RE: 'default' aorist

From: Albert Collver, III (
Date: Tue Oct 29 1996 - 16:41:56 EST

Carl Conrad wrote:
        "Ah, Ken--you WOULD add "completely," wouldn't you? You've MARKED it, and
not lightly: it's over and done with, can never recur: isn't that precisely
what the perfect tense indicates? As when Pilate says, hO GEGRAFA GEGRAFA!"

        Perhaps my confusion is in too strict of an interpretation of "it's over and
done with, can never recur..." This to me sounds as if there is no implication
for what happened now. In John 19:20, it reads hn gegrammenon. It is a
periphrastic with eimi in the imperfect. In response to this the chief priests
say mh graphe - present imperative, a prohibition - Stop writing! So far, all
this seems that the writing of Pilate has very immediate, present results.
        In response, Pilate says, hO gegrapha, gegrapha. Does this say that "it can
never recur" or that "it is finished, completed, the results are permanent."?
It seems that a completed action with permanent results is different from
"done, can never recur." It seems that the aorist better expresses a one time
action than the perfect. The perfect seems to indicate an action that has
permanent results.
        Perhaps, this distinction is just splitting hairs.

Albert B. Collver, III

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