[b-greek] Re: question about james 5:14

From: Iver Larsen (alice-iver_larsen@wycliffe.org)
Date: Sun Nov 26 2000 - 12:11:06 EST

Rob Somers wrote:

> > I have a question about the meaning of this passage in James [5:14]
> >
> > From what I can see in the UBS GNT 4th Ed.,
> >
> > ASTHENEI TIS EV hUMIN "The one who is sick among you...."
> >
> > is not a question, but rather a statement -- especially as there is no
> > punctuation [;] that would indicate this being a question (Although there
> is
> > in my Zondervan Parallel Interlinear -- it has the [;]
> Ok then, simply what I would like to know is this: -- what is with the [;]
> in this passage? It is not in my UBS GNT -- however, my NASB translates
> this as a question. Is it a question James asking, or a statement?

New Century Version translates James 5:13-14a as follows: "Anyone who is having
troubles should pray. Anyone who is happy should sing praises. Anyone who is sick
should call the church's elders."

In the UBS Greek text it is a statement, not a question. The way I understand it, it
is not a statement of fact, but a statement of presuppositon. It is important to
notice the present tense, which is better described here as imperfective aspect.
Imperfective aspect can be expressed as "when I have said this, I have said
something, but more is to come", or: "what I am talking about is not completed." It
is also helpful to notice that James 5:13 has two examples of exactly the same
construction: "(Suppose) someone among you is suffering - let him/her pray. (Suppose)
someone feels encouraged - let him/her sing praises. (Suppose) someone among you is
weak/sick, let him/her call the elders of the church..."

The way the punctuation has been put in the UBS GNT shows that the editors
interpreted it as a statement, not a question. However, in another language it is
quite possible to translate the presupposition as either a rhetorical question that
states a presupposition (Is anyone among you sick?) or as a condition (If anyone
among you is sick) or with a relative clause (Anyone among you who is sick.)

It is possible to take it as a rhetorical question in the Greek, since NT Greek does
use rhetorical questions to introduce a topic and even to introduce a condition.
Bernhard Weiss interpreted all three as questions in his edition of the Greek text.
Whatever one chooses, it would not change the meaning.

Iver Larsen
p.t. Denmark
(SIL Translation Consultant)

B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [jwrobie@mindspring.com]
To unsubscribe, forward this message to leave-b-greek-327Q@franklin.oit.unc.edu
To subscribe, send a message to subscribe-b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:36:42 EDT