[B-Greek] APOKRIQHTE as a subjunctive in Mark 11:29

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Fri Oct 30 07:16:26 EDT 2009

On Oct 29, 2009, at 11:14 PM, Mark Hoffman wrote:

> There are two instances of APOKRIQHTE in the LXX and three in the  
> NT. This
> is one of those words that could be either a subjunctive or  
> imperative and
> Aorist passive, 2nd plural.
> 1 Sam 12.3 - These would both have to be imperatives (but for a  
> reason I
> can't figure out, the CATSS morphology lists the first as an  
> imperative and
> the second as a subjunctive?)
> In the NT:
> It clearly is a subjunctive in Luke 22:68. since it occurs in an OU MH
> construction. (And NA27 places a circumflex over the H to be clear.)
> In Mark 11:30 it would seem clearly to be an imperative. (And NA27  
> places
> the accent over the E to be clear.)
> Mark 11:29, however, appears to be more difficult to me. It is  
> regularly
> analyzed (so NA27 and the morph schemes in BW8) and translated in  
> English as
> an imperative. The NRS is typical: "I will ask you one question;*  
> answer me*,
> and I will tell you by what authority I do these things."
> Note, however, that, this requires that one basically skip over the  
> KAI that
> immediately proceeds it. I suppose this isn't completely unusual...  
> The
> NASB, as one might expect, retains it, but you can hear that it  
> sounds a bit
> odd and a "then" is added to help clarify the sense: "I will ask you  
> one
> question, *and you answer Me*, and *then *I will tell you by what  
> authority
> I do these things."
> I am wondering if it wouldn't better to take the APOKRIQHTE as a
> subjunctive. My sense of the translation then would be: "I will ask  
> you one
> question, *and should you answer me*, I will also tell you by what  
> authority
> I do these things." The difficulty with my rendering is having to  
> take the
> second KAI as an "also" or "indeed."
> So:
> 1) Is this a legitimate way of understanding the subjunctive?
> 2) Does the subjunctive work better than the imperative in this  
> context?

It would help to have the text in front of us:
Mark 11:29 ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς·  
ἐπερωτήσω ὑμᾶς ἕνα λόγον, καὶ  
ἀποκρίθητέ μοι καὶ ἐρῶ ὑμῖν ἐν  
ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιῶ· [hO DE IHSOUS EIPEN  

No, this is clearly an imperative: "I'll ask you, you answer me, and  
(then) I'll tell you ... " I really don't think we should suppose that  
APOKRIQHTE is hypothetical; it's a chlalenge (:he knows very well that  
they're not going to answer).

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

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