David Lim wrote:Like what Mike said, "ἔπιον" here connotes the setting in which "all were drinking the same spiritual drink", while "ἔπινον" here refers back to the past in which "they drank out of a spiritual rock which followed [them]".
I'm kind of confused by your glosses. Here, you gloss the aorist ἔπιον with an English past progressive were drinking
(which is imperfective), while you gloss the imperfect ἔπινον with an English preterit drank
(which is usually perfective but not always). These glosses seem to reverse the aspects as they are normally understood.
David Lim wrote:I suppose some translations don't see the necessity of preserving minor differences in tenses as the meaning conveyed is still almost the same.
Well, the differences are in aspect. They have the same tense (past). The question becomes, however, what is the meaning being conveyed by the respective forms.
David Lim wrote:In this case it would correspond to a retelling of the story from a slightly different perspective, placing the events described in a "more distant" past.
I agree there's a difference in perspective, which is the goal of the original post, but I think both verbs are referring to same past.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke, New Testament)