Re: FWD>RE>Grammatical Tense, L

From: Edgar M. Krentz (
Date: Tue Nov 14 1995 - 11:18:35 EST

Stephen, thanks for recalling the context of Karen Pitt's comment. I sent a
longer reply to her earlier today. Hope it picks up some of your questions
and / or concerns.
>I believe I asked the initial question, and it was specifically about a
>situation, the Lord of the Sabbath, where both Luke and Mark agree in
>using the imperfect. While, I remarked that Luke has an aorist instead
>of Mark's historical present, I was asking about the force of this
>imperfect, which interrupts Jesus's pronouncement at the punchline.
>Here's a chart, of the verbs of saying in this pericope:
> Matthew Mark Luke
> EIPAN 12:2 ELEGON 2:24 EIPAN 6:2
> EIPEN 12:3 LEGEI 2:25 EIPEN 6:3
> omit 12:8 ELEGEN 2:27 ELEGEN 6:5
>My intent was not so much to contrast Matthew & Luke's use of the aorist
>with Mark's historical present, but to ask why both Mark and Luke (who
>is a more careful writer) both used the imperfect in Mk2:27=Lk6:5.
>I think the best reply (sorry about forgetting the list contributor's
>name!) was that the use of the imperfect does not in itself signal a
>punchline, but the insertion of the clause, KAI ELEGEN AUTOIS, does so
>on its own, with the imperfect being appropriate for this purpose.
In respect to Mark 2:27: In my opinion this verse originally circulated as
an independent saying of Jesus in the early Church. the introduction came
from that source, and Mark carefully reproduces it (as he does in Mark 9:1)
when he sees that it is a great summation of the significance of the debate
of Mark 2:23-26 (a typical rabbinic controversy story, even without the
ending). Mark then adds, as his own comment, introduced by hWSTE, a
Christological inference about the authority of Jesus. If I am correct,
then the imperfect inplies that Jesus habitually (imperfect implying
repeated action) or often made this statement about the Sabbath--which
pitted him against the rigid interpretation of the Sabbath Law.

Peace, Ed Krentz

Edgar Krentz, New Testament
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
Tel.: 312-256-0752; (H) 312-947-8105

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