Re: Common-sense aorist

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Apr 07 1998 - 19:35:05 EDT

At 5:15 PM -0500 4/7/98, wrote:
>Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>> What
>> distinguishes the fundamental meaning of the aorist from the fundamental
>> meaning of the two other major aspect stems is that the aorist lacks the
>> durative, repetitive, unfinished character that is the central feature of
>> the present as it also lacks the completed or state-of-being that is the
>> central feature of the perfect. I'd draw the comparison thus:
>> Present: APOQNHiSKEI "he is dying"
>> Aorist: APEQANEN "he died"
>> Perfect: APOTEQNHKEN "he is dead"
>> To this you could add the "past" tense of the present:
>> Imperfect: APEQNHiSKEN "he was dying"
>> and the "past" tense of the perfect:
>> Pluperfect: APETEQNHKEI "he was dead"
>Another non-sigmatic aorist is found in John 1:6, KATELABEN. This
>usage would as well seem to indicate the state-of-being of TH SKOTIA.
>It's not just a past, where the darkness simply 'missed the train'
>once upon a time, but is a Truth about the darkness. It ALWAYS
>'misses that train' ~ Yes?? And in it's subtlety, it calls to mind
>the original sin of Adam. 'In Adam we all are dying...' [Acts? I
>forget...] If John had meant the simple historical fact that the
>darkness had 'missed the train' at some time past, he would have used
>the perfect...

The perfect? is now the tense of indefinite past action? I stand in total
awe before this new vision of the Greek verb. EGW DE EN THi SKOTIAi MENW;

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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