Verbal Aspect in Synoptic Parallels

On the Method and Meaning of Divergent Tense-Form Usage in the Synoptic Passion Narratives

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In Verbal Aspect in Synoptic Parallels Wally Cirafesi answers the question of why the Synoptic Gospels at times employ different tense-forms to communicate the same action. The problem has typically been explained from the perspective of redaction criticism and temporal Aktionsart approaches to the Greek verb. Cirafesi challenges these approaches by reframing the discussion in terms of recent advances in verbal aspect theory and discourse analysis. He convincingly demonstrates that such differences in tense-form usage have to do with how each Gospel writer wishes to construct their discourses according to various levels of linguistic prominence.

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Wally V. Cirafesi is a graduate of McMaster Divinity College, where he is also an Adjunct Instructor. He is Associate Editor of the journal Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics, and has published articles in journals such as New Testament Studies, Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism, Journal for the Study of Paul and his Letters, and Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics.
"Die Untersuchung ist klar aufgebaut und gut zu lesen." – Marius Reiser, Heidesheim, in: Theologische Literaturzeitung 140 (2015)
1. Introduction
Introduction
The Historical Context for the Present Study
The Rise of Modern Linguistic Approaches to Gospel Studies
The Greek Verbal System and Verbal Aspect Theory: Past and Present Discussions
2.Theory and Method Part I
Introduction
The Limitations of Temporal and Aktionsart
The Semantics of the Major Greek Tense-Forms:
Summary

3. Theory and Method Part II
Introduction
Systemic Functional Linguistics, Verbal Aspect, and Discourse Analysis
Procedure
Summary

4. Jesus Comes to Jerusalem: The Triumphal Entry, the Cleansing of the Temple, and the Cursing of the Fig Tree
Introduction
The Cohesiveness of the Episodes
The Content of the Episodes
Aspectual Analyses
Summary and Conclusion

5. Peter’s Denial of Jesus
Introduction
The Cohesiveness of the Episode
The Content of the Episode
Aspectual Analyses
Summary and Conclusion

6. The Crucifixion of Jesus
Introduction
The Cohesiveness of the Episodes
The Content of the Episodes
Aspectual Analyses
Summary and Conclusion

7. Conclusion and Results
Summary
Results of Tense-form Analyses
A Way Forward

All interested in anicent Greek language and linguistics and New Testament exegesis, and anyone particularly concerned with the significance of verbal aspect theory for interpretation of the Synoptic Gospels.