Re: Test of The "Timeless" Aorist

Date: Mon May 04 1998 - 21:06:08 EDT

Carl W. Conrad wrote:
> At 1:25 PM -0500 5/4/98, wrote:

> >I know that I am asking a lot by insisting on a translational
> >difference between 'I run.' and 'I am running.'
> >This insistence will restore the aorist to English usage ~ No small
> >matter !!!! ~ At least in GNT translation.
> >I hope and pray that it does.
> Well, I'd say that what you're doing is trying to impose the categories of
> the Greek verb on the English verb, and I don't think that's legitimate.

Carl ~

You could be right on the legitimacy issue, yet what can one do?

The aorist can be translated from the Greek in the past, present and
future tenses, depending on context, and in English, ONLY the simple
[non-ongoing] present tense is clearly capable of doing this.

Such translations would have to be prefaced with the notation that
whenever the simple present English verb is used, it is to be
understood as an aorist, and not the ordinary English present tense.
Then, at least, the English [only] reader would have a fighting chance
of understanding the tense constructions of the original text.

As it is now, the aorist has simply disappeared in translation, to the
detriment of translator and reader alike. It's a bleeding shame, the
aorist lifeblood of the ancient Greek verb spilled out all over the
ground in our zeal to make sure we translate it into the time frame
that we are so sure it belongs in each time it is used in the text.

> In
> English, we may speak of progressive, emphatic, and simple forms of the
> present tense: "I am running, I do run, I run"--but all are the present
> tense. In classical Attic or Koine Greek "I run" is a legitimate
> translation ONLY for a non-indicative AORIST form such as DRAMW. It is NOT
> a legitimate translation for EDRAMON.

If what you say is true, Carl, then WHY does the simple English
present WORK ~ so flawlessly, so unambiguously, so clearly, so vastly,
and with so much vision, in each and every passage of text in which it
is found? There is virtually NO reason not to use the simple English
present in EVERY instance of the aorist in tex passages. It woeks
superbly each and every time. I am simply baffled at any resistence
to this understanding, and saddened to see the vision-wings of the
aorist chopped off and flopping around on the ground of ordinal time

I just don't get it, Carl...

???WHY??? 300 or so years of tradition? It just makes no sense to

Your saddenned Friend ~ [But only on issues of the aorist!!]

George Blaisdell

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