Here we have two aorists, ἐγὼ ἐφύτευσα ("I planted"), Ἀπολλῶς ἐπότισεν ("Apollos watered"), followed by an imperfect ὁ θεὸς ηὔξανεν. Translations usually render the final imperfect perfectively, "God gave the growth" (NRSV), "God made it grow" (NIV), or even Deus incrementum dedit (Vulgate).1 Cor 3:6 wrote:ἐγὼ ἐφύτευσα, Ἀπολλῶς ἐπότισεν, ἀλλὰ ὁ θεὸς ηὔξανεν ·
What is the force of Paul's imperfect here? Is it because the church in Corinth is still growing? If so, would an English perfect progressive (cf. Brooks and Winberry, p. 92*) "but God has been growing it" be appropriate then? Or is the imperfect ηὔξανεν inceptive (as if to say "God began growing it")?
* Though Brooks and Winberry translated it with a perfective causative: "but God caused it to grow."