Date: Fri May 28 1999 - 23:39:06 EDT


In a message dated 5/28/99 6:03:11 PM Mountain Daylight Time,

> wrote:
> > I'm going to try to keep this short and simple.
> >
> > First, after using two imperatives in the same tense, a variation of
> in
> > a third parallel command draws attention to the change.
> >
> > Second, when the aorist is used together in parallel with the present,
> > present is more emphatic because of the relative aspect of the tenses (
> aorist
> > is undifferentiated action while the present is imperfective) and
> the
> > aorist is the default tense (more common).
> >
> > So, my reasons are related to aspect, but are more closely tied in with
> how
> > verbal opposition creates emphasis or prominence. And I assume that
> phrases,
> > words, etc, that are relatively more prominent than their context
> generally
> > reflect "the point".
> >
> >
> Alternatively, we can consider that this is a passage where the "rules"
> of grammar work: PARALABE is aorist imperative because Joseph needs to
> grab up his family only once, whereas fleeing (FEUGE) and making his way
> (POREUOU) all the way to Egypt will be a process involving some time.

Right, but for this to hold true, it would have to follow in similar cases.
Admittedly, I couldn't find an example of FEUGW with the aorist imperative in
the NT (though there may be an example--I have an inadequate search engine).
However, in Rev. 12:6, there is a similar construction with the indicative:
KAI hH GUNH EFUGEN EIS THN ERHMON. Surely, the woman fleeing or escaping to
the desert is as much a process as it is in Mt. 2:13. There are quite a few
other occurances of FEUGW in the aorist indicative.

There are several examples of POREUOMAI in the aorist imperative. Perhaps
the most provocative for the traditional view of tense is Mt. 8:9: KAI LEGW
TOUTWi POREUQHTI, KAI POREUTETAI. The centurion commands "go" (aorist) and
the subordinate "goes" (present). I would find an attempt to differentiate
between the processes unconvincing. Similarly, a suggestion that the first
command is an inceptive aorist would also raise my eyebrows, but on the other
hand it could lead to all kinds of fun theology.

If emphasis is conveyed in Greek (at times) by a shift to a more marked
tense, it could be similar in difference between a simple command "Go to the
store" and the command "Get going to the store". For grins, I tested these
commands without a change in voice modulation--my twelve-year old daughter
recognized the second command as communicating urgency. This simple test was
a default measure for not consulting my Seuss, <<Marvin K. Mooney, Will You
Please Go Now>>. My text is in storage.

Cindy Westfall
PhD Student, Roehampton

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