Stephen Carlson wrote:Thanks, Mike. I'd have to request it from the closed stacks which could take days. If you've a chance to take a peek at it, that would be great.
Stephen Carlson wrote:Battle also claims that there are 8 more cases of an HP εἰμί in Relevation (9:19; 14:4a, b, 6; 16:21, 21:16, and 22), so he does not seem to be aware of the claimed restriction by classical Greek grammarians that state verbs are not found in the HP. I don't think we're looking at translation Greek but, granting that, its Greek is not the most idiomatic in the world.
Here's a scorecard for how he discusses these instances of εἰμί in Relevation:Says nothing:
9:19; 21.16Views them as real presents where either Jesus or John is directly speaking to the audience:
14:4a, b (should 14:6 really be 14:5?); 16:21. He also lists: 12:5; 17:14; and 20:3.Instances where tense usage shifts from past tense to future tense via an intermediary present:
21:22My own thoughts about a couple of these...
Verses 9:19 and 21:22 involve gnomic or simple declarative statements that couldn't be expressed sufficiently in the imperfect and there's no aorist of εἰμί. In such cases, to put a state in past tense would potentially imply that the state no longer holds. The γὰρ's that introduce these two necessitates
It would have been nice is he had said something about 9:19, that's an odd one...but the shifts from past to present through out the pericope is pretty consistent: this is what the angel did (past) and then this is a feature of the New Jerusalem (present). It's rather clear pattern. It seem me to me that this one also could viewed as involving direct speech to the audience and thus perhaps not really a historical present at all.
Here's the most relevant bit of discussion. I've cut out most of the references simply because I really don't feel like typing all of it and there's quite a bit. It's a little tedious. And I typed it rather fast. Any errors are likely mine from typing while look at a book rather than the screen.
Mussies, Morphology of Koine Greek, 333-334 wrote:Headings 5) [Historical presents] and 6) [[Futural presents] amount together to nearly the third part of the total number of present indicatives. This is due to the following facts: In recounting visions and dreams an author usually starts by using a past tense expressing something like "I heard" or "I saw". This is also the case in the Apocalypse: all the indicatives which pertain to St. John's act of seeing or hearing are past tenses ... [examples & reference].
The contents of the visions can of course also be told in past tense and St. John usually starts in this way ... [examples & reference]. However, in IV 5, V 5, VI 16, VII 10, VIII 11, XIV 3, XV 3, XVI 21, the author switches over to a present indicative, and he does so immediately after the introducing εἶδον, ἤκουσα< etc., in XII 2, 4; XVI 14; XIX 9, 11. These shifts indicate that he is no longer telling what he saw in the past, but what he is seeing again before his eyes, and as such these present indicatives give the idea of lively representation. Similar shifts have also been noticed in dream accounts that have come down to use in the Egyptian papyri ... [examples & reference].
The same phenomenon can be observed in the opening lines of the Shepherd of Hermas, Visio I, 1, 3-6 ... .
A further complication in the Apocalypse is the fact that visions are suppose to predict future events ... [examples & reference]. This may account for the shifts to the future indicative usually via the intermediary state of (historical or futural) present.
Mussies, Morphology of Koine Greek, 335-6 wrote:In our opinion it is unnecessary to see behind these shifts of time the inability of an author who could not handle the Greek tenses. Lancellotti, the only scholar who has thusfar devoted a special study to the use of the tenses in the Apocalypse holds the view that these "haphazard" shifts can be accounted for by assuming the Biblical Hebrew verb system as the underlying substrate. St. John's wavering between past and present, present and future is according to him due to the timelessness of both the Biblical Hebrew indicatives. If the influence of Biblical Hebrew were so strong still that ST. John could not clearly distinguish between presents and future tenses it is difficult to understand why he did not avoid to use the Greek future at all. The present indicative could then be used either as a present, past or future tense and the aorist as a past tense. Lancellotti's point of view would be proved if in the Apocalypse future indicatives were misused for past tenses or with the value of present time, or if aorists were used as present or as futures. As long as this is not the case we think it more probably to assume that the underlying Hebrew had developed to a great extent towards Mishnaic Hebrew or was perhaps already identical to it.
As it is, the transitions t the future tense in the Apc. are usually preceded by another kind of transitions, namely those from a past tense to a present indicative. Such a use of the tenses seems quite natural for an author who has to recount visions actually seen, or pretended to have been seen, in the past, but which at the same time predict future events.