Greenwood professor of hellenistic greek and indo-european philology in the victoria university of manchester tutor in new testament language and literature



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kai> . . . e]kola

a mixture as Is 535 e]traumati

The NT is not entirely free from such cases: cf Mt 1346 (above).

In Jn 332 e[w3—is explained

by Blass as due to the greater stress laid on the seeing.

Mk 519 o!sa . . . soi pepoi h]le

proper force of both tenses. In Lk 418 it seems best, with

Nestle and Wellhausen, to put a stop after e@xrise< me, so that

a]pe

not parallel with e@xrise. Ac 2128, ei]sh kekoi

needs no explaining. To Rev 33 57 and 85 we must return

later. There are other places where aorist and perfect are

used in the same context, but they do not belong to this

category of aorist and perfect joined with kai< and with

identical subject. When the nexus is so close, we might

fairly suppose it possible for the tenses to be contaminated by

the association, even where a perfect would not have been

used aoristically by itself. But there are evidently no NT

exx. to place by the side of those from Justin, except Mt 1346

and the passages from Rev. (See further p. 238.)


Aoristic We come then to the general question of

Perfects in NT? the existence of aoristic perfects in the NT.

It is a question which must be settled on its

merits, without any appeal to the a priori, for aoristic

perfects may certainly be found in and even before the epoch

of the NT writings. We are entirely at liberty to recognise

such perfects in one writer and deny them to another, or to

allow them for certain verbs and negative the class as a

whole. Among the authorities we find Blass (p. 200)

admitting them for Rev and most sparingly in other places.

Even less concession is made by W. F. Moulton (WM 340 n.).

Burton (MT 44) allows rather more, but says, "The idiom is

confined to narrow limits in the NT." The extremely small

proportion of even possible exx. will naturally prevent us

from accepting any except under very clear necessity. We

begin by ruling out the alleged exx. from Heb (713 918 1117

144 A GRAMMAR OF NEW TESTAMENT GREEK.


1128), since they are obviously covered by the author's usus

loquendi
described above (p. 142). Some isolated cases may

also be cleared out of the way. Lk 936 e[w

be virtually reported speech: a{ e[wra

regularly in orat. obl., which the form of this sentence suggests.

In Jas 124, kateno a]pelh eu]qe

the aorist expresses two momentary acts, which are thrown

into narrative form, and the perfect accurately describes the

one action with continuance.1 In Ac 735, a]pe

the forest of aorists all round, is more plausibly conformed

to them, and it happens that this word is alleged to have

aoristic force elsewhere. But, after all, the abiding results of

Moses' mission formed a thought never absent from a Jew's

mind. Then there is an important category in which we are

liable to be misled by an unreal parallelism in English.

Burton rightly objects to our deciding the case of nuxqh

e]n t&? buq&? pepoi25) by the easy comment that

it "goes quite naturally into English" (Simcox). But it does

not follow that we have here a mere equivalent for e]poi

That would only place the experience on a level with the

others: this recalls it as a memory specially vivid now.

There is in fact a perfect of broken as well as of unbroken

continuity: in the graph " A. . . ->. . . B,” which leads from a

past moment to the moment of speech, the perfect will

tolerate the company of adjuncts that fasten attention on the

initial point (as in Rom 167, above) or on some indeterminate

point in its course (as here), or on several points in its course.

Cf Lucian Pisc. 6 pou? ga>r e]gw> u[ma?j u!brika;—Plato Theaet.

144B a]khn tou@noma, mnhmoneu


MT § 46)—BU 163 (ii/A.D.) fasi> oi[ paro(? "often") tou?to pepoihke ga>r a@lloi w[j plhge

u[po> au]tou? a]nafo

gegra

as Jn 118 537 333, and such cases as 2 Co 1217, w$n a]pe

"of those whom (from time to time) I have sent." The

aorist is obviously much commoner but the perfect may

still be used to express a close nexus with present time.

We turn finally to the residuum of genuinely aoristic
1 Cf. Syll. 80717 kai> a]ne e]lh hu]xari

t&? qe&? (sc. Asclepios).

THE VERB: TENSES AND MODES OF ACTION. 145
perfects, or (those which have a fair claim to be thus regarded.

First, we may frankly yield those alleged for Rev, viz. 57


In Rev. and 85 ei@lhfen (and by consequence probably

33 1117 and 227), 714 and 193 ei@rhka (-an).

Since these are without apparent reduplication, they may

well have been actual aorists in the writer's view: Bousset

remarks how little Rev uses e@labon. Secondly, we have

@Esxhka e@sxhka in 2 Co 213 19 75, Rom 52a—outside

Paul only in Mk 515. We must, I think,

treat all the Pauline passages alike, though Blass believes the

perfect justifiable except in 2 Co 213. It seems clear that an

aorist would suit all passages in 2 Co; and in the first of them

it seems hopeless to squeeze a natural perfect force into the

Greek:1 an aorist would suit Mk l.c. perfectly, but that

matters less. Now, if we may take them together, we can

see an excellent reason why e@sxhka should have been used

as an aorist. There is no Greek for possessed, the constative

aorist, since e@sxon is almost (if not quite) exclusively used

for the ingressive got, received.b @Esxon occurs only 20

times in the NT, which is about 3 per cent. of the whole

record of e@xw. There is not one place where e@sxon must be

constative: Jn 418 may be rendered "thou hast espoused"--

as in Mk 1223, the forming of the tie is the point. The NT

does not contravene Dr Adam's dictum (p. 49 of his notes on

Plato's Apology) that "the aorist means got, acquired, not

had." The similarity of e@sxhka to the aorists e@qhka and

a]fh?ka gave a clear opening for its appropriation to this

purpose, and the translation "possessed" will generally suit

the case. We thus get in the required aoristic perfects in

Rev and in Paul without sacrificing a principle. Passing

over pe
46), where the absence of an aorist from

the same root may have something to do with the usage, we

Pe

Ge

and there seems small reason for letting it

do the work of the common e]geno
1 Plummer (CGT in loc.) says, "As in 19, the perfect shows how vividly he

recalls the feelings of that trying time": so Findlay. This means applying

what is said above on pepoi




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