Re: prohibitions

From: Lee R. Martin (
Date: Mon Mar 24 1997 - 12:25:53 EST

T & J Peterson wrote:
> In light of the discussion that has recently developed over tenses, does
> anyone have some thoughts on prohibitions? I've read some grammars that
> seem to identify present imperative as always a command to stop an
> action already in progress and aorist subjunctive as indicating that an
> action ought not be started. It seems, though, that a number of present
> imperatives don't necessarily imply anything about whether the action is
> already in progress, and some seem to refer particularly to an action
> that has not yet begun. Is this an area where the wrong emphasis has
> been placed on linear vs. punctiliar?
Dear Trevor,
A few years ago, I wrote a seminar paper on prohibitions. I used
Gramcord to search all of the prohibitions in the NT. My conclusion
agrees with your observation above:
1-The present imperative is undefined in relation to whether the action
has begun or not.
2-The aorist subj. most often refers to actions that should not be
started, but there are exceptions.
I do not have my paper with me, so I cannot give the examples (I wrote
the paper 7 years ago, so I cannot remember the details).

Lee R. Martin
Adjunct Faculty in Old Testament and Hebrew
Church of God School of Theology
Cleveland, TN 37311
Pastor, Prospect Church of God

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