Re: Inceptive aorist: questionable textbook example?

Alan Repurk (
Mon, 30 Dec 1996 19:28:35 -0800 (PST)

> At 05:44 PM 12/30/96 -0800, Alan Repurk wrote:
> >Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
> >> I think you've found a pedological limitation to the use of constructed
> >> texts. They are presented in a vacuum, without any context, which is
> >> essential. I looked for the aorist forms of DIDASKW in the gospels,
> >> and none of them are inceptive. I would guess that the author intended
> >> the inceptive aorist from his use of the non-classical TOTE = thereupon,
> >> but I can't be sure.
> >>
> >> Stephen Carlson
> >
> >
> >How about in Mr 1:21 where is was not until the sabbath had started 'EUQUS
> >and that he had entered into the synagogue 'EISELQWN EIS THN SUNAGWGHN' that he
> >began to teach 'EDIDASKEN' ?
> >
> >Sincerely,
> >-lars
> Lars,
> Some translations add "began to" to this verse, others simply say that Jesus
> taught. But what would justify inserting the phrase "began to" in Mark 1:21?
> Why should we treat this as an inceptive aorist?
> Jonathan

As one of our friendly mentors pointed out, it is an inceptive imperfect.
I sure am glad we are allowed to make mistakes on this list !

Now that I am home, I see that my CB Williams has a footnote on this
verse calling it an Inceptive imperfect. I never noticed before, but
he has a lot of footnotes which pertain to this. Also the NEB uses
began. But you raise a valid point. How does one know when to
translate into the english in this fashion ? To my ear, 'began to teach'
paints a picture which helps me visualize the action.