Re: Perfects

From: Carlton L. Winbery (
Date: Fri Sep 06 1996 - 13:16:47 EDT

Jonathan Robie wrote;
>Carlton Winbery wrote:
>> When the emphasis in the aorist (as seen in the context) is on the
>> fact that something has happened (that's the basis for the
>> testimony), it cannot be ingressive (emphasizing the beginning) or
>> gnomic (a general maxim that is always true, a truism), but must
>> emphasize the whole event from the perspective of looking back on it,
>> i.e. culminative, an accomplished fact.
>Thanks, I needed that! This is exactly the kind of heuristic that I need. Now
>when can I know that an aorist *must* be ingressive, and can not be culminative
>or gnomic, and when can I know that it must be gnomic...
>I would be eternally grateful to anyone who can give me such rules, or examples
>of misinterpretations together with explanations showing me why a particular
>approach is wrong.
An example that I see as ingressive aorist is in Acts 15:12

"All the multitude became silent."

Who knows how long they remained silent, but the writer seems to be looking
at the beginning of the silence. In LA we say "they got quiet."

An example of the gnomic aorist is in Rom. 3:23

"All (people) sin and continually fall short of the glory of God."

In the context, Paul's whole point is the universal need of the
righteousness of God which is being revealed. Because of the context I
would see Paul here as making an assertion that is universally true, i.e.

Grace & Peace

Carlton L. Winbery
Prof. NT & Greek La College

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