Re The time element in the Greek tenses

Mark Wilson emory2oo2 at
Tue Aug 7 10:34:29 EDT 2001


I think you need to take into consideration other
grammatical features, like deictic indicators, when
inquiring into the "time element" in the Greek tenses.

Also, you have to determine if the verbal is finite or
a participle. Finite "Indicative" verbs are handled
differently than are Participles or Subjunctives.

Outside the Indicative, time is not a factor.

The "time" element is quite flexible also.

Take for example Rev. 10:7, where the writer has:


Here you have an Aorist Indicative that is FUTURE to the
time of writing, but PAST to the Deictic Center (hOTAN).
[The mystery of God will have already ended (Aorist) at
the "time" when (deictic center) the trumpet sounds.]

Also, a past tense verb can be used for dramatic
affect or emphasis of an event that is yet to occur. Some might
argue that if an Aorist Indicative can be used in such ways
that its temporal aspect is not inherent to it. (Most disagree
with this, but there are some scholars who argue this.)

I think an Aorist Indicative functions as a grammatical unit,
as would an "Aorist Indicative PLUS Adverb".

Porter's Temporal Aspect of the Indicative verbs may give too
little weight to the dynamics of contextually developed grammatical units 
and the flexibility of tenses in general. That is, I would
not eliminate the temporal aspect of Indicative verbs simply
because they demonstrate changes when used in combination with
adverbs or other deictic features.

However, Wallace, who disagrees with Porter's view of the Indicative verbs, 
handles Rev. 10:7 as a "Future" Aorist. (I think the Aorist can
be used to reference future events, but not here.)

My thoughts,

Mark Wilson

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