Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Exploring Albert Rijksbaron's book, The Syntax and Semantics of the Verb in Classical Greek: An Introduction, to see how it would need to be adapted for Koine Greek. Much of the focus will be on finding Koine examples to illustrate the same points Rijksbaron illustrates with Classical examples, and places where Koine Greek diverges from Classical Greek.
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Stephen Nelson
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Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Stephen Nelson » August 2nd, 2019, 7:08 pm

After the Porter vs Fanning debate revolutionized Greek scholarship, were there instances in which aorist indicative constructions (i.e. in the New Testament), commonly translated as past tense, were reinterpreted with future temporal reference?
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Stephen Carlson » August 2nd, 2019, 7:39 pm

It's a little more complicated than that. There are aorists that are past/complete with respect to some (implied) future perspective point.
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Stephen Nelson » August 2nd, 2019, 8:19 pm

Yes, but my core question isn't actually that complicated.

For example, were there any verses in the bible that prior to 1990 had always been translated in the past tense, but then, thanks to the new understanding, the translation was updated to a proleptic future aorist? That should be a simple "yes or no" answer, with demonstrable examples if the answer is "yes".

My assumption is that this probably didn't happen very often, since temporal reference was always sussed out in context. Greek scholars/translators may have updated their understanding of the nature of the actions described by verbs (their remoteness or completeness, etc). But I doubt it yielded any brand-new semantic understanding. But that's just a guess.
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by MAubrey » August 2nd, 2019, 9:09 pm

Stephen Nelson wrote:
August 2nd, 2019, 8:19 pm
were there any verses in the bible that prior to 1990 had always been translated in the past tense, but then, thanks to the new understanding, the translation was updated to a proleptic future aorist?
I can't claim omniscience on this, but my experience is: No.
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by MAubrey » August 2nd, 2019, 9:10 pm

Stephen Nelson wrote:
August 2nd, 2019, 7:08 pm
After the Porter vs Fanning debate revolutionized Greek scholarship
Also, it didn't revolutionize Greek scholarship. They're touch points on a long standing trend.
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Stephen Carlson » August 2nd, 2019, 11:04 pm

Stephen Nelson wrote:
August 2nd, 2019, 8:19 pm
For example, were there any verses in the bible that prior to 1990 had always been translated in the past tense, but then, thanks to the new understanding, the translation was updated to a proleptic future aorist? That should be a simple "yes or no" answer, with demonstrable examples if the answer is "yes".
It's not a simple yes-or-no answer because nobody's complied a list of all the translations since 1990 (are they limited to English?), listed all their differences (with which earlier translations?), and looked to answer your specific question. It's a mammoth undertaking. I suppose that, if all this work were to be done, then one could point to a case where a translation in a verse did it, but I don't know what this would prove.
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by MAubrey » August 2nd, 2019, 11:41 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:
August 2nd, 2019, 11:04 pm
Stephen Nelson wrote:
August 2nd, 2019, 8:19 pm
For example, were there any verses in the bible that prior to 1990 had always been translated in the past tense, but then, thanks to the new understanding, the translation was updated to a proleptic future aorist? That should be a simple "yes or no" answer, with demonstrable examples if the answer is "yes".
It's not a simple yes-or-no answer because nobody's complied a list of all the translations since 1990 (are they limited to English?), listed all their differences (with which earlier translations?), and looked to answer your specific question. It's a mammoth undertaking. I suppose that, if all this work were to be done, then one could point to a case where a translation in a verse did it, but I don't know what this would prove.
It could conceivable done fairly easily with Logos, which has reverse interlinear for most English translations. Still, the data would probably take a few days to wade through.
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Stephen Carlson » August 3rd, 2019, 12:23 am

MAubrey wrote:
August 2nd, 2019, 11:41 pm
It could conceivable done fairly easily with Logos, which has reverse interlinear for most English translations. Still, the data would probably take a few days to wade through.
Sounds like a plus for Logos.
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » August 3rd, 2019, 6:15 am

Stephen Nelson wrote:
August 2nd, 2019, 7:08 pm
were there instances in which aorist indicative constructions (i.e. in the New Testament), commonly translated as past tense, were reinterpreted with future temporal reference?
Can you give examples (Koine, from OT/NT or elsewhere) where aorist indicative should be interpreted with future temporal reference?

Unfortunately I'm out of touch with grammatical or linguistic discussions and even with the language in general. But I'm a bit suspicious about black and white thoughts like thinking that old grammarians were wrong and then someone came and revolutionized the field. Old translators were also wiser than sometimes assumed. They probably understood and translated contextually rather than following some rule book. And as Mike (who already commented) has said elsewhere, claiming that the old grammarians (or translators for that matter) misunderstood some phenomenon isn't necessarily right. Those who misunderstood and spread false claims were - and are even today - selling second hand knowledge of second hand grammarians and preachers.

I don't know how much you know about discussions here and elsewhere, but not all buy the tenseless view of tenses. Rather, more linguistically competent explanation says that aorist and present have tense in indicative. Present is non-past and aorist is past. Exceptions are explained by other means than stating that there's no tense. (I hope that I remember and use the terms correctly...)
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 3rd, 2019, 10:48 am

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
August 3rd, 2019, 6:15 am
Stephen Nelson wrote:
August 2nd, 2019, 7:08 pm
were there instances in which aorist indicative constructions (i.e. in the New Testament), commonly translated as past tense, were reinterpreted with future temporal reference?
Can you give examples (Koine, from OT/NT or elsewhere) where aorist indicative should be interpreted with future temporal reference?
I really do think this would be easier to discuss on the basis of a set of concrete examples. Stephen, are there passages you are thinking of?
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