When I read A.T. Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament there are times when I’ll come across comments about the “timeless aorist” but he doesn’t really elaborate as to what this is exactly (or I haven’t come across his elaboration of this yet). One example is this comment on Matthew 2818:
All authority (pāsa exousia). Jesus came close to them (proselthōn) and made this astounding claim. He spoke as one already in heaven with a world-wide outlook and with the resources of heaven at his command. His authority or power in his earthly life had been great (Mat_7:29; Mat_11:27; Mat_21:23.). Now it is boundless and includes earth and heaven.
Hath been given (edothē) is a timeless aorist (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 836f.). It is the sublimist of all spectacles to see the Risen Christ without money or army or state charging this band of five hundred men and women with world conquest and bringing them to believe it possible and to undertake it with serious passion and power. Pentecost is still to come, but dynamic faith rules on this mountain in Galilee.
Now I don’t have Robertson’s Grammar so I can’t check the reference and none of the grammars I do have make reference to the “timeless aorist”. So here are my questions:
- What is the “timeless aorist”?
- Is this a legitimate function of grammar or has it been created to smooth out theological difficulties?