WAnderson wrote:I can't seem to identify a certain usage of estin / eisin, can't find it in Wallace, etc. A couple quick examples I've found would be Matt. 13:37 "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man"; and Rev. 1:20 "the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches." Is there a special category for this kind of usage?
Hmm...You'll probably find it in Wallace under Convertible Propositions.
WAnderson wrote:Sorry for the confustion, I'm having difficulty framing the question properly. Although the examples I gave are in the present indicative, they aren't time-specific. I've noticed this in several places in the NT. Here's another example that hopefully might better illustrate, Rev. 17:18 "The woman . . . is the great city." The verb doesn't seem to denote that "the woman is (present tense, as I speak) the great city," but rather, "The woman is (symbolically equates to) the great city."
I don't see why the verb cannot be understood to refer to present time. In Matt 13:37, Jesus states a present fact, which is that "the son of man is the one who sows good seed". It is not a fact of the past, therefore "ην" is not used. In Revelation, which is supposed to be a revelation of many things across history, including the future, there will likewise be many statements in the present tense because it is a present fact to the one who sees it happening. Of course, it is clear that it is metaphoric and not literal, but that is in my opinion independent of the tense. Similarly in John 1:4,9 you see that "ην" is used for such symbolic statements, because those were facts of the past at the time of writing, though of course it does not mean that the statements are no longer true in the present.
Your first example at Revelation 1:20 is a subset proposition. Wallace speaks to this use of both subset and convertible propositions under Nominatives. It is the equative use of the be verb.
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