μὴ κατακαυχᾶσθε καὶ ψεύδεσθε

Grammar questions which are not related to any specific text.
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Steve Page
Posts: 6
Joined: October 1st, 2019, 5:05 pm

μὴ κατακαυχᾶσθε καὶ ψεύδεσθε

Post by Steve Page »

In James 3:14 I see
μὴ κατακαυχᾶσθε καὶ ψεύδεσθε
I'm trying to understand if "you must not boast and you must not lie" is grammatically valid; that is, if the negation applies to both imperatives.

Thanks in advance!
Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 2014
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: μὴ κατακαυχᾶσθε καὶ ψεύδεσθε

Post by Barry Hofstetter »

Never noticed this before, but your question calls attention to it. The short answer is yes, of course, and I think I've always read it that way. However, the complication comes in with ψεύδεσθε, which can be either indicative or imperative. Therefore some take it as an indicative, and see it as a shorthand for ὥστε ψεύδεσθε (e.g., ESV and NAS), and others take it as the imperative with μή, (NIV). If imperative, μή really has to be taken with it. I think the omission of the μή is what leads people to see it as indicative. For me, the easiest is to take as the imperative.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.
Shirley Rollinson
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Re: μὴ κατακαυχᾶσθε καὶ ψεύδεσθε

Post by Shirley Rollinson »

Steve Page wrote: November 6th, 2020, 9:57 pm In James 3:14 I see
μὴ κατακαυχᾶσθε καὶ ψεύδεσθε
I'm trying to understand if "you must not boast and you must not lie" is grammatically valid; that is, if the negation applies to both imperatives.

Thanks in advance!
Considering the context, one could hardly see ψεύδεσθε as a positive imperative - "go on continuing to lie !". But if that were so, one would probably not get a καὶ but an αllα (sorry - I've lost my lambda). So the καὶ is linking both imperatives to the μὴ
Steve Page
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Joined: October 1st, 2019, 5:05 pm

Re: μὴ κατακαυχᾶσθε καὶ ψεύδεσθε

Post by Steve Page »

Thank you! I was leaning that way, but I wanted an informed opinion.
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