The Proleptic Aorist revisited

Mark Wilson emory2oo2 at hotmail.com
Thu May 30 16:43:19 EDT 2002



I would like to comment on the temporal nature of
the Aorist tense as it relates to the Proleptic (Futuristic) Aorist.


Wallace cites the following passages as the Aorist referencing future time.
Granted it is not a common occurrence, but I wanted to see for myself
if perhaps these Aorists were indeed past tense, not future as Wallace
suggests. So please hold me in check as I attempt to follow a prescribed
procedure in this hunch. I will ask the following questions:

1. What is the Deictic Center (DC)?
2. What is the relationship of the Aorist verb to the DC?

Before I begin, I will state that it appears there is more flexibility in
determining a DC then might be expected. I suspect that objections to
my approach will focus on what I claim to be a "possible" DC in each
passage.


Here are Wallace’s citations:

Mark 11:24

PANTA hOSA PROSEUCESQE KAI AITEISQE
PISTEUETE hOTI ELABETE KAI ESTAI hUMIN

Possible DC: the moment when you are actually praying

Why the Aorist: we are urged to have a certain attitude PRIOR TO
the DC. We are to believe that we have already received what we
are asking for. Perhaps this is a command to possess faith BEFORE
we kneel down to pray.

Note: this verse does not say or imply that we ACTUALLY WILL
receive what we pray for. It only admonishes us to pray with a certain
attitiude.


John 13:31

LEGEI IHSOUS NUN EDOXASQH hO hUIOS TOU ANQRWPOU
KAI hO QEOS EDOXASQH EN AUTWi


Possible DC: Judas’ exit from the room.

Hence, whatever happened,
the act of identifying Judas as the betrayer resulted in his being 
glorified.
In essence, Jesus had sealed his own death by setting into motion the
unalterable events once Judas left.
(I am therefore suggesting that this has nothing to do with Christ’s 
receiving
his manifested glory. Note that God was glorified also. But God was
already in a state of glorification. Hence, this must refer to some glory 
other than the glory God has.)


Rom. 8:30

hOUS DE EDIKAIWSEN TOUTOUS KAI EDOXASEN

Possible DC: the time when God predestined those to be conformed
to the image of Christ. I think Wallace’s explanation for this use
of the Aorist is "it’s as good as done" may very well be a viable use
of a past tense verb, as indeed could be the case in Mark 11 above.

Could the possible DC be WHEN WE ARE CONFORMED? That is, at
the moment we become completely conformed to his son, we will have
already been glorified. Glorification then being the last phase BEFORE our
being fully conformed.

Rev. 10:7

hOTAN MELLHi SALPIZEIN KAI ETELESQH TO MUSTHRION TOU QEOU

I’ve mentioned this before. The DC is the time of the sound. So that, PRIOR 
TO
the sound of the trumpet, the mystery has run its course. The sound of this 
trumpet
would perhaps be the first event AFTER the mystery of God ends.


Finally, Rolf posed this verse: Jude 14

Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied also regarding
them, when he said: "Look the Lord will come (AORIST) with his holy
myriads".

Possible DC: the next verse: to execute judgment upon all

PRIOR TO this judgment, the Lord returns. (This is clearly
one place where I am suggesting that a DC can be quite flexible.
In fact, perhaps the Aorist itself signals what DC the author
wants to emphasize???)


I really do not think that the above way of understanding the
Aorist is any less likely than the Aorist essentially acting
as a Future tense verb, which is the way I understand Wallace.

My thoughts,

Mark Wilson


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