[B-Greek] Hebrews 3:16 - prove it's a question

Steve Runge srunge at logos.com
Thu Jul 26 18:14:39 EDT 2007


It might be prudent to do a bit more research before making such a strongly-worded claim, one which might turn out to be a straw man.

If you consult the NA27 apparatus, you will find that there is indeed a variant reading for TINES.  The following manuscripts have a reading of the indefinite pronoun ????? as opposed to the interrogative pronoun ?????: K L P 0243. 0278. 1739. 1881 pm latt.  As you will note, the spelling is the same, the difference is in the accenting Cf. BDAG p. 1007f.  They even cite Heb 3:16-18 as an example of the plural form of the interrogative pronoun).  Based on the manuscript evidence, NA27, UBS4, Tischendorf and Scrivner all read the interrogative pronoun, punctuation aside.  All but Scrivner punctuate v. 16a as a question, but even he notes the interrogative punctuation as a variant in the apparatus.  I would expect that the punctuation of these editions is influenced more by the presence of the interrogative than on a conspiracy of some sort.  

While your position may be self-evident and patently obvious from your standpoint, it would be worth your time to go back and look at the details a bit more.  Here endeth my 'weak and pathetic proofs'.


-----Original Message-----
From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of rey jacobs
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007 2:20 PM
To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [B-Greek] Hebrews 3:16 - prove it's a question

In Hebrews 3:16 the Greek text says:

tines gar akousanten parepikranan all' ou pantes oi exelqontes ex aiguptou dia mwsews (some texts have mwusews)

So, all the texts have the same words. There is no variant, other than a slight difference on the spelling of Moses' name, which is inconsequential.

Now, the modern translations all say something like "Who having heard provoked? Wasn't it everyone who came out of Egypt by Moses?"

But all the older translations, reformation era, say essentially "For some having heard provoked, but not all who came out of Egypt by Moses."

All the older Greek editors punctuated their texts like "tines gar akousanten parepikranan, all' ou pantes oi exelqontes ex aiguptou dia mwsews." as a statement. But the modern editors punctuate "tines gar akousanten parepikranan? all' ou pantes oi exelqontes ex aiguptou dia mwusews?" as two questions.

Now, it is clear that rendering this as a question creates a contradiction.  Anyone who has ever read the Old Testament knows that everyone who came out of Egypt by Moses did not provoke in the provocation referred to in verse 15, which was the rebellion of Korah. Furthermore, anyone with common sense can tell that in the next verse (verse 17) not everyone who came out of Egypt by Moses had their carcass fall in the wilderness.  That being the case, common sense would dictate that this verse 16 is a statement, not a question, and as whether it is a statement or question is determined by context, context forces us to render it as a statement.

It is apparent, therefore, that those who render it as a question do so on purpose to create a contradiction where there is none -- this is clearly a statement not a question.  I would like to see, therefore, whatever weak and pathetic proofs the proponents of the question rendering may think they have.

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