Definition of Aorist

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Barry Hofstetter
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Definition of Aorist

Post by Barry Hofstetter » June 30th, 2011, 2:44 pm

Recently, someone cited this definition of the aorist (in order to establish a particular theological point, surprise):
The aorist tense is characterized by its emphasis on punctiliar action; that is, the concept of the verb is considered without regard for past, present, or future time. There is no direct or clear English equivalent for this tense, though it is generally rendered as a simple past tense in most translations.
It appears on a number of websites, and I was unable to track down the actual source. So...

1) Does anyone know the origin of this particular quote?

2) And how would you respond to it? I know what I said... :lol: But I'd be interested in any comments from list μαθηταὶ ἐξηρτισμένοι.
0 x


N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Definition of Aorist

Post by Jonathan Robie » June 30th, 2011, 3:03 pm

This is the kind of description people write when they wade through A.T. Robertson's turgid prose and don't grasp what he's trying to say. Which is easy enough to do with Robertson's prose, I find his examples extremely helpful and encyclopedic, but he's not the clearest writer on earth, so I usually use someone else's description and Robertson's examples.

Closest I can find to a source is here:

http://www.searchgodsword.org/lex/grk/e ... umber=5684
Aorist

The aorist tense is characterized by its emphasis on punctiliar action; that is, the concept of the verb is considered without regard for past, present, or future time. There is no direct or clear English equivalent for this tense, though it is generally rendered as a simple past tense in most translations.

The events described by the aorist tense are classified into a number of categories by grammarians. The most common of these include a view of the action as having begun from a certain point ("inceptive aorist"), or having ended at a certain point ("cumulative aorist"), or merely existing at a certain point ("punctiliar aorist"). The categorization of other cases can be found in Greek reference grammars.

The English reader need not concern himself with most of these finer points concerning the aorist tense, since in most cases they cannot be rendered accurately in English translation, being fine points of Greek exegesis only. The common practice of rendering an aorist by a simple English past tense should suffice in most cases.
The first paragraph and the last, of course, blatantly contradict each other. The page gives this as a reference:
Bibliography Information
Thayer and Smith. "Greek Lexicon entry for ". "The New Testament Greek Lexicon".
<http://www.searchgodsword.org/lex/grk/v ... umber=5684>.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1883
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Definition of Aorist

Post by Barry Hofstetter » June 30th, 2011, 3:22 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote: Closest I can find to a source is here:

http://www.searchgodsword.org/lex/grk/e ... umber=5684


The first paragraph and the last, of course, blatantly contradict each other. The page gives this as a reference:
Bibliography Information
Thayer and Smith. "Greek Lexicon entry for ". "The New Testament Greek Lexicon".
<http://www.searchgodsword.org/lex/grk/v ... umber=5684>.
RIght, saw this, all that reference does is take you to Thayer's to look up words. Talk about maximally unhelpful.

To me, it looks like something cobbled from a couple of different sources by someone who didn't know what he, she or it was talking about. As it stands, someone who doesn't know Greek, after reading it, certainly doesn't know any more about Greek...
0 x
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

MAubrey
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Re: Definition of Aorist

Post by MAubrey » June 30th, 2011, 4:35 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:As it stands, someone who doesn't know Greek, after reading it, certainly doesn't know any more about Greek...
And it's entirely possible that someone who does know Greek, after reading it, knows less! :D
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Mike Aubrey, Linguist
Koine-Greek.com

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