"OK, Bugsy, you'll wait five minutes, and then you'll
come bustin' in the back door."
We the listeners (or readers) add from our own experience
and the context the implication that the speaker is giving
directions to Bugsy and telling him to do something. So
syntactically these sentences are not imperatives, but
practically they are.
I'm not sure that that applies to 1 Cor 14.1, but the context
there seems to demand an imperative interpretation, in that
Paul goes on to encourage prophesy rather than tongues
(primarily) in public meetings.
What puzzles me more in 14.1, however, is the significance
of the first DE. If I try to recast the verse in English,
I get something like
Keep pursuing the love, yet keep "obsessing over the
spiritual [stuff]," but especially so that you can
The DE, rendered here as "yet", seems (to me) to put the
emphasis on ZHLOUTE TA PNEUMATIKA, where I would expect
it to be on DIWKETE THN AGAPHN.
I'm wondering if one shouldn't break the sentence and the
paragraph otherwise, so as to get something like
...Keep pursuing the love!
Now do keep "obsessing over the spiritual [stuff]," but
especially so that you can keep prophesying....
On 12.31, I find myself (reluctantly) disagreeing with Carl.
I here (as above) give ZHLOUTE a negative sense -- in general
ZHLOUW seems to indicate passionate feeling, whether good or
bad. My choice to do so is that after Paul's arguments about
the necessity in balance among the gifts, it "feels" better
to interpret the sentence as
Yet you keep obsessing over the "greater gifts"!
Now/yet keep being passionate about the greater gifts.
The latter would make more sense as an introduction to chapter
14, whereas the former seems to make a better segue to the
arguments of chapter 13.
James H. Vellenga | email@example.com
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