[b-greek] Decker on Olsen

From: Mark Wilson (emory2oo2@hotmail.com)
Date: Wed Feb 28 2001 - 02:09:22 EST


Concerning Decker's treatment of Olsen's view of the Imperfect, I have the
following observation:

First, Olsen contends that the past temporal reference of the Imperfect
cannot be canceled.

Decker contends that if he can show examples of Imperfects that
have a non-past reference, then he has demonstrate Olsen's statement to be,
at least on occasion, incorrect.

However, Decker's attempt to demonstrate non-past referring Imperfects
has no bearing on the SEMANTIC issue, the very issue he seeks to overturn.
To me, what Decker needs to show are Imperfects that do not (and can NOT)
have ANY past temporal reference (only then will the semantic nature of the
Imperfect be canceled). That is, showing Imperfects that have a primary
emphasis on the present does not exclude a past temporal reference ALSO.

For example, Decker mentions Gal. 4:20 as expressing primarily present time:


"I wish I could be with you now."

However, this example does not cancel the past temporal reference INCLUDED
in HQELON. To me, Olsen does not limit an Imperfect Indicative to ONLY
past temporal reference. Rather, she contends that all Imperfect Indicatives
INCLUDE a past temporal reference. Does Olsen deny that an Imperfect
can ALSO include reference to present time, especially when a writer
uses an adverb like ARTI? (To be honest, it has been a while since I read

To me, if Gal. 4:20 INCLUDES or even is primarily present tense,
that does not cancel its implicit past temporal element.

What Decker needs to do is find a few Imperfects that cannot INCLUDE
a reference to the past AT ALL, but must be ONLY non-past referring.

My observation,

Mark Wilson

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