Re: How to translate Jam 4.5

From: Francisco Orozco (
Date: Sat Apr 25 1998 - 13:29:46 EDT

Hello Daniel, Steven,
    Thank you for taking a stab at my question. I searched the BGreek
archives, and found that the same question had been posted in Jan 22, 1997 &
Oct 17, 1996 but went unanswered. There are a couple of posts on the
passage, but these are also mostly questions and not answers.
    Daniel had written
"La dificultad de las traducciones *proviene* de la dificultad del original,
y la mayor proviene del hecho de que no conocemos con seguridad (o me
equivoco?) el origen de la cita, y por tanto su contexto."

[me now]
Yes, I agree, I did not mean to imply that the Gr was not difficult. I think
that since we have the Gr, let us limit ourselves to it, and dismiss
Wettstein's conjecture since it does not have Mss evidence (that I know of).
O'Callaghan's rendition also seems too difficult.

[Daniel continued]
Para un analisis de la oraci'on sin el contexto, lo menos claro es el
sentido de *pros fqonon*, y en segundo lugar cual es el sujeto de
*katwkisen*. Si Santiago ha dado un texto que debe entenderse por si solo,
sin conocer el contexto (lo cual no es ni mucho menos necesario en este tipo
de citas) entonces podemos pensar que "os" debe ser sujeto con antecedente
en *pneuma* y entonces lo mas facil es pensar que *pros* indica aqui *causa*

[me now]
Since apparently the phrase is intended to be taken as a quote, we might
assume that just as we treat quotes, these may stand by themseves and be
easily understood. Yet, we might be wrong, and James might not have meant
that this is quote (?) But his hE GRAPHE LEGEI is good enough reason to
assume that what follows is a quote from Scripture. Daniel points to the
causative use of PROS with the accusative. Perhaps those with access to
Gramcord could find whether this usage is attested in the OT (LXX). Do you
mean that we could then read PROS as "because... of envy"?
    I agree that EPIPOQEW (a yearning desire to do something) does not
necessarily embodies a sense which we might judge either as positive
(beneficial, was Daniel's word) or negative. In fact, of all 9 uses I found
in the NT, 8 are clearly positive (the 1 left is the passage in question).
Again, indeed FQONOS (FQOVOS?) is clearly used negatively throughout the NT
(all 9 uses, if we take this passage also as negative).
    So that Daniel's translation is "Por causa de la envidia arde de deseo
el espiritu que en nosotros puso su morada" [Because of envy the spirit that
placed its dwelling in us (dwells in us) burns with desire (yearns
    If the subject of the subordinated clause is QEOS, then it is rendered
"the spirit that God made to dwell in us". Daniel further comments that
another better attested usage in the NT of PROS is that of purpose (cf.
Brooks & Winbery p.59) yet Daniel states that the sense would be "worse".

Steven wrote:

        Perhaps the context **MOICALIDES**... hOS EAN OUN BOULHQH
        that the reference is to the adultery chapter in Numbers
        particularly 5:30 (del marido sobre el cual venga espiritu
        de celos) and 5:3 (el campamento de aquellos entre los
        cuales yo habito).

        Perhaps the "Twelve Tribes of the Diaspora" would be familiar
        with this kind of lateral commentary on the Torah??

        But that's just one suggestion. If it's correct then perhaps
        the rendering of PROS as if equal to EIS is not so awkward?

[me now]
Hmmm, interesting. Certainly the MOICALIDES context could point us to Num 5
(v.30's PNEUMA ZHLWSEWS). It got me thinking that perhaps we should place
greater weight in *James'* context... could it be that there was such a
"lateral commentary of the Torah" that what James says in v.5 is what he
said with other words in verse 1? OUK ENTEUQEN EK TWN HDONWN hUMWN TWN

Any more help?
Francisco Orozco
icq 10579095

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