[B-Greek] atelic histrocal present

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Thu Apr 9 15:38:18 EDT 2009

On Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 9:42 PM, Elizabeth Kline <
kline_dekooning at earthlink.net> wrote:

> On Apr 6, 2009, at 8:20 AM, Randall Buth wrote:
>  Rijksbaron's book. At 7.3 in the sections on
>> 'historic present', note 1, he points out that "the historic present
>> is only found with terminative (telic), not with stative (atelic)
>> verbs (cp. sec. 2). Thus, the present indicative of verbs like
>> βασιλευω, ειμι, εχω, οιδα, ρεω is never used as a historic present."
>> This is a profound observation that lines up with a claim
> I have looked into this a little, seems like this proposition is perhaps
> something just a little bit short of a tautology. If you find a present
> indicative, e.g., BASILEUEI (Matt 2:22, Eurip. Electra 12) it will represent
> an on going state of affairs from the perspective of the speaker and for
> that reason cannot be an historical present. Is it possible make up an
> example of BASILEUEI functioning as  historical present?
> The point needs some clarification, it is a little too profound for me to
> unpack it.
> Elizabeth Kline
The first thing we need is a historical context for a historic present.
Then we need to examine the historic presents. a ggod place to start would
Mark, where we have lists available in various publications. Is ESTIN ever
as such? EXEI,?
On the other hand, I do not know that his distinction will hold. What I do
is that the historic presents occur in sequences that are typically
sequential and
would have most simply been encoded as aorist, like "X comes and did" where
the coming had to be complete in order to do the 'did'. thus, the choice of
as well as tense is for more than semantically meshing events in a story but
for rhetorical, pragmatic effect.

Randall Buth, PhD
randallbuth at gmail.com
Biblical Language Center
Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life

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