John 17:5

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Isaac Newton
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John 17:5

Post by Isaac Newton »

Is there anything in the grammar preventing the following verse from being proleptic ?
καὶ νῦν δόξασόν με σύ, Πάτερ, παρὰ σεαυτῷ τῇ δόξῃ ᾗ εἶχον πρὸ τοῦ τὸν κόσμον εἶναι παρὰ σοί.
I'm looking at the verse just before it , to John 17:4, which most would agree is proleptic, and it surely does not stand in isolation from verse 5. I see both verses as a unit of thought :
ἐγώ σε ἐδόξασα ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, τὸ ἔργον τελειώσας ὃ δέδωκάς μοι ἵνα ποιήσω·
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

Isaac Newton
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Re: John 17:5

Post by Isaac Newton »

ἐγώ σε ἐδόξασα ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, τὸ ἔργον τελειώσας ὃ δέδωκάς μοι ἵνα ποιήσω· καὶ νῦν δόξασόν με σύ, Πάτερ, παρὰ σεαυτῷ τῇ δόξῃεἶχον πρὸ τοῦ τὸν κόσμον εἶναι παρὰ σοί.
The thought about δοξάζω starts in verse 4 and spills over into verse 5. Also I see the conjunction καὶ as connecting verse 4 with verse 5. The adverb νῦν with the aorist imperative δόξασόν shows that he was asking at that time to deliver to him the completed glory mentioned in verse 4, and that only makes sense if we see this in terms of prolepsis. This is confirmed by the imperfect verb εἶχον, which Augustine correctly understood to be proleptic. So in his Tractate on John 17:4-5 Augustine writes:
4 He used words in the past tense, when what He said was to take place very many years afterwards: They pierced, He says, my hands and my feet, they counted all my bones; He says not, They will pierce, and, They will count..... For He, who has predestinated all that is to be by sure and unchangeable causes, has done whatever He is to do: as it was also declared of Him by the prophet, Who has made the things that are to be.

5 In a way similar, also, to this, He proceeds to say: And now, O Father, glorify me with Your own self with the glory which I had with You before the world was. For He had said above, Father, the hour has come;.. But now He said, I have glorified You on the earth: I have finished the work which You gave me to do; and now glorify Thou me; as if He Himself had been the first to glorify the Father, by whom He then demands to be glorified. We are therefore to understand that He used both words above in accordance with that which was future, and in the order in which they were future, Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You: but that He now used the word in the past tense of that which was still future, when He said, I have glorified You on the earth:... In fine, if, in connection with that which was still future, we put the verb also in the future tense, where He has used the past in place of the future tense, there will remain no obscurity in the sentence: as if He had said, I will glorify You on the earth: I will finish the work which You have given me to do; and now, O Father, glorify Thou me with Your own self. In this way it is as plain as when He says, Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You:
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

cb
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Re: John 17:5

Post by cb »

Hi Isaac, I won't attempt to answer your question, but I'd just like to understand it. Part of it is interpretation (on which I'm not qualified to answer), but part of it is grammatical.

For the grammatical part of your question, are you asking whether it's grammatically possible for εἶχον to be proleptic?

If that's the grammatical part of your question, I'd ask you this: I see references in Wallace to proleptic usages of:
  • the aorist (pp. 563–64), of which Wallace says 'The aorist indicative can be used to describe an event that is not yet past as though it were already completed. This usage is not at all common, though several exegetically significant texts involve possible proleptic aorists', e.g. Relevation 10.7: ἀλλ᾽ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις τῆς φωνῆς τοῦ ἑβδόμου ἀγγέλου, ὅταν μέλλῃ σαλπίζειν, καὶ ἐτελέσθη “τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ θεοῦ,” and
  • the perfect (in apodosis after an express or implied condition) (p. 581,), of which Wallace says 'The perfect can be used to refer to a state resulting from an antecedent action that is future from the time of speaking. (This is similar to one of the strands of the proleptic aorist.) This usage occurs in the apodosis of a conditional clause (either explicit or implicit) and depends on the time of the verb in the protasis. The proleptic perfect is quite rare', e.g. James 2.10: Ὅστις γὰρ ὅλον τὸν νόμον τηρήσῃ, πταίσῃ δὲ ἐν ἑνί, γέγονεν πάντων ἔνοχος, where Wallace says 'The reason to take this as a proleptic perfect is that the (implied) condition is the equivalent of a future more probable condition. It is also possible to treat this (along with the rest of the examples) as a gnomic perfect since the sinner in view is generic,'
but I don't see any references to a proleptic use of the imperfect in the NT.

This is not my area (I got curious when I saw your question, as Greek verb frames in general are of interest to me, and I'd be interested to learn how they changed in Greek in time after my area of focus). If there's anything you can point to on this grammatical point (not interpretive point: I'd be at sea there) beyond your contextual reading, I'd appreciate it, many thanks!

Cheers, Chad

Isaac Newton
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Re: John 17:5

Post by Isaac Newton »

cb wrote: Sat Nov 06, 2021 10:31 pm Hi Isaac, I won't attempt to answer your question, but I'd just like to understand it. Part of it is interpretation (on which I'm not qualified to answer), but part of it is grammatical.

For the grammatical part of your question, are you asking whether it's grammatically possible for εἶχον to be proleptic?
Thanks for your response.

I guess my question is this: why would anyone try to argue that prolepsis cannot occur with an imperfect verb ? After all, the imperfect is the only tense which always denotes a past time event, being only ever in the indicative mood. The main difference between the imperfect and the aorist is that the former denotes imperfective verbal aspect while the aorist denotes perfective verbal aspect. Why couldn't some one say something proleptically with a progressive verbal aspect ? It defies reason and common sense to make such an assertion, in my opinion. Thankfully, I have seen this argument (that an imperfect verb cannot be proleptic)made only over the internet and no grammar or grammarian that I have consulted seems to sanction it. I would like to find out where this argument originated from , if possible, and whether it's genesis has to do with a theological motif a la John 17:5.
If that's the grammatical part of your question, I'd ask you this: I see references in Wallace to proleptic usages of:
  • the aorist (pp. 563–64), of which Wallace says 'The aorist indicative can be used to describe an event that is not yet past as though it were already completed. This usage is not at all common, though several exegetically significant texts involve possible proleptic aorists', e.g. Relevation 10.7: ἀλλ᾽ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις τῆς φωνῆς τοῦ ἑβδόμου ἀγγέλου, ὅταν μέλλῃ σαλπίζειν, καὶ ἐτελέσθη “τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ θεοῦ,” and
  • the perfect (in apodosis after an express or implied condition) (p. 581,), of which Wallace says 'The perfect can be used to refer to a state resulting from an antecedent action that is future from the time of speaking. (This is similar to one of the strands of the proleptic aorist.) This usage occurs in the apodosis of a conditional clause (either explicit or implicit) and depends on the time of the verb in the protasis. The proleptic perfect is quite rare', e.g. James 2.10: Ὅστις γὰρ ὅλον τὸν νόμον τηρήσῃ, πταίσῃ δὲ ἐν ἑνί, γέγονεν πάντων ἔνοχος, where Wallace says 'The reason to take this as a proleptic perfect is that the (implied) condition is the equivalent of a future more probable condition. It is also possible to treat this (along with the rest of the examples) as a gnomic perfect since the sinner in view is generic,'
but I don't see any references to a proleptic use of the imperfect in the NT.

This is not my area (I got curious when I saw your question, as Greek verb frames in general are of interest to me, and I'd be interested to learn how they changed in Greek in time after my area of focus). If there's anything you can point to on this grammatical point (not interpretive point: I'd be at sea there) beyond your contextual reading, I'd appreciate it, many thanks!

Cheers, Chad
Not sure I understand your point. Are you suggesting that an imperfect verb cannot be proleptic because Wallace doesn't discuss such a verb in his grammar ? He also does not discuss present tense proleptic verbs. Augustine argues that εἶχον is proleptic in John 17:5. Belgian New Testament scholar Prof. Gilbert Van Belle (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)identifies at least 12 instances of prolepsis in the Gospel of John and at least one is with an imperfect verb, namely John 9:8--
Οἱ οὖν γείτονες καὶ οἱ θεωροῦντες αὐτὸν τὸ πρότερον, ὅτι προσαίτης ἦν, ἔλεγον Οὐχ οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ καθήμενος καὶ προσαιτῶν;

And look at the imperfect in Rev. 17:12, which is clearly proleptic:
ἀλλὰ ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν ἵνα ὅταν ἔλθῃ ἡ ὥρα αὐτῶν μνημονεύητε αὐτῶν, ὅτι ἐγὼ εἶπον ὑμῖν. ταῦτα δὲ ὑμῖν ἐξ ἀρχῆς οὐκ εἶπον, ὅτι μεθ’ ὑμῶν ἤμην.
and so on.. I can also cite Herbert Smyth who does not limit prolepsis to aorist and perfect verbs.

Best ,
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

cb
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Re: John 17:5

Post by cb »

Thanks! Can you please send along references for grammatical discussions of the proleptic imperfect in the NT? Just for my benefit.

I'm not arguing that it doesn't exist (not arguing anything in fact!), just trying to understand your question.

If you're already sure that this is grammatically possible, I'm not sure what your question was driving at. Many thanks!

Cheers, Chad

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Re: John 17:5

Post by Isaac Newton »

cb wrote: Sun Nov 07, 2021 4:45 am Thanks! Can you please send along references for grammatical discussions of the proleptic imperfect in the NT? Just for my benefit.
Sure. Try PROLEPSIS IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN by. GILBERT VAN BELLE. Leuven..

Another..

Here is Gill arguing that εἶχον in John 17:5 is proleptic:

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/gill/john/17.htm
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

The Jews have a notion that God will give to the King Messiah, , "of the supreme glory" (g): the glory Christ prays for is, as he says,
the glory which I had with thee before the world was; the same phrase with or , used by the Jews (h). ..... nor did it exist from eternity; it was indeed written in God's book of predestination, even all its members, when as yet there were none of them in actual being; it was set up in God's thoughts and counsel, as the pattern and exemplar of human nature;....nor was the human nature of Christ with the Father from eternity; nor had it a glory before the world began, neither in whole, nor in part: nor is the glory of the divine nature abstractly considered here meant;...nor is the glory of the divine nature abstractly considered here meant; this glory indeed Christ had from everlasting; he had it with his Father, in common with him, being in union to him; and it is true that it was in some measure veiled and covered in his state of humiliation; for though there were some breakings forth of it in that state, these were seen but by a few; wherefore he is thought by some, to pray here for the manifestation of this glory; but this glory was essential to him, was his natural right, and not to be prayed for, and which he then had as much as ever, and of which there could be no suspension: but this designs the glory of him as Godman, and Mediator; he was not only predestinated to be a Mediator, but was really set up as such from everlasting, and had a mediatorial fulness of grace put into his hands, and had the honour and glory of that office given unto him by the other two persons; and now that he might appear to be what he was, to be made, that is, made manifest that he was both Lord and Christ, he here prays; which was to be done, upon his ascension to heaven, and session at the right hand of God, by the pouring down of the Holy Ghost.

I'm not arguing that it doesn't exist (not arguing anything in fact!), just trying to understand your question.

If you're already sure that this is grammatically possible, I'm not sure what your question was driving at. Many thanks!

Cheers, Chad
I guess my question is driving at why anyone would argue that an imperfect verb cannot be proleptic ? What is the rationale for such an assertion?
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

cb
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Re: John 17:5

Post by cb »

Hi Isaac, thanks for the references. I looked them up and still don't understand your question (let alone be able to answer it).

I just read the article you mentioned: PROLEPSIS IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN by GILBERT VAN BELLE. It doesn't help me understand your question, for two reasons:
1. It's not talking about prolepsis in the context of verbs at all (which your question about εἶχον seemed to be driving at). It's talking about a completely different kind of prolepsis (the term has multiple meanings in grammar), where a subject from a dependent clause is brought forward to the main clause. This does not therefore relate to verbs, but verb arguments.
2. At pp. 345–46 the author lists all the examples of prolepsis in John — neither 17:4 not 17:5 figures in the list.
And so I just can't work out how this article is relevant to your question.

I also looked at the link to Gill's commentary you gave and the quote above. It doesn't seem to be explaining Greek at all, just a general NT commentary. I can't see how it relates to the question.

If therefore you mean prolepsis in terms of:
1. the verb frame being future, I haven't seen anything like that in any description of the imperfect (whereas I have for the aorist and perfect, as per my first post above), or
2. anticipation of the subject argument of a dependent clause in the main clause as the object, I'm not sure what this has to do with εἶχον which is a verb rather than a fronted argument.

I'd be willing to give you my thoughts but I just don't have the capacity to understand your question (let alone answer it), sorry. I've pre-ordered Whitacre's NT grammar coming out shortly and if it relates to this question, I'll let you know. Sorry I couldn't be of any help!

Cheers, Chad

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Re: John 17:5

Post by Isaac Newton »

cb wrote: Sun Nov 07, 2021 7:27 am Hi Isaac, thanks for the references. I looked them up and still don't understand your question (let alone be able to answer it).

Thanks for your post. Let me try again. Maybe an example in English will make my question easier.

Here are two statements: (1) "The son of Mary, Jesus, dwelt with the Father in Heavenly glory before the foundation of the World." (2) "The son of Mary, Jesus, was dwelling with the Father in Heavenly glory before the foundation of the World."

Someone says that statement 1 can be proleptic, but statement 2 cannot be proleptic simply because of the imperfect / past continuous form "was dwelling." I would like to ask such a person what their rationale is for asserting that. Is there something about the past continuous which makes it impossible to make a proleptic statement with ?

I just read the article you mentioned: PROLEPSIS IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN by GILBERT VAN BELLE. It doesn't help me understand your question, for two reasons:
1. It's not talking about prolepsis in the context of verbs at all (which your question about εἶχον seemed to be driving at).
Not sure what you mean by that. Verbs are not proleptic in and of themselves, statements are. We can use the phrase a "proleptic verb" colloquially but what we are really talking about when we say that is "the verb with which a proleptic statement is made".
It's talking about a completely different kind of prolepsis (the term has multiple meanings in grammar),
Could you list out these "multiple meanings" which prolepsis apparently has for me next post please ?
where a subject from a dependent clause is brought forward to the main clause. This does not therefore relate to verbs, but verb arguments.
2.
Not sure what you mean by "completely different kind of prolepsis." Are you suggesting that by "prolepsis" Gilbert is just talking about Greek word order , where the subject of a dependent clause is brought to the front of a sentence ? And not about prolepsis which conveys the idea of anticipation as representing a thing as existing before it actually does or did so ? Even the anticipation of possible objections in a debate setting is proleptic speech in that vein.
At pp. 345–46 the author lists all the examples of prolepsis in John — neither 17:4 not 17:5 figures in the list.
And so I just can't work out how this article is relevant to your question.
Because he is talking about a specific kind of prolepsis.The article is relevant because at least one of his examples, which he considers to be proleptic, is made with an imperfect verb. By the way, could you give me a complete list of all of the verses he considers to be proleptic in apostle John's Gospel ? I do not have that article any more. That would greatly help me with my research.
I also looked at the link to Gill's commentary you gave and the quote above. It doesn't seem to be explaining Greek at all, just a general NT commentary. I can't see how it relates to the question.
Gill is arguing that the statement "καὶ νῦν δόξασόν με σύ, Πάτερ, παρὰ σεαυτῷ τῇ δόξῃ ᾗ εἶχον πρὸ τοῦ τὸν κόσμον εἶναι παρὰ σοί" is proleptic, so obviously he understands the verb εἶχον in this statement to be denoting something in the future even though it is imperfect.
If therefore you mean prolepsis in terms of:
1. the verb frame being future, I haven't seen anything like that in any description of the imperfect (whereas I have for the aorist and perfect, as per my first post above), or
2. anticipation of the subject argument of a dependent clause in the main clause as the object, I'm not sure what this has to do with εἶχον which is a verb rather than a fronted argument.

I'd be willing to give you my thoughts but I just don't have the capacity to understand your question (let alone answer it), sorry. I've pre-ordered Whitacre's NT grammar coming out shortly and if it relates to this question, I'll let you know. Sorry I couldn't be of any help!

Cheers, Chad
But I showed you Augustine, who apparently knew Greek, and who said the following about the verb εἶχον in John 17:5 :" He preferred putting the verb in the past tense, in order to show that it was already done in the act of predestination, and what was with perfect certainty yet to take place was to be accounted as already done;.." So how can you say "you haven't seen anything" ? Also I showed you John 17:12.
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Sun Nov 07, 2021 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: John 17:5

Post by cb »

Hi Isaac, sorry I don't get it. Happy to help you out with the list you requested of all the examples of prolepsis in John in that van Belle article you mentioned, pages 345–46 from that article:

4:35, 5:42, 7:27, 8:54, 9:8, 9:19, 9:29, 10:36, 11:31, 13:28, 14:17, 16:4.

There is also a list of this syntactical phenomenon elsewhere in the NT: I can type it out for you if you like.

That article considers prolepsis in sense 2 in my last post: i.e. fronting of the subject of a dependent subject into the main clause as object; this is not a word order point but a syntactical phenomenon; a famous example is Matthew 6:28, not 'consider how the lilies of the field grow' but 'consider the lilies of the field, how they grow', where 'lilies' is not the subject of the 'how' clause but the object of 'consider' in the main clause.

This is a separate topic from another separate type of prolepsis, non-future verb forms used to denote future verb frames (sense 1 in my last post). I thought originally that you were talking about that type, but now I'm not sure.

PS I noticed in your last post you disagreed that van Belle uses prolepsis in sense 2 in the article (although you note that you do not have the article). I can't find a public domain version of the full article, but you can see the start of the discussion at the end of this extract:
... prolepsis is “the anticipation of the subject (object) of the subordinate clause by making it the object of the main clause.” ...
https://brill.com/previewpdf/journals/n ... p334_3.xml

The author then goes on in the following pages (not public domain) to give many other definitions of this phenomenon, but it has nothing to do with the separate sense 1 phenomenon of a non-future verb form used to denote a future verb frame. The instances from John then listed above are of this sense 2 use of prolepsis.

Wallace describes prolepsis for sense 1 for the aorist and perfect, and (e.g.) a futuristic use of the present, but not for the imperfect. If you're asking why shouldn't it be 'allowed' for the imperfect, I can't answer that question — grammar for me is descriptive in terms of what we find in texts, not prescriptive in terms of how things should be. Maybe there's a description somewhere of the imperfect used to denote a future verb frame in this way, but I haven't seen it and so remain in ignorance.

Sorry I couldn't help, and good luck with the research!

Cheers, Chad

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Re: John 17:5

Post by Isaac Newton »

cb wrote: Sun Nov 07, 2021 9:04 am Hi Isaac, sorry I don't get it. Happy to help you out with the list you requested of all the examples of prolepsis in John in that van Belle article you mentioned, pages 345–46 from that article:

4:35, 5:42, 7:27, 8:54, 9:8, 9:19, 9:29, 10:36, 11:31, 13:28, 14:17, 16:4.

There is also a list of this syntactical phenomenon elsewhere in the NT: I can type it out for you if you like.

That article considers prolepsis in sense 2 in my last post: i.e. fronting of the subject of a dependent subject into the main clause as object; this is not a word order point but a syntactical phenomenon; a famous example is Matthew 6:28, not 'consider how the lilies of the field grow' but 'consider the lilies of the field, how they grow', where 'lilies' is not the subject of the 'how' clause but the object of 'consider' in the main clause.

This is a separate topic from another separate type of prolepsis, non-future verb forms used to denote future verb frames (sense 1 in my last post). I thought originally that you were talking about that type, but now I'm not sure.

PS I noticed in your last post you disagreed that van Belle uses prolepsis in sense 2 in the article (although you note that you do not have the article). I can't find a public domain version of the full article, but you can see the start of the discussion at the end of this extract:
... prolepsis is “the anticipation of the subject (object) of the subordinate clause by making it the object of the main clause.” ...
https://brill.com/previewpdf/journals/n ... p334_3.xml

The author then goes on in the following pages (not public domain) to give many other definitions of this phenomenon, but it has nothing to do with the separate sense 1 phenomenon of a non-future verb form used to denote a future verb frame. The instances from John then listed above are of this sense 2 use of prolepsis.

Wallace describes prolepsis for sense 1 for the aorist and perfect, not for the perfect. If you're asking why shouldn't it be allowed for the imperfect, I can't answer that question — grammar for me is descriptive in terms of what we find in texts, not prescriptive in terms of how things should be. Maybe there's a description somewhere of the imperfect used to denote a future verb frame in this way, but I haven't seen it.

Sorry I couldn't help, and good luck with the research!

Cheers, Chad
Yes, it is a specific type of proleptic speech syntactically speaking (as you correctly pointed out ), but it is proleptic speech nonetheless. That is why van Belle does not address some of the more obvious proleptic statements in the Gospel of John (like John 17:4), because he is concerned with "type 2 statements" as you put it. You will notice that every verse he cites is proleptic, which speaks of things which are not yet as though they already are. So let's inspect the first example:
οὐχ ὑμεῖς λέγετε ὅτι Ἔτι τετράμηνός ἐστιν καὶ ὁ θερισμὸς ἔρχεται; ἰδοὺ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἐπάρατε τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ὑμῶν καὶ θεάσασθε τὰς χώρας, ὅτι λευκαί εἰσιν πρὸς θερισμόν. ἤδη
He is talking about a future harvest yet the present tense is used.

Thanks for the list, btw.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: John 17:5

Post by cb »

Hi Isaac, sorry when you get access to the article, you'll see that's not at all what van Belle is talking about: Part II of the article is dedicated to making this crystal clear. τὰς χώρας has been fronted into the main clause instead of being the subject of the ὅτι clause (in the nominative); it has nothing to do with verb frames. Prolepsis is just a tag used confusingly for different phenomena.

I don't have anything further to add here (and never really added anything to begin with!) and so will close it here, but it has been nice chatting with you and it's been another good prompt for me to begin learning more about NT Greek. Best of luck with the research!

Cheers, Chad

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Re: John 17:5

Post by Isaac Newton »

cb wrote: Sun Nov 07, 2021 9:48 am Hi Isaac, sorry when you get access to the article, you'll see that's not at all what van Belle is talking about: Part II of the article is dedicated to making this crystal clear. τὰς χώρας has been fronted into the main clause instead of being the subject of the ὅτι clause (in the nominative); it has nothing to do with verb frames. Prolepsis is just a tag used confusingly for different phenomena.

I don't have anything further to add here (and never really added anything to begin with!) and so will close it here, but it has been nice chatting with you and it's been another good prompt for me to begin learning more about NT Greek. Best of luck with the research!

Cheers, Chad
Sorry if I cannot just take your word for it. Why call those verses “proleptic” if all that is happening is something syntactical, — the subject from a dependent clause is being brought forward to the main clause. That’s “prolepsis”? This article does not seem to support your thesis.
https://dialnet.unirioja.es/descarga/ar ... 785330.pdf
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: John 17:5

Post by Isaac Newton »

That being said, It seems that van Belle’s article is causing some readers to be confused and as a result side-tracking the main point and purpose of this thread. So let’s take van Belle and his examples out of the picture altogether for the purpose of continuing this discussion.

Ponder : If the argument is that John 17:5 could have been proleptic had the imperfect verb εἶχον been an aorist ἔσχον ( a verb by the way which the apostle John never used in any of his writings and which is quite rare in the GNT ), then the question becomes , why should this be the case ? What is it about the imperfect that apparently prevents it from being used to make a proleptic statement ? Is there a rational, grammatical reason ?
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: John 17:5

Post by jeidsath »

A verb like εχει or εστι is going to be imperfect in the past, not aorist. I'm not at all convinced by cb here. Especially without a search through wider Greek than just the NT.

However, a proleptic statement is (over-broadly) one with an unexpected tense. This is far more than that: "πρὸ τοῦ τὸν κόσμον εἶναι" can't just refer to last Tuesday.
"Here stuck the great stupid boys, who for the life of them could never master the accidence..."

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Re: John 17:5

Post by dnl »

Hi,
Isaac Newton wrote: Sat Nov 06, 2021 4:51 am Is there anything in the grammar preventing the following verse from being proleptic ?
καὶ νῦν δόξασόν με σύ, Πάτερ, παρὰ σεαυτῷ τῇ δόξῃ ᾗ εἶχον πρὸ τοῦ τὸν κόσμον εἶναι παρὰ σοί.
I'm looking at the verse just before it , to John 17:4, which most would agree is proleptic, and it surely does not stand in isolation from verse 5. I see both verses as a unit of thought :
ἐγώ σε ἐδόξασα ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, τὸ ἔργον τελειώσας ὃ δέδωκάς μοι ἵνα ποιήσω·
I can't claim to understand prolepsis in grammar/rhetoric in any detail I'm afraid and your later remark gives the game away rather:
Isaac Newton wrote: Sun Nov 07, 2021 8:46 am Not sure what you mean by that. Verbs are not proleptic in and of themselves, statements are. We can use the phrase a "proleptic verb" colloquially but what we are really talking about when we say that is "the verb with which a proleptic statement is made".
I don't see any inherent reason why a particular part of speech should be excluded from contributing to a proleptic statement. That said though, I don't really see why either Jn 17.4 or 17.5 would be considered proleptic. They appear merely to ask that what was possessed before the world existed be used to glorify him who has completed works given. They don't as they stand on their own to assume or present that state as already being in existence before it happens. I don't think changing to an aorist would change that much either. Am I missing something ? Probably am ....

It might help to lay out why they are proleptic in detail and that might help expose whether the imperfect can in fact contribute to such a statement.

Thx
D

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Re: John 17:5

Post by Isaac Newton »

dnl wrote: Sun Nov 07, 2021 7:07 pm

It might help to lay out why they are proleptic in detail and that might help expose whether the imperfect can in fact contribute to such a statement.

Thx
D
That is a fair request. Augustine goes into great detail in his Tractate on John 17:5 as to why this verse is proleptic. He also says the same concerning John 17:4.. See here: https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1701105.htm. There are a few other commentators who believe John 17:4 is proleptic. I can quote them if you like but I prefer to keep focus on the grammar here.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: John 17:5

Post by dnl »

Isaac Newton wrote: Sun Nov 07, 2021 7:47 pm
dnl wrote: Sun Nov 07, 2021 7:07 pm

It might help to lay out why they are proleptic in detail and that might help expose whether the imperfect can in fact contribute to such a statement.

Thx
D
That is a fair request. Augustine goes into great detail in his Tractate on John 17:5 as to why this verse is proleptic. He also says the same concerning John 17:4.. See here: https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1701105.htm. There are a few other commentators who believe John 17:4 is proleptic. I can quote them if you like but I prefer to keep focus on the grammar here.
That's kind of what I thought the argument might be. These are not grammatical arguments. Contextual material is brought to bear on the passages from outside in order to see them in a proletpic light - whether we agree with those arguments or not I don't think grammar (at syntax and POS level) can be the deciding factor here.

Thx
D

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Re: John 17:5

Post by Isaac Newton »

dnl wrote: Sun Nov 07, 2021 8:25 pm
That's kind of what I thought the argument might be. These are not grammatical arguments. Contextual material is brought to bear on the passages from outside in order to see them in a proletpic light - whether we agree with those arguments or not I don't think grammar (at syntax and POS level) can be the deciding factor here.

Thx
D
I agree.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: John 17:5

Post by Isaac Newton »

I notice that whenever scripture uses the “before the world was” type of phrase relative to an event or an occurrence, it seems to invariably signify a proleptic or preexistence motif.

Thus we have in Rev. 13:8 ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου.

καὶ προσκυνήσουσιν αὐτὸν πάντες οἱ κατοικοῦντες ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, οὗ οὐ γέγραπται τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ τῆς ζωῆς τοῦ Ἀρνίου τοῦ ἐσφαγμένου ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου.

We have in Eph. 1:4 πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου.


καθὼς ἐξελέξατο ἡμᾶς ἐν αὐτῷ πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου, εἶναι ἡμᾶς ἁγίους καὶ ἀμώμους κατενώπιον αὐτοῦ, ἐν ἀγάπῃ

In 1 Peter 1:20 we have πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου

προεγνωσμένου μὲν πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου, φανερωθέντος δὲ ἐπ’ ἐσχάτου τῶν χρόνων δι’ ὑμᾶς

In John 17:5 we have πρὸ τοῦ τὸν κόσμον εἶναι

καὶ νῦν δόξασόν με σύ, Πάτερ, παρὰ σεαυτῷ τῇ δόξῃ ᾗ εἶχον πρὸ τοῦ τὸν κόσμον εἶναι παρὰ σοί.

In Matthew 13:35 we have ἐρεύξομαι κεκρυμμένα ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου

ὅπως πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος Ἀνοίξω ἐν παραβολαῖς τὸ στόμα μου, ἐρεύξομαι κεκρυμμένα ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου

In L11:50 we have ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου

ἵνα ἐκζητηθῇ τὸ αἷμα πάντων τῶν προφητῶν τὸ ἐκκεχυμένον ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου ἀπὸ τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης,

In Matthew 25:34 we have ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου.

τότε ἐρεῖ ὁ Βασιλεὺς τοῖς ἐκ δεξιῶν αὐτοῦ Δεῦτε οἱ εὐλογημένοι τοῦ Πατρός μου, κληρονομήσατε τὴν ἡτοιμασμένην ὑμῖν βασιλείαν ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: John 17:5

Post by Isaac Newton »

The apostle John never used the first person singular aorist of ἔχω (namely ἔσχον) in his writings. In fact it only occurs twice in the entire GNT, in Philemon 1:7 and in Jude 1:3 respectively where the aorist of ἔχω in both verses seems to have an almost inceptive aspect. I think this has to do with the fact that ἔχω is a stative verb, not like σφάζω in Rev. 13:8, for instance. So clearly apostle John could not have used this verb at John 17:5 because it didn't go with what he wanted to convey there.

It is an absurd argument, IMHO, which declares that the apostle did not intend prolepsis at John 17:5 because he did not use the aorist (i.e. the wrong) tense there. In the same vein, would we argue that Greek can never say anything proleptic using the verb εἰμί simply because it does not have an aorist ?

John 17:12 , proleptic speech, it seems to me:
ὅτε ἤμην μετ’ αὐτῶν, ἐγὼ ἐτήρουν αὐτοὺς ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου ᾧ δέδωκάς μοι, .
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: John 17:5

Post by Barry Hofstetter »

cb wrote: Sun Nov 07, 2021 9:48 am Hi Isaac, sorry when you get access to the article, you'll see that's not at all what van Belle is talking about: Part II of the article is dedicated to making this crystal clear. τὰς χώρας has been fronted into the main clause instead of being the subject of the ὅτι clause (in the nominative); it has nothing to do with verb frames. Prolepsis is just a tag used confusingly for different phenomena.

I don't have anything further to add here (and never really added anything to begin with!) and so will close it here, but it has been nice chatting with you and it's been another good prompt for me to begin learning more about NT Greek. Best of luck with the research!

Cheers, Chad
Actually, you are quite correct in your assessment, and you'll find no difference between "NT Greek" and Classical here.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter

Cuncta mortalia incerta...

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Re: John 17:5

Post by Isaac Newton »

Barry Hofstetter wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 5:27 pm
cb wrote: Sun Nov 07, 2021 9:48 am Hi Isaac, sorry when you get access to the article, you'll see that's not at all what van Belle is talking about: Part II of the article is dedicated to making this crystal clear. τὰς χώρας has been fronted into the main clause instead of being the subject of the ὅτι clause (in the nominative); it has nothing to do with verb frames. Prolepsis is just a tag used confusingly for different phenomena.

I don't have anything further to add here (and never really added anything to begin with!) and so will close it here, but it has been nice chatting with you and it's been another good prompt for me to begin learning more about NT Greek. Best of luck with the research!

Cheers, Chad
Actually, you are quite correct in your assessment, and you'll find no difference between "NT Greek" and Classical here.
Thanks Barry for your post. I don't want this thread to turn into a discussion of who has correctly understood GILBERT VAN BELLE versus who has not, as it is derailing the purpose of my thread. So for the purpose of discussion and of keeping on the straight and narrow, let us ignore that van Belle article.

I'm trying to find out why anyone would argue that prolepsis cannot occur in the way that I'm suggesting that it is occurring at John 17:5, simply because the tense of the verb which frames the statement as being proleptic is imperfect. Is there a rational and grammatical reason for so suggesting? John 17:12 seems to contradict your strange (sorry) thesis:
ὅτε ἤμην μετ’ αὐτῶν, ἐγὼ ἐτήρουν αὐτοὺς ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου ᾧ δέδωκάς μοι,
and the same type of prolepsis in the related statement in the same verse but this time in the aorist:
καὶ ἐφύλαξα, καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐξ αὐτῶν ἀπώλετο εἰ μὴ ὁ υἱὸς τῆς ἀπωλείας, ἵνα ἡ γραφὴ πληρωθῇ.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: John 17:5

Post by Isaac Newton »

Although I do not wish to use “Type 1 prolepsis” ( van Belle examples, also known as “writers perspective” ) to prove my point concerning the prolepsis at John 17:5 in this thread ( even though those who understand it would immediately recognize that I aught to be able to use it), I would still like to educate the readers to it. “Writer’s perspective” is more than just a “syntactical phenomenon,” it infact speaks ( from the writer’s perspective) of a future event in the past tense , just like “ Type II prolepsis.” The principle is the same in both. . This is very important to understand. When cb failed to recognize this about Tyoe I prolepsis in his discussion with me, I knew then that he was confused. Perhaps the following article will help him:

http://lhim.org/blog/2013/11/24/the-idiom-of-prolepsis/

Prolepsis type 1: “Writer’s perspective”

In one case, a writer will speak of a future event in the past tense, simply because at the time the author wrote the passage, the event had already occurred. In other words, from the writer’s perspective, the event is in the past. However, from the passage’s perspective, the event is still in the future.….

Prolepsis type 2: “God’s Promise

There is another, completely different reason why prolepsis is used as well. Basically, in some cases, a future event will be spoken of in the past tense, because God has explicitly promised that the event will occur. As a result, the Hebrews will refer to that promised event in the past tense – because since God has promised it, it is “as good as done”, so to speak.
In other words, since God is true to His word, when God promises an event, it is guaranteed that the event will occur. As a result, the Hebrews refer to that event in the past tense – to express their confidence that God will bring about the event in question.
Here are a couple of examples of this type of prolepsis:
It is not difficult to recognize that Type I prolepsis is fundamentally the same as Type II prolepsis in function, both are defined in the same way. The only difference is that in the former the writer is “playing God,” as it were( speaking of future events as though they are in the past) because he already knows how the story unfolds. In the latter, it is God himself doing that , or else his commissioned prophet with insight from God into the future. To argue that the imperfect is allowable for the one but not for the other is quite frankly just not a serious argument.

Also cb was wrong to suggest that prolepsis “has multiple meanings in grammar .” It in-fact has one definition, it is just divided into two types.

Cheers,
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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