John 3:18 Perfect Passive

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Dwayne Green
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John 3:18 Perfect Passive

Post by Dwayne Green » September 11th, 2014, 10:22 pm

John 3:18 wrote: ὁ δὲ μὴ πιστεύων ἤδη κέκριται,
I have a question about this verse: Does the perfect passive κέκριται imply that the judgement is the unbelief itself? Thoughts?
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: John 3:18 Perfect Passive

Post by Stephen Hughes » September 12th, 2014, 3:21 am

Dwayne Green wrote:
John 3:18 wrote: ὁ δὲ μὴ πιστεύων ἤδη κέκριται,
I have a question about this verse: Does the perfect passive κέκριται imply that the judgement is the unbelief itself? Thoughts?
When you say "judgement" do you mean what someone has been found guilty of, like in a sort of outcome of a trial process?
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Dwayne Green
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Re: John 3:18 Perfect Passive

Post by Dwayne Green » September 12th, 2014, 9:31 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:When you say "judgement" do you mean what someone has been found guilty of, like in a sort of outcome of a trial process?
Hi Stephen, when I say judgement, I am referring to the "sentence passed" upon a guilty person. Perhaps this is the wrong idea here?
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Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: John 3:18 Perfect Passive

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » September 12th, 2014, 11:05 am

Dwayne Green wrote:Does the perfect passive κέκριται imply that the judgement is the unbelief itself?
I don't think that the Greek text can give an answer to that question any more than a translation can. It's all about context.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: John 3:18 Perfect Passive

Post by Stephen Hughes » September 12th, 2014, 12:24 pm

Dwayne Green wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:When you say "judgement" do you mean what someone has been found guilty of, like in a sort of outcome of a trial process?
Hi Stephen, when I say judgement, I am referring to the "sentence passed" upon a guilty person. Perhaps this is the wrong idea here?
You might like to consider if the perfect (which you have mentioned) implies an automaticity or a process.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

George F Somsel
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Re: John 3:18 Perfect Passive

Post by George F Somsel » September 13th, 2014, 2:36 am

ὁ δὲ μὴ πιστεύων ἤδη κέκριται
As you already noted, κέκριται is a PASSIVE. This means that the subject is being acted upon. In this passage the subject is ὁ μὴ πιστεύων. It is therefore the one who does NOT believe who is judged. Nothing is said regarding what constitutes the judgment
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: John 3:18 Perfect Passive

Post by Barry Hofstetter » September 13th, 2014, 8:30 am

In short, Duayne, nothing in the form of the verb itself tells what constitutes the judgment. That it is perfect tells us that the unbeliever already is in state of judgment, that it is passive tells us that the subject is receiving the action. To determine the nature of the judgment itself requires further information to be supplied.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: John 3:18 Perfect Passive

Post by Stephen Hughes » September 13th, 2014, 12:11 pm

Dwayne Green wrote:Does the perfect passive κέκριται imply that the judgement is the unbelief itself?
Dwayne Green wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:When you say "judgement" do you mean what someone has been found guilty of, like in a sort of outcome of a trial process?
Hi Stephen, when I say judgement, I am referring to the "sentence passed" upon a guilty person. Perhaps this is the wrong idea here?
I'm still struggling to understand what you are asking in this question.

By "the sentence passed", do you mean that unbelief (ἀπιστία) is the punishment (τιμωρία) of which the condemned man is deemed worthy in a condemnation (κρίσις - in the sense of where a guilty verdict is reached), rather than the charge (ἔγκλημα) for which somebody needs to stand trial for, and in this case the crime for which trial has already been stood?

Is your question a sort of geek (sic.) question like, does 2 + 3 = 3 + 2 ? That is to say, does ὁ δὲ μὴ πιστεύων ἤδη κέκριται, = ὁ δὲ αἴτιος (guilty) ἀδικήματος (a bad deed) οὐ μὴ πιστεύετω. That is to say are you asking whether the perfect can place the articular participle to a place in the sequence of the verbs action, which comes after the end of the perfect's effect? That is to say is not believing the thing that comes after the judgement not before... If that is what you are asking, then I'm sorry, I don't know. My Greek is really rather poor - and especially the grammar of the perfect and sequences of tenses - but I hope that by working on it day by day, I might see some improvement in it over time.

To understand the things around this question, it might be useful to give some attention to some small details (λεπτομέρεια - but not in that "consisting of small particles" sense given in LSJ, but in the sense of meaning 2 of the related adjective λεπτομερής), which when I do it often perhaps ends up with making insignificant things bigger than they deserve to be in a given context (ie. λεπτομεριμνία), but still it might be interesting to note:

The word κρίνειν... The word κέκριται here can, but does not necessarily, imply a guilty verdict. Look at this interesting verse
Deuteronomy 25:1 wrote:ἐὰν δὲ γένηται ἀντιλογία (dispute) ἀνὰ μέσον ἀνθρώπων καὶ προσέλθωσιν εἰς κρίσιν καὶ κρίνωσιν καὶ δικαιώσωσιν τὸν δίκαιον καὶ καταγνῶσιν τοῦ ἀσεβοῦς
A classical parallel could also be useful to contextualise the ἤδη used in this verse;
Lysias 27:3 (last phrase) wrote:καὶ οὐ νῦν πρῶτον ὤφθησαν ἀδικοῦντες, ἀλλὰ καὶ πρότερον ἤδη δώρων (genitive of the crime for which they were condemned) ἐκρίθησαν.
And this is not the first time that they have been caught in criminal acts: they have been tried before now for taking bribes. (Lamb's translation from the Loeb)
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Dwayne Green
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Re: John 3:18 Perfect Passive

Post by Dwayne Green » September 21st, 2014, 9:57 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:The word κρίνειν... The word κέκριται here can, but does not necessarily, imply a guilty verdict. Look at this interesting verse
This along with your quote from Deut. 25:1 helped me to see the difference between a judgement and a judicial sentence (ie punishment). :) I mixed up the two, seeing a sentence where there wasn't one. Given the idea of the perfect tense, A judgement is passed then a sentence comes later. Which of course, one could exit this state by simply believing and avoid the punishment all together.

I suppose this is more interpretational, but I think the perfect lends some credence to this. Am I completely off the wall here?
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: John 3:18 Perfect Passive

Post by Stephen Hughes » September 21st, 2014, 11:14 pm

Dwayne Green wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:The word κρίνειν... The word κέκριται here can, but does not necessarily, imply a guilty verdict. Look at this interesting verse
This along with your quote from Deut. 25:1 helped me to see the difference between a judgement and a judicial sentence (ie punishment). :) I mixed up the two, seeing a sentence where there wasn't one. Given the idea of the perfect tense, A judgement is passed then a sentence comes later. Which of course, one could exit this state by simply believing and avoid the punishment all together.

I suppose this is more interpretational, but I think the perfect lends some credence to this. Am I completely off the wall here?
Totally off Greek and beyond my competency, permit me to make the simple observation that in different legal systems the same words would mean different things. I didn't want to clutter that last post with that, but I suppose we could consider it now.

In a system where punishments are prescribed by law and unchanging, then guilt is punishment for all intents and purposes. In a system where a finding of guilty is followed judicial sentencing then judgement is distinct from punishment. In a system where judgement is only passed in the case when someone is guilty, then judgement implies guilt and infers that punishment will quickly follow.

The point being that just because something is written in Greek doesn't give us such and so knowledge of the legal system involved. It is an issue where a knowledge of Greek helps considerably in formulating good questions, but doesn't directly answer them. It being open to interpretation that you mentioned may be better considered as being open to broader considerations of the legal system employed or referred to.

The classical example I put for you was to show the possible meaning of words rather than to imply that Athenian legal practice was somehow being used in different periods of Israelite history, or under Ptolemaic or Roman rule in one area or another.

None of this helps with your question about the perfect though.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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