Jn 11:37 question tag OUK

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Fri Mar 15 21:55:38 EST 2002


At 9:26 PM -0500 3/15/02, richard smith wrote:
>OUK EDUNATO hOUTOS hO ANOIXAS TOUS OFQALMOUS TOU TUFLOU POIHSAI hINA KAI
>hOUTOS MH APOQANHi;
>
>The basic Greek texts all teach about the expected yes answer of OU
>indicative questions.
>
>Is the above verse intended to express that those who asked the question
>expected that Jesus could have acted so that Lazarus might not have died?
>
>Perhaps the question is intended rhetorically.  Even in that case, though,
>the question would seem to be an evaluation of the actions of Jesus, who
>is evidently seen by the questioners as being able to accomplish this
>miracle of stopping Lazarus'death, but did not.
>
>Is the sense of the verse that the questioners expect that Jesus could
>have prevented Lazarus' death and did not act, or that Jesus was evidently
>not up to the task of preventing the death, despite His strong desire to
>do so?

I don't think you can say with confidence much more than that it is clearly
a disparaging question. You've nicely laid out some possibilities, but I
don't think that the Greek or the context provides much of a basis for
choice.
-- 

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months:: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/



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