Sequence of actions between verb tenses

Mark Wilson emory2oo2 at
Fri Aug 10 16:01:06 EDT 2001

For what it's worth:

>I say this because from verse 1 down through verse 14, the narrative is
>dominated by repeated aorists (and imperfects of eimi). Then suddenly there
>is a tense shift in v. 15, followed by a continuation of aorists after the
>quotation from John the Baptist. If the present is merely functioning
>neutrally to carry the previous tense forward, why did the writer wait 
>v. 15 to use the device, and why did he abandon it when he continued the

A commentary I am reading on the Gospel of John, by
FF Bruce, does indicate that the Present Tense here
is noteworthy, saying:

"The present tense may indicate that while John himself was long
dead by the time the Gospel was written, his witness
remained (and remains)."


Mark Wilson

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