Flashbacks

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Wed Jan 1 12:51:44 EST 2003


> Iver wrote:
> <Does Greek always use aorist to indicate flashbacks? Or maybe I
> should rather ask: Are flashbacks never overtly marked in the tense
> system, but indicated by GAR and context? I would be interested
> in more detail about how Greek indicates flashback. Flashbacks
> are also off the story-line.>
>
> Iver,
>
> I've been thinking about this too.  I've been studying Mark 14:1-9,
> and based on the parallel in John 12:1-8, I think that Mark 14:3
> must indicate a flashback, which is introduced by a gen. abs.
>
> KAI ONTOS AUTOU EN BHQANIAi EN THi OIKIAi SIMWNOS
> TOU LEPROU . . .

Normally, when we talk about a flashback it is defined within the discourse
itself. As the story develops, at some point the narrator backtracks to tell
the reader something that happened earlier, but needs to be told at this
point in the story.

I would therefore not consider the gen. absolute you mention a flashback.
The story in Mark 14 is set in time to 2 days before the Passover. It is set
in terms of location to Bethany and the house of Simon who used to be a
leper. An unknown woman comes and anoints the head of Jesus.

In John 12:1-8 we find a different story. It is set in time 6 days before
the Passover. It is set in location at Bethany in the house of Martha and
Lazarus. There Mary anoints the feet of Jesus.

Based on such a comparison, it is unlikely that this is the same incident,
even though there are some parallelisms between the reaction of the people
present at the two occasions. I am not intending to go into a discussion of
this, but just wanted to point out that we cannot assume that they are
parallel accounts of the same incident.

Iver Larsen




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