Is it a question or not

Jeffrey White jbwwhite at
Wed Nov 10 19:08:12 EST 1999

Since the demon was speaking through the man, 'us' logically refers to the
man and the demon speaking together much as one might speak by the Spirit of
God referring to himself/herself and the Spirit when there is agreement
between them. In Ephesians 2:2, it says 'tou pneumatos tou nun energountos
en tois uiois ths apeiqeias'. Mark 1:24 certainly presents a man having a
demon 'inworking' within him. James 2:19 says, 'ta daimwnia pisteuousin kai
frissousin'. Thus the demon and the man speaking together express something
from a belief characterized by an expectation of destruction by the Lord.

Jeffrey White
jbwwhite at
-----Original Message-----
From: Joe A. Friberg <JoeFriberg at>
To: Biblical Greek <b-greek at>
Date: Wednesday, November 10, 1999 6:34 PM
Subject: Re: Is it a question or not

>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"?
>Tony Prost responded:
>> what would account for such an unaccountable ambiguity in such a text?
>> would the author not structure it so that it is clear? the dilemma
>The original text was a record of oral tradition, and the oral rendering
>would not have been ambiguous due to intonation.  When written, the
>text would not have been ambiguous since the oral rendering would have
>survived and was conveyed with public readings.
>Now for us, what do we have to go on, assuming our traditions do not form a
>continuous stream w/ the oral tradition ( ;-) ).  The clause in question is
>preceded by a question and followed by an assertion.  I would tend to go
>with the flow of the prior question and call this clause a question.  The
>prior question indicates antogonism between Jesus and the speaker, which is
>also indicated by this clause.  The switch to assertive mode in the
>following clause is marked clearly by OIDA, and this is perhaps the
>strongest indicator in the context that the middle clause should be a
>Finally, does it make much difference which way it is taken??  In any
>a demonized man has simply raised the issue of whether Jesus has come to
>destroy "us".  Whether he raised the issue as his belief in its facticity,
>as a question to find out if his suspicion was true, or as a taunt to turn
>the people against Jesus, does not really matter.  Other questions could be
>raised about this outburst, such as: who is "us"--the man and the demon, or
>the congregation in the synagogue?; what was the tone of the man?; how did
>he make the subsequent assertion, with belief or irony??  How did the
>congregation respond to this man and his outburst, and what did they
>understand him to mean?  They probably understood in many different ways of
>astonishment, fear, indignation, etc.  But what is very clear from the text
>is that Jesus' reaction was to command the demon(ized man) "Shut up!", and
>Jesus demonstrated his authority.
>Just some thoughts on a terse passage that could have said more, but which
>says plenty enough to keep us wondering, wondering--like the people--at
>Jesus' authority!
>God Bless!
>Joe Friberg
>B-Greek home page:
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