MHTI in 2Cor 13:5

richard smith rbsads at aol.com
Wed May 22 08:18:00 EDT 2002


EI MHTI ADOKIMOI ESTE

The NIV and NRSV translate "unless, indeed, you fail to meet the test."
The NIV actually includes the phrase as part of the preceding question.

I apologize for incessantly asking questions when my reading of the text
cannot render the same sense as is in the English translations.  But your
patience is appreciated, and has helped me to improve my understanding of
specific constructions. Carl, if I am moving beyond the scope of BGreek
into translation, I will try to correct myself.

But I think this can be considered a Greek grammar question regarding the
use of the particle MHTI in a statement.

The translations seem to be using MHTI as an indicator of uncertainty, as
if in a real or rhetorical question.  Yet the sentence is a statement.

Could MHTI be understood here as emphatic negation? With EI also being an
intensive particle?

Something like:

"Indeed you are certainly not proven unworthy. (6) And I hope that you
will know that we ourselves are not proven unworthy."

Also, I am not sure that the phrasing "fail the test" gives a full,
adequate, rendering of EIMI ADOKIMOS. It seems to me more to mean a
judgement of character after testing, a proven lack of integrity, rather
than a failure of any specific test. The emphasis is on the established
character, rather than on the failure of the test?

After testing, the person is judged unworthy.

Thank you,

Richard Smith
Chattanooga, TN



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