Re: Mark 1:11

Mike Phillips (
Mon, 9 Sep 1996 07:39:54 -0700

> From: Perry Robert Wiles <>, on 9/9/96 10:06 PM:
> Contra Zerwick Luke 7:35 seems a clear example of a gnomic aorist.
> Usage in Mk 1:11 also seems to require a timeless sense, hence gnomic
> seems correct designation.

I guess I'm at a loss to understand why we would take these 'as a
general rule' or 'axiomatic / proverbial' examples (Dana and Mantey's as well
as Zurwick's description of the gnomic). If the example in Mark 1:11 expresses
the reality of a fact which has already taken place, then it should be viewed
as culminative (which can sometimes be construed as gnomic, per D&M, but I find
it difficult to see such a reading here -- perhaps you could help me understand
why you hold it to be gnomic). Dramatic seems to be the better of the
possibilities I've encountered so far. Also, why does Mk 1:11 seem to require
a timeless sense for you? When I am pleased with my son, it occurs 'in the
moment.' Other times I love my son but I am not 'well pleased' with him
(overwhelmed with emotional fervor) as a general rule.
RE: Luke 7:35, it does seem to fit the pattern of a gnomic aorist,
yet, it could also be taken as culminative. I agree that it seems axiomatic
and proverbial and hence, wonder why Zurwick would object to this instance
being rendered as gnomic -- D&M cite it w/ John 15:8 and 1Pt. 1:24 as examples
where the aorist is used rhetorically and captured in English translation by
the present (under the heading of gnomic) but then go on to cite only Gal 5:24
as a clear example of a gnomic aorist, i.e., "it is the normal disposition of
those who are Christ's to crucify the flesh." Perhaps it is not the normal
disposition of wisdom to be justified by her children so much as it is the
culmination of wisdom to be justified by her children (after all, children are
slow to come around to honoring mother and father) <wink>.
I'd like to hear more about the nuances involved here.


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