The Greek Perfect Tense

​An important though neglected key to resolving the matter of eternal security lies in the very nature of biblical Greek itself. Biblical Greek is rooted in a premodern, teleological weltanschauung (See my article on teleological thought at bottom of this page) - a world-view that's completely alien to the modern mind - and even more so, the post-modern mind. ​​The verb tenses used in the New Testament very clearly reflect that world-view; however, its implications go unnoticed by anyone (1) not trained in premodern thought and (2) unfamiliar with koine Greek. The Greek perfect tense is a classic case in point.

In English, verb tenses denote only timing, whether an event is occurring in the present, has occurred in the past, will occur in the future, has occurred in the past and is continuing to occur in the present, etc. In biblical Greek, however, verb tenses often denote not only timing, but a state of “consummation” as well - and that's especially true of the Greek perfect tense. Whenever the perfect tense is used, the event described is in a final state - not merely that it began in the past and is on-going, but that it began in the past and will continue unchanged into the future. It's a verb tense that's only found in pre-modern languages - and is clearly teleolgocial in nature. 

Romans 5:2 is a good example.

     ... through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 
Romans 5:2
Both the verb “we have” (ἐσχήκαμεν) and the verb “we stand” (ἑστήκαμεν) are cast in the Greek perfect tense - meaning our access to grace and our standing in grace - are in a fully consummated state. In short, we are forever established in a state of unmerited favor - and therein lies our hope of being glorified.

The meaning of Romans 5:2 is, therefore, better rendered ...

     ... through whom also we were put once and for all into a state of grace and are now forever grounded in it, and can therefore rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
                                                                                                       Romans 5:2

The same sense is found in Ephesians 2:8 ... 

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God ...
                                                                                  Ephesians 2;8

The verb "have been saved" ("σεσῳσμένοι") is cast in the Greek perfect tense, meaning our salvation is in a consummated state. 

I have yet to finish up on Ephesians 2:8 and other similar verses. I will complete it later.

Articles on Teleological Thinking

The downloads listed below are articles I've written on teleological thinking. Each one is an excerpt from my book Commentary on the Book of Romans - which you can purchase on Amazon by pressing this link. Understanding premodern teleology is basic to understanding biblical Greek and also basic to understanding just how much the Bible posits a world-view (weltanschauung) that is completely at odds with the world-view that so utterly prevails here in America and throughout the West.

Pressing the link to the left will download an article on teleological thought. Reading it will help you grasp just how different a premodern teleological worldview is from our own contemporary modern and postmodern world view and how understanding that difference will help you resolve in your own mind the whole matter of eternal security. It's difficult reading; but stick with it and you will be richly rewarded.

Download PDF on Teleological Thought and Its Impact on Biblical Greek

Pressing this link will download an article on how the loss of teleological thought over the last several centuries, but especially since the middle of the 19th Century, has undermined a belief in "God's Plan" - the belief that God has an overarching plan for mankind and the universe generally.

Download PDF on How the Loss of Teleological Thinking Has Underminded Belief in "God's Plan"
Download PDF on Teleology: The Loss of the Whole and Its Impact on Modern Art

Pressing this link will download an article on how the loss of teleological thought underlies the dynamic that has given rise to modern art.

The articles on teleological thought are all excerpts taken from my book Commentary on the Book of Romans. You may purchase it on Amazon by pressing the picture on the left.