[B-Greek] asyndeton in Jas 1:27
jdarlack at gcts.edu
Mon Aug 14 15:29:41 EDT 2006
In James 1:27, the two clauses, at the end of the verse are not connected by a conjuction:
επισκεπτεσθαι ορφανους και χηρας εν τη θλιψει αυτων, ασπιλον εαυτον τηρειν απο του κοσμου.
EPISKEPTESQAI ORAFANOUS KAI XHRAS EN THi QLIYEI AUTWN, ASPILON EAUTON THREIN APO TOU KOSMOU.
Here are the questions:
How are the two clauses related?
1. Simple coordination? "to visit the widows and orphans in their affliction AND to keep oneself unspotted from the world"
2. Antithetical? "to visit the widows and orphans in their affliction BUT to keep oneself unspotted from the world" (see Mayor's commentary, pg ccxxvi)
3. Epexegetical? "to visit the widows and orphans in their affliction, THAT IS to keep onself unspotted from the world"
OR, should there even be a relationship here? Could one simply translate "to visit the widows and orphans in their affliction, to keep onself unspotted from the world"?
I've surveyed English translations in BibleWorks and only Darby's translation explicitly retains the asyndeton here, while the ASV, ERV, KJV, NAS, RWB and WEB all have "and" in italics or otherwise distinguished from the rest of the text.
Of course one could make a mountain out of this conjunction mole hill, but does the insertion of a conjunction between these two clauses help to separate sanctification from social concern? Would an adoption of a translation that removed the conjunction still make sense?
I'm curious to know what those who know a lot more about Greek than I would say about this...
James M. Darlack
Assistant Librarian for Reference & Bibliographic Instruction
Goddard Library, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
130 Essex Street, South Hamilton, MA 01982
978.646.4004 Phone - 978.646.4567 Fax
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