Semantic situations of hEWS, ACRI, & MECRI

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at
Fri Sep 7 06:26:08 EDT 2001

Charles Powell said:
> I was wondering is anyone had done work on the temporal 
> adverbs/prepositions 
> of hEWS, ACRI, & MECRI. Specifically what is the semantic situation when 
> these words indicate that an action or event continues up until a 
> specific time and then the action or event ceases or changes vs. an action 
> or event continues up until a specific time and continues through it. The 
> contrast can be seen in the following selected passages.
> Does the difference have to do with the types of verbs involved with 
> temporal adverbs, e.g., stative vs. verbs of motion or is something more 
> going on? This would have much significance on such passages as 
> Matt 1:25; Rev 20:3, 5 as well as several other passages.

A brief comment based on a study I once did on this particular question:

I believe the problem is caused by English. These prepositions are commonly translated by "until" and this word in English often implies a change after the specified point in time. As far as I can see the Greek prepositions in themselves do not imply anything about what happens after that time. They only indicate what happened or didn't happen during the period of time up to the time specified. They basically mean "up to point X in time something is happening". What happens afterwards is completely open. The same event or state may continue or it may change. It would be other factors from general knowledge or the context which would indicate whether a change took place or not after time X.

If this is correct, it also means that to translate these prepositions with "until" can be misleading, and you have given several good examples.

Iver Larsen

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