davidmccollough wrote:Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:You have missed the obvious. All your examples have a (main) verb of human cognition: seeing, understanding etc. In many respects they behave in the same way that verbs of speaking etc. so that the subordinate verb is in the present tense - as if it were "direct discourse". I don't have any books at hand, but I remember seeing something about it in Rijksbaron's book about Greek verb, and possibly also in Robertson.
This explanation is strictly grammatical, but I find it easy to understand it from an experiental standpoint. It is like taking the place of the person who perceives: They saw: "Hey, he eats with sinners".
Thank you! So if Acts 8:18 is seen as direct discourse then would it be rendered with the reader experiencing it firsthand, as in, Simon saw: "the Spirit is given through the laying on of the apostles' hands"?
I don't think it makes sense to render it that way in English because it does not make sense at all in English. If I had to put it into proper English I would have no choice but to render with the past tense, as Stephen pointed out in his first post:
"Simon seeing that the spirit was given through the laying on of the hands of the apostles,"
davidmccollough wrote:1) Present tense used to state a fact valid in the storyworld at a particular time in the storyworld:
a. (Gen 29:31). “And the Lord, having seen that Leah is hated, opened her womb….” In this case, no one would think that the narrator hates Leah. The narrator uses the present tense to state a fact valid in the storyworld at a specific time in the storyworld. There is no metalepsis.
b. (Ruth 1:18). “And Naomi, having seen that she is determined to go with her, stopped speaking to her anymore.” Again, the narrator uses the present tense to state a fact valid in the story world at a particular time in the storyworld.
c. (Lk 7:37). “…and having known that he is reclining in the house of the Pharisee….” A Lukan example of the same idea.
Correct; the present tense denotes present fact with respect to the time in focus, which in this case is the time that "[the] Lord saw" / "Naomi saw" / "[the] woman realised". It brings us to view the event from that perspective.
davidmccollough wrote:2) A general statement of fact valid in the story world and unrelated to any specific point in time. (Mark 2:16) “And the scribes of the Pharisees, having seen that he eats with the sinners and tax collectors, were saying to his disciples….” The idea here is not that his eating occurred at the time of their seeing, but that they recognized a characteristic – he eats with sinners.
No; the present tense still denotes the present fact, that at that time (though not just one point in time) the scribes saw that he ate with sinners and tax collectors. Like before, the present brings us to view the situation from their perspective at that time. In their shoes we would say, "Look! He eats with them!", and it would be right to use the present tense for it is a present situation.
davidmccollough wrote:3) A statement of fact unrelated to any specific point in time and valid for both the storyworld and narrator’s world.
a. (Acts 28:1). “And having been brought safely through, we then recognized that the island is called Malta.” The island is called Malta, both at the time of the event narrated in the story and at the time of the narration of the story.
b. (Acts 8:18). “And Simon, having seen that through the laying on of the hands of the apostles the Spirit is given, offered them money….” Simon, at a specific point in storytime observed a general principle which the narrator himself considers valid. This shift from reality in the storyworld to reality in the narrator’s world is metalepsis.
No; for the same reason. Just because the statement is true at other times does not mean that the present tense is not used to denote its present truth with respect to the time in focus. Whether or not the island was previously called Malta or still called Malta at the time of the writing of Acts is irrelevant. The present tense simply means that at the time those people recognised the island, it was called Malta. It is to me exactly the same as when someone introducing a place to us for the first time says, "This place is ...". In English we can only use the past tense to describe a recollection of that event, which is in the past with respect to our time of recollection, but in Greek we can use the present tense to re-enact the perspective at that time.
For the same reasons I don't really consider the historical present to be really a different usage of the Greek present tense. In similar manner the present tense in Acts 8:18 is portray Simon's perspective at the time he saw it. Anyway this is just my opinion and nothing more.