language. No first century Greek reader or hearer was likely to get a meaning such as 'continue to believe' without the necessary additional qualifiers to the simple present tense


Forgive me. Now that I've looked at it, I will ignore it. It's laughably false.

In the same text from which you inundate us with quotations, I found this:

"In the final analysis "whoever believes" = "pas ho pisteuon" in the Greek, the form of the verb to believe in Jn 3:16, is not a simple present tense form at all; but it is actually a nominative, singular, masculine, present active participle, i.e., a participle acting as a noun indicating "one who believes" [in Christ as Savior], i.e., a believer. The participle acting as a noun does not require a perfection of continuous action such as continuous believing in order for an individual to be qualified as a believer.

C) A CONTINUOUS STATE OF BELIEVING IN CHRIST IS NOT POSSIBLE WITH MAN

According to Scripture, a continuous and perfect state of believing in Christ is not possible with man which would necessitate sinless perfection. For any sin a believer commits reflects a degree of unbelief and no one can claim to be without sin, nor maintain a perfect state of continuous faith..."


You take exception to Wallace's claim that "The present was the tense of choice most likely because the NT writers by and large saw continual belief as a necessary condition of salvation." Perhaps you are construing too literally what Wallace means by "continual".

Under "imperfective aspect" we also include action disclosed as progressive and discrete. Please consider:

a. reading a book
b. singing a song

We happily think of such processes as "progressive" or "continual". Yet they are discrete, gappy: while reading, my mind sometimes wanders; there are moments of singing when one is not singing.

Next consider flying in an airplane. This too is "progressive" or "continual". Yet at no time during the process am I NOT flying. It is truly a continual (non-discrete) process. Capisce?

I quite agree with you that for most of us mortals a continuous (non-discrete) state of belief is simply impossible. But I really don't think that's what Wallace meant to say.

Cordially,

Paul
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Postby Bert » Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:14 am

mreeds, I can't seem to understand what you are trying to say but it sure can't be that -As long as you have believed once, you are saved-. Or to say it in Irene's pointed words, one that goes into the light can then retreat into the darkness certain that he'll go to Heaven .
I want to remind you of something you wrote (something that I did understand):
Context, context, context determines meaning

You should take into account the broader context because the rest of the Bible definitely does not take the view that believe now -but not tomorrow- and you will be saved.

mreeds wrote:
The Greek present tense by itself does not convey such an idea - nor does its counterpart in English. Simple present tense action in the absence of qualifiers demands a singular action in the present moment without requiring that it continue into later moments in any language.

(William replied)

On the contrary, in English an unmodified present tense is precisely the verb form you use to represent a continuous, general statement: I walk to work; dogs bark; my former boss is a drooling lackwit....


William, aren't you giving examples of 'Habitual present'? You can use a helping verb if you wanted to emphasize the imperfective aspect.
I am walking to work; dogs are barking; my former boss is being a drooling lackwit. (BTW it is very smart you wrote FORMER boss. You never know; your present boss may read this.)
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Postby mreeds » Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:35 am

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Postby annis » Thu Mar 02, 2006 2:14 am

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Postby annis » Thu Mar 02, 2006 2:22 am

Bert wrote:William, aren't you giving examples of 'Habitual present'?


I am, which is what I meant by "general." I should have verified the customary grammatical terminology for this.

(BTW it is very smart you wrote FORMER boss. You never know; your present boss may read this.)


Actually all my bosses have been clever. I just grabbed a random example of a characteristic extended in time.

Is there an existing sect or denomination that accepts the unusual and grammatically labored reading of this passage that mreeds is pushing? I mean, this poor atheist wanding in the dark has no idea if he's wandered into a dispute with a longer context, or if mreeds is another Waldo of Lyons for our age.
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Postby IreneY » Thu Mar 02, 2006 2:51 am

hey I am an atheist too but I have been trying very hard to understand what he is saying from both a grammatical point of view and a theological one.
I first entered this discussion because I thought he was making a mistake regarding the use of the present tense. Now I am thoroughly confused about what is the thing(s) that he objects to so I think I'll stop trying to understand
Once I have some more spare time I will try to understand at least how eternal life is limited (sorry mreeds but I still don't get it really).

oh, and my take on belief is this: One's faith may indeed waver and as far as I understand this is ok (not sure though). He/she may also sin and if he/she repents that's ok too (although I believe some denominations disagree with that) .
However, if one stops believing then he/she will not consider what he/she is doing a sin eh? When I said way of life I also meant a way of thinking


(all this has nothing to do with the Greek language whatsoever though so its place isn't here really)
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Postby mreeds » Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:07 am

Annis, I won't your old position against you so don't worry about that.

OK

1) hina pas ho pisteuon eis auton = but whosoever believes on Him (the Son in context). Is this a correct English translation? Y/N

2) Notice any other qualifiers besides believe on Him in the text in order to possess eternal life? Y/N

Whether the results are carried out or not when one meets the condition is not the issue here. Rather what does the text read whether you're reading it in the original Greek or in modern English translations.

Again if you read no other qualifiers besides only the action - to believe on Him (Son in context) than we have no right to impose or imply things that are not stipulated in the passage itself and in its immediate context. Correct?
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Postby IreneY » Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:11 am

language point, hina should be translated so that, in order that, with the purpose of and any other phrase showing purpose/goal
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Postby mreeds » Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:16 am

language point, hina should be translated so that, in order than, with the purpose of and any other phrase showing purpose/goal


[My bad]
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Postby Bert » Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:18 am

annis wrote:

Is there an existing sect or denomination that accepts the unusual and grammatically labored reading of this passage that mreeds is pushing? I mean, this poor atheist wanding in the dark has no idea if he's wandered into a dispute with a longer context, or if mreeds is another Waldo of Lyons for our age.

No history to this radical Interpretation that I'm aware of.
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Postby IreneY » Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:24 am

sorry wanted to edit my prev post

my bad :D
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Postby mreeds » Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:27 am

I wanted to let you guys know that this has been quite interesting. I have really enjoyed reading all your posts. I hope I haven't been brow beating anyone.

I do have to confess I am one who believes on Jesus Christ so don't hold that against me.

Also, I have caused some to miscontrue some of the lengthy information I posted. I do want you to know that alot of the information has been the work of a friend of mine who has been helping me to approach the Bible using language, context and logic. The problem is that I am finally getting around to do my own research in each of the point he raises in terms of the Greek New Testament. So lately I have been posting his conclusions on boards like this and as I see from some of your posts, his conclusions maybe questionable.

If any of you would like to correspond with my friend he has given me the green light to share his email address and web site with you.

'walter878@excite.com'
http://www.biblestudymanuals.net
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Postby Bert » Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:44 am

(This discussion is starting to be out of place in the koine board and should maybe be continued (if it should be continued at all) in the open board)

mreeds wrote:You should take into account the broader context because the rest of the Bible definitely does not take the view that believe now -but not tomorrow- and you will be saved.



[Broader context - what happens then to the thief on the cross and any others who had simply believed on Jesus Christ before any inspired letters could reach them. In order to persevere in faith to prove to God they have in fact believed. This would be absurd reasoning.

Nobody has to PROVE to God that he believes.
He believed and then died. Not, he believed, then stopped believing and then died.

If one has to master the entire Bible to be qualified to meet the condition set forth in John 3:16 then no one could be saved. Since all believers would had to have waited for the entire Canon to compiled and then they can proceed to met the condition in John 3:16]

You are right. But no one said that anyone has to master to entire Bible in order to be saved.

[Besides Scripture in no wise can vary from one passage to another. Hence what is said in John 3:16 cannot be modified into something else by looking at some other passage and determining if something more is needed to be saved than what is stipulated without question in John 3:16

You are right again. Scripture does not contradict Scripture. So, instead of arogantly insisting that your interpretation is the correct one, consider the possibility that just maybe you are wrong and check if the broader context proves you right or wrong.
: a moment of faith alone in the Son of God alone being given for one. Otherwise John 3:16 is wrong and our Lord did not speak the truth! There is no stipulation in John 3:16 of any guarantee or command to produce fruit, hence it is not required and cannot be imposed upon by some other passage.

Imposed upon by another passage? You must really wonder what possible reason God had for having written anything beside John 3:16.
Check out other passages and you will see that it is impossible to have faith and NOT produce fruit.
It says in the Bible that even the demons believe. I quess they are saved as well.


Furthermore, this concept of entirety violates the integrity of the Greek and English rules of grammar which demand that each sentence, (verse), has its own thought/message within its own peculiar context and it cannot be imposed upon by another verse.
Oh. Pe-lease.
Within its own peculiar context you say. Yet you cannot use this context because then you are imposing on the integral sentence with its own message.

Nuf sed.
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Postby mreeds » Thu Mar 02, 2006 4:04 am

Annis, here is my friends response: Beware it's a lengthy one


Annis wrote:

I'm an atheist, so the disposition in this dispute is of
noabiding interest to me. However you are torturing both Greek and
English in theservice of this grammaticalized theodicy of yours.



Since Context has been invoked, I repeat your words before Igive
a longer answer:



Quote:

The Greek present tense by itself does not convey such anidea -
nor does its counterpart in English. Simple present tense action in
theabsence of qualifiers demands a singular action in the present moment
withoutrequiring that it continue into later moments in any language.


This is trivially and demonstrably false. Both Greek andEnglish
often use a simple present verb, without adverbial modifiers, todescribe
not only continuous/imperfective actions, but habitual orcharacteristic
action, action which, by being habitual, is necessarily extendedin time.


Here's some Epicurean wisdom (Letter to Menoceus 129):

Quote:

And since this is the first and innate good, on that accountwe
also do not choose every pleasure, but sometimes we pass overmany
pleasures when a greater distress will follow us from them.

The present tense abounds! And in every case it is adescription
of a general, habitual characteristic of the sensible Epicurean.There is
neither undending choosing, nor a single choice in the present, but
adescription of the correct course of action to attain ataraxia in
allcircumstances.

So I repeat myself - your assertion that a simple
present"demands a singular action in the present" is untrue, in both
Greekand English. Perhaps your reading of the passage is correct. I
doubt it - itconflicts with the Greek I've read - but I don't much care.
But you cannotinsist your interpretation is required by the grammar. It
is not.


__________________________________________________________


The words 'by itself' have meaning in my sentence. Notice that your
sentence has the context of habitual written all over it. The present
tense 'by itself' means just that. Suggest you read the entire article
on present tense:


http://www.biblestudymanuals/index4.htm


NEW TESTAMENT GREEK VERBS

I) INTRODUCTION

In English, verb tenses generally denote the time of action. Factors
such as context, specific verb forms and modifiers like adverbs,
conjunctions and phrases further determine the time of action as well as
the beginning, duration and end of that action.

In New Testament Greek, verb tenses generally denote the kind of action.
Factors such as context, specific verb forms and modifiers like adverbs,
conjunctions and phrases further determine the time of action as well as
the beginning, duration and end of that action.

Although there are distinct differences between the languages of the
world and ancient koine New Testament Greek, there are sufficient
devices in the languages of the world, including 21st Century American
English, to accurately reflect what is portrayed by the writers of the
New Testament books of the Bible. If this were not so, then God's Word
could only be accurately available to those who are fluent in the
ancient, archaic koine Greek, which no one uses today as a primary or
secondary language. But this has certainly not been the case with so
many reliable translations around the world for generations. Modern
American English translations have proven to be extremely reliable. So
one need not consult the original languages except to provide
corroborating evidence of a good translation with occasional correction
or refinement as no translation is perfect.

II) PRESENT TENSE

Greek grammar books often stipulate that present tense expresses
progressive or linear action but then they add the proviso that such
action is more specifically defined by context and modifiers such as
adverbs, phrases and conjunctions - often to the extent that it is
neither progressive nor linear.

[Compare A. T. Robertson, "A Grammar of the Greek New Testament, p. 864,
879]:

"It is not wise therefore to define the present indicative as denoting
'action in progress' like the imperfect as Burton does, for he has to
take it back on p. 9 in the discussion of the 'Aoristic Present,' which
he calls a 'distinct departure from the prevailing use of the present
tense to denote action in progress.' In sooth, it is no 'departure' at
all. The idiom is as old as the tense itself...

It has already been seen that the durative sense does not monopolize the
'present' tense, though it more frequently denotes linear action. The
verb and the context must decide."

So the key common denominator relative to present tense verb usage is
that the action is to be viewed as internal as opposed to external
wherein the former has in view action from within as it occurs, and the
latter has in view action which is completed or action which has not yet
occurred.

An examination of the various present tenses used in the New Testament
Books will corroborate and clarify this:

[From: "Syntax of New Testament Greek" in {} brackets, Brooks & Winbery,
1979, University Press, Lanham, Md, pp. 82-90]:

A) {DESCRIPTIVE PRESENT

This category is sometimes referred to as the progressive present of
description. This use of the present describes what is now actually
taking place. It might even be called the pictorial present. It depicts
an action in progress.}

1) [Compare Mt 8:24-25]:

(v. 24) "Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that
the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.

(v. 25) The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're
going to drown!"

"We're going to drown" = "apollumetha" = lit., "we are perishing",
(i.e., going to drown),
..................................................................presen
t, indicative

Notice that the context indicates that one is approaching the point of
perishing in the water during the ongoing storm. But they are not yet in
the water, nor drowning as yet. But the possibility of drowning is
imminent. So the context is dictating the action of the verb
"apollumetha" = "we are perishing" which is not a literal continuous
scenario of perishing in the water as yet, i.e., continuous action is
not in view here.

2) [Compare 1 Jn 2:8]:

"The darkness is passing away and the true light already is shining."

"is passing away" = "paragetai" = present, indicative mood

"is shining" = "phainei" = present, indicative mood

Notice that continuous action is in view here - but an end is in sight
as the context indicates, i.e., when the light is completely shining.

B) {DURATIVE PRESENT

Some grammarians call this the progressive present. An action or a state
of being which began in the past is described as continuing until the
present. The past and the present are gathered up in a single
affirmation. An adverb of time is often used with this kind of present,
but a verb alone is sometimes sufficient as in the final example given
below. This use of the Greek present is usually translated by the
English present perfect. Although impractical to bring out in English
translation, the full meaning is that something has been and still is.}

1) [Compare Luke 13:7]:

"Behold, I have been coming for three years seeking fruit on this fig
tree, and I have found none."

"I have been coming" = "erchomai" = lit., "am coming", present,
indicative

"I have found none" = "ouch heuriskO" = lit., "am finding", present,
indicative

Note that context establishes that the action portrayed is not
absolutely continuous to the extent that when it has begun, it is
unceasing; but it is an action which is nevertheless ongoing in a
repetitive manner - He comes one time, ends, and then another and
another comes, goes and then it comes again.

2) [Compare 2 Cor 12:7-9]:

(v. 7)"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly
great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger
of Satan, to torment me.

(v. 8) Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.

(v. 9) He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you; my power is made
perfect in weakness."

"is sufficient" = "arkei" = present, indicative

"is made perfect" = "teleitai" = present, indicative

Notice that the context indicates continuous action which began in the
past and continues in the present - very similar to the perfect tense.

C) {ITERATIVE PRESENT

The iterative present depicts an action which is repeated at various
intervals. It might be illustrated by a series of dots (....) rather
than a straight line (_______). Sometimes the repetition takes the form
of a local, as opposed to universal, custom or practice. It is necessary
to distinguish this use from those statements of universal truth called
'gnomic'...}

1) [Compare 1 Cor 11:26]:

"As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the
death of the Lord."

"you proclaim" = "kataggellete" = present, indicative

[Notice that the context established by "as often as you eat and drink"
establishes the repetitive action of "you proclaim" which is distinctly
not continuous]

2) [Compare Mt 17:15]:

"Lord, have mercy on my son," he said. "He has seizures and is suffering
greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water."

The verb "falls"is present, active, indicative. Notice the word "often"
which is part of the context that points to a repeated action which is
not continuous. Each incident of falling is repeated again and again.

D) {TENDENTIAL PRESENT

The present tense is sometimes used to indicate an action being
contemplated, or proposed, or attempted but which has not actually taken
place. The name is derived from the intention to produce the desired
result. Other grammarians call this the conative present or the
inchoative present. An auxiliary verb such as 'attempt,' 'try,' 'go,' or
'begin' may be used in the translation.}

1) [Compare Gal 5:2-4]:

(v. 2) "Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be
circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.

(v. 3) Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that
he is obligated to obey the whole law.

(v. 4) You who are trying to be justified by law [i.e., works of
righteousness such as circumcision] have been alienated from Christ; you
have fallen away from grace."

"are trying to be justified" = "dikaiousthe" = lit., "are being
justified", present, indicative.

Note: continuous action in the present of attempting to be justified is
in view as a result of the context indicating that one cannot be
justified by law = ongoing works of the Law.

E) {GNOMIC PRESENT

The gnomic present is used to express a universal truth, a maxim, a
commonly accepted fact, a state or condition which perpetually exists,
and a very widespread practice or custom. The time element is remote
even in the indicative mood because the action or state or truth is true
for all time - the past and future as well as the present. Such words as
'always,' 'ever,' and 'never' are often used in the translation.

In attempting to determine whether a present which depicts a custom or
practice is iterative or gnomic, the following should be taken into
consideration. If the custom or practice is local in nature and/or is
confined to a comparatively brief period, the present is iterative. If
the custom or practice is widespread and/or extends over a comparatively
long period of time the present is gnomic. It should also be remembered
that the iterative present expresses linear action, the gnomic
punctiliar action.}

1) [Compare Matt. 7:17]:

"Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad
fruit."

"bears" = "polei" = present, indicative

Note: The action indicated by "polei" is not continuous in the sense
that it is unceasing in the present moment. When the good tree produces
fruit, it is produced in season, in the present moment - the length and
quality of that production being indeterminate except that it produces
good fruit as opposed to bad fruit - each season, every time - but not
without ceasing.

2) [Compare Jn 7:52]:

"They replied, "Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will
find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee."

[Note again that the action of coming out of some 'home area' is
obviously not continuous]

F) {HISTORICAL PRESENT

For the sake of vividness or dramatic effect a writer sometimes imagines
that he and/or his readers are present and are witnessing a past event.
He narrates the past event as though it were actually taking place. The
present tense is used for this purpose. The historical present is
frequently found in Mark and John. It is ordinarily translated into
English by the simple past tense}

1) [Compare Mt 3:1]:

"In those days John the Baptist appeared. [lit. arrives, appears]"

"appeared" = "paraginetai" = lit., "appears", present, indicative

2) [Compare Mt 13:44 NKJV]:

"Again the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a
man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has
and buys that field."

["Buys" is rendered from "agorazei", present, active, indicative as are
"goes", sells" and "has." The action, however, occurred in the past
tense: the man paid the money, took possession, and the deed was done]

3) [Compare Mt 13:45-46]:

(v. 45) "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for
fine pearls.

(v. 46) When he found one of great value, he went away and sold
everything he had and bought it."

[Mt 13:45-46 parallels v. 44 with the verb "bought" in v. 46 rendered
from "Egorasen", aorist, active, indicative = past tense to portray past
tense events.

The Historic Present occurs frequently in narrative, especially in the
gospels. Often the verb rendered "to say" occurs in present form even
though it is describing past action. In these cases, the kind of action
is not necessarily durative. The idiom is similar to the English
colloquial speech which is demonstrated as follows:

"So the fat guy says to the skinny guy, 'You're a wimp'.

Then the skinny guy gets up and jumps on the fat guy's head."

The verbs "says,", "gets", and "jumps" are all present in form, even
though they are describing past action.

It is obvious that these verbs cannot be considered continuous actions.

This mode of speech, relating a past incident using present tense verbs,
makes the narrative vivid by transporting the hearer to the time of the
action. Or it could be said the incident being described is transported
to the time of the narration. By this means, the speaker recreates the
incident as if it is happening at the moment. He puts the scene before
himself and his audience and they imagine the events unfolding before
their eyes. They are imagining themselves as being in the midst of the
time of the action]

G) {FUTURISTIC PRESENT

The present tense is sometimes used for confident assertions about what
is going to take place in the future. The event, although it has not yet
occurred, is looked upon as so certain that it is thought of as already
occurring. The futuristic present is often used in prophecies. A test
for this use is the ability to translate the Greek present with an
English future, though the future, will not always be used in the
translation.}

1) [Compare Jn 14:1-3]:

(v. 1) "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in
me.

(v. 2) In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would
have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.

(v. 3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and
take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

"I will come" = "erchomai" = lit., "am coming", present, indicative.

Notice that the context indicates not a present continuous action but a
future action.

H) {AORISTIC PRESENT

What is here called the aoristic present and what some grammarians call
the specific or effective present involves a simple expression of
undefined action in the present time without any of the more developed
implications of the gnomic, historical, or futuristic presents. The
aoristic present presents the action as a simple event or as a present
fact without any reference to its progress. By the nature of the case
the verb "eimi" is often an aoristic present.}

1) [Compare Mk 2:3-5]:

(v. 3) "Some men came, bringing to Him [Jesus] a paralytic, carried by
four of them.

(v. 4) Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they
made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it,
lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.

(v. 5) When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, 'Son, your
sins are forgiven.' "

"are forgiven" = "aphientai" = lit. "are forgiven", present, indicative

Notice that there is an action in the present tense established by the
context as not continuous but simply a moment in the present.

III) ENGLISH AND FIRST CENTURY GREEK REQUIRES SPECIAL CONTEXT OR
ADDITIONAL QUALIFYING WORDS TO MAKE PRESENT TENSE ACTION CONTINUOUS
THROUGHOUT THE PRESENT

Present tense in NT koine Greek provides an internal view of action as
it is occuring. Factors such as context, specific verb forms and
modifiers like adverbs, conjunctions and phrases further determine the
time of action as well as the beginning, duration and end of that
action.

So the Greek present tense by itself does not automatically convey
continuous action - nor does the English equivalent. It may or may not
be continuous - depending upon the context and/or the presence of
qualifying words.

No first century Greek reader or hearer was likely to get a meaning such
as 'continue to believe' without the necessary additional qualifiers to
the present tense.

A) [Compare Hebrews 13:15]:

"Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice
of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name."

"anapherOmen ..thusian .aineseOs diapantos"

"we should offer sacrifice of praise continually"

Notice that "anapherOmen" = "we should offer" is present tense. Yet in
order to emphasize continual action the word "diapantos" = "continually"
must be inserted.

B) [Compare 1 Thes 2:13]:

"And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word
of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men,
but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who
believe. "

"hEmeis eucharistoumen tO theO .....adialeiptOs" =

"we .......give thanks .............to God ..unceasingly"

Notice that "eucharistoumen" = "give thanks" is present tense,
indicative mood. Yet in order to emphasize unceasing activity the word
"adialeiptOs" = "unceasingly" must be inserted to picture unceasing
action.

C) [Compare 1 Thes 5:16-18]:

(v. 16) "Be joyful always;

(v. 17) pray unceasingly;

(v. 18) give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you
in Christ Jesus."

"adialeiptOs proseuchesthe" =

"unceasingly pray"

Notice that "proseuchesthe" = "pray" is present tense, imperative mood.
Yet in order to emphasize unceasing activity the word "adialeiptOs" =
"unceasingly" must be inserted to picture unceasing action.

D) [Compare Jn 3:16]:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that
whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

"whoever believes in Him" = "pas ho pisteuon" = lit, whoever [is] the
believer, nominative particple, i.e., a noun

"should have eternal life" = "all echE zOEn aiOnion" = present tense
verb (echE)

If the present tense were the verb in the original Greek text of John
3:16, "whoever believes" - and it is not, it is the noun, 'pas ho
pisteuon' = whoever [is] the believer', then a special context and/or
additional words such as "diapantos" = continually and the future tense
'will have eternal life' instead of 'have eternal life', must be
inserted into the text in order to convey the idea of continuous
believing in order to have eternal life.

If the present tense were the verb in the original Greek text of John
3:16, "whoever believes" - and it is not, it is the noun, 'pas ho
pisteuon' = whoever [is] the believer', then a special context and/or
additional words such as "diapantos" = continually and the future tense
'will have eternal life' instead of present tense 'have eternal life',
must be inserted into the text in order to convey the idea of continuous
believing in order to eventually secure eternal life. If possession of
eternal life is secured in the present moment of believing, (and it is),
then it is secured forever, being eternal by definition.

Consider the individuals who are found guilty of various offenses before
a magistrate in a court in the times of the ancient Roman Empire - New
Testament times. The magistrate declares before the group of guilty
people in koine Greek, the language of the New Testament, in a statement
that directly parallels the second half of Jn 3:16, 'Whoever pays his
fine shall not perish in jail, but have freedom to go, with his life.'
Does the present tense of 'Whoever pays' demand continuous -
uninterrupted payment of the fine in order for an individual to "have
freedom to go, with his life?" The answer is obvious, the present tense
does not always demand continuous uninterrupted action in the present.

Just as the payment of the Magistrate's fine was done once in present
time such that it results in freedom - the payment not having to be
continuous;

so the believing in Christ as Savior, when it begins in present time,
immediately results in the aorist completed action of never perishing
and the present tense reception of eternal life such that the believing
need not continue in order to keep the result of never perishing and
possession of eternal life continuous because the never perishing is a
completed action and the eternal life by its very nature once received
is continuously eternal.

In addition to this, the appeal to force the simple present tense to
mean continuous action would lead to havoc in many passages in the New
Testament. For example, 1 John 1:8 reads, "If we [born again believers]
say that we have no sin [="ouk echomen" = present tense] we deceive
ourselves". If this verse is rendered in the continuous mode, it would
be read, "If we say that we do not continuously have sin, we deceive
ourselves and the truth is not in us." This indicates that in spite of
becoming born again believers there is no time in the believer's life
that he can claim not to be living a lifestyle of continuous,
unadulterated sin - no time for anything else!!!

IV) AORIST TENSE

[SYNTAX OF NEW TESTAMENT GREEK, James A. Brooks, Carlton L. Winbery,
University Press of America, Lanham, Md., 1988, pp. 98, 118-120,
111-112]:

[p. 98]

"The aorist tense expresses punctiliar action. Indeed the word aoristos
[aorist] means without limit, unqualified, undefined - which of course
is the significance of punticiliar action. Only in the indicative mood
[as in both verbs in Jn 3:16 main clause] does the aorist also indicate
past time."

It often corresponds to the English perfect (I have loosed).

So the aorist is said to be "simple occurrence" or "summary occurrence",
without regard for the amount of time taken to accomplish the action.
This tense is also often referred to as the 'punctiliar' tense.
'Punctiliar' in this sense means 'viewed as a single, collective whole,'
a "one-point-in-time" action in which from an external point of view the
action is completed - no longer requiring further time to elapse,
although it may actually have taken place over a period of time. In the
indicative mood the aorist tense denotes action that occurred in the
past time, often translated like the English simple past tense.



Bob

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Postby annis » Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:34 pm

mreeds wrote:1) hina pas ho pisteuon eis auton = but whosoever believes on Him (the Son in context). Is this a correct English translation? Y/N


Uh-uh. No way. I work with statisticians! I know all about using surveys to lead to a predetermined conclusion.

Again if you read no other qualifiers besides only the action - to believe on Him (Son in context) than we have no right to impose or imply things that are not stipulated in the passage itself and in its immediate context. Correct?


That is correct, but that's not in dispute here. Everyone in this discussion would agree, but the question is about what "things" are legitimate in the usage being debated. It is you who are reading things into a ubiquitous bit of Greek grammar, by overturning a well established understand of the entire Greek language, not just a single passage.

I am not interested in following your Gish Gallop all over the place. I have posted a simple example of Greek prose which completely contradicts your novel "only punctual unless modified" understanding of the present. Until you or your grammatical-theological friend provide an analysis of that passage which makes sense, I'm not prepared to accept your reading or to follow this argument any further.

Finally, I'd like to add that it's considered rude to cut and paste huge chunks of text into a forum when a simple web link will provide the same information.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby mreeds » Thu Mar 02, 2006 5:16 pm

Annis, like I told everyone I have been learning from my friend who again appears to have made comments that are questionable. So please don't jump all over me.

Initially I was encouraged by a Mark Brunkahl (Mark.Brunkahl@freenet.de) to visit this site to find out if anyone could answer some of my misgivings on the verbal tenses used in Jn 3.16.


Also, I would suggest you send my friend an email at 'walter878@excite.com' and inform him that his conclusions using Greek grammatical methods are questionable. I have tried to remain unbias here so if I have made any judgments concerning you or anyone than I will gladly bow out of this forum.

In closing I do want to apologize for causing any unnecessary confusion and again I appreciate all of your posts.


Cheers!
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Postby Bert » Fri Mar 03, 2006 4:36 am

mreeds, you said that your arguments were actually your friend's.
Were you playing devil's advocate or were they your opinions as well?
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Postby mreeds » Sat Mar 04, 2006 5:00 am

Bert, actually I was not because I was using his comments to see if they were accurate. Being knew to the study of Greek I wanted to make sure what he represents is in fact the case. However, more than one comments have been posted that would cause his conclusions to be questionable.


For example I have number of comments I would like to see are or not accurate representations of the Greek NT as concerning Jn 3.16



A) INTRODUCTION

[Jn 3:16]:

(v. 16) "For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

B) GRAMMATICAL CONSTRUCTION = MAIN & SUBORDINATE CLAUSES OF JN 3:16

According to Greek grammar rules, this verse contains a main clause:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son..."

and a subordinate one:

"that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

This is evident in English too.

Furthermore, Greek grammar rules require that the subordinate clause which is begun by hina = "so that" to have its verb(s) in the subjunctive mood, a mood of objective possibility.

There is no rule of Greek grammar, however, that insists that every subordinate clause be interpreted as having its action indefinite, remaining objectively possible and never actual. Objective possibility can and often does result in actual action depending upon the context.

As a matter of fact, the context determines the outcome of the action in most subordinate clauses to be actual especially when the sovereignty of God is behind the purpose of the action in the main clause that controls what happens in the subordinate clause as in Jn 3:16. So when an individual does believe in God's Son being given for him he can be sure that God will at that moment provide him with everlasting life.
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Postby Kopio » Sat Mar 04, 2006 6:28 am

annis wrote:Is there an existing sect or denomination that accepts the unusual and grammatically labored reading of this passage that mreeds is pushing? I mean, this poor atheist wanding in the dark has no idea if he's wandered into a dispute with a longer context, or if mreeds is another Waldo of Lyons for our age.

Not to my knowledge, but that is precisely why I haven't weighed in on this conversation until now. Although I do suppose it could be an extreme Calvinistic point of view that is bringing this about (not that I have too much of a problem with Calvin...I'd probably be a 3 and a half point Calvinist if you really pinned me down!). I have no intentions on commenting on the Greek text of John 3:16, what I would like to comment on is threefold.

1) Nothing peturbs me more than people who cut and paste tremendous amounts of material from all over cyberspace. If you can't ask your question concisely in a few paragraphs...you need to rethink your question. I find this extremely presumptuous in expecting us to wade through 5 minutes of someone elses "opinion" so you can finally get to your question. Ask the question, for Pete's sake, and compare our answers to the pages of someone elses "opinion".

2) This has smelled extremely sectarian...but I'm not too sure exactly what scent it is yet. I am assuming that at some point it will become clear. But to make such a huge issue over the present tense seems to me weird. I'm not sure what theological axe it is you (or your friend) has to grind, but I am quite certain that you are in fact grinding it, and at some point waiting to swing it.

3) I would like to welcome you, mreeds, to the board. Your questions about Koine Greek are in fact welcome. But, if you are grinding a theological axe, please take it elsewhere. If you are really wanting to learn about Greek tense in the Koine...I would suggest you procure a few books....BDF (Blass Debrunner and Funk) A Greek Grammar of the New Testament, Robertson, A.T. A Grammar of the Greek New Testament, and lastly...yep that's right... Wallace, Dan Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics. Take out these three books, open them side by side, and see what they all have to say on any said subject. I would give them priority in the order I listed (BDR being the filet mignion of Koine Grammars), but Wallace is great, because he is a fairly recent Grammar with tons of examples (although many of them IMHO are not valid examples). FWIW, Wallace was the Grammar I worked out of in my 3rd year Syntax and Exegesis class in college.
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Postby Bert » Sat Mar 04, 2006 12:45 pm

Kopio wrote: I'd probably be a 3 and a half point Calvinist if you really pinned me down!

3 1/2 points eh? I got you all beat. I'm a five pointer. :)
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Postby Bert » Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:30 pm

mreeds wrote:Bert, actually I was not because I was using his comments to see if they were accurate. Being knew to the study of Greek I wanted to make sure what he represents is in fact the case. However, more than one comments have been posted that would cause his conclusions to be questionable.

I am by no means a Greek expert, just not as new to Greek as you are.
The reason I got a little testy in one of my posts was because you seemed to have your mind made up and did not want to be confused with facts.
mreeds wrote:
Greek grammar rules require that the subordinate clause which is begun by hina = "so that" to have its verb(s) in the subjunctive mood, a mood of objective possibility.

I don't know for sure. I used to think that ἵνα clauses are only negated with μή but I turned out to be wrong. Paul or William can probably tell you one way or the other.

If you don't mind, I'll give a piece of advise (Even if you do mind, I am still going to give it :) ) It is poor theology to base an entire doctrine on the tense of one word in one text. If it is not supported by context (or if it is contradicted by context) first assume you are wrong. I'll give you credit that you did always insist on using the immediate context, but I can't understand why you kept on insisting that the broader context is irrelevant.
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Postby annis » Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:49 pm

αἰαὶ αἰαί.

mreeds, I must strongly second Kopio's recommendation that you find for yourself at least one of the standard NT grammars.

mreeds wrote:There is no rule of Greek grammar, however, that insists that every subordinate clause be interpreted as having its action indefinite, remaining objectively possible and never actual. Objective possibility can and often does result in actual action depending upon the context.


This is nearly gibberish. While we can make some very general statements about subordinate clauses, the great fun of Greek is the luxuriant variety of subordinate clause constructions available. Some (ὥστε comes to mind) are capable of making pretty fussy distinctions which allow speakers to make clear just how likely they consider the action of the subordinate clause to be.

If a Greek wanted to be clear that a resulting action was very likely - or necessary - he had grammatical tools at hand to do so easily. The subjunctive ain't it.
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Postby annis » Sat Mar 04, 2006 3:18 pm

Bert wrote:
Kopio wrote: I'd probably be a 3 and a half point Calvinist if you really pinned me down!

3 1/2 points eh? I got you all beat. I'm a five pointer. :)


:shock:

There's a scale? I had no idea.

What's the endpoint? Is it continuous? Can I speak of femto-calvins and mega-calvins (an idea that appeals to be a lot this morning for some reason)? How many mega-calvins to a geneva?
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τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby Bert » Sat Mar 04, 2006 4:19 pm

annis wrote:
Bert wrote:
Kopio wrote: I'd probably be a 3 and a half point Calvinist if you really pinned me down!

3 1/2 points eh? I got you all beat. I'm a five pointer. :)


:shock:

There's a scale? I had no idea.

What's the endpoint? Is it continuous? Can I speak of femto-calvins and mega-calvins (an idea that appeals to be a lot this morning for some reason)? How many mega-calvins to a geneva?

:D :D That's funny. Mega-calvins to Geneva. If nothing funny happens the rest of the day I have at least had my laugh.
No, there is no scale.
There are 5 main doctrines seperating Calvin from especially Arminius.
These doctrines are commonly called the 5 points of Calvinism.
Kopio was referring to these 5 points.
I have never heard anyone consider himself a 1-5 point Calvinist (maybe it does occur), just Calvinist or not. I found it comical that Kopio had it broke down to half points so I just gave him some good natured ribbing with my one-upmanship.
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