[B-Greek] On the Perfect Tense
waldoslusher at yahoo.com
Thu Feb 26 11:11:19 EST 2004
> The problem with this argument is that Paul does not
> say that the law ceased
> to be a PAIDAGWGOS at the advent of Christ (even
> accpeting the kind of
> interpretation of vv. 17 and 19 that the law ceased
> to be in force). He says
> that we are no longer hUPO PAIDAGWGON, not that the
> law is no longer a
> PAIDAGWGOS. Perhaps the EIS refers to the goal of
> the PAIDAGWGOS, and is not
> a temporal preposition?
This is getting into interpretation I think, and I
really didn't want to raise that issue. The point I
wanted to make is that "something" ceased at the EIS
CRISTOS, the state that obtained, whatever Paul had in
mind, began at the beginning point and ended at the
ending point. The ending point need not be the time of
writing or talking.
After my comments, you continued...
> > And without commenting on the merits of Fanning, I
> > think if he does hold to this dual tempora
> > (which I am not familiar enough with his views to
> > comment on), then I would say that his dual
> > temporality is quite evidently correct if one
> > understands how a deictic point is contextually
> > developed. The deictic point is an ever-shifting
> > temporal focal point. The deictic point need not
> > the time of writing or speaking. The deictic point
> > be any time along the temporal spectrum.
> I think this is not the usual definition of deixis.
> Do you mean a contextually
> determined temporal frame? I think the deictic point
> is usually understood as
> being in the time or speaking, writing, listening,
> or reading.
I couldn't disagree more. And that was my point.
Deixis is the temporal focal point that the author
develops by the context. If the author wants to
portray an event that happened last June, then June of
last year becomes the Deictic Center, and all verbal
elements will depart from that point. The Present
tense will describe something that was IN PROGRESS
during June of last year, not what is in progress AT
THE TIME OF WRITING.
The same holds for the Perfect. The Perfect identifies
an anterior point in relation to the Deictic Center,
for example, last June. And the state that obtains is
from some anterior event up to but not beyond June of
At least that is how I use Deictic Center.
That is why the Historic Present makes linguistic
sense. It is portraying a past event IN PROGRESS, not
trying to bring a past event into the present time.
Once the Deictic Point is identified, then the
Indicative verbals will align themselves in the
appropriate relationship to that point, not the time
But, if the author doesn't develop a past DC, then the
time of writing would be the default DC. And when this
happens, I would agree with your statement above, but
when the author carefully develops a past DC. I think
Porter's definition of deixis is right on.
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