[B-Greek] Rm. 13:3b: "QELEIS..."

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Fri May 29 09:27:56 EDT 2009


On May 29, 2009, at 8:25 AM, Mark Lightman wrote:

> You are very observant to notice this.  You're right, all the  
> translations I checked
> construe it as a question, and the Greek texts of  Westcott/Hort,  
> Fodges, and
> Robinsom/Pierpont punctuate it as a question.  Only NA27/UBS3 has it  
> as
> a statement, followed by Zondervan's RGNT.  NA 27/UBS3 does not even  
> have
> a note.  Even the Modern Greek, though carrying no more evidentiary  
> weight than
> any other translation, construes it as a question: QELEIS ESU NA MH  
> FOBASAI
> THN EXOUSIA;
>
> Of course, the minority view can be correct.  But QELEIS X? meaning
> X seems to be an established idiom in rhetoric.  Cf. James 2:20
> QELEIS DE GNWMAI Wi ANQRWPE KENE, hOTI H PISTIS
> XWPIS TWN ERGWN ARGH ESTIN?  In both cases I would
> say the sentence is a question more in tone than anything else.
>
> Mark L.

I think that's right on target. Here the rhetorical question functions  
as the equivalent of the protasis of a conditional sentence of the  
format, EAN DE QELHiS MH FOBEISQAI THN EXOUSIAN,  TO AGAQON POIEI, KAI  
hEXEIS EPAINON EX AUTHS.(ἐάν δε θελῃς μὴ  
φοβεῖσθαι τὴν εξουσίαν, τὸ ἀγαθὸν  
ποίει, καὶ ἕξεις ἔπαινον ἐξ αὐτῆς).

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

> --- On Fri, 5/29/09, A. J. Birch <AJB1212 at ono.com> wrote:
>
>
> From: A. J. Birch <AJB1212 at ono.com>
> Subject: [B-Greek] Rm. 13:3b: "QELEIS..."
> To: "B-Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Date: Friday, May 29, 2009, 12:15 AM
>
>
> "?? ??? ???????? ??? ????? ????? ?? ????? ???? ???? ?? ????. ?????? ?? ?? ????????? ??? ????????· ?? ?????? ????? ??? ????? ??????? ?? ?????·" (Romans 
>  13:3)

Note: unless you set your text-encoding to UTF-8 and use a Unicode  
Greek font, your Greek-font-cited Greek text is going to be  
gobbledygook to list-members reading your post. But, as I noted  
yesterday, the common failure to observe this requirement is the  
reason why we continue to insist on ASCII transliteration of the Greek  
texts.

> "hOI GAR ARCONTES OUK EISIN FOBOS TWi AGAQWi ERGWi ALLA TWi KAKWi.  
> QELEIS DE MH FOBEISQAI THN EXOUSIAN· TO AGAQON POIEI, KAI hEXEIS  
> EPAINON EX AUTHS·" (Romans 13:3)
>
> My question is about the phrase, "QELEIS DE MH FOBEISQAI THN  
> EXOUSIAN·": all the Bible-versions I've consulted treat this phrase  
> as a question, but my Greek text punctuates it as a statement; is  
> there any GRAMMATICAL basis for either of these 'readings'?
>
> Thankyou,
>
> Andrew J. Birch
> Palma de Mallorca, Spain







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