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

Robert Newman rob at designceramics.co.uk
Thu Jul 26 20:24:40 EDT 2007

Dear Rey,
In your original messae you claim-
Rey: 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.

Steve has kindly shown this statement to be in error and I was able to confirm the facts he provided with NA27 and Scrivener. There is a textual issue at the heart of this question, but whatever proof the manuscripts both Uncial and Minuscule offer you dismiss with "it proves nothing". Still this is not the place to discuss textual criticism

You begin your reply to my message by claiming my statement that 'Hebrews 3:16 begins with TINES' is "patently false" because as you say "GAR is really the first word".
That TINES is the first word written in the verse is certainly true, I find your comment rather unkind and pointless.

There is nothing "weird" about GAR following TINES (as interrogative pronoun) at the begining of a question.

Some translate: "For who..." bringing it forward in the English translation, this makes good sense.
Others appear to view GAR as being used as per BDAG 1- f . "Often in questions, where the English idiom leaves the word untranslated"

As for "context and knowlege of the subject", we have to be careful here to stick to discussing the Greek language. I do not expect any discussion of the Hebrew scripture texts I previously cited, they were for your personal scutiny.

(by the way we are requested on this list to sign our name at the end of our post)

Warm Regards
Robert Newman

Rey wrote:

Your claim "You may consider it a 'pathetic proof' but Hebrews 3:16 begins with an Interrogative pronoun TINES"  is patently false.  Actually, it starts with GAR, which is post-positive, so yes tines is written first, but GAR is really the first word "tines gar"--"because some."  What an interesting sentence it would be to say "Because who...?" Most translations realize how weird that would be and delete GAR altogether since they have determined come hell or high water to render the verse as a question. And, as was just pointed out in my reply to Steve, the difference between tines as an interogative pronoun (who?) and an indefinite pronoun (some) is made in modern printed editions simply by accents that are NOT original since the autographs were written as uncials.  Therefore, we have to use our brains and determine from context and knowledge of the subject being discussed whether tines is being used as an interogative pronoun (who?) or indefinite pronoun (some). Even if some minuscule scribe erroneously accented tines as an interrogative in one or two manuscripts (or even all of them) it proves nothing.

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