Re Flashbacks

Moon-Ryul Jung moon at
Fri Jan 3 16:47:03 EST 2003

> [Alex:]> > But there are also examples of the imperfect used in this way.
> > >
> > > The opening of the fifth chapter of Mark narrates the healing of the
> > > Gerasene demoniac.  At v7 we read, (NRS): And he shouted at the
> > top of his
> > > voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?  I
> > > adjure you by God, do not torment me."  The following verse
> > reads:  *ELEGEN*
> > he (Jesus)
> > > had been saying to him, ...  (Some of the translations offer:
> > KJV "For he
> > > said unto him,";  NAS "For He had been saying to him";  RSV
> > "For he had said
> > > to him";  NRS "For he had said to him".   KJV does not clearly
> > indicate that
> > > the time sequence has shifted;  of the others cited, only the NAS gives
> > > force to the imperfect.)  Maximilian Zerwick's excellent 'Biblical Greek
> > > illustrated by Examples' notes this verse at section 290 (p98),
> > as well as
> > > Mark 6:17.
> >
> [Moon:]> I think we can interpret the situation so that the demon shouted in
> the
> > middle of Jesus' commanding.
> How would you then account for the imperfectives and presents in the
> following verses?
> 5:8 ELEGEN GAR - for he had been saying...
> 5:9a KAI EPHRWTA AUTON - and he had been questioning him
> 5:9b KAI LEGEI AUTWi - and he had said to him
> 5:10 KAI PAREKALEI - and he had been imploring him

RSV takes this paragraph as follows:

5:7 and crying out with a loud voice, he said, "What have you to do with
me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment
5:8 For he had said to him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" 
5:9 And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "My name is
Legion; for we are many."
5:10 And he begged him eagerly not to send them out of the country. 

So, only 5.8 seems to be a "flashback", and 5.9-10 a continuation of 

> Notice how the last sentence about imploring repeats the imploring in v. 7.

=> The unclean spirit would have begged again after Jesus asked the name.

> I think what we have here is a Hebrew circular story which the Greek writer
> is trying to put into progressive Greek structure. the use of imperfective
> is one way of stopping the progression and let the reader take in these
> various events as overlapping one another.

What is a Hebrew circular story?


> In our idiomatic translations into English and other linearly structured
> languages, we normally combine such verses and rearrange the pieces so they
> come in chronological order.
> Iver Larsen

More information about the B-Greek mailing list