[B-Greek] Verbal aspect theory -- misgivings

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Sat Nov 15 16:35:53 EST 2008

On Nov 15, 2008, at 10:37 AM, Ron Fay wrote:

> Carl,
> I must admit that while I am a "convert" to the "religion" of VAT, I  
> do have some moderately heretical practices.
> 1) I will say that while time plays no part in aspect, generally the  
> aorist is past, present is present, etc.

I am one of those old-timers who thinks that the indicative of the  
imperfect and the aorist and the pluperfect -- the augmented "tenses"  
do indeed involve time.

> 2) There is no such thing (in any system) of classifying the perfect  
> and pluperfect correctly, though VAT comes the closest. While the  
> stative understanding makes the most sense, it still does not fit  
> all occurrences. I had not acknowledged that the aorist and perfect  
> had begun to blend in Koine, but now that you have said that it fits  
> with some of my reading.
> In all, I think your misgivings and cautions make sense, and  
> certainly you should not feel alone. As I tell my students, VAT is  
> useful, but reading Greek is still about 30% art.

It is TRANSLATING Greek that is an art. Reading Greek is wholly a  
matter -- pure and simple -- of knowing the language. Of course so  
much of Biblical Greek pedagogy seems to confuse reading with  

> The only way to master the text is to be in the text. Oh, and  
> everyone should have at least two years of Classical also, hehe.
> - Ron
> ________________________________________________
> Ron C. Fay, PhD
> Associate Pastor of Administration and Teaching
> Cornerstone Community Church
> Wadsworth, IL
> roncfay at hotmail.com
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Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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