[More] Fun with Verb Tenses!!

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I know what you’re thinking, “enough with the verb tenses, please, just make it stop, this is a NIGHTMARE!”  I know, I know, but there is something really cool here so bear with me for another excursion into Greek verb tenses.

I pointed out how I color-coded the Greek verb tenses and then attached them to the English words [Yay for cool Bible software!!].  Anyway a new color makes an appearance in this screenshot of John 9.20-23, blue.  Blue is the Greek perfect tense.  They used the perfect tense to express something that had happened in the past, but was still complete in the present, with the emphasis being upon the present condition.

Look how John uses it here.  The Pharisees drag the healed blind man’s parents in to grill them as to whether or not this man [who can now amazingly see] was their son.  They do not believe that the man was actually blind (vs. 18).  “Is this your son, who you say was born blind [by the way in the Greek here “you” is emphasized, as if to say, “you guys say he was born blind, we don’t believe it].

Against that backdrop, look at the parent’s response because it is very revealing.  They say: “We know [perfect tense] that this is our son and that he was born blind.”  By using the perfect tense they are saying, “Listen you skeptics, he is our son, we knew in the past that he was blind, because we raised him from birth, and we know now that he is BOTH our son and that he was born blind! Questions?”

They make a strong, but tactful reply to the Pharisees that leaves no question that the man who can now see was born blind and was and is their son now.  In other words, “he was blind in the past and he is our son.  Draw your own conclusions!”

Of course they had already drawn their conclusions because John tells us “the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue” (vs. 22).  A man who could heal someone blind from birth was no ordinary man, but the Pharisees had prejudged the issue.  Anyone who made the claim that Jesus was the Messiah and had the very power of God to heal?  Out of the synagogue you go, sir!

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