Re: Santa Clause and the perfect tense . . .

Tom Launder (
Tue, 19 Nov 1996 02:21:18 -0800

Hello Professor Conrad,

I just wanted to drop a quick note and say thanks for your time and your
reply to my question on the perfect tense. I have had a hard time
relearning the things on present and aorist tenses. It seems like the
"rug" has been pulled out on many commentators prior to this last fifty
years or so. Moises Silva and Daniel Wallace have written some really
interesting material that seems to challenge the traditional way of
looking at things. Do you think that things might swing too wide in an
effort to correct some obvious misunderstandings of tense? I really
don't feel safe emphasizing the present tense continuous aspect at all.
I read some commentaries on some verses and think, "hmmm, I wonder what
Wallace would say to this guy?" Then I wonder about me. I don't want
to make a verb say something that it doesn't, but if it really does?

I think that you recongnize the young student's predicament here. I
find a present tense or perfect and I begin to wonder what I am to do
with it. The old school would say this, Wallace says that. Is this
continuous action here? Hmmm. I wonder if in twenty years I will read a
new grammar that will have rediscovered the old truths or put forth new
ones that we never considered? This makes for a very nervous Bible
student and teacher.

Again, thanks for your time and help. :)