Verbal aspect and Acts 28:30

Kenneth Litwak (
Thu, 9 May 1996 14:17:01 -0700

I want to focus a little more on the subject of verbal aspect. I recently read
an author on narrative strategies in Luke-Acts argue that since ENEMEINEN
in Acts 28:30 is aorist, the focus is on Paul's stay in his own rented house as
a past event, placing the writing of Acts after these two years. Without
getting into a discussion of the dating or ending of Acts (the literature is
immense on these last few verses, and the theories number only a few less
than Avogadro's number), if we understand the aorist via verbal aspect,
it seems to me that "Luke" is saying Paul stayed for two years, but the aorist
has nothing to do with the time of the event, since the aorist never has a relation
to time. So Luke could be saying "Paul is staying in his own rented house. It's
been two years so far". Is that a correct view of verbal aspect and does this
interpretation hold water? Thanks.

Ken Litwak
Berserkely, CA