Re: JR & MO vs. the World <grin>

M. Palmer (
Fri, 13 Dec 1996 00:09:03 -0500

On the issue of JR & MO vs the World, I would like to point out that
there are many more of us (besides JR) who think that Mari is really onto

Besides having read a great deal of Greek (mostly from the New
Testament and other early Christian literature, but not limited to that),
I have read virtually every word of every major Greek grammar ever
published in English, two in Spanish, and bits and pieces of grammars
written in German and some articles in French. I have never read anything
which makes the kind of clear, testable claims that Mari makes.
Certainly, the traditional grammars have provided us with a wealth of
information which is extremely helpful, but we can improve on what they
give us, as Mari is doing. It is a mischaracterization of her work to say
that she throws out what earlier scholars have done. She merely brings to
bear on the same data some perspectives which were not available when
they wrote their massive works.

Her theory is not perfect. We still have a lot of work to do before we
have an exhaustive account of the behavior of Greek verbs, but Mari has
made some important advances which are worth understanding. I would
challenge those of you who disagree to read her book when it comes out.
You may not agree with all of it, but I believe you will see it as a
serious contribution to the discussion of tense and aspect in biblical

Micheal Palmer