Re: Lk 19:1-10: ambiguous present tense

From: Philip L. Graber (
Date: Tue Nov 07 1995 - 21:09:02 EST

On Tue, 7 Nov 1995, Carl W. Conrad wrote:

> Actually, there was a reply Sunday night from David Moore upon which he
> expanded still further last night (I must say, David appears to do good
> work late at night!).

I have suspected that I've been missing things. Come to think of it, I've
not received my own message which I sent to the list (I usually do).

> I am not trying to argue for Fitzmyer's
> interpretation, Phil, but I want to be clear on your understanding of this
> present tense. Isn't it context alone that decides you that the meaning of
> DIDWMI here is future?

Yes, that is what I'm saying. "Context is everything," at least for
present tense verbs!

> If all other things were void of indication, would
> the form not be capable of expressing the speaker's sense that this is what
> he regularly and normally does--has done and will continue doing? I'm
> trying to ascertain whether, apart from other indications in the narrative,
> Fitzmyer's understanding of the present tense is excluded from
> consideration.

I would think it would be easy to construct a context in which Fitzmyer's
understanding would make perfect sense (well, really present imperfect
sense; but you probably knew what I meant).

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

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