Re: Tense in non-indicative moods

From: Tim McLay (
Date: Fri Dec 01 1995 - 20:41:26 EST

>At 8:08 PM 11/30/95, Kenneth Litwak wrote:
>> Porter in his Idioms book makes the case that tense is irrelevant
>>to the meaning of the non-indicative moods. Present negated imperatives
>>do not mean "Stop doing x" and aorist negated imperatives don't mean
>>"don't do x". They have no clear distinction that I can tell from
>>what I've read so far. This both trashes everything I learned about
>>the non-indicative moods and much that I have read in commentaries,
>>leaving me wondering if I understand Greek at all if he's right and

Carl, Ken,

That is exactly what Porter argues. Although the aorist and present impv
sometimes hold these distinctions, he would argue that more often tense
makes no difference. For the statistics, James Boyer did an article in
Grace Theolog J. in the late 80's (I believe) where he examined all the
cases and concluded that it is misleading to use such a generalization.

Tim McLay
Halifax, Nova Scotia

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