Jonathan Robie wrote: ↑August 3rd, 2019, 10:48 am
Eeli Kaikkonen wrote: ↑August 3rd, 2019, 6:15 am
Stephen Nelson wrote: ↑August 2nd, 2019, 7:08 pm
were there instances in which aorist indicative constructions (i.e. in the New Testament), commonly translated as past tense, were reinterpreted with future temporal reference?
Can you give examples (Koine, from OT/NT or elsewhere) where aorist indicative should be interpreted with future temporal reference?
I really do think this would be easier to discuss on the basis of a set of concrete examples. Stephen, are there passages you are thinking of?
Constantine Campbell (Advances in the Study of Greek, pg 122) states the following regarding "Future Aorist", but provides no examples:
"Perfective aspect with any lexeme in a present referring context can implicate a future aorist. More common than the present aorist, this is another special function of the aorist."
John 11:8 seems to be a good example of an aorist's being reinterpreted (by Porter) with a present temporal reference. But this notably does not seem to have been worked into any standard translations:
SBL: λέγουσιν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταί· Ῥαββί, νῦν ἐζήτουν
σε λιθάσαι οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι, καὶ πάλιν ὑπάγεις ἐκεῖ;
Look at Porter's own translation with the aorist in the present tense:
The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews are
to stone you, and again you are going there?"
Now look at other standard translations, which do not completely employ Porter's method:
KJV: His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought
to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?
NET: The disciples replied, “Rabbi, the Jewish leaders were
just now trying
to stone you to death! Are you going there again?”
NIV: "But Rabbi," they said, "a short while ago the Jews tried
to stone you, and yet you are going back there?"
NASB: "The disciples *said to Him, “Rabbi, the Jews were
just now seeking
to stone You, and are You going there again?”
Here's an example of a present indicative that the KJV translated in the English present tense, but was later translated (NET & NIV) in the explicit future:
SBL: Οἴδατε ὅτι μετὰ δύο ἡμέρας τὸ πάσχα γίνεται, καὶ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται
εἰς τὸ σταυρωθῆναι.
KJV: Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed
to be crucified.
NET: “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be handed over
to be crucified.”
NIV: "As you know, the Passover is two days away--and the Son of Man will be handed over
to be crucified."
NASB: “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over
This is from a summary of Porter that can be found on pages 22 & 25 in this document - http://ntresources.com/blog/documents/porter.pdf
Here's the excerpt that discusses the use of proleptic aorist (restricted to the sense of emphasizing the completeness of a future event):
If a speaker desires to portray a future event as complete, he may chose to use the aorist form (perfective aspect). This is not as common as the future use of the present, but adequate examples may be cited to substantiate the validity of the category (this is true of both classical and Hellenistic Greek).
...Νῦν ἐδοξάσθη ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, καὶ ὁ θεὸς ἐδοξάσθη ἐν αὐτῷ·
(now the Son of Man is to be glorified, and God is to be glorified in him);
This example requires that νῦν be taken in a logical rather than deictic sense; also note the support of v. 32 for a future reference.
καθὼς ἐμὲ ἀπέστειλας εἰς τὸν κόσμον, κἀγὼ ἀπέστειλα αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸν κόσμον·
(as you sent me into the world, I send them into the world)
[? will send, or, am sending? there is a future sense no matter how one decides to translate].
Perhaps the clearest example is Jude 1:14:
...ἰδοὺ ἦλθεν κύριος ἐν ἁγίαις μυριάσιν αὐτοῦ
(behold, the Lord is coming with his many saints) [will come].
“There is sufficient proof in the diversity of syntactical constructions in which future reference may be found that although this usage is not widespread it is a category of usage that cannot be ignored. It cannot be adequately explained on the basis of a time-based conception of the tenses, but is fully commensurate with an aspectual model” (233).
Jude 1:14 has a variety of translations:
KJV: ...Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
NET: ..."Look! The Lord is coming with thousands and thousands of his holy ones,
NIV: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones
NASB: “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,
You see the NASB trying to stay as literal as possible, using the explicit past tense, which could be construed as misleading (if not for the clear eschatological context). But this is NOT an example (per my question) of a passage that was previously interpreted as a reference to a past tense event that was reinterpreted in the future. Context always bore out the sense of this verse and it was seemingly never confusing to any readers.
Excerpt from page 25 (ibid) references use of the perfect for future temporal reference:
There are only a few perfects used in future contexts. Porter suggests six passages that contain this use, the best examples of which are John 17:22,
κἀγὼ τὴν δόξαν ἣν δέδωκάς μοι δέδωκα αὐτοῖς...
(and I am going to give to them the glory which you give me);
and James 5:2–3,
ὁ πλοῦτος ὑμῶν σέσηπεν καὶ τὰ ἱμάτια ὑμῶν σητόβρωτα γέγονεν, ὁ χρυσὸς ὑμῶν καὶ ὁ ἄργυρος κατίωται καὶ ὁ ἰὸς αὐτῶν εἰς μαρτύριον ὑμῖν ἔσται καὶ φάγεται τὰς σάρκας ὑμῶν ὡς πῦρ ἐθησαυρίσατε ἐν ἐσχάταις ἡμέραις
(your riches are going to rust and your garments are going to become moth food, your gold and silver will rust and their rust will be a testimony against you and will consume your flesh like fire [note the parallel future forms]).
Here are other translations of the perfects referenced above for comparison:
KJV: Your riches are corrupted
, and your garments are motheaten
. Your gold and silver is cankered
; and the rust of them shall be
a witness against you, and shall eat
your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
NIV: Your wealth has rotted
, and moths have eaten
your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded
. Their corrosion will testify
against you and eat
your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.
NASB: Your riches have rotted
and your garments have become
moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver have rusted
; and their rust will be
a witness against you and will consume
your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!