To “come” or to “come and see” that is the question Part 2

In the last post, I sort of presented the possibility that my interpretation may be wrong.  But after some conversations between Jim and myself, which you can read under the comments section, I’m thinking that my interpretation is quite on target.  I’m revisiting this topic to post the comments between Jim and myself, and then to cite a couple of my "mentors" who actually agree with me on the subject.  Feel free to read the original post dated 11-6-2006.  Here is the conversation between Jim and I.

I checked this out and made an interesting discovery. I’m still on the fence regarding TR vs. Critical Text, but here’s what I found:
TR does indeed say, "come and see" [erchou kai blepo]. Both "come" and "see" are present tense imperative active verbs. Here’s a quote from my Word Study NT: "The present imperative occurs only in the active and middle voice in the New Testament. In the active voice, it may indicate a command to do something in the future which involves continuous or repeated action or, when it is neglected, a command to stop doing something" [emphasis added by me].
The interesting part is John’s response. "And I saw" (v. 2, et. al.). We would expect him to reply with appropriate form of the Greek word blepo (I’m not sure what the form would be since I cannot conjugate Greek). We would also expect John to reply in the present tense since that is the tense in which the command was given. Neither of these are true. "Saw" is the Greek word eido. It is the aorist  indicative active form of the verb. To once again quote my Word Study NT: "The aorist indicative expresses action that is not continuous. It does not specify the relative time of the action to the time of speaking" [emphasis added by me]. Many scholars take aorist tense verbs to mean something to the equivalent of "once and for all."
It would appear that John–if the command was indeed given to him–did not obey the command. He was commanded to see [blepo], but what he actually did was see [eido]. He was commanded to see in the present tense, but what he did was see in the aorist tense. My Greek dictionary goes into the differences between these two words [blepo vs. eido], but they are too detailed to post here (you’re welcome to borrow it if you’d like).
I would also take issue with this statement from the other poster: "Giving a command would mean this heavenly being is the source
causing the the actions of the rider." This same arguement is used time and again to destroy God’s sovreignty. We try to wrap our human minds around how God’s will is always accomplished and how God is never responsible for sin. I don’t buy that. To use a familiar example: Did God harden pharoah’s heart (thus causing Him to sin)? Or did Pharoah harden his own heart (thus causing Pharoah to be responsible for his own sin)? The problem is that this is phrased as an "either/or" question when the answer to both is yes. I don’t know how that works, but I’ll trust God’s Word before I trust my own logic. I would argue that opening seals is both "revealing" and "causing"–while God is not the author of the evil that will take place, it most certainly cannot happen outside of His plan, authority, and–ultimately–for His glory.
Anyway–I haven’t spent hours on this passage nor have I had the ability to follow your entire conversation, so I may be off base here. I just thought I’d share what I found.
See ya!

Not off base at all, Jim, you’re following right along.  Basically, if the difference in verbs is true, we may have a later addition which was not originally intended making the minority text more reliable?  Is that what you’re getting at?  The way I understand aorist is a completed act but no particular place in time; it must be related to the other verbs to determine if it’s past, present, or future.  I don’t follow Greek verbs very well, but here is what I’m getting from your post:
The living creature says "begin coming", then John saw an event happen "once and for all".  But if we follow TR, the living creature says "begin coming and begin seeing", then John saw an event happen "once and for all", then the connection between the command for John to do something and his following through is weak.  So if we follow the first idea, my thesis concerning the living creature giving the command to come being directed at summoning the horsemen actually has a few more teeth in it.  Hey, maybe I don’t have to admit that I’m wrong!
I like your statement about sovereignty.  I almost didn’t include that from the posters message, but I thought I would just do the whole thing and not edit his post at all.  Let the reader discern!
Jim replies back:
I guess my observations led me to one of three conclusions (I’m in an ambiguous mood today–haha):
-1-The "and see" was added to the TR and not part of the original text.
-2-The "come and see" is not referring to John but to someone (or something) else [right now, I would lean to this interpretation].
-3-The way John saw [eido] is somehow an appropriate way to obey the command to see [blepo].
I added the part about God’s sovreignty because the poster in your message used that as a proof for his interpretation and I personally don’t think that his proof works.
See ya!
Now read some comments from the "masters".
George Eldon Ladd from A Commentary on the Revelation of John
John saw (in vision) the Lamb break the first seal, and he heard one of the four living creatures say, as with a voice of thunder, Come.  Many copyists of the Greek manuscripts understood this to be a summons to John to come and behold the sequel to the breaking of the seal, and so they added the words, "and see."  The AV follows this inaccurate rendering.  However, the best Greek texts contain only the summons, "Come."  The late variant is also found in verses 3, 5, 7…..  The most natural understanding of the repeated summons, "Come,"  is that the four living creatures call forth the four horsemen.
So Ladd agrees with me.  Let’s check with B. W. Newton in Thoughts on the Apocalypse.
The word "Come" was addressed, not to John, but to the horse and its rider, who instantly came forth that John might see and be instructed.  "Come," and not "Come and see," is the right reading through out this chapter.
Newton, in a little more succinct fashion, also concurs.  One more source to quote, Unger’s Bible Handbook.
With each of the first four seals, one of the living creatures associated with God’s judicial government toward the earth cries, "Come!"  (ASV).  Thus they call forth the first judgments, symbolized by four horsement.
Now I’m starting to wonder about my interpretation.  I’m used to being the rebel and now I find I’m in excellent company.  I may have to change my view to keep my controversial edge.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman

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One Response to To “come” or to “come and see” that is the question Part 2

  1. Jim says:

    You do realize that you\’re arguing for the critical text, right? (I just had to get a jab in there–ha ha)

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