Imperative Mood: Present vs. Aorist
jonathan at texcel.no
Sat Oct 24 11:54:44 EDT 1998
At 12:00 AM 10/24/98, Ed Gorham wrote:
>You've already received some excellent answers. Perhaps another clue could
>be provided by Porter's "Idioms of the Greek NT".
>He cites several instances of the omnitemporal present tense (the present
>being used for any time), or for timeless action. Likewise, he cites cases
>where the aorist is employed for present action (e.g. Matt. 23:23, Lk.
>16:4, etc.) and for omnitemporal and timeless actions.
First off, April's question had to do with the *aspect* of aorist and
present imperatives, not with time. Porter's observations on time are
fairly irrelevant here, including the ones you mention above.
However, Porter also questions the "traditional" aspectual distinction
between aorist and present imperatives, citing the following examples as
> Luke 19:13 PRAGMATEUSASQE EN hWi ERCOMAI - aorist imperative for ongoing
This one I do find confusing. I wonder if PRAGMATEUSASQE means to "set up
business" rather than to "engage in business". Or is there a better way to
> 2 Cor 13:11,12 CAIRETE, KATARTIZESQE, PARAKALEISQE, TO AUTO FRONEITE,
> EIRHNEUETE...ASPASASQE ALLHLOUS EN hAGIWi FILHMATI - do the aorists
>really tell them to start something they are not already doing? do the
>presents really tell them to keep doing something they are already
I don't get the problem here. The present imperatives really do seem to
portray ongoing action, whereas the aorist seems to be specifying a request
for how they should respond when the letter is read.
He also uses Eph 5:18, which April cited, as an example, and cites several
other examples. I don't have time to wade through all of them right now...
Jonathan Robie jwrobie at mindspring.com
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