I appreciate Fanning’s work on Greek verbal aspect over Porter’s (at least, at this point). For a start, Fanning has a more level definition of verbal definition:

VERBAL aspect, according to one commonly cited description, is concerned ‘not with the location of an event in time, but with its temporal distribution or contour’. It is is usually distinguished in some way from the ‘tenses’ (i.e. past, present, and future), and is said to be concerned rather with features like duration, progression, completion, repetition, inception current relevance, and their opposites. Illustrations of aspect which are frequently cited: the simple and progressive forms in English; perfectives and imperfectives in Russian and other Slavic languages; perfect and imperfect in Hebrew; present, aorist, and perfect forms in ancient Greek; and to a lesser degree, differences between past tenses in French, Spanish, and German. This is, of course, rather a broad spread of languages and features of meaning, and the exact limits of the category of ‘aspect’ are quite vague. Over the last century, however, many writers have given attention to this topic and a vast literature of aspectology has been built up to shed light on aspectual usage and meaning in various languages.

I know I uploaded a review of Campbell’s Basics of Verbal Aspect in New Testament Greek only yesterday, but it’s worth mentioning again that his work is worth buying. (I don’t even get a cut with their sales, but it’s still worth the plug. It’s that good.) I hope to see more discussions of aspect in Greek exegesis to the days to come.

Source: Buist M. Fanning, Verbal Aspect in New Testament Greek.

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