aorist

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Tue Nov 2 06:51:58 EST 1999


At 2:47 PM +1000 11/2/99, Rick Strelan wrote:
>The aorist form KATEBHSAN in Acts 14:11 indicates what:That the gods have
>come down and are still with us? the gods came down in the recent past but
>are not currently with us? the gods are ones who come down to us? or what?
>
>In addition, the aor participle hOMOIWQENTES implies what in relation to
>the main verb?

hOI TE OCLOI IDONTES hO\ EPOIHSEN PAULOS EPHRAN THN FWNHN AUTWN LUKAONISTI
LEGONTES: hOI QEOI hOMOIWQENTES ANQRWPOIS KATEBHSAN PROS hHMAS (12) EKALOUN
TE TON BARNABAN DIA, TON DE PAULON hERMHN, EPEIDH AUTOS HN hO hHGOUMENOS
TOU LOGOU.

I would understand the aorist here as a pretty straight instance of a
perfective use (one of those where the aorist seems to have usurped some of
the functionality of the perfect tense). The following verse, which I've
cited, makes it pretty clear that these throngs DID indeed believe that the
gods, Zeus and Hermes in particular, had descended from heaven and were
among them in human guise. The aorist participle hOMOIWQENTES, here in the
standard aorist -QH/QE- form of the middle-passive, is used in typical
fashion with an indicative, pretty evidently indicating antecedent action
by the subjects of the main verb. The more common English way of rendering
this is surely: "The gods have assumed the guise of human beings and come
down to us."




Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/



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