The Use of Verbal Aspect for Interpreting the Present Tense of Ἔρχομαι in Jesus’ Olivet Eschatological Discourse in Matt 24:42–44
September 30, 2021 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM On Demand Save the Date
This presentation evaluates the full range of aspectual categories as well as the figurative use of the present tense of ἔρχομαι, (a verb of motion), in the Gospels and Acts.
This analysis is done by closely observing deictic markers to clarify aspect in each use of the verb. It reveals that the verb does not have a fixed aspect. It is used with imperfective aspect, denoting uncompleted movement towards its destination, and involves either (a.) conative force, representing a subject’s desire, attempt, or a point of almost doing as action and translated by the words, “I intend/attempt to come/go” (e.g. John 17:11, 13);(b.) beginning an action, and translated by the words, “is coming/going” (e.g. John 7:41-42); or (c.) action in progress and translated by the words, “[am] coming / [am] going” (e.g. John 3:26, 4:25, 5:7, 6:5, 12:12-15); and (d.) in prolepsis, and translated by the words, “is [indeed] coming” (e.g. Matt 17:10-12; Mark 15:36); and used with verbs of temporal references John 5:25).
The results of this analysis will be used as a basis for exegeting the use of the verb in Jesus’ eschatological discourse in Matt 24:42–44.
Ἔρχομαι is also found with perfective aspect in the historic present, which draws attention to/ highlights crucial events, new scenes/participants that follow. If used in this way, ἔρχομαι is translated as “came.” (e.g. Matt 25:10b-11; Mark 1:40, 3:20; John 4:4-5). It is also used with stative aspect, describing regular, permanent, or gnomic events. Used in this way ἔρχομαι should be translated by the words “comes / has come” (e.g. Luke 13:7; 16:26). A literal interpretation of ἔρχομαι involves spatial movement. A semantic variant of the spatial movement of ἔρχομαι involves a figurative interpretation of anything that does not involve spatial movement (e.g. Luke 14:26; John 3:19-21). The results of this analysis will be used as a basis for exegeting the use of the verb in Jesus’ eschatological discourse in Matt 24:42–44.
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