Original Research

Non-past referring Imperfects in the New Testament: A test case for an antianti- anti-Porter position

G.J. Swart
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 61, No 4 | a483 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v61i4.483 | © 2005 G.J. Swart | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 October 2005 | Published: 13 October 2005

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G.J. Swart, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Since the publication more than a decade ago of two comprehensive studies on verbal aspect in New Testament Greek (Porter 1989; Fanning 1990), scholarly discussion has tended to focus more on the differences than on the agreements between these theorists. Ironically, the main point of dispute has become not their different views of the notion of ‘aspect’, but the question whether or not the tense forms of the indicative mood systematically convey temporal meaning. In this study an attempt is made to clear up some of the resulting confusion. The scope of the study is limited to New Testament passages containing imperfect tense forms which, according to Porter, do not refer to past time. Porter’s interpretation of these passages is discussed and compared with the opposing views of a number of scholars.


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