The Perfect Storm

At this years coming SBL in Baltimore, the Biblical Greek Language and Linguistic Section is having a session on “The Perfect Storm,” looking at the debates about the perfect-tense form in Greek. I believe that Con Campbell, Stan Porter, and others are presenting (personally, I’m with Porter in seeing the perfect as essentially stative).

Interestingly enough, in the latest issue of Tyndale Bulletin is a dissertation summary by Robert Crellin on “The Greek Perfect Active System: 200 BC – AD 150.” He argues that “[T]he perfect stem presents an event as a property of the subject as a function of the event described by the verb having run to some terminal point. Where the verb concerned described an event which terminates with the subject in a (new) state, the perfect may naturally denote that state as a property of the subject. By contrast, where no such state follows for the subject, the perfect simply presents the completed event as a property of the subjects’ existence or experience” (p. 159). Crellin sees the perfect stem as different from the aorist and present as it is “focused and static” (p. 159).

Mind sound like linguistic mumbo jumbo, but Greek geeks love it!


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