Re: global aorist

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Tue Apr 08 1997 - 07:25:25 EDT

Lynn A Kauppi <> wrote:
> I was trying to explain the global use of the aorist a few days ago to
> seminary students who have minimal Greek. Does anyone have a simple
> simple explanation suitable for such students?

The first time I read this, I thought it was a new category I hadn't heard
of, like "gnomic aorist", "timeless aorist", "global aorist", then I decided
that you really mean a general explanation of how the aorist is used. Am I

If so, here's my own understanding:

"The aorist views an action from the time of its completion. In most cases,
the action is in the past, but it can also depict a future action, a present
action, or an action not fixed in time, always viewing it from the time of
its completion."

I like the phrase "views an action from" as a way of explaining aspect. The
perfect views a completed action from the time of the speaker or writer. The
present views an action from the time of the action. The imperfect views a
past action from the time of the action.


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703
Ph: 919.598.5728 Fax: 919.598.6728
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