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In writing a commentary on the Gospels, which involves an elaboration upon what the characters did, would it be possible to use the present tense? For example, "Jesus arrives in Galilee and makes his way straight to Capernaum. Here he encounters a man in need of help... This text gives us an example of such and such a virtue..."

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Yes, this is called the "historic present". It is very commonly used in literary narrative. The Bible has specifically nothing to do with it.

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