• Thank you for asking!

      Matthew 3:17 in Koine: καὶ ἰδοὺ φωνὴ ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν λέγουσα, Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός, ἐν ᾧ εὐδόκησα.

      The aorist we are looking for is εὐδόκησα (aorist active indicative 1st person singular). This is a gnomic aorist.

      Herbert Weir Smyth (1920) says in § 1931 of his Greek grammar: “The aorist may express a general truth. The aorist simply states a past occurrence and leaves the reader to draw the inference from a concrete case that what has occurred once is typical of what often occurs”.

      The gnomic aorist may be seen as an appeal to common sense; it may express a habitual action, a proverbial truth, a commonly known fact. For this reason, it could be translated in various ways depending on the context where it is used.

      εὐδοκέω (the dictionary form of εὐδόκησα) should be translated as “take delight/pleasure” in the context of Matthew 3:17.

      I would translate Matthew 3:17 as follows: “And behold a voice (feminine nominative singular) from the sky saying (present active participle feminine nominative singular): This is the dear son of mine (μου = genitive), in whom I used to take delight/pleasure (alternatively: I took delight/pleasure; gnomic aorist).”

      I hope that helps and I am looking forward to seeing you around more often, do not hesitate to ask me any questions about the Ancient Greek language!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is an incredible article. I was more interested in YOU than THE subject, not knowing Greek, but of course, having made my own primitive attempts at Japanese Kanji–that is to say, ideas being rendered in such a way, that we can try to understand them.

    Examples are described by Ruth Benedict in her very worthwhile classic, Patterns of Culture. After, was it, describing the Dobuins (sp?), who based their entire culture on the perversity of lying and dishonesty and half truths, she then explicated the Pueblo culture, assuredly sophisticated the way Sanskrit of Greek or Latin or Icelandic was.

    Haji in Japanese is shame; On, or Onn, a debt or obligation, or a sense of filial piety or duty through sustained relationships or family. DT Suzuki describes wabi or sabi, overtly, pitiful wretchedness, but under it all, when things get old and take on a beautiful or classically or aesthetically beautiful. Then lastly, my favorite Japanese word, Ninjo, superficially, a human feeling, but with warmth, and a deep human heartedness or sympathy.

    So for me to know what an Aorist is, is beyond me, but appreciate YOU as a person.

    Truly, as we both have in common, it is the drive, to know, what I call, ‘The system OF the system’. Other concepts are complex adaptive systems, integrative systems–constructs or highly organized systems which either have tendencies, to accumulate or dissipate, like the universe or stars, galaxies, biological, social, economic, or spiritual systems.


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