[B-Greek] : Questions about verbal aspect.

Bruce Prince bruceprince at bigpond.com
Tue Jul 10 18:41:55 EDT 2007

I understand SHMERON and LEGW, (Strong's 4594 and 3004 resp.) but not
knowing much about Greek (that's why I joined this list), I don't know where
ESHI fits into Luke 23:43. Also, with your reference to Matt 22:34, you
obviously meant Luke.

I looked at all 40 references to SHMERON and note that the majority refer to
an event in the here and now rather than the future. In fact, your five
references, plus Mk 14:30 are the only references that refer to an event
that WILL happen today, but has not yet happened. Luke 23:43 appears to be
debatable. All other references refer to SHMERON as the time in which
something HAS happened. Would that be a reasonable basis on which to assume
that in Luke 23:43 SHMERON sets the reference point for LEGW as something
that has been done or finished? Or, can Greek grammar be more definitive? In
other words, how feasible is it to assume that Luke 23:43 reads, "I say to
you today, with me you will be in Paradise"?

Thank you

Bruce Prince

-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Penner [mailto:ken.penner at acadiau.ca] 
> The question is whether SHMERON sets the reference point for LEGW or ESHi.
It would be redundant if it set the reference point for LEGW rather than for
ESHi. SHMERON can set a future reference point, as it does in Matthew 6:11;
16:3; 21:28; 22:34; James 4:13.


> Dear Mr Penner
> I found your explanation of how the aspect shifts when the 
> reference point changes quite interesting, and have sometimes 
> wondered if the Biblical Greek for Luke 23:43 substantiates 
> the placing of the comma in English - before or after "today".
> Bruce Prince
> Australia
> -----Original Message----Ken Penner wrote:
> > It IS true that the same objective event can be described using 
> > different
> (grammatical) aspects, just as the same objective event can 
> be described using different tenses.
> > John read the book yesterday. After he had read the book, he ate
> breakfast, because he had promised, "I will read the book 
> before breakfast."
> This tense shift is not a totally subjective choice of the 
> author; the tense shifted because the time of speaking 
> (="speech time") changed. 
> > Similarly, the aspect shifts when the "reference point" changes. The
> reference point is the time about which an assertion is made. 

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