[B-Greek] EILHFEN, Rev. 8:5 -- "aoristic"?

yancywsmith yancywsmith at sbcglobal.net
Mon Nov 13 16:10:53 EST 2006

	M. Zerwick, Biblical Greek (§289) has a note on this EILHFA and  
ERHKA (Rev 5:7; 8:5; 7:14; 19:3). The Greek of NT period papyri show  
that the aorist forms of EILHFA and EIRHKA were known. Zerwick's  
explanation of the use of perfect here is that they are not clearly  
reduplicated and that, e.g. in the case of EILHFA, speakers of Greek  
as a second language, as was the writer of Rev, would easily confuse  
EILHFA and ELABON, simply seeing them as two different ways to say  
the same thing. Angelo Lancellotti, in Sintassi Ebraica nel Greco  
dell'Apocalisse suggests further that underlying this "confusion of  
tenses" is the author's Aramaic or Hebrew mother tongue. As Greek  
developed perfects went through a process of loosing some of its  
specific senses of "state of affairs" resultant upon "past action"  
and became a simple narrative tense like the aorist. So, a certain  
amount of fuzziness might be expected, but, remarkably, most perfects  
in the New Testament can be understood in traditional ways. This has  
lead scholars to find explanations for why some perfects get used  
like aorists, as in this case for example PEPRAKA (PIPRASKW) Mt 13:43  
that otherwise has no aorist active at all; ESCHKOTA (in Mk 5:15)  
refers to a completed (an defunct state of affairs, from the point of  
view of the narrative time, previous to the narrative tense of the  
sentence, like our pluperfect). ESCON would have been understood as   
"got," so it wouldn't communicate any sense at all.

Yancy Smith

yancywsmith at sbcglobal.net
5636 Wedgworth Rd.
Fort Worth, TX 76133

On Nov 13, 2006, at 1:45 PM, Webb wrote:

> PUROS... Rev. 8:5
> Can someone confirm for me that EILHFEN (perfect) is truly  
> equivalent to
> ELABEN (aorist) here, as ZG says? If it isn't, what nuance do we  
> get from
> the use of the perfect?
> Webb Mealy
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