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The Perfect Storm

Critical Discussion of the Semantics of the Greek Perfect Tense Under Aspect Theory


Constantine R. Campbell, Buist M. Fanning and Stanley E. Porter

Nowhere are the chaotic debates surrounding contemporary aspect theory more heated than in discussions of the theory’s application to Hellenistic Greek, and especially its understanding of the semantics of the Greek perfect tense. This book is a distilled academic debate among three of the best-known scholars on the subject, each defending his own unique interpretation while engaging the other two. The Perfect Storm will prove an indispensable resource for any scholar seeking to write convincingly on the Greek perfect in the future.

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9. Response to Porter: CONSTANTINE R. CAMPBELL


9. Response to Porter


1. Introduction

As with my response to Fanning, this essay is structured around points I can affirm, questions I would put, and points I must challenge. Regrettably, the majority of the essay fits in the third category. Negativity is not my preferred mode of interaction, and an explanation is offered at the outset—with an apology to the reader who does not enjoy seeing two scholars fighting in the mud. Most of the negativity expressed here is defensive in nature: Porter seeks to undermine the integrity of my scholarship—going beyond the engagement of ideas—and this (along with my main essay in this volume) constitutes my right of reply. Defensiveness is not my preferred mode of interaction either, but it is necessary in this case. Porter raises several points of criticism that must be answered.

Some of these are serious, though many are not. While I would rather ignore trivial criticisms, Porter seems intent to build a cumulative case for error. As such, some of the trivial criticisms will be engaged here following more serious charges. The essay is not wholly defensive, however, as several points of Porter’s positive argument also require scrutiny. First, we turn to points I can affirm.

2. Points I Can Affirm

I resonate with Porter’s despair over New Testament scholars’ lack of interest and knowledge about Greek linguistics. This is a lamentable state...

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