When Is Then, Then? (Matthew 27:38) – Mondays with Mounce 330

Bill Mounce on 2 months ago. Tagged under ,,,.

The longer I work in Greek, the more curious I am about conjunctions, and the more I am concerned about how we teach glosses.

Take τότε for example. BDAG give two meanings using the gloss “then.” It can mean “at that time,” which conveys no idea of sequence. It can also mean “then” in the sense of “that which follows in time.” The problem of course is that if you translate with the simple gloss “then,” we hear it as sequential.

Coupled with this is how English hears a series of events. Even without conjunctions, we default to hearing them as sequential. This happened, then that happened.

The sequencing of events around Jesus’ trial illustrates the issue. There is a series of events introduced with τότε, with καί, and with aorist and present participles. I can’t do it here, but…

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