4 And He * said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?” But they kept silent.
A star (*) is used to mark verbs that are historical presents in the Greek which have been translated with an English past tense in order to conform to modern usage. The translators recognized that in some contexts the present tense seems more unexpected and unjustified to the English reader than a past tense would have been. But Greek authors frequently used the present tense for the sake of heightened vividness, thereby transporting their readers in imagination to the actual scene at the time of occurence. However, the translators felt that it would be wise to change these historical presents to English past tenses.
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