Mk 10:20 aspectology

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at
Tue Aug 29 15:02:12 EDT 2000

At 11:29 AM -0700 8/29/00, clayton stirling bartholomew wrote:
>In Mark 10:20 we read:
>Now I would expect one of the latter-day proponents of aspectology to raise
>the question why do see the form  EFULAXAMHN here? Is this question worth
>The word group FULASSW, FULASSOMAI has semantic properties (see L&N below)
>which override the morphological tense/aspect marking. I would conclude from
>this that getting preoccupied with the tense/aspect marking of EFULAXAMHN in
>this context is chasing phantoms. Looking for something that isn't there.
>The primary contribution that EFULAXAMHN makes to this context is found in
>the domain of lexical semantics, not tense/aspect marking.

I don't know where this fits into the scheme(s) of things that occupy what
we were calling (a couple years ago) "aspect geeks," but I think this is a
'perfect' example of what I'd call a Koine aorist that has successfully
taken over what had once been a more common function of the perfect tense.
I think that we would normally translate this into English (and I think
I've even seen it so translated!) as, "All these I have kept since I was
young." And here, I think, is a point of overlap between the French
aoristic "passé indéfini" (Tous ceux-là j'ai gardés depuis ma jeunesse),
the English usage of the indefinite perfect, and the Greek indefinite
aorist EFULAXA.

And although there are indeed instances wherein a Greek present tense may
refer to the past and a Greek aorist may refer to the present or even
future, NEVERTHELESS most beginning students DON'T have trouble with an
aorist indicative; I think they get it right at least 95% of the time. It
is the imperfect that troubles them, and of course the participles and
infinitives and subjunctives of the aorist do bring some grief. But aorist
indicatives? Honestly, do you really think most beginning students of Greek
are bothered by them?

>Louw & Nida on FULASSW, FULASSOMAI (edited)
[edited still more! This is the only one that counts!]
>36.19  to continue to obey orders or commandments - 'to obey, to keep
>commandments, obedience.'

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 

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