Re: Imperative Mood: Present vs. Aorist

From: Jim West (jwest@Highland.Net)
Date: Fri Oct 23 1998 - 11:42:22 EDT

At 03:20 PM 10/23/98 +0000, you wrote:
>A friend put this to me: It seems to me that the present and aorist
>imperatives in some cases are used interchangeably. Where I would expect a
>single aorist I find a present, and visa versa. For example, in Matthew
>5:24 why aren't "leave" your gift and "go" both aorists? Or, in Matthew 8:4
>"go" and "show": "go" is present and "show" is aorist. Still further, in
>Matthew 16:24 "deny" is aorist (I would expect a present), "take up" is
>aorist followed by daily (making me expect it to be present, and "follow
>me" is a present, which I expected. Also, in Ephesians 5:18 "Be not drunk
>with wine but be filled with the Spirit", both verbs are present imperative
>past. Any insights?

There is a very good discussion of the aorist imperative and the present
imperative in the Moulton/Turner Grammar- Vol 3, p. 74ff.

The conclusion of the opening paragraph is quite insightful- and I totally
agree with it-

"The problem of the Aktionsarten of the tenses is by no means solved as yet
for the NT, and possibly John gives a clue when he seems to vary the tense
according to the verb he is using". (p. 75).

Jim West, ThD
Quartz Hill School of Theology

de mortuis nihil nisi bonum

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