Re: hEURISKEI in Acts 10:27 - Present Tense?

Date: Fri Apr 10 1998 - 10:56:56 EDT

Rolf Furuli wrote:
> Dear list-members,
> Nobody has so far addressed the the problem of the interplay between
> Aktionsart and aspect in Acts 10:27. I would appreciate some comments on
> the following: Could the Greek mind view hEURISKW as non-punctiliar, as
> having an inner constituency? If not, what is the force of the imperfective
> aspect (present) in this verse and in similar verses?

Hello Rolf ~

I would like to try to reformulate your question in very plain
language in the hopes that I might discover if I am understanding it
correctly ~ Please bear with me, as if you were explaining this to a
slightly below average 9 year old student...

"Could the Greek mind..." This one threw me a tad ~ The narrator and
the narrated are both Jews, speaking Greek, a language that indeed
originates in 'The Greek Mind' of antiquity through to the time of
this account, which itself is written in Greek. So I tell my 9 yo that
because all we have is this account written in Greek, we want to look
at how a Greek would understand it from his own inner perspective as a
Greek. OK.

'...view hUERISKW as non-punctiliar...' So the action we are looking
at is the action of 'finding' something. Easter Sunday, perhaps, we
will be finding Easter eggs. One, then another, then another ~
Punctiliar. Now, is there a way to understand 'finding' as
non-punctiliar? Well, sure, if you understand it as the sum of these
particular incidents of finding. What do we do on Easter Sunday
morning?? We FIND Easter eggs, and this Sunday morning our 9yo WILL
BE FINDING eggs! And if today is Sunday morning, and someone asks
what our 9yo is doing, I will say "S/he IS FINDING" eggs. The
imperfect present thus expresses a state of being that consists in the
activity 'finding'. This is the inner, mental constituency of our 9
yo as we watch him/her running around the back yard looking for those
eggs. And S/he will have no trouble sorting out the difference
between the inner and the outer activity of 'finding' in the ongoing
present tense if I explain it this way.

Is this what you mean, Rolf? Is this the aktionsart-aspect interplay
of which you inquire?

The aorist preceding the present tense would seem to support the
non-punctiliar understanding, as would the context of the narrative.
Peter is getting some Divine Help with his state of mind regarding
cleanliness and association ~ That is clear. And when(ever) he
'enters' [aorist] he 'is finding' his reasons, which in the narrative
he subsequently states upon 'entering'. So this section would seem to
require an abstract understanding, because of the aorist, of the
present imperfective 'is finding', as well as the 'narrative of
events' understanding which illustrates it in Peter's life according
to Paul's account.

If it is not understood this way, then we are left simply with the
historical-narrative account of events in this particular man's
[Peter's] life.

Am I addressing your question? Or am I simply way off base?

Grace to You...


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