Dear Jerry,

Yes I know you're right about that. But appeals to tense don't always settle disputes about meaning in English either, as evidenced by "Us he devours."

Diana

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On Mar 7, 2010, at 5:48 PM, Jerome Walsh <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Diana,

As I said explicitly in my previous message, I recognize the two different meanings that are possible, and the significant difference between them.  All I dispute is that there is a "progressive present" tense in Koine Greek that one can appeal to in order to assert one meaning over the other.  Both meanings would be expressed by the (one and only) present tense Koine Greek has.  To argue for one meaning over the other one must muster arguments that are contextual, not morphological, such as appeals to a "tense."

Jerry


From: DIana Manister <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Sun, March 7, 2010 1:44:29 PM
Subject: Re: 'Gerontion' -- the dramatic arc

Dear Jerry,

The progressive present Is the same tense as the "durative nuance" the Greek present can express, being present action that continues as a state or condition. Jesus in the present progressive would be telling Mary not to fixate on him after he's gone, but to practice his teachings, which were not intended to inspire worship of him.  

Name it differently, but Greek is capable of expressing a condition in the present that continues into the future. 

Diana 

Sent from my iPod

On Mar 7, 2010, at 10:26 AM, Jerome Walsh <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

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