re: Aorist Imperative form of Mark 1:3

Mike Phillips (
Wed, 4 Sep 1996 20:34:53 -0700

> From: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad@ARTSCI.WUSTL.EDU>, on 9/4/96 6:09 AM:
> I recall Billy McMinn (wherever he may be), who taught me my first year of
> Greek, told an apocryphal story of a tourist at Delphi who went out to see
> the ruins one morning and left a good pair of shoes with an attendant at
> the hotel with a present imperative, "Polish these shoes," only to return
> several hours later and find the attendant still polishing them--he ought
> to have used an aorist imperative. Of course, one can't imagine that this
> ever happened, but I thought it was a useful illustration. But I'm grateful
> to him also for pointing out these eloquent tense differences in Mark 8:34.

Thank you Carl, for sidling in. I think I do understand a difference
between the present and the aorist imperative, in much the same fashion as you
indicate (and it is a superb example). My question dealt to a greater extent
with a distinction within aorist imperatives, i.e., if the nuance within the
aorist itself (indicative, for example) would also be reflected in the
nuance(s) of the aorist imperative, or if the aorist imperative was solely used
as distinct from the present imperative, et. al.
I hope that clarifies my hope for clarification <grin>.


Mike Phillips

A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanging;
it is the skin of living thought and changes from day
to day as does the air around us. - Oliver Wendell Holmes