Print

Print


Sorry, Diana.  There's no such thing as a "progressive present" in Koine Greek.  The verb in this verse is in the (one and only) present tense in the language.  The dispute about whether to translate it "don't touch me" or "don't cling to me" is rooted in how to translate that present tense, which can have a durative nuance (to-touch[-and-hold-on-to]).  I agree that the two translations are fundamentally different in meaning, but they cannot be mapped onto two different tenses in Greek.  Things are entirely different in English, where we have several present tenses (I touch, I do touch, I am touching [the "progressive present"]).

Jerry Walsh, biblical lurker


From: Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Sun, March 7, 2010 8:44:50 AM
Subject: Re: 'Gerontion' -- the dramatic arc

Incidentally, the progressive present is a factor in interpretations of Jesus's statement to Mary Magdelene after his resurrection, which in Latin is
"Noli me tangere." Sometimes translated as "Don't touch me," in Greek it is written in the progressive present and means "Don't hold on to me," or "Don't cling to me." So this tense can radically change meaning.

Diana