mwh wrote:Better "we came", not "we have come"
mwh wrote:Yes but they shouldn't.
mwh wrote:Wow I didn't expect this resistance, and I certainly don't want to be argumentative.
But (such a statement has to be followed by a But, don't you think?) for what it's worth, the instances you cite are not on a par. Yes aorists are often translated by pluperfect in English, and so they should be. That's because English doesn't always use tenses as Greek does. In the Xenophon instance, for instance, the seizing preceded the daring: in such cases Greek routinely uses aorist, English pluperfect. And yes Greek imperfect is often more idiomatically rendered with English simple past, but that doesn't make the semantic distinction between aorist and imperfect any less real. But there are very few cases where the distinction between aorist and perfect should not be respected in English translation, and I see no reason why it shouldn't be respected here. "We saw the star and came to worship (sc. and lo, here we are!) -- what's wrong with that?
I can't speak for NT translators, but translators do tend to copy from one another, don't they, and once "we have come" had gotten in I can understand if it was hard to replace it with a more accurate rendering. (I haven't checked translations and don't know when it started or if there are exceptions.) Anything useful in the NT grammars or lexica? There might be (again, I haven't checked). It could be that I'm wrong (it has been known;)), but then the question is why should the verb be aorist and not perfect, if it's functioning as a perfect. A conceivable answer might be "because the perfect (elhlythamen) is such an awkward form that perhaps it tended to get displaced by the easier aorist." But the NT is perfectly comfortable with using the perfect form, isn't it, just as koine in general is? (Admittedly I haven't checked usage in Matthew; maybe he's different?)
Victor wrote: My own feeling, and evidently that of others (e.g. the American Standard version*), is that the action described by εἴδομεν is conceived of as having occurred relatively remotely (days or weeks) before the time of speaking, and should be rendered in English by the simple past, whilst the action described by ἤλθομεν is presented as just completed at the moment the speakers announce the reason for their arrival, and in consequence should be rendered by the perfect.
* "for we saw his star in the east, and are come to worship him."
Victor wrote:Either translation of ἤλθομεν, simple past or perfect, is justifiable in the present case. The use of two concurrent aorists and their being conjoined by καὶ is no guarantee that the second event is implied as having been completed or even initiated hard upon the first, though. My own feeling, and evidently that of others (e.g. the American Standard version*), is that the action described by εἴδομεν is conceived of as having occurred relatively remotely (days or weeks) before the time of speaking, and should be rendered in English by the simple past, whilst the action described by ἤλθομεν is presented as just completed at the moment the speakers announce the reason for their arrival, and in consequence should be rendered by the perfect.
Victor wrote:One factor in the choice of translation that nobody has mentioned, but that may be influential, is the divergent usage of simple past and perfect tenses among speakers of American and British English: speakers of Am. E. favour simple pasts in some circumstances where speakers of Br. E. prefer perfects. I don't know which variety of English is native to you, but certainly for a native speaker of British English translating ἐκέρδησας (18, 15), ἠργάσατο (26, 10), ἐτελεύτησεν (9, 18), ἐμοίχευσεν (5, 28), and ἔφθασεν (12, 28) as simple pasts would leave an impression not merely of "translation English", written by someone wishing "to show the difference in meaning from the Greek perfect", but of decidedly unnatural English idiom.
Victor wrote:* "for we saw his star in the east, and are come to worship him."
Markos wrote:Indeed, the sense being:
ἰδόντες γὰρ αὐτοῦ τὸν ἀστέρα ἐν τῇ ἀνατολῇ, πάρεσμεν προσκυνῆσαι αὐτῷ.
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