Re: Tenses in Mark 11:24

From: Ben Crick (
Date: Sat Nov 14 1998 - 23:15:17 EST

On Sat 14 Nov 98 (06:24:56), wrote:
> I cited Mark 11:24 in a paper on tense and aspect that I have not yet
> made public. I am enclosing a section that discusses this particular
> point, using Mark 11:24 as one of the examples that explores it. I'm
> very interested in seeing how people respond to this.

 Dear Jonathan,

 It is worth remembering that the aorist tense is the A-hORISTOS tense,
 "outside of time". Considering it as Perfective in Aspect, rather than
 Preterite in Time, certainly helps.

 In Genesis 17:20 we have a narrative chain of events in which the first
 two verbs are Perfects, SheMa`TiYKa I-have-heard-thee (EPHKOUSA SOU),
 BeReKTiY 'oThoW I-have-blessed him (EULOGHKA AUTON). (Brenton's LXX)

 The verbs following are Perfects with WaW-Consecutiva, quasi-Imperfect, and
 therefore construed as Future. This is reflected in the LXX: AUXANW AUTON...
 PLHQUNW AUTON... KAI DWSW AUTON... and in Jerome's Vulgate /super Ismahel
 quoque exaudivi te ecce benedicam ei et augebo et multiplicabo eum valde
 duodecim duces generabit et faciam illum in gentem magnam/.

 you have received [them] and it shall be [so] unto you". ELABETE is in the
 best MSS; scribes may have accommodated this to LAMBANETE (Textus Receptus)
 or LHMYESQE (Bezae, Koridethe, etc) for their own reasons. Matthew 21:22

 Christ's aorist ELABETE seems to reflect the Hebrew/Aramaic Imperfect. Franz
 Delitzsch translates into Hebrew He'a:MiYNuW KiY TiQQaCuW WiYHiY LaCeM,
 where TiQQaCuW (ELABETE) is the 2nd pers plur Imperfect of LaQaCh: so
 "believe that you-shall-receive and it-will-be to-you". Jerome puts it
 /credite quia accipietis et veniet vobis/.

 HB Swete comments: "ELABETE, the petition was granted and potentially
 answered at the moment when it was offered. PISTEUETE hOTI ELABETE =
 EAN PISTEUETE hO. EL., hypothetical imperative for protasis" (Comm. on
 St Mark, ad loc). One is reminded of "And it shall come to pass, that
 before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will
 hear" (Isaiah 65:24).

 The prophecies of the sufferings of the Servant in Isaiah 53 are all
 Perfects: the prophecy is so certain of fulfilment, that the verbs
 speak of the events as having already happened. This is only partly
 reflected in the LXX of Isaiah 53.

 HTH (E & O E)


 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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