Verbal Aspect in the Book of Revelation

The Function of Greek Verb Tenses in John’s Apocalypse


The book of Revelation is well-known for its grammatical infelicities. More specifically, Revelation exhibits apparently "odd" use of Greek verb tenses. Most attemtps to describe this "odd" use of verb tenses start with the assumption that Greek verb tenses are primarily temporal in meaning. In order to explain Revelation's apparent violation of these temporal values, scholars have proposed some level of semitic influence from the Hebrew tense system as making sense of this "odd" use of tenses. However, recent research into verbal aspect, which calls into question this temporal orientation, and suggests that Greek verb tenses grammaticalize aspect and not time, has opened up new avenues for explaining the Greek verb tense usage in Revelation. This book applies verbal aspect theory to tense usage in Revelation and focuses on how the tenses, as communicating verbal aspect, function within sections of Revelation.

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David L. Mathewson, Ph.D. (1998) in New Testament, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Gordon College, Wenham, MA, USA. He is the author of numerous articles on the book of Revelation, and the author of A New Heaven and a New Earth: The Meaning and Function of the Old Testament in Revelation 21.1-22.5 (Sheffield, 2003).
"Die Studie von Mathewson ist lesenswert, grundlegend für weitere Sprachuntersuchungen der Offb [Offenbarungen] und revolutionär mit ihren Ergebnissen; sie kann einen Wendepunkt in der Forschung bedeuten." – Beate Kowalski, in; Studien zum Neuen Testament und seiner Umwelt. Serie A
Particularly those specializing in Greek and linguistics, the Greek of the New Testament, and Revelation, but more broadly all those interested in New Testament literature and interpretation, and apocalyptic literature.