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Thomas W. Hudgins: Being Careful When You Read The Commentaries

by Dr. Thomas W. Hudgins, professor, author and translator of Dr. David Alan Black’s book, Aprenda a Leer el Griego del Nuevo Testamento.
This will be a quick post. Tonight I was reading Ronald Y. K. Fung’s commentary on Galatians (NICNT) and saw a curious sentence dealing with Gal. 1:6. Here’s what it says:
“‘The one who called you’ (NIV), consistently with Paul’s usage, denotes God (cf. v. 15); the Greek construction (article with participle) emphasizes the divine initiative (cf. 1 Thess. 2:12; 1 Pet. 1:15), while the particular tense used (aorist) suggests that God’s call to the Galatians was mediated through the apostle’s preaching of the gospel (cf. vv. 8f.).” (44)
From the title of this post, you know I’m honing in on the aorist. I’m scratching my head trying to figure out how in the world Fung moves from the aorist tense to deducing that God’s call was mediated by someone else. I’m at a loss. This is an example of how you have to be very careful when you’re flipping through the commentaries or any publication for that matter. And this is where a basic, conceptual understanding of the Greek language will help someone as they work through study tools like commentaries, journal articles, and monographs.
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