Talking about the future in a past tense narrative text

Stephen Hughes
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Talking about the future in a past tense narrative text

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 27th, 2014, 7:33 pm

John 7:39 wrote:Τοῦτο δὲ εἶπεν περὶ τοῦ πνεύματος οὗ ἔμελλον λαμβάνειν οἱ πιστεύοντες εἰς αὐτόν· οὔπω γὰρ ἦν πνεῦμα ἅγιον, ὅτι Ἰησοῦς οὐδέπω ἐδοξάσθη.
Is this tense construction the "normal" way to talk about an event in Koine Greek, which is "future" from the point of view of the narrative time?
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David Lim
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Re: Talking about the future in a past tense narrative text

Post by David Lim » July 27th, 2014, 11:43 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
John 7:39 wrote:Τοῦτο δὲ εἶπεν περὶ τοῦ πνεύματος οὗ ἔμελλον λαμβάνειν οἱ πιστεύοντες εἰς αὐτόν· οὔπω γὰρ ἦν πνεῦμα ἅγιον, ὅτι Ἰησοῦς οὐδέπω ἐδοξάσθη.
Is this tense construction the "normal" way to talk about an event in Koine Greek, which is "future" from the point of view of the narrative time?
I think "μελλειν" usually connotes the future with respect to the point of time in focus, with an added sense of expectation, in which case it can be rendered by "be going to" as in "which the ones who trust in him were going to receive". How else, do you think, could the concept be expressed in Koine Greek? A future participle wouldn't quite work here, because the subject of "λαμβανειν" is not "το πνευμα".
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Stephen Hughes
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Wondering about the sequence of tenses & innovation

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 28th, 2014, 1:04 am

I'm actually wondering about whether the sequence of tenses, and in particular what was entailed with the loss of the optative.
David Lim wrote:How else, do you think, could the concept be expressed in Koine Greek?
In the classical idiom (superordinate clause in a secondary tense with a subordinate clause with future reference) we would expect an optative, wouldn't we?

It is part of bigger the bigger consideration that I am looking at these days. I'm still considering whether the Koine period was a time of increased or decreased linguistic diversity in Greek. With the optative dropping out of use, I was wondering what would replace it. In terms of evolutionary biology, I'm asking whether this construction with μελλειν was a short-lived grammatical speciation that soon dropped out of use too, or a permanent move from mood change to this periphrastic construction? That is to ask whether the rate of extinction was greater or less than the rate of speciation, leading to linguistic diversity or a lack of diversity of grammatical forms?

In biological terms, some people think that speciation takes place in new and sometimes demanding environments, and I am currently of the mind that bilingual situations are hostile environments that lead to various innovations or adaptations. Others think that speciation is a more natural process of genetic drift. I'm wondering how these ideas could be applied here to the construction with μελλειν.
David Lim wrote:A future participle wouldn't quite work here, because the subject of "λαμβανειν" is not "το πνευμα".
I don't understand this statement. What is the relationship between τοῦ πνεύματος and οὗ (for ὃ). Doesn't a relative pronoun have the same force as the noun it refers to? Do you mean a future participle with ἅν?
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Talking about the future in a past tense narrative text

Post by Barry Hofstetter » July 28th, 2014, 6:05 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
John 7:39 wrote:Τοῦτο δὲ εἶπεν περὶ τοῦ πνεύματος οὗ ἔμελλον λαμβάνειν οἱ πιστεύοντες εἰς αὐτόν· οὔπω γὰρ ἦν πνεῦμα ἅγιον, ὅτι Ἰησοῦς οὐδέπω ἐδοξάσθη.
Is this tense construction the "normal" way to talk about an event in Koine Greek, which is "future" from the point of view of the narrative time?
Not really. Normally, μέλλει is used to describe action which is "going to" or "about to" happen. It can have implications of "intention" in the right context. Just to show something future with regard to a past tense main verb in the sentence one would simply use a future tense, or a future participle, or a future infinitive, or a future optative... depending on the context and how "classical" the author might want to be.

μέλλω (Hom.+) fut. μελλήσω; impf. ἔμελλον (all edd. J 6:6; Ac 21:27) and ἤμελλον (all edd. Lk 7:2; 19:4; J 4:47; 12:33; 18:32; Hb 11:8; s. B-D-F §66, 3; W.-S. §12, 3; Mlt-H. 188. In Att. ins the ἠ-appears after 300 B.C. [Meisterhans3-Schw. 169]. In IPriene ἐ-occurs only once: 11, 5 [c. 297 B.C.]).
① to take place at a future point of time and so to be subsequent to another event, be about to, used w. an inf. foll.
ⓐ only rarely w. the fut. inf., w. which it is regularly used in ancient Gk. (Hom. et al.), since in colloquial usage the fut. inf. and ptc. were gradually disappearing and being replaced by combinations with μέλλω (B-D-F §338, 3; 350; s. Rob. 882; 889). W. the fut. inf. μ. denotes certainty that an event will occur in the future μ. ἔσεσθαι (SIG 914, 10 μέλλει ἔσεσθαι; 247 I, 74 ἔμελλε … [δώσε]ιν; Jos., Ant. 13, 322; Mel., P. 57, 415) will certainly take place or be Ac 11:28; 24:15; 27:10; 1 Cl 43:6; cp. Dg 8:2.
ⓑ w. the aor. inf. (rarely in ancient Gk. [but as early as Hom., and e.g. X., Cyr. 1, 4, 16]; Herodas 3, 78 and 91; UPZ 70, 12 [152/1 B.C.]; PGiss 12, 5; POxy 1067, 17; 1488, 20; Ex 4:12; Job 3:8; 2 Macc 14:41; JosAs 29:3; ParJer 9:13; GrBar 4:15 [Christ.]; ApcMos13; s. Phryn. p. 336; 745ff Lob.; WRutherford, New Phryn. 1881, 420ff) be on the point of, be about to, μ. ἀποκαλυφθῆναι be about to be revealed Ro 8:18. τὸ δωδεκάφυλον τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ μέλλον ἀπολέσθαι the twelve tribes of Israel that were about to be destroyed 1 Cl 55:6. ἤμελλεν προαγαγεῖν Ac 12:6. ἀποθανεῖν Rv 3:2. ἐμέσαι vs. 16. τεκεῖν 12:4.
ⓒ w. the pres. inf. So mostly (ca. 80 times in the NT.; oft. in lit., ins, pap, LXX; TestAbr B 4 p. 108, 14 [Stone p. 64]; ApcEsdr 6:23f p. 32, 2f Tdf.; EpArist; Demetr.: 722 Fgm. 7 Jac.; Just., A I, 51, 8; D. 32, 4 al.; Tat. 14, 1; Mel., P. 38, 263; Ath. 32, 1).
α. be about to, be on the point of ἤμελλεν τελευτᾶν he was at the point of death (Aristot. Fgm. 277 [in Apollon. Paradox. 27] and Diod S 6, 4, 3 μέλλων τελευτᾶν; cp. Jos., Ant. 4, 83; 12, 357) Lk 7:2. Also ἤμελλεν ἀποθνῄσκειν (Artem. 4, 24 p. 217, 5 γραῦς μέλλουσα ἀποθνῄσκειν; Aesop, Fab. 131 P.=202 H.; 233 P.=216 H.; 2 Macc 7:18; 4 Macc 10:9) J 4:47. ἤμελλεν ἑαυτὸν ἀναιρεῖν he was about to kill himself Ac 16:27. Of God’s eschat. reign μέλλειν ἔρχεσθαι 1 Cl 42:3. Of heavenly glory ἡ μέλλουσα ἀποκαλύπτεσθαι 1 Pt 5:1. Cp. Lk 19:4; J 6:6; Ac 3:3; 5:35; 18:14; 21:27; 22:26; 23:27.—Occasionally almost = begin ἤμελλον γράφειν Rv 10:4. ὅταν μέλλῃ ταῦτα συντελεῖσθαι πάντα when all these things are (or begin) to be accomplished Mk 13:4; cp. Lk 21:7; Rv 10:7.
β. in a weakened sense it serves simply as a periphrasis for the fut. (PMich III, 202, 8ff; 13ff [105 A.D.].—Mayser II/1, 226) ὅσα λαλῶ ἢ καὶ μ. λαλεῖν (=ἢ καὶ λαλήσω) what I tell or shall tell Hm 4, 4, 3. So esp. oft. in Hermas: μ. λέγειν v 1, 1, 6; 3, 8, 11; m 11:7, 17; Hs 5, 2, 1. μ. ἐντέλλεσθαι v 5:5; m 5, 2, 8. μ. κατοικεῖν Hs 1:1; 4:2. μ. χωρεῖν (=χωρήσω) IMg 5:1. μ. βασιλεύειν GJs 23:2.—Substitute for the disappearing fut. forms (inf. and ptc. B-D-F §356); for the fut. inf.: προσεδόκων αὐτὸν μέλλειν πίμπρασθαι Ac 28:6; for the fut. ptc.: ὁ μέλλων ἔρχεσθαι Mt 11:14. ὁ τοῦτο μέλλων πράσσειν the one who was going to do this Lk 22:23; cp. 24:21; Ac 13:34. οἱ μέλλοντες πιστεύειν those who were to believe (in him) in the future 1 Ti 1:16; 1 Cl 42:4; Hm 4, 3, 3. μέλλοντες ἀσεβεῖν those who were to be ungodly in the future 2 Pt 2:6 v.l. (s. 3, end). Of Christ ὁ μέλλων κρίνειν 2 Ti 4:1; 7:2. οἱ μέλλοντες ἀρνεῖσθαι = οἱ ἀρνησόμενοι Hv 2, 2, 8. πυρὸς ζῆλος ἐσθίειν μέλλοντος τοὺς ὑπεναντίους raging fire that will devour the opponents Hb 10:27.
γ. denoting an intended action: intend, propose, have in mind μέλλει Ἡρῴδης ζητεῖν τὸ παιδίον Herod intends to search for the child Mt 2:13. οὗ ἤμελλεν αὐτὸς ἔρχεσθαι where he himself intended to come Lk 10:1. μέλλουσιν ἔρχεσθαι they intended to come J 6:15. Cp. vs. 71; 7:35; 12:4; 14:22; Ac 17:31; 20:3, 7, 13ab; 23:15; 26:2; 27:30; Hb 8:5; 2 Pt 1:12. τί μέλλεις ποιεῖν; what do you intend to do? Hs 1:5. οὐ μ. ποιεῖν I have no intention of doing MPol 8:2. μ. προσηλοῦν they wanted to nail him fast 13:3. μ. λαμβάνειν we wanted to take him out 17:2.
② to be inevitable, be destined, inevitable
ⓐ w. pres. inf. to denote an action that necessarily follows a divine decree is destined, must, will certainly … μ. πάσχειν he is destined to suffer Mt 17:12; B 7:10; 12:2; cp. 6:7. μ. σταυροῦσθαι must be crucified 12:1. μ. παραδίδοσθαι Mt 17:22; Lk 9:44; 16:5. ἔμελλεν ἀποθνῄσκειν J 11:51; 12:33; 18:32. ἐν σαρκὶ μ. φανεροῦσθαι B 6:7, 9, 14. Cp. Mt 16:27; 20:22; Ro 4:24; 8:13; Rv 12:5. οὐκέτι μέλλουσιν … θεωρεῖν they should no more see … Ac 20:38. τὰ μ. γίνεσθαι what must come to pass 26:22; cp. Rv 1:19. διὰ τοὺς μέλλοντας κληρονομεῖν σωτηρίαν those who are to inherit salvation Hb 1:14. μέλλομεν θλίβεσθαι that we were to be afflicted 1 Th 3:4.—Mk 10:32; Lk 9:31; J 7:39; Hb 11:8. ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ᾗ ἔμελλε θηριομαχεῖν on the day on which Paul was to fight the wild animals AcPl Ha 3, 9. ὡς μελλούσης τῆς πόλεως αἴρεσθαι in expectation of the city’s destruction 5, 16. ἄνωθεν μέλλω σταυροῦσθαι I (Jesus) am about to be crucified once more 7, 39.
ⓑ w. aor. inf. ἀποκαλυφθῆναι that is destined (acc. to God’s will) to be revealed Gal 3:23.
③ The ptc. is used abs. in the mng. (in the) future, to come (Pind., O. 10, 7 ὁ μέλλων χρόνος ‘the due date’) ὁ αἰὼν μέλλων the age to come (s. αἰών 2b), which brings the reign of God (opp. ὁ αἰὼν οὗτος or ὁ νῦν αἰών) Mt 12:32; Eph 1:21; 2 Cl 6:3; Pol 5:2; cp. Hb 6:5. Also ὁ μ. καιρός (opp. ὁ νῦν κ.) 4:1. ἡ μ. ζωή (opp. ἡ νῦν ζ.) 1 Ti 4:8. ὁ μ. βίος (opp. ὁ νῦν β.) 2 Cl 20:2. ἡ μ. βασιλεία 5:5; ἡ οἰκουμένη ἡ μ. the world to come Hb 2:5. ἡ μέλλουσα πόλις (as wordplay, opp. [οὐ … ] μένουσα π.) 13:14. ἡ μ. ἐπαγγελία the promise for the future 2 Cl 10:3f. τὰ μ. ἀγαθά Hb 9:11 v.l.; Hv 1, 1, 8. ἡ μ. ἀνάστασις 1 Cl 24:1; τὸ κρίμα τὸ μ. the judgment to come Ac 24:25; cp. 1 Cl 28:1; 2 Cl 18:2; MPol 11:2. ἡ μ. ὀργή Mt 3:7; IEph 11:1. ἡ μ. θλῖψις Hv 4, 2, 5. τὰ μ. σκάνδαλα 4:9.—ἡ μέλλουσά σου ἀδελφή your future sister=the one who in the future will be your sister, no longer your wife Hv 2, 2, 3. Several times the noun can be supplied fr. the context: τύπος τοῦ μέλλοντος, i.e. Ἀδάμ Ro 5:14.—Subst. τὸ μέλλον the future (Aeneas Tact. 422; 431 al.; Antiphanes Com. [IV B.C.] 227 K.; Menand., Monostich. 412 [608 Jaekel] Mei.; Anacreont. 36; Plut., Caes. 14, 4; Herodian 1, 14, 2; SIG 609, 5; ViEzk 13 [p. 75, 12 Sch.]; Philo, Mel.) 1 Cl 31:3. εἰς τὸ μ. for the future (Jos., Ant. 9, 162) 1 Ti 6:19; specif. (in the) next year (PLond III, 1231, 4 p. 108 [144 A.D.] τὴν εἰς τὸ μέλλον γεωργείαν; s. Field, Notes 65) Lk 13:9. τὰ μ. the things to come (X., Symp. 4, 47; Aeneas Tact. 1050; Artem. 1, 36; Wsd 19:1; TestJob 47:9; JosAs 23:8; Philo; Just., D. 7, 1; Ath. 27, 2) Col 2:17; PtK 3 p. 15, 21. (Opp. τὰ ἐνεστῶτα the present as PGM 5, 295) Ro 8:38; 1 Cor 3:22; B 1:7; 5:3; 17:2. Ox 1081 39f (SJCh 91, 2) (s. ἀρχή 2). Uncertain 2 Pt 2:6 (if ἀσεβέσιν is to be retained, the ref. is to impending judgment for the impious).
④ delay τί μέλλεις why are you delaying? (cp. Aeschyl., Prom. 36; Eur., Hec. 1094; Thu. 8, 78; Lucian, Dial. Mort. 10, 13; Jos., Bell. 3, 494 τί μέλλομεν; 4 Macc 6:23; 9:1) Ac 22:16. οὐ μελλήσας without delay AcPl Ha 8, 4. The connection in AcPt Ox 849, 1 is uncertain.—B. 974. DELG. M-M. TW.



Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
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David Lim
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Re: Wondering about the sequence of tenses & innovation

Post by David Lim » July 28th, 2014, 9:26 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
David Lim wrote:A future participle wouldn't quite work here, because the subject of "λαμβανειν" is not "το πνευμα".
I don't understand this statement. What is the relationship between τοῦ πνεύματος and οὗ (for ὃ). Doesn't a relative pronoun have the same force as the noun it refers to? Do you mean a future participle with ἅν?
The relative pronoun here is not the subject of "λαμβανειν" but the complement (for Byz "ου") or object (for NU "ο").
Barry Hofstetter wrote:Just to show something future with regard to a past tense main verb in the sentence one would simply use a future tense, or a future participle, or a future infinitive, or a future optative... depending on the context and how "classical" the author might want to be.
I agree on "μελλειν" having a connotation of expectation (including imminence), but do you have any examples of factual statements with a future tense verb in a relative clause that denotes a future time with respect to the main verb but actually refers to a past time with respect to the writer? "μελλειν" seems reasonably suitable for such cases, which would include John 7:39.
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Stephen Hughes
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Ἰησοῦς οὐδέπω ἐδοξάσθη as forward time limit

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 28th, 2014, 1:58 pm

John 7:37-39 wrote:Ἐν δὲ τῇ ἐσχάτῃ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ μεγάλῃ τῆς ἑορτῆς εἱστήκει ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ ἔκραξεν, λέγων, Ἐάν τις διψᾷ, ἐρχέσθω πρός με καὶ πινέτω.38 Ὁ πιστεύων εἰς ἐμέ, καθὼς εἶπεν ἡ γραφή, ποταμοὶ ἐκ τῆς κοιλίας αὐτοῦ ῥεύσουσιν ὕδατος ζῶντος. 39 Τοῦτο δὲ εἶπεν περὶ τοῦ πνεύματος οὗ ἔμελλον λαμβάνειν οἱ πιστεύοντες εἰς αὐτόν· οὔπω γὰρ ἦν πνεῦμα ἅγιον, ὅτι Ἰησοῦς οὐδέπω ἐδοξάσθη.
David Lim wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:Just to show something future with regard to a past tense main verb in the sentence one would simply use a future tense, or a future participle, or a future infinitive, or a future optative... depending on the context and how "classical" the author might want to be.
I agree on "μελλειν" having a connotation of expectation (including imminence), but do you have any examples of factual statements with a future tense verb in a relative clause that denotes a future time with respect to the main verb but actually refers to a past time with respect to the writer? "μελλειν" seems reasonably suitable for such cases, which would include John 7:39.
I see that point. "Ἰησοῦς οὐδέπω ἐδοξάσθη" (verse 39) sets a point in time when, presumably the Spirit was given, and that predates the writing of the Gospel.

Another question: What is the implied time reference of the participle οἱ πιστεύοντες εἰς αὐτόν; Jesus speaking, Pentecost, the narrators time?
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Stephen Hughes
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Weakened form as a substitute for future not in Modern Greek

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 28th, 2014, 2:04 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. wrote:β. in a weakened sense it serves simply as a periphrasis for the fut. (PMich III, 202, 8ff; 13ff [105 A.D.].—Mayser II/1, 226) ὅσα λαλῶ ἢ καὶ μ. λαλεῖν (=ἢ καὶ λαλήσω) what I tell or shall tell Hm 4, 4, 3. So esp. oft. in Hermas: μ. λέγειν v 1, 1, 6; 3, 8, 11; m 11:7, 17; Hs 5, 2, 1. μ. ἐντέλλεσθαι v 5:5; m 5, 2, 8. μ. κατοικεῖν Hs 1:1; 4:2. μ. χωρεῖν (=χωρήσω) IMg 5:1. μ. βασιλεύειν GJs 23:2.—Substitute for the disappearing fut. forms (inf. and ptc. B-D-F §356); for the fut. inf.: προσεδόκων αὐτὸν μέλλειν πίμπρασθαι Ac 28:6; for the fut. ptc.: ὁ μέλλων ἔρχεσθαι Mt 11:14. ὁ τοῦτο μέλλων πράσσειν the one who was going to do this Lk 22:23; cp. 24:21; Ac 13:34. οἱ μέλλοντες πιστεύειν those who were to believe (in him) in the future 1 Ti 1:16; 1 Cl 42:4; Hm 4, 3, 3. μέλλοντες ἀσεβεῖν those who were to be ungodly in the future 2 Pt 2:6 v.l. (s. 3, end). Of Christ ὁ μέλλων κρίνειν 2 Ti 4:1; 7:2. οἱ μέλλοντες ἀρνεῖσθαι = οἱ ἀρνησόμενοι Hv 2, 2, 8. πυρὸς ζῆλος ἐσθίειν μέλλοντος τοὺς ὑπεναντίους raging fire that will devour the opponents Hb 10:27.
I had thought it might be something like this. This doesn't seem to be in the Modern Greek Grammar system, so far as I can find it.
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David Lim
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Re: Ἰησοῦς οὐδέπω ἐδοξάσθη as forward time limit

Post by David Lim » July 28th, 2014, 10:24 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:"Ἰησοῦς οὐδέπω ἐδοξάσθη" (verse 39) sets a point in time when, presumably the Spirit was given, and that predates the writing of the Gospel.
Actually all we can infer from that one sentence is that the glorification of Jesus is a necessary condition for the the holy spirit to be given, and the wider context is needed to determine whether it was given exactly at the point that Jesus was glorified.
Stephen Hughes wrote:Another question: What is the implied time reference of the participle οἱ πιστεύοντες εἰς αὐτόν; Jesus speaking, Pentecost, the narrators time?
It seems to me that the tenses always denote time with respect to the time in focus, which is in turn dependent on the context, as follows:
Present: present
Imperfect: past
Future: future
Aorist: past / generic
Perfect: present state
Pluperfect: past state
Future perfect: future state
For a participle, this time in focus may sometimes be the time of the event described by the participle itself, such as "τεθνηκασιν γαρ οι ζητουντες την ψυχην του παιδιου" in Matt 2:20. In English we have a similar phenomenon, where the present participle can be used as an adjective that seems independent of time, such as "the shining ones have turned dark" and "they will become rejected ones", but actually the tense corresponds to the time relative to the time in focus, which are "at the point of shining" and "at the point of rejection" respectively. Similarly in Greek this is particularly common with present participles that are a restrictive description or the sole description, in contrast with circumstantial participles where the time in focus is usually that of the main verb.

Hence in John 7:39 "οι πιστευοντες εις αυτον" has a present participial clause that is the sole description, so it can refer to believers in general, since the time denoted by the present tense would not be anchored to anything at all. Nevertheless, if the context strongly indicates a specific time in focus on which the participle is based, then context wins (but here I think not based on 7:38). Note that the NU text has "ο εμελλον λαμβανειν οι πιστευσαντες εις αυτον", and the aorist participle makes the time in focus to be time of "τουτο ειπεν περι του πνευματος".
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Re: Ἰησοῦς οὐδέπω ἐδοξάσθη as forward time limit

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 29th, 2014, 12:30 am

David Lim wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:"Ἰησοῦς οὐδέπω ἐδοξάσθη" (verse 39) sets a point in time when, presumably the Spirit was given, and that predates the writing of the Gospel.
Actually all we can infer from that one sentence is that the glorification of Jesus is a necessary condition for the the holy spirit to be given, and the wider context is needed to determine whether it was given exactly at the point that Jesus was glorified.
It is also not self-evident what it means that Jesus was glorified. Ἰησοῦς οὐδέπω ἐδοξάσθη is a terminus post quem for giving the Spirit, and the date of the Gospels composition (or the original story-telling (oral transmission) of the Gospel) is its terminus ante quem.
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Stephen Hughes
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The time reference of οἱ πιστεύο(/σα)ντες εἰς αὐτόν

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 29th, 2014, 12:47 am

David Lim wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:Another question: What is the implied time reference of the participle οἱ πιστεύοντες εἰς αὐτόν; Jesus speaking, Pentecost, the narrators time?
...

Hence in John 7:39 "οι πιστευοντες εις αυτον" has a present participial clause that is the sole description, so it can refer to believers in general, since the time denoted by the present tense would not be anchored to anything at all. Nevertheless, if the context strongly indicates a specific time in focus on which the participle is based, then context wins (but here I think not based on 7:38). Note that the NU text has "ο εμελλον λαμβανειν οι πιστευσαντες εις αυτον", and the aorist participle makes the time in focus to be time of "τουτο ειπεν περι του πνευματος".
My conclusions about the textual variants are similar to yours. Taking οἱ πιστεύσαντες εἰς αὐτόν with the time reference of Jesus' ειπεν seems to suggest a limited group. Taking it in the time context of μέλλειν λαμβάνειν seems to suggest on-going possibility of that happening.

Another question: What do you make of the tense of λαμβάνειν? To me it suggests on-going, (which on turn suggests taking μέλλειν λαμβάνειν as the time reference of οι πιστεύο(/σα)ντες εἰς αὐτόν. Which suggests a mixture of history and ritual in the Gospel composition, rather than just "objective" history.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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