John 8:58

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Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: John 8:58

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen »

Scott Lawson wrote: August 4th, 2021, 5:11 pm But you don’t have any objection to the standard translations.
Maybe because if there's a problem in the grammar it can't be solved with a translation. If the grammar is actually normal (PPA or nearly), "I was" or "I have been" is good. If there is a problem, "I am" is good because it keeps the same problem and gives the same effect. In any case nothing can be solved by translating in some certain way.
Scott Lawson
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Re: John 8:58

Post by Scott Lawson »

Eeli,

I wasn’t trying to resolve the issue by having Stephen translate it I was trying to understand his view of the syntax by making him translate it. He didn’t do so but pointed me to the “standard” translations which opened him up to being misunderstood.
Scott Lawson
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Re: John 8:58

Post by Scott Lawson »

Eeli,

Stephen did say that the question Jesus was responding to wasn’t the one closest in context (how old are you?) but rather Who are you. That being so he had to see εγω ειμι as self identification. That can only mean that εγω ειμι is a name and has no syntactical relationship to the dependent adverbial clause and stands alone. This is called the absolute construction.

If Stephen has another option then let him say so.
Scott Lawson
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Re: John 8:58

Post by Stephen Carlson »

Scott Lawson wrote: August 4th, 2021, 5:53 pm Stephen did say that the question Jesus was responding to wasn’t the one closest in context (how old are you?) but rather Who are you.
I’ve had enough. Can you stop claiming I said things I did not say? And, no, I don’t want you to quote something yet again you did not understand.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia
Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: John 8:58

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen »

Scott Lawson wrote: August 4th, 2021, 5:27 pm 1.) And it has to have it’s sense completed by it’s main clause.
Where did you get that idea? In normal discourse it needs to be part of a complete sentence, it can't stand alone, but how its sense should be completed more than the sense of the main clause?
2.) Infinitives, like participles, have controlling verbs which sets their relative time.
Where did you get that idea exactly (not a long quoted passage, please, but only the statement)? Wallace doesn't say that, and it wouldn't be true even if he did.
So what is the main clause if not εγω ειμι? Since ειμι is present in tense but can be used as past referring then the two issues above are resolved.
εγω ειμι is of course the main clause, but it doesn't lead to your conclusions.
Whether or not you want to call it a PPA doesn’t matter.
I agree. What matters is if this is normal grammar or not, i.e. if there is a clash. If this is normal grammar, it may still be something else than PPA.
The present tense form is being used as a past referring verb and the “clash” in time is eliminated and standard grammar rules.
Why do you say that the present tense form is being used as a past referring verb? Normal PPAs refer to the present moment but include also some time interval to the past. The clash doesn't come so that the present tense couldn't ever include also past time. It comes from the fact that the temporal "before" clause limits the time under consideration totally to the past, and the present tense wouldn't be normally used there.

You say that "ειμι is present in tense but can be used as past referring". This is probably again something which you have misunderstood and misapplied. In some sense, in some contexts (like in historical present), the present tense can be used as past referring, but it doesn't work here.
τοσούτῳ χρόνῳ μεθ̓ ὑμῶν εἰμι
(John 14:9 GNT28-T)
This is clearly a PPA where the temporal expression and the tense of the verb agree. τοσούτῳ χρόνῳ includes the time of speaking, unlike the temporal clause in John 8:58.
Scott Lawson
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Re: John 8:58

Post by Scott Lawson »

Stephen Carlson wrote: August 4th, 2021, 6:16 pm
Scott Lawson wrote: August 4th, 2021, 5:53 pm Stephen did say that the question Jesus was responding to wasn’t the one closest in context (how old are you?) but rather Who are you.
I’ve had enough. Can you stop claiming I said things I did not say? And, no, I don’t want you to quote something yet again you did not understand.
Ok…even though I have your statement at hand which led me to think that Jesus wasn’t responding to the question about his age I won’t post it. But please make your position clear. Was Jesus responding by by a statement of identity or that of his length of existence?
Scott Lawson
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Re: John 8:58

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen »

Sean Kasabuske wrote: August 4th, 2021, 5:07 pm
Eeli Kaikkonen wrote: August 4th, 2021, 5:03 pm
Sean Kasabuske wrote: August 4th, 2021, 4:59 pm As far as I can see, it's only a clash if one refuses to see the text as an example of the PPA.
I would put it vice versa: it's a PPA only if one refuses to see the clash. And that's our main problem: which way is it?
Sorry, but that makes no sense to me.
We have two statements:
1. One refuses to see it as a PPA, therefore one sees the clash.
2. One refuses to see the clash, therefore one sees it as a PPA.
Which one do you choose as a correct statement?

In reality it may not be that simple. Did I refuse to see it as a PPA? I don't think so, I was just sceptical. Did I see the clash? Yes, I felt it. Feeling it lead to further research. Likewise you probably didn't refuse to see the clash, you just didn't feel it. Therefore you found a normal grammatical explanation.

But what we see or feel there isn't important. The only important thing is if the original hearers felt the clash or not. That's why parallels and examples are needed. If we find, say, 100 examples of PPA where there's no (alleged) clash, and no more than these 3 examples where there is, it's much more probable that the hearers felt the clash and had to use further cognitive processing to interpret what was said. On the other hand, if we find, say, 3 more examples of πριν past clause + present from different contexts where it doesn't have any special force, it's much more probable that they didn't feel a clash. (Look how easy I made it for you: I have to find 100 examples of PPA, you have to find 3 examples of πριν past clause + present.)
Barry Hofstetter
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Re: John 8:58

Post by Barry Hofstetter »

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote: August 4th, 2021, 4:44 pm
Scott Lawson wrote: August 4th, 2021, 4:11 pm But your comments are what I’ve been saying all along.
(Referring to Barry's comments.)

This is interesting, because I was perplexed about what Barry said, too, until now when I read it again carefully. He says
the aspect of the infinitive follows essentially the same rule as participles -- an aorist infinitive would then show action prior to that of the main verb.
Now Barry can comment on that himself, but actually he doesn't say that the infinitive would get its time from the main verb. Only that it would show prior action. That's different than getting time from the main verb. A logical companion to "would show prior action" would be that "the main verb would show subsequent action", and that wouldn't mean that the main verb would get its time from the temporal clause, either.

So, if I now understand Barry correctly, this means that there's a grammatical clash because in this passage the infinitive shows subsequent action.
I'm glad somebody gets it, at any rate.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter, M.A., Th.M.
Ph.D. Student U of FL
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.
Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: John 8:58

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen »

Daniel Semler wrote: August 1st, 2021, 7:21 pm I stumbled across this example from Jeremiah, by way of Athanasius , Arians 1:13, which is worth reading on ἐγώ εἰμί I think, though I've not done it myself yet.
This is indeed worth reading.

https://archive.org/details/orationsofs ... 4/mode/2up (Greek, scanned)
https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/28161.htm (English)

I seems to have another example, but it creates even more difficulties for me. See to original Proverbs 8:23-25 which Athanasius uses. We have a telic verb in the present tense there.
before the mountains were established
and before all the hills, he begets me. (http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/nets/edition/ ... s-nets.pdf)
First of all, we have again the same construction talking about God.

Second, if PPA would be applied here, it would be something like "since before the mountains were established ... he has been begetting me". This sounds implausible (unless we assume that the Septuagint translator thought about eternal or timeless begetting which seems impossible in several ways).

It looks pretty clear to me that it can't be PPA. But what it is then?
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Re: John 8:58

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen »

The Greek Septuagint of Prov. 8...
22 Κύριος ἔκτισέ με ἀρχὴν ὁδῶν αὐτοῦ εἰς ἔργα αὐτοῦ, 23 πρὸ τοῦ αἰῶνος ἐθεμελίωσέ με ἐν ἀρχῇ, πρὸ τοῦ τὴν γῆν ποιῆσαι 24 καὶ πρὸ τοῦ τὰς ἀβύσους ποιῆσαι, πρὸ τοῦ προελθεῖν τὰς πηγὰς τῶν ὑδάτων, 25 πρὸ τοῦ ὄρη ἑδρασθῆναι, πρὸ δὲ πάντων βουνῶν γεννᾷ με.
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