Re: hUYEI and TAPEINWSEI in James 1:9-10

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Apr 21 1998 - 06:35:19 EDT

At 1:29 PM -0500 4/21/98, Paul Zellmer wrote:
>I have tried three times to respond to your response to my original
>message. I would get about halfway through my response, and, time and
>again, the power would go out! I apologize that I am not quoting it
>here, but I am having to use my laptop and send my response from Manila
>(a ten-hour trip away from Cabagan!) Your message isn't on this
>computer. So all of you will have to depend on your memory, or on the
>archives, when they get caught up.
> You identified my confusion with the sigma correctly. I DO realize
>that there is no future subjunctive, at least in the GNT. And, if I
>read your response correctly, there is not any in classical greek
>either. And I had forgotten about the -SIS ending. Thanks.
>My reason behind the question was the sense that I would have liked to
>find in these clauses. It's not really eisegesis. It's trying to
>understand the breadth of the text. I would have liked to see the
>subjunctive-type concept here when James talks about the low being
>raised, or the rich being lowered. Maybe this uncertainty of the
>raising or lowering is already included in the prepositional phrase.
>Can the EN phrases express possible occurences only as opposed to
>events which definitely will take place?

Well, I am pretty certain there is no subjunctive type of idea involved,
nor do I see "uncertainty" as such at all involved in the prepositional
phrases. I have an idea here that seems to me to make sense, but I would be
rather tentative about it and invite alternative perspectives: it does seem
to me that James demonstrates more of the Old Testament prophetic
egalitarian emphasis in the way he sees the implications of the
gospel--more than perhaps any other NT book than Luke (although I think
it's there in Paul also, and nowhere more than at Gal 3:28). It seems to me
that one possible intent in these two verses is to assert that the rich man
and the poor man should each find the greatest satisfaction NOT in his/her
external circumstances of wealth, poverty, or social status, but in his/her
being a brother or sister of Christ in a Christian fellowship that
emphasizes their brotherhood rather than external circumstances. Does that
make sense?

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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