[B-Greek] EDIWXA - 1 Corinthians 15:9

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Fri Apr 28 18:12:39 EDT 2006

A.D. egrapsen (I might have written "C.E." egrapsen:)
>I am wondering why Glen Klein's question was answered with statements
like these:
the aorist idicative "indicates a past event"
the aorist indicative is the "simple past tense"
Hasn't aspect theory shown these kinds of descriptions of the aorist
indicative to be misleading? I agree the verb refers to past time, but
we would not say that this is so because the aorist is used, correct? >

People refer to the aorist INDICATIVE as a simple past tense,
because so it is.Be happy for the simple things in life. I think that
even McKay would accept this, though he might not like it because he
likes to stress that the highest organizing principle in the Greek
verb is aspect. WHich it is, from one perspective. We had a thread
some months ago pointing out that the historic present usage does not
support "pan-aspect theory" because it is a literary usage against
both time and against aspect. The historic present is often found
going against the grain of an imperfective viewpoint by listing events
in a string of sequential, whole events. Thus, if the historic present
plays with its primary semantic reference of tense (present) and or
aspect (imperfective) for rhetorical effect then it is a literary
device, not a definitive example of either tense or aspect.
PS: Hebrew is much less aspectual than Greek, contrary to notices in
Greek grammars using it to support Greek pan-aspectualism. Greek
requires explicit aspectual marking "everywhere", while Hebrew until
post-Alexandrian times (late second temple and following) is pretty
much oblivious to aspect marking (i.e. Hb requires a much higher
threshhold than Greek, before it takes the extra energy to mark
aspectual distinctions. Note MIshanaic Hebrew hve marbe 'be making
many', where the older Hebrew would just say harbe 'make many').


Randall Buth, PhD
ybitan at mscc.huji.ac.il
randallbuth at gmail.com

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