Time out !!

From: Emory Pitts (emory2002@hotmail.com)
Date: Wed May 31 2000 - 10:38:06 EDT

Harold R. Holmyard III:

You wrote:

Eugene Goetchius, in_The Language of the New Testament_, a beginner's Greek
>Like the present participle, the aorist participle does not, properly
>speaking, have "tense"; i.e., it does not necessarily refer to past >time
>or to any other sort of time. Like the present participle, the >aorist
>participle indicates as *aspect* of action; more precisely, it >indicates
>an action conceived as *indefinite*, or as a *simple event*(without
>reference to its being in progress, or being completed). The >aorist
>participle may, therefore, refer to any action, whether it be >past,
>present, or future with respect to the action of the main verb.


This is confusing to a new Greek student, or at least to me. The reason is
because I am trying to work my way through _Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics_
by Daniel B. Wallace.

In his chapter on the Participle, subheading "The Verbal Side of the
Participle" section a. Time, he writes:

Generally speaking, the tenses behave just as they do in the indicative. The
only difference is that now the point of reference is the controlling verb,
not the speaker. Thus, time in participles is relative (or dependent), while
in the indicative it is absolute (or independent).

The aorist participle, for example, usually denotes "antecedent" time to
that of the controlling verb. But if the main verb is also aorist, this
participle "may" indicate contemporaneous time.

Daniel Wallace has a footnote related to this last statement, where he says:

From my cursory examination of the data, the aorist participle is more
frequently contemporaneous in the epistles than in narrative literature.
There is also such a thing as an aorist participle of subsequent action,
though quite rare.

End quote.

Having read this, I naturally think of an aorist participle expressing time
related to the main verb as more than likely "antecedent" and less often
"contemporaneous." Of course, Daniel Wallace notes that it can denote
subsequent time, but rarely.

My question is this: Do these two grammarians agree with one another?
Wallace seems to state that "time" is denoted with the participle, while
Goetchius seems to be saying that "aspect," NOT TIME, is inherent in the

Thank you,

Mark Wilson

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