Re: Attention aspect geeks: John 15:6 EBLHQH, EXHRANQH

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Tue Apr 08 1997 - 06:38:58 EDT

At 10:05 PM 4/7/97 -0400, Don Wilkins wrote:

>(1) Smyth was in fact familiar with the term
>(and concept) "aspect", as his brief note on p. 107 shows ("Greek also
>makes extensive use of _aspect_ distinctions to qualify the type (rather
>than the time) of an action") and as his explanations for the various
>tenses and moods reveals. I would almost argue that the term "aspect"
>itself deserves about as much use as Smyth gave it.

This is actually a later addition made by the Smythian community, who were
distressed by those who had entered into their schools of grammar, claiming
to possess hidden wisdom (grin!). Seriously, does anybody know if this is a
later footnote by Messing or part of Smyth's original? Except for this
footnote, Smyth's discussion never mentions aspect.

>(2) Jonathan's own
>citations of Smyth re the gnomic aorist clearly reveal that Smyth qualified
>the "primary" label of this aorist as applying to the contextual point
>being made (as I discussed previously) rather than to the nature of the
>aorist indicative itself, which Smyth maintains as past-referring ("The
>aorist simply states ..."). If the "aspect geeks" (not my words) want to
>take this same approach, that is fine with me.

I currently think that Fanning and Olsen's interpretation of passages is not
much different from what Smyth would suggest.


Jonathan Robie
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