Re: Aorist resources

M. Palmer (
Sun, 8 Dec 1996 21:31:52 -0500

On Sun, 8 Dec 1996 wrote:

> I am writine a paper on which I need to know the state of
> the art interpretation on the force and semantics of the
> Aorist tense. Need to know what advanced grammars and/or
> journal articles would be most helpful in understanding and
> footnoting the current understanding of the Aorist tense.


You should consult both of the following three volumes:

Buist Fanning, _Verbal Aspect in New Testament Greek_ (Oxford, England:
Oxford University Press, 1990).

Stanley Porter, _Verbal Aspect in the Greek New Testament, with Reference
to Tense and Mood_. Studies in Biblical Greek, vol. 1 (New York: Peter
Lang, 1989).

Stanley Porter and D.A. Carson, eds. _Biblical Greek Language and
Linguistics: Open Questions in Current Research_. Journal for the Study
of the New Testament Supplement Series 80. (Sheffield, England: JSOT
Press, 1993).

All of these can be found in most libraries which have significant
holdings on biblical Greek. One other work which you really should not
overlook, however, is in the process of publication. The author is a
member of this list. Mari Olsen has made significant advances over the
work presented in the books listed above. I don't have access to my copy
of her dissertation right now, so maybe you could ask her directly for
the title. She makes it clear that while we can talk about the semantics
of a particular tense form, it is necessary to understand the semantics of
individual verbs and the way their semantic features influence (modify)
the semantics of a given tense form in particular contexts. When the
published form of this book becomes available it will do a great deal to
advance the discussion of verbal aspect in biblical Greek.

The book coedited by Porter and Carson has a number of essays debating
the pros and cons of the approaches of Porter and Fanning.

Micheal Palmer