This short study employs the concept of tense-form reduction from the perspective of Hellenistic Greek aspectology to explain the reading epoiesate in Codex Bezae Matthew 21,13//Mark 11,17. The article suggests that the Bezen scribe has chosen (consciously or unconsciously) to reduce the aspectual semantics of the verb poieo from the imperfective Present (Matt) and the stative Perfect (Mark) to the perfective Aorist. The textual effect of this choice is that Jesus’ pronouncement of judgment on those buying and selling in the temple is emphasized less in the text of Bezae, since it stands in the background of Jesus’ speech frame. This finding has significant implications for proposals regarding the anti-Judaic bias of Codex Bezae, particularly as demonstrated by its version of the Markan temple cleansing episode.
Porter’s analysis of the prominence conveyed by the aorist, imperfect and present is contrasted with Longacre’s claims about the same tenseforms. Both are wrong in equating respectively “foreground” (Porter) and “background” (Longacre) with the imperfect. Relevance Theory claims that non-default forms may result in a variety of cognitive effects. This explains why imperfectives correlate with background, yet sometimes have foregrounding effects. Additional non-default forms and structures can also be accommodated, such as inchoative aorist "erxanto" and the combination of aorist "egeneto" and a temporal expression. Finally, a non-default form or structure may give prominence not to the event concerned, but to the following event(s).