Re: historical present (Luke/Acts/Paul)

From: Dale M. Wheeler (
Date: Fri Jun 05 1998 - 11:44:36 EDT


These types of presents are not marked in GC, frankly because folks
would get upset that we hadn't included their own choice at a
particular spot... (-:

9 and 13 would actually seem low to me in the Gospel narratives,
but Luke has his own style, and I'm not that familiar with it
that I could say yea or nay off the top of my head. Mark (which
I read through yearly with my 1st year Grk class) has dozens of
historical presents. So you're right that one would have to
read through the material to see just how many there are.

Off the top of my head I'd say that its very unlikely that an
historical present--which by definition is the use of the
present tense in a past time historical narrative--would occur
in any epistle.


At 08:37 PM 6/5/98 +0800, you wrote:
>At 11:53 98/06/04 -0700, Dale M. Wheeler wrote:
>>I've seen
>>examples of the "use of the present" in certain publications (no,
>>I won't say which ones, for fear of offending) in which ind disc
>>uses are cited to show some really obtuse (ie., invalid) nuance
>>for the present tense...which is then inappropriately applied to
>>some other passage to prove some equally erroneous point.
>>'nuf said...
> Dale,
> I'm not a Gramcord user so I don't know if the distinction
> between present and historical present is marked, but I was
> wondering if you would think ATR's mention of 9 hist.pres
> in Luke and 13 in Acts is overcounting. Maybe that can't
> be answered except by sitting down and reading thru, in
> which case forget it.
> I am also interested to know if anyone knows any definite
> hist.pres (not quotation etc.) in Pauline epistles?
> Warmest rgds
> Steven
Dale M. Wheeler, Ph.D.
Research Professor in Biblical Languages Multnomah Bible College
8435 NE Glisan Street Portland, OR 97220
Voice: 503-251-6416 FAX:503-254-1268 E-Mail:

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