[B-Greek] EI and EAN Jn 3:12
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Sun Mar 5 05:38:59 EST 2006
The primary conditional construction here is
EI (TA EPIGEIA EIPON hUMIN KAI OU PISTEUETE)
PWS (EAN EIPW hUMIN TA EPOURANIA) PISTEUSETE.
"If you DO not believe" then "HOW WILL you believe?
But it might be easier to think of it thus:
"I told you earthly things, and you don't believe (me/what I said).
And if that's the case, how will you (be able to) believe me/what I
say if I tell you heavenly things?"
That is to say, the EI governs the entire two-clause coordinate
structure of TA EPIGEIA ... OU PISTEUETE, not just the EI ... EIPON
Does that help?
On Mar 5, 2006, at 4:08 AM, Oun Kwon wrote:
> In Jn 3:12
> EI TA EPIGEIA EIPON hUMIN KAI OU PISTEUETE PWS
> EAN EIPW hUMIN TA EPOURANIA PISTEUSETE
> Can I take EI as 'when' in contrast to EAN?
> In the context, Nicodemus did not understand what Jesus told him,
> things. Jesus wants to say further the heavenly things would not be
> understood if Jesus tells him. (The heavenly things had not been
> told yet;
> what these would be is a different issue I have to solve.) The
> text is
> when I told you earthly things, you did not understand. Then,
> if I tell you heavenly things, how is possible for you to understand.
> What would be different meaning/usage of EI and EAN?
> Most of time EI corresponds to and rendered as 'if'. I was not
> sure of my
> idea of taking it as 'when' in this verse, but it seems fit the
> context as I
> For example, in 1Jn 4:11
> EI OUTWS hO QEOS HGAPHSEN hHMAS
> KAI hHMEIS OFEILOMEN ALLHLOUS AGAPAN
> here I don't think this EI is something like 'if'. If God loves?
> Well, God
> loves! The author was not questioning this, was he? Simply
> rendering as 'if
> God loves' is somewhat jarring.
> I hope I expressed my question clear enough to be understood and
> hope this
> does not belong to translation issue.
> Thanks for your help.
> Oun Kwon.
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Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
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