1 Cor 14:31

From: Andrew Bromage (bromage@cs.mu.oz.au)
Date: Wed Oct 15 1997 - 18:09:43 EDT

G'day all.

I'm interested in 1 Cor 14:31. This always used to look like a
commandment to me:


However it seems to syntactically imply that DUNASQE PROFHTEUEIN even
though it pragmatically doesn't (because of, for example, 1 Cor 12:29).

My problem is that the the lexicon definition of DUNAMAI is about
_ability_ rather than permission. I also looked up the NIDNTT and it
didn't seem to shed any light on the problem.

Looking through English versions, modern translations invariably
translate DUNASQE as "you can", which doesn't really help since the
distinction between "can" and "may" is blurred in modern English
idiom. The KJV uses "ye may" (which what I read it as meaning in
context) and Young's uses "ye are able", unsurprisingly using the more
literal definition.

I assume that there is a Greek idiom at work here. Can anyone help
me out with it? Can it be characterised succinctly? Does it appear
elsewhere in the NT?

Thanks in advance etc.

Andrew Bromage

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