Conditionally In John’s Gospel: A Critique And Examination Of Time And Reality As Classically Conceived In Conditional Constructions -- By: Michael J. Thate
Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 50:3 (Sep 2007)
Article: Conditionally In John’s Gospel: A Critique And Examination Of Time And Reality As Classically Conceived In Conditional Constructions
Author: Michael J. Thate
JETS 50:3 (September 2007) p. 561
Conditionally In John’s Gospel: A Critique And Examination Of Time And Reality As Classically Conceived In Conditional Constructions
Michael Thate is a Ph.D. student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 2065 Half Day Road, Deerfield, IL 60015.
“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” “Reality is merely an illusion, although a very persistent one.”
In her famed poem “Sacred Emily,” penned in 1913, Gertrude Stein claimed, “A rose is a rose is a rose.”1 The verse has since sparked legendary appropriation—ranging from Margaret Thatcher’s “a crime is a crime is a crime” quip in 1981, referring to the actions of IRA affiliates, to Ernest Hemingway’s satirical stab at French editors, “a stone is a stein is a rock is a boulder is a pebble,”2 and to D. A. Carson’s claim that “an aorist is an aorist is an aorist.”3 The saying has become inculcated as cultural idiom for claiming that things are what they are, or, as with the aorist, that however diverse the pragmatic function, the semantics of the inflection remain constant. The aim of this paper is to investigate the function of conditional clauses with an indicative in the protasis in John’s Gospel, and to see if, after all, “a conditional is a conditional is a conditional.” We will stay our answer until the end of this essay, while tracing the two categories of time and reality.
JETS 50:3 (September 2007) p. 562
certain conditions, certain results follow’, which underlies Conditional Sentences, has to include a wide and flexible range of phrase in order to express the range of contingencies in varying conditions.”6 Tight definitions therefore should be avoided. Structurally speaking, a conditional sentence consists “of a subordinate clause stating the condition or supposition (the if-clause) and a main clause giving the inference or conclusion.”7 It is a “construction that functions in the realm of pragmatic usage, linking two smaller units within one larger discourse unit.”8 It is import...
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