Is it a question or not

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at
Wed Nov 10 06:29:01 EST 1999

At 1:10 PM -0600 11/8/99, Michael McCoy wrote:
>In Mark 1:24, we find this statement HLQES APOLESAI hMAS.  Is this a
>continuation of the question immediately preceding it, "Did you come to
>destroy us", or is it an indicative statement, "You came to destroy us"?

UBS3/4 and NA26/27 print it as a question, but there is no reason, so far
as the form of the text is concerned, why it couldn't be understood as a
statement rather than a question. This is a matter of the editor's (or
reader's) judgment of the probabilities. Even as a question, however, it
could be rhetorical: the demon giving expression fearfully to what he/it at
least suspects to be a fact indeed. In sum, it's a matter of interpretation
within the context rather than a question which can be resolved decisively
by textual indications.

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
cwconrad at

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