Re: Porter on the present

From: Philip L. Graber (
Date: Mon Oct 23 1995 - 12:05:20 EDT

On 22 Oct 1995, Karen Pitts wrote:

> What I still don't understand is whether to abandon the system I learned
> (afterall, I have to teach the aorist next week) or whether to let all this
> stuff come in by osmosis and work with an amalgam of linguistic systems. How
> are you all who are teaching Greek approaching this problem? Any thoughts or
> suggestions for a lowly, mostly-self educated, but diligent NT Greek scholar?

The last time I taught Greek, I taught the traditional system as it was
in the book (I was using Machen) because it was in the book and I didn't
want to confuse the students, and because it is the type of system that
they are likely to encounter in the reference books they are likely to
use. But I also introduced Mari's system to them when we started talking
about participles. I introduced it as an alternative that might help them
to understand a bit better what is going on with the participles, and
showed them what difference it might make to their understanding of
finite verbs as well. I think I succeeded in showing them that there is
more than one way to look at it, and in getting them to see that (for
example) the aorist and imperfect are not the same just because they will
often be translated the same. But it also really did help them to understand
participles, which is no easy task.

Philip Graber Graduate Division of Religion
Graduate Student in New Testament 211 Bishops Hall, Emory University Atlanta, GA 30322 USA

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