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John 3:18

RandallButh wrote: Would someone please correct the Greek word in the thread title from the incorrect *ἀναβέβακεν to the correct form ἀναβέβηκεν?
Fixed! Sorry about the Doric form. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Carlson — December 21st, 2013, 3:11 am
Would someone please correct the Greek word in the thread title from the incorrect *ἀναβέβακεν to the correct form ἀναβέβηκεν? Thank you. צורם לי באוזניים Statistics: Posted by RandallButh — December 21st, 2013, 2:47 am
 
Stephen Hughes wrote:
David Lim wrote:it is misleading to call it a "logical step" when it is really a state
"Logical" in the sense that you would need to cogitate logically to get to an understanding of it. Perhaps you have a different understanding of "logical" that left you misled. If you feel unhappy about some word(s), don't get stuck on the word(s), try to deduce the sense of the words from the wider context.
Frankly I really found your phrasing confusing. Okay if you meant a logical step on the part of the reader then I'm okay with what you describe, except that the "logical step" may no longer be true.
Stephen Hughes wrote:
David Lim wrote:"in the state of having gone up into the heaven" Also, since this is a natural outcome of the (normal) intrinsic meaning of the perfect, it doesn't need any special consideration.
This what you have written in un-natural English doesn't mean Jesus is there now. In fact, unless one is very patient with such a construction, is doesn't clearly mean much at all. "I am in the state of havinig gone to Siam Reap", but now I am in Benalla. I was impressed by the city of Siam Reap, and its people and I thought that the main tourist attraction there was a remarkable feat of human industry, I'm a (slightly) changed person but I'm not there now. [...] "I δε-drive-κα to Benalla" is another more expressive and meaningful way of saying "I am in Benalla" (I realise that drive would probably have a vowel gradation, but I can't remember enough IE comparative linguistics to make a sensible guess).
Honestly I didn't realize this is what you were getting it. So you are saying that the perfect here denotes that Jesus is (at the time of writing) in the heaven? I would have to disagree with that, because the perfect often does not mean anything beyond the state of having completed the verb. In the examples you mention, if the perfect is used, whether "you are still in Siam Reap" depends entirely on the context. The perfect merely calls attention to the state, but does not imply anything about whether the logical result of the verb still remains the same. Here are some examples where the implied "logical step" is no longer true from the writer's viewpoint or is not intended to remain true: [Matt 13:19] παντος ακουοντος τον λογον της βασιλειας και μη συνιεντος ερχεται ο πονηρος και αρπαζει το εσπαρμενον εν τη καρδια αυτου ουτος εστιν ο παρα την οδον σπαρεις (it had been sown, but was taken away) [Matt 13:35] οπως πληρωθη το ρηθεν δια του προφητου λεγοντος ανοιξω εν παραβολαις το στομα μου ερευξομαι κεκρυμμενα απο καταβολης κοσμου (things had been hidden, but were revealed by Jesus) [Matt 13:44] παλιν ομοια εστιν η βασιλεια των ουρανων θησαυρω κεκρυμμενω εν τω αγρω ον ευρων ανθρωπος εκρυψεν και απο της χαρας αυτου υπαγει και παντα οσα εχει πωλει και αγοραζει τον αγρον εκεινον (it had been hidden, but was found by someone) [Matt 27:52] και τα μνημεια ανεωχθησαν και πολλα σωματα των κεκοιμημενων αγιων ηγερθη (they had died, but were raised) [Matt 28:5] αποκριθεις δε ο αγγελος ειπεν ταις γυναιξιν μη φοβεισθε υμεις οιδα γαρ οτι ιησουν τον εσταυρωμενον ζητειτε (he has been crucified, but is no longer on the cross) [Mark 3:1-2] και εισηλθεν παλιν εις την συναγωγην και ην εκει ανθρωπος εξηραμμενην εχων την χειρα και λεγει τω ανθρωπω τω εξηραμμενην εχοντι την χειρα εγειραι εις το μεσον (his hand had been withered, but was healed by Jesus) [Mark 5:4] δια το αυτον πολλακις πεδαις και αλυσεσιν δεδεσθαι και διεσπασθαι υπ αυτου τας αλυσεις και τας πεδας συντετριφθαι και ουδεις αυτον ισχυεν δαμασαι (he had often been bound, but had broken out of them) [Mark 5:15] και ερχονται προς τον ιησουν και θεωρουσιν τον δαιμονιζομενον καθημενον και ιματισμενον και σωφρονουντα τον εσχηκοτα τον λεγεωνα και εφοβηθησαν (he had the legion, but no longer) [Mark 11:2] και λεγει αυτοις υπαγετε εις την κωμην την κατεναντι υμων και ευθεως εισπορευομενοι εις αυτην ευρησετε πωλον δεδεμενον εφ ον ουδεις ανθρωπων κεκαθικεν λυσαντες αυτον αγαγετε (no man had sat on it, but Jesus would sit on it) [Mark 11:4] απηλθον δε και ευρον [τον] πωλον δεδεμενον προς την θυραν εξω επι του αμφοδου και λυουσιν αυτον (it had been bound to the door outside, but they loosed it) [Mark 15:7] ην δε ο λεγομενος βαραββας μετα των συστασιαστων δεδεμενος οιτινες εν τη στασει φονον πεποιηκεισαν (he had been bound, but would be released) [Acts 25:7] παραγενομενου δε αυτου περιεστησαν οι απο ιεροσολυμων καταβεβηκοτες ιουδαιοι πολλα και βαρεα αιτιωματα φεροντες κατα του παυλου α ουκ ισχυον αποδειξαι (they had come down from Jerusalem, but their being there is only valid within the context and not relevant anymore after that) As you can see, Matt 28:5 shows that "εσταυρωσθαι" does not imply "to be dead" but merely "to have died" ("to be in a state of having died"). And Acts 25:7 shows that you can say "καταβεβηκα εις σιεμ ριπ εις το ιδειν την πολιν" ("I have gone to Siam Reap to ...") even if you are not there now. Naturally, though, since the perfect calls attention to the state, it causes one to conceive of the point at which the state is attained and thus may result in an assumption of the continued relevance of that point unless the context wraps it up somehow. So if you say just "καταβεβηκα εις σιεμ ριπ" and stop there, the hearer might of course get the impression that you are there now. But that meaning is not intrinsic to the perfect, and arises from the context.
Stephen Hughes wrote: What I am saying is that Jesus is in heaven, and that is expressed by using a perfect of the verb by which He got there.
Well, as I said before, whether Jesus is supposed to be in heaven doesn't determine what the verse means. Both I and Iver have given two related ways of interpreting the verse which we think are more natural than to assume that it refers to Jesus' ascension after his death, and therefore you cannot draw your conclusion without eliminating our interpretations or giving reasons why they are unlikely first. Statistics: Posted by David Lim — December 21st, 2013, 1:37 am
 
David Lim wrote: "πλανωμενον" is not a perfect, so why is it on your list?
I'm sorry about that. It was a mistake then. My knowledge of Greek is a bit limited, I'm often reminded of how little I actually know about this language - thank you for being part of the reminder process. Such a sheep taking itself off the path to wander in the imperfective aspect would still be looked as walking, not be primarily looked at as being in danger yet, I guess.
David Lim wrote: it is misleading to call it a "logical step" when it is really a state
"Logical" in the sense that you would need to cogitate logically to get to an understanding of it. Perhaps you have a different understanding of "logical" that left you misled. If you feel unhappy about some word(s), don't get stuck on the word(s), try to deduce the sense of the words from the wider context.
David Lim wrote: "in the state of having gone up into the heaven" Also, since this is a natural outcome of the (normal) intrinsic meaning of the perfect, it doesn't need any special consideration.
This what you have written in un-natural English doesn't mean Jesus is there now. In fact, unless one is very patient with such a construction, is doesn't clearly mean much at all. "I am in the state of havinig gone to Siam Reap", but now I am in Benalla. I was impressed by the city of Siam Reap, and its people and I thought that the main tourist attraction there was a remarkable feat of human industry, I'm a (slightly) changed person but I'm not there now. What I am saying is that Jesus is in heaven, and that is expressed by using a perfect of the verb by which He got there. "I δε-drive-κα to Benalla" is another more expressive and meaningful way of saying "I am in Benalla" (I realise that drive would probably have a vowel gradation, but I can't remember enough IE comparative linguistics to make a sensible guess). Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — December 20th, 2013, 9:45 am
 
Stephen Hughes wrote:
David Lim wrote:calling one another fools and nonsensical
Ha ha. I see. Well, if you have taken them as personally applicable to yourself, let me clarify that I didn't mean for "tomfoolery and nonsense" to be mistaken by someone for "tom fools and nonsensical" (people) - they were put forward in a reductio ad absurdum asserting that due to the difference in speaker's time and narrative time, the two propositions (the ideas of accepting the perfect as I explain it & taking these words as those of Jesus) couldn't be taken together.
The point is that I gave an explanation of how to take those two together, and so far I don't see a problem with that way of taking it. Iver's is another way that is similar to mine (like Iver I too read the verse as not focusing on going up or coming down but on being from heaven as in John 6:62), and I would consider his to be viable as well. You, however, seem to assert that it is absolutely incompatible to take it as intended by the author to be Jesus' words if the perfect had the usual meaning of denoting a present state, specifically "in the state of having gone up into the heaven". I also gave my reasoning for why I think your consideration of the change in person is not enough to conclude anything. Finally, I was reminding you that theology should not be used to infer what the text means.
Stephen Hughes wrote: Now, Mr Lim, apart from the two words that have caught your attention, what do think of the ideas I have put forward about the perfect as the next logical step in a sequence of mutually understood (socially / technologically defined) actions?
"πλανωμενον" is not a perfect, so why is it on your list? "εξηρανται" literally means "has { dried up (undergone something) }" which of course implies "is { dried (state) }" and usually "is { withered (state) }". Likewise for "κεκρικατε" and "ηγαπημενην" and "συνεσταυρωμαι". I agree with your descriptions of the states resulting from the completion verb, but in my opinion it is misleading to call it a "logical step" when it is really a state. Also, since this is a natural outcome of the (normal) intrinsic meaning of the perfect, it doesn't need any special consideration. Statistics: Posted by David Lim — December 20th, 2013, 8:37 am
 
Stephen Carlson wrote: Thoughts on the article or the perfect more generally?
I realise that this stuff about the perfect is really boring now, but let me give a few more examples about the next logical step in finding the meaning of the perfect tense.
Matthew 18:12 wrote: ἐπὶ τὰ ὄρη πορευθεὶς ζητεῖ τὸ πλανώμενον;
The next logical step of πλανᾷν "wander (off the path)" is "to be in danger", "to be separated", or "to be lost". τὸ πλανώμενον = "the one who is in danger etc."
Mark 11:21 wrote: ἡ συκῆ ἣν κατηράσω ἐξήρανται.
The next logical step after ξηραίνειν "to dry" or "to wither" is "to be dried" or "to be withered". Here the bed is under the window and inline with the sun in English.
Acts 16:15 wrote: Εἰ κεκρίκατέ με πιστὴν τῷ κυρίῳ εἶναι,
The logical step after κρίνειν "judge" is "to regard", "to hold to the opinion that" or "to consider".
Romans 9:25 wrote: Καλέσω τὸν οὐ λαόν μου λαόν μου· καὶ τὴν οὐκ ἠγαπημένην ἠγαπημένην.
The logical step after ἀγαπᾷν "to love" is "to be in someone's affection", "to be someone who xx is concernd about". the woman who was in nobody's affections - the woman whom someone is concerned for.
Galatians 2:20 wrote: Χριστῷ συνεσταύρωμαι
The next logical step after σταυροῦσθαι​"to be crucified" is "to be dead (as a result of crucifiction)". Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — December 20th, 2013, 5:02 am
 
David Lim wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:
John 3:13 wrote:καὶ οὐδεὶς ἀναβέβηκεν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εἰ μὴ ὁ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καταβάς, ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.
The recent issue of New Testament Studies has a note about the intepretation of the perfect in this verse: Madison N. Pierce and Benjamin E. Reynolds, "The Perfect Tense-Form and the Son of Man in John 3.13: Developments in Greek Grammar as a Viable Solution to the Timing of the Ascent and Descent," NTS 60 (2014): 149-155. In this short note, the authors argue that the traditional understanding of the perfect as "past action with present results" doesn't work and so they propose to use the approach of Stan Porter and Con Campbell, esp. the latter. As a result, they argue that the perfect ἀναβέβηκεν is really an imperfective, which they translate with a simple English present "no one ascends to heaven," and from there they draw the conclusion that the statement merely "describes a unique quality of the Son of Man." Thoughts on the article or the perfect more generally?
I didn't mentally connect this with the ascension of Jesus described in the gospels, but rather I thought it was just a simple way of expressing the following: "No man has ever gone up into the heaven (and come back down to tell others about it), but the son of man has come down out of heaven (having come from there)." So I would say that the perfect does have the normal meaning, but it is the sentence that cannot be taken exactly literally. Just my thought.
It seems to me that the main problem for understanding the text is not the perfect, but we tend to make too close a connection between οὐδεὶς and ὁ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καταβάς and do not take the preceding two verses sufficiently into consideration. In v. 11 Jesus tells Nikodemos that He (Jesus) knows what he is talking about and testify about what he has seen. In v. 12 he goes ahead to lament that if Nikodemos and other scholars at the time do not understand when Jesus speaks about the earthly things which they have seen, how could they possibly understand the heavenly things which they have not seen. They don't know the things of heaven because no human being has ever gone up there to acquire that knowledge and then tell others about it. If it was not for Jesus who has come from there and therefore can testify about what he knows and has seen, there would be no knowledge available about heavenly things. In view of this, I think we need to understand some implied information in v. 13, something like: No human being has ever gone up to heaven (and acquired that knowledge) and if (it was) not (for) the Son of Man who has come down from heaven, (that knowledge would not be available). So, I don't think the focus in context is on ascending to heaven but more on the implied result - acquire knowledge of heavenly things. No human being has that knowledge except the Son of Man who has come from there. Statistics: Posted by Iver Larsen — December 20th, 2013, 3:44 am
 
David Lim wrote: calling one another fools and nonsensical
Ha ha. I see. Well, if you have taken them as personally applicable to yourself, let me clarify that I didn't mean for "tomfoolery and nonsense" to be mistaken by someone for "tom fools and nonsensical" (people) - they were put forward in a reductio ad absurdum asserting that due to the difference in speaker's time and narrative time, the two propositions (the ideas of accepting the perfect as I explain it & taking these words as those of Jesus) couldn't be taken together. Now, Mr Lim, apart from the two words that have caught your attention, what do think of the ideas I have put forward about the perfect as the next logical step in a sequence of mutually understood (socially / technologically defined) actions? Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — December 20th, 2013, 2:15 am
 
Stephen Hughes wrote:
David Lim wrote:I firmly believe ... unjustified opinion.
Well, let's look for a moment at the first and last thing you have written in that sentence; I think those two phrases of yours are synonymous, the only difference between them is the level of disparate emotion that you want to impute to etiher point of view.
Of course we each have our own (perhaps unjustified) opinions, but we can hold them without calling one another fools and nonsensical. I hope you can understand that B-Greek is not for name-calling.
Stephen Hughes wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:To my limited understading it is the narrator, so the time that it is said it after the resurrection and ascension.
Perhaps I didn't phrase this well. So, let me explicate it. So far as I understand the perfect "tense", the perfect refers to the next logical action in a sequence, so it expresses that the going up to heaven (the ascension) of Jesus must already have been a fait accompli at the time that this part of John was composed. If one wanted to keep this passage as something said by Jesus, then this explanation of the perfect should be rejected. Not rejecting the explanation of the perfect that I have profferred here and accepting that these words were a quotation of Jesus would be tomfollery and nonsense. The suggestion that this is narrative rather than quotation is further brought out because the person of the text changes from the 2nd to the 4rd after verse 12. Both of which things suggest that this part of the text is the work of a redactor / the voice of a narrator (if you like). Perhaps if "the author intended the quotation to be understood as spoken by Jesus" he might have reworked the view point (especially as expressed in the person of the verbs). John 3:16 might have been rephrased as, "My father loved you so much that he sent me...' οὑτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ πατὴρ ὑμᾶς πάντας ὥστε ἔπεμψέν με, ἵνα ...* (This is not a verse from the Bible, it is a schoarly conjecture used here for the sake of argument). I hadn't thought about it when I wrote before, but the ἐδωκεν so far as I know refers to the death of Jesus - as part of his ministry - rather than to the Christmas story, which also suggests that this passage is narrative rather than quotation.
Yes I think you phrased it sufficiently clearly the first time round, but your argument about the person is not valid because many places in the gospels explicitly record Jesus using "the son of man" to refer to himself (such as Matt 8:20, 10:23, 16:13, Mark 8:31, 38, 10:33, Luke 22:48, 69, 24:7, John 6:27, 53, 8:28), and it is undeniable that the author of Matt 8:20 intends the quotation to be spoken by Jesus. Also, you made a mistake in assuming that I consider John 3:16 as also spoken by Jesus, but I don't. Rather, I think that John 3:16 onwards is the author's words.
Stephen Hughes wrote: While everyone is entitled to "firmly believe" their own opinions, I'm wondering whether you have any incling from the Greek that your suspicion that someone was intending something to be understood by others as coming from someone (perhaps as a compositional or redactorial technique), has any justification from the text itself or your understanding of grammar?
Yes, but it would be a bit too difficult to try to explain an innate sense in words. Suffice to say that the gospels when taken as a set of texts about Jesus helps to first identify what the readers expect Jesus to have said and done, and John 3:13 (not John 3:18), at least the NU text, falls quite easily into that category. John 3:16 onwards has a different "flavour". By the way, John 6:62 is similar to this verse (according to how I explained it earlier) and is intended to be a quotation of Jesus. Anyway this is just my own take on the matter, so you should also get others' opinions. Statistics: Posted by David Lim — December 19th, 2013, 10:54 pm
 
David Lim wrote: I firmly believe ... unjustified opinion.
Well, let's look for a moment at the first and last thing you have written in that sentence; I think those two phrases of yours are synonymous, the only difference between them is the level of disparate emotion that you want to impute to etiher point of view.
Stephen Hughes wrote: To my limited understading it is the narrator, so the time that it is said it after the resurrection and ascension.
Perhaps I didn't phrase this well. So, let me explicate it. So far as I understand the perfect "tense", the perfect refers to the next logical action in a sequence, so it expresses that the going up to heaven (the ascension) of Jesus must already have been a fait accompli at the time that this part of John was composed. If one wanted to keep this passage as something said by Jesus, then this explanation of the perfect should be rejected. Not rejecting the explanation of the perfect that I have profferred here and accepting that these words were a quotation of Jesus would be tomfollery and nonsense. The suggestion that this is narrative rather than quotation is further brought out because the person of the text changes from the 2nd to the 4rd after verse 12. Both of which things suggest that this part of the text is the work of a redactor / the voice of a narrator (if you like). Perhaps if "the author intended the quotation to be understood as spoken by Jesus" he might have reworked the view point (especially as expressed in the person of the verbs). John 3:16 might have been rephrased as, "My father loved you so much that he sent me...' οὑτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ πατὴρ ὑμᾶς πάντας ὥστε ἔπεμψέν με, ἵνα ...* (This is not a verse from the Bible, it is a schoarly conjecture used here for the sake of argument). I hadn't thought about it when I wrote before, but the ἐδωκεν so far as I know refers to the death of Jesus - as part of his ministry - rather than to the Christmas story, which also suggests that this passage is narrative rather than quotation. While everyone is entitled to "firmly believe" their own opinions, I'm wondering whether you have any incling from the Greek that your suspicion that someone was intending something to be understood by others as coming from someone (perhaps as a compositional or redactorial technique), has any justification from the text itself or your understanding of grammar? Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — December 19th, 2013, 8:49 pm
 
Stephen Hughes wrote: [...] If it was Jesus speaking, then he would be referring to somebody else that was in heaven, called the Son of Man, who was not himself, but a thought like that is tomfoolery and nonsense.
I firmly believe that the author intended the quotation to be understood as spoken by Jesus, so please refrain from giving this kind of unjustified opinion. :) Statistics: Posted by David Lim — December 19th, 2013, 11:22 am
 
Stephen Carlson wrote:
John 3:13 wrote:καὶ οὐδεὶς ἀναβέβηκεν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εἰ μὴ ὁ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καταβάς, ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.
Madison N. Pierce and Benjamin E. Reynolds ... argue that the perfect ἀναβέβηκεν is really an imperfective, which they translate with a simple English present "no one ascends to heaven Thoughts on the article or the perfect more generally?
That is not the only "simple" English present that it could be translated by - actually the English present is not simple. Let me explain what I think about the artificial constraints that the perfect is made to labour under to get transformed into English. The first problem is that the grammar (that I learnt at least) said that it was up to the addition of auxiliaries - which students had to add - to bring out the sense of the perfect. Like what synthetic construction of English can be used to bring out the sense of the perfect. It's like asking someone to take a look at the sunrise but insisting that they don't get out of bed - if they are lucky enough to have a bed facing east across from the window then good and well, otherwise the followance of such a stipulation requires stretching and/or contortion into unnatural arrangements. In the example question that Randall asked three people the bed is under the window - the English word "stand" happens to have both the meaning of "get to the upright position" and "be in the upright position". For other sequences of verbs like this one in this verse that you have read the article about, the next logical step after "go up to heaven (on his own steam)" is "be in heaven (after getting there on his own steam)" - Enoch, Elijah, perhaps other may be there too after a bodily ascension, but they were simply taken there. By using the perfect of a verb of automotion here, the unique quality of the Son of Man is that He got himself there. The "simple" English present that I would use to translate this perfect "ἀναβέβηκεν εἰς" is "is in". Also when considering this verse you are interested in, there is the old question of "Who said this? Jesus or the narrator?". To my limited understading it is the narrator, so the time that it is said it after the resurrection and ascension. If it was Jesus speaking, then he would be referring to somebody else that was in heaven, called the Son of Man, who was not himself, but a thought like that is tomfoolery and nonsense. It seems that the perfect could be translated as the next verb in the natural / understood sequence of the actions, not all these strange un-English-like conglomerations that were in traditional grammars. The loss of the perfect (relatively soon after the NT times) is quite simply the expression of the next step using its own appropriate verb. The pronoun "εἰς" that in the perfect of this verb of motion, has (for us in Koine) the sense of "in" was used too in this "stationary" sense. What is needed to teach the [erfect in this way is to locate verbs within their natual sequences. That is of course spelt out well for οἶδα whose next logical verb to express what comes after "to see" is to "know". That is not the exception it is an example of the norm which was unable to be grammaticised over - presumably because "to have seen" was too very vague. Verbs need to be learnt in their groups expressing the parts of a greater action (within their taxonomical order). Of course in different situations the next logical verb in a sequence will be different. In general, despict this way of grammaticising the "tense" with unnatural constructions, so that the student doesn't have to use another basic verb in English, translations are fairly understandable, but the natural English (and Modern Greek) way is to use it's own verb for the next verb in sequence. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — December 19th, 2013, 10:25 am
 
Stephen Carlson wrote:
John 3:13 wrote:καὶ οὐδεὶς ἀναβέβηκεν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εἰ μὴ ὁ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καταβάς, ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.
The recent issue of New Testament Studies has a note about the intepretation of the perfect in this verse: Madison N. Pierce and Benjamin E. Reynolds, "The Perfect Tense-Form and the Son of Man in John 3.13: Developments in Greek Grammar as a Viable Solution to the Timing of the Ascent and Descent," NTS 60 (2014): 149-155. In this short note, the authors argue that the traditional understanding of the perfect as "past action with present results" doesn't work and so they propose to use the approach of Stan Porter and Con Campbell, esp. the latter. As a result, they argue that the perfect ἀναβέβηκεν is really an imperfective, which they translate with a simple English present "no one ascends to heaven," and from there they draw the conclusion that the statement merely "describes a unique quality of the Son of Man." Thoughts on the article or the perfect more generally?
I'm the one who keeps hinting at conflation of perfect and aorist. I've been inclined heretofore to understand this ἀναβέβηκεν in the sense of a "gnomic" aorist: "Nobody has gone back up except the One who has come down" = "Nobody goes back up except the One who comes down" And there's only one who fits that description. But I don't think of this ἀναβέβηκεν as imperfective. Statistics: Posted by cwconrad — December 19th, 2013, 9:16 am
 
Stephen Carlson wrote:
John 3:13 wrote:καὶ οὐδεὶς ἀναβέβηκεν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εἰ μὴ ὁ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καταβάς, ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.
The recent issue of New Testament Studies has a note about the intepretation of the perfect in this verse: Madison N. Pierce and Benjamin E. Reynolds, "The Perfect Tense-Form and the Son of Man in John 3.13: Developments in Greek Grammar as a Viable Solution to the Timing of the Ascent and Descent," NTS 60 (2014): 149-155. In this short note, the authors argue that the traditional understanding of the perfect as "past action with present results" doesn't work and so they propose to use the approach of Stan Porter and Con Campbell, esp. the latter. As a result, they argue that the perfect ἀναβέβηκεν is really an imperfective, which they translate with a simple English present "no one ascends to heaven," and from there they draw the conclusion that the statement merely "describes a unique quality of the Son of Man." Thoughts on the article or the perfect more generally?
I didn't mentally connect this with the ascension of Jesus described in the gospels, but rather I thought it was just a simple way of expressing the following: "No man has ever gone up into the heaven (and come back down to tell others about it), but the son of man has come down out of heaven (having come from there)." So I would say that the perfect does have the normal meaning, but it is the sentence that cannot be taken exactly literally. Just my thought. Statistics: Posted by David Lim — December 19th, 2013, 8:04 am
 
John 3:13 wrote: καὶ οὐδεὶς ἀναβέβηκεν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εἰ μὴ ὁ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καταβάς, ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.
The recent issue of New Testament Studies has a note about the intepretation of the perfect in this verse: Madison N. Pierce and Benjamin E. Reynolds, "The Perfect Tense-Form and the Son of Man in John 3.13: Developments in Greek Grammar as a Viable Solution to the Timing of the Ascent and Descent," NTS 60 (2014): 149-155. In this short note, the authors argue that the traditional understanding of the perfect as "past action with present results" doesn't work and so they propose to use the approach of Stan Porter and Con Campbell, esp. the latter. As a result, they argue that the perfect ἀναβέβηκεν is really an imperfective, which they translate with a simple English present "no one ascends to heaven," and from there they draw the conclusion that the statement merely "describes a unique quality of the Son of Man." Thoughts on the article or the perfect more generally? Statistics: Posted by Stephen Carlson — December 19th, 2013, 4:37 am