James 5:7 οὖν

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Jonathan Robie
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James 5:7 οὖν

Post by Jonathan Robie » November 20th, 2011, 4:22 pm

James 5:7 wrote:Μακροθυμήσατε οὖν, ἀδελφοί, ἕως τῆς παρουσίας τοῦ κυρίου.
I'm trying to understand what thought is continued with οὖν in James 5:7.

Robertson suggests:
ATR wrote:Be patient therefore (μακροθυμησατε ουν). A direct corollary (ουν, therefore) from the coming judgment on the wicked rich (5:1-6).
But that seems unlikely, because verses 5:1-6 address οἱ πλούσιοι (the rich) and things that belong to them as ὑμῶν, verses 7 ff address the oppressed brethren as ὑμεῖς, which seems to introduce a new context, addressing a different audience.

Except for that pesky little οὖν. Which some translations even render "therefore". So ... what am I missing here? Does οὖν really have an inferential force in this verse? Or if not, what thought is it continuing, and what is its force?
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Alex Hopkins
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Re: James 5:7 οὖν

Post by Alex Hopkins » November 21st, 2011, 5:08 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
James 5:7 wrote:Μακροθυμήσατε οὖν, ἀδελφοί, ἕως τῆς παρουσίας τοῦ κυρίου.
I'm trying to understand what thought is continued with οὖν in James 5:7.

Robertson suggests:
ATR wrote:Be patient therefore (μακροθυμησατε ουν). A direct corollary (ουν, therefore) from the coming judgment on the wicked rich (5:1-6).
But that seems unlikely, because verses 5:1-6 address οἱ πλούσιοι (the rich) and things that belong to them as ὑμῶν, verses 7 ff address the oppressed brethren as ὑμεῖς, which seems to introduce a new context, addressing a different audience.

Except for that pesky little οὖν. Which some translations even render "therefore". So ... what am I missing here? Does οὖν really have an inferential force in this verse? Or if not, what thought is it continuing, and what is its force?
Verses 1 to 6 are, as Jonathan notes, directed to οἱ πλούσιοι, who are told to weep ἐπὶ ταῖς ταλαιπωρίαις ὑμῶν ταῖς ἐπερχομέναις. The sense of the imminence of these coming miseries is stressed by ὁ ἰὸς αὐτῶν εἰς μαρτύριον ὑμῖν ἔσται καὶ φάγεται τὰς σάρκας ὑμῶν ὡς πῦρ. ἐθησαυρίσατε ἐν ἐσχάταις ἡμέραις (v3)․ The withheld pay which cries out, as well as the shouting of the harvesters, is also forward-looking, appealing to God to act in judgement against the oppressors (v4). Somewhat differently, and by implication rather than explicitly, the rich living luxuriously call forth a judgement which is felt to be imminent. The rich are told, ἐθρέψατε τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν ἐν ἡμέρᾳ σφαγῆς. (v5)

When my daily reading took me through this passage a few weeks ago, I wondered if ἐν ἡμέρᾳ σφαγῆς implied that the rich have slaughtered innocents whom they have oppressed, or whether the slaughter is God's judgement upon the wicked, with the rich who are addressed unaware in their luxurious living that the time of judgement is upon them. Even if taken in the first sense, the implication would seem to be that the godless living of the rich calls for imminent judgement.

James then addresses his readers (v7): Μακροθυμήσατε οὖν, ἀδελφοί, ἕως τῆς παρουσίας τοῦ κυρίου. Since the παρουσία is imminent, you be patient. What is judgement for the rich is, by implication, deliverance for the ἀδελφοί, and it is close, so (οὖν) you - in contrast to the rich - just be patient, hold your nerve, not long now! Verse 8, μακροθυμήσατε καὶ ὑμεῖς, στηρίξατε τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν, ὅτι ἡ παρουσία τοῦ κυρίου ἤγγικεν would seem consonant with such an understanding.

This is probably pretty close to ATR, so maybe I've simply said that I find his explanation a little more convincing than does Jonathan.

Alex Hopkins
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David Lim
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Re: James 5:7 οὖν

Post by David Lim » November 21st, 2011, 9:25 am

Alex Hopkins wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:
James 5:7 wrote:Μακροθυμήσατε οὖν, ἀδελφοί, ἕως τῆς παρουσίας τοῦ κυρίου.
I'm trying to understand what thought is continued with οὖν in James 5:7.

Robertson suggests:
ATR wrote:Be patient therefore (μακροθυμησατε ουν). A direct corollary (ουν, therefore) from the coming judgment on the wicked rich (5:1-6).
But that seems unlikely, because verses 5:1-6 address οἱ πλούσιοι (the rich) and things that belong to them as ὑμῶν, verses 7 ff address the oppressed brethren as ὑμεῖς, which seems to introduce a new context, addressing a different audience.

Except for that pesky little οὖν. Which some translations even render "therefore". So ... what am I missing here? Does οὖν really have an inferential force in this verse? Or if not, what thought is it continuing, and what is its force?
Verses 1 to 6 are, as Jonathan notes, directed to οἱ πλούσιοι, who are told to weep ἐπὶ ταῖς ταλαιπωρίαις ὑμῶν ταῖς ἐπερχομέναις. The sense of the imminence of these coming miseries is stressed by ὁ ἰὸς αὐτῶν εἰς μαρτύριον ὑμῖν ἔσται καὶ φάγεται τὰς σάρκας ὑμῶν ὡς πῦρ. ἐθησαυρίσατε ἐν ἐσχάταις ἡμέραις (v3)․ The withheld pay which cries out, as well as the shouting of the harvesters, is also forward-looking, appealing to God to act in judgement against the oppressors (v4). Somewhat differently, and by implication rather than explicitly, the rich living luxuriously call forth a judgement which is felt to be imminent. The rich are told, ἐθρέψατε τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν ἐν ἡμέρᾳ σφαγῆς. (v5)

When my daily reading took me through this passage a few weeks ago, I wondered if ἐν ἡμέρᾳ σφαγῆς implied that the rich have slaughtered innocents whom they have oppressed, or whether the slaughter is God's judgement upon the wicked, with the rich who are addressed unaware in their luxurious living that the time of judgement is upon them. Even if taken in the first sense, the implication would seem to be that the godless living of the rich calls for imminent judgement.
I think the sense of that phrase should indeed be "you fed your hearts in [a] day of slaying" and that the "slaying" could be figurative, implying that their luxurious living was really at the expense of the righteous ones. Also note that the byzantine text has "εθρεψατε τας καρδιας υμων ως εν ημερα σφαγης" which does not admit the second possibility.
Alex Hopkins wrote:James then addresses his readers (v7): Μακροθυμήσατε οὖν, ἀδελφοί, ἕως τῆς παρουσίας τοῦ κυρίου. Since the παρουσία is imminent, you be patient. What is judgement for the rich is, by implication, deliverance for the ἀδελφοί, and it is close, so (οὖν) you - in contrast to the rich - just be patient, hold your nerve, not long now! Verse 8, μακροθυμήσατε καὶ ὑμεῖς, στηρίξατε τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν, ὅτι ἡ παρουσία τοῦ κυρίου ἤγγικεν would seem consonant with such an understanding.
As Alex said, there is clearly a change in "intended audience", and this change means that "ουν" implies "therefore, seeing as God will judge righteously, be patient and continue to live righteously (for it will bear fruit)"; at least that is how I see it.
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Iver Larsen
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Re: James 5:7 οὖν

Post by Iver Larsen » November 22nd, 2011, 10:53 am

The basic relationship expressed by οὖν is consequence. However, in classical Greek οὖν signified continuation. Moulton et al. (A concordance to the Greek NT, 1978:1104) suggest eight functions for οὖν, but as I argued in my "Notes on the Function of ..." (posted at Academia.edu, can be googled) one of them is incorrect, so we are left with seven:
1. Inference (logical consequence)
2. Consequent command or exhortation
3. Consequent effect or response
4. Inferential question
5. Summary (a final inference, a conclusive statement)
6. Continuation or resumption of narrative
7. Continuation of discussion

In the case of Jas 5:7, οὖν serves to resume speaking to the "brothers" after an aside speaking to the rich ones. It is misleading to translate it as "therefore" as if number 1 was the only function it had.
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Re: James 5:7 οὖν

Post by Jonathan Robie » November 22nd, 2011, 6:53 pm

The previous chapter also ends with an οὖν that does not seem to be inferential.

Ἄγε νῦν οἱ λέγοντες
... εἰδότι οὖν

Ἄγε νῦν οἱ πλούσιοι
... Μακροθυμήσατε οὖν, ἀδελφοί


4:13 Ἄγε νῦν οἱ λέγοντες, σήμερον ἢ αὔριον πορευσόμεθα εἰς τήνδε τὴν πόλιν καὶ ποιήσομεν ἐκεῖ ἐνιαυτὸν καὶ ἐμπορευσόμεθα καὶ κερδήσομεν·  14 οἵτινες οὐκ ἐπίστασθε τὸ τῆς αὔριον ποία γὰρ ἡ ζωὴ ὑμῶν. ἀτμὶς γάρ ἐστε ἡ πρὸς ὀλίγον φαινομένη, ἔπειτα καὶ ἀφανιζομένη·  15 ἀντὶ τοῦ λέγειν ὑμᾶς· ἐὰν ὁ κύριος θελήσῃ, καὶ ζήσομεν καὶ ποιήσομεν τοῦτο ἢ ἐκεῖνο.  16 νῦν δὲ καυχᾶσθε ἐν ταῖς ἀλαζονίαις ὑμῶν· πᾶσα καύχησις τοιαύτη πονηρά ἐστιν.  17 εἰδότι οὖν καλὸν ποιεῖν καὶ μὴ ποιοῦντι, ἁμαρτία αὐτῷ ἐστιν.

Presumably, everything from verse 13-16 applies to a relatively small number of people who might go conduct business for a year in another city.

Then the οὖν addresses pretty much everyone, saying that neglecting to do what you know to be good is sin. I assume this is a wider audience than verses 13-16. And this οὖν doesn't seem to mean "therefore" - at least, I can't find a logical "therefore" relationship with the verses that immediately precede it.

5:1 Ἄγε νῦν οἱ πλούσιοι, κλαύσατε ὀλολύζοντες ἐπὶ ταῖς ταλαιπωρίαις ὑμῶν ταῖς ἐπερχομέναις. 2 ὁ πλοῦτος ὑμῶν σέσηπεν καὶ τὰ ἱμάτια ὑμῶν σητόβρωτα γέγονεν, 3 ὁ χρυσὸς ὑμῶν καὶ ὁ ἄργυρος κατίωται, καὶ ὁ ἰὸς αὐτῶν εἰς μαρτύριον ὑμῖν ἔσται καὶ φάγεται τὰς σάρκας ὑμῶν ὡς πῦρ· ἐθησαυρίσατε ἐν ἐσχάταις ἡμέραις. 4 ἰδοὺ ὁ μισθὸς τῶν ἐργατῶν τῶν ἀμησάντων τὰς χώρας ὑμῶν ὁ ἀφυστερημένος ἀφ’ ὑμῶν κράζει, καὶ αἱ βοαὶ τῶν θερισάντων εἰς τὰ ὦτα κυρίου σαβαὼθ εἰσελήλυθαν. 5 ἐτρυφήσατε ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς καὶ ἐσπαταλήσατε, ἐθρέψατε τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν ἐν ἡμέρᾳ σφαγῆς. 6 κατεδικάσατε, ἐφονεύσατε τὸν δίκαιον. οὐκ ἀντιτάσσεται ὑμῖν.
7 Μακροθυμήσατε οὖν, ἀδελφοί, ἕως τῆς παρουσίας τοῦ κυρίου. ἰδοὺ ὁ γεωργὸς ἐκδέχεται τὸν τίμιον καρπὸν τῆς γῆς, μακροθυμῶν ἐπ’ αὐτῷ ἕως λάβῃ πρόϊμον καὶ ὄψιμον.

Here, verses 1-6 address a relatively small number of rich people, perhaps the same kinds of people addressed in the first part of 4:13-16.

Then the οὖν addresses pretty much everyone again.

To me, this makes Iver's understanding plausible. But there are two asides, not just one. Anyone want to confirm that οὖν can be used this way?
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Re: James 5:7 οὖν

Post by Jonathan Robie » November 22nd, 2011, 11:48 pm

Here is Iver's paper:

Notes on the function of γαρ, ουν, μεν, δε, και, and τε in the Greek New Testament

Looked at BDAG, which lists senses like:

2. Marker of continuation of a narrative, so, now, then -(s. Rob. 1191: 'a transitional particle relating clauses or sentences loosely together by way of confirmation')

2.a. ουν serves to resume a subject once more after an interruption. For instance, Luke 3:7 resumes the narrative of Luke 3:3
Luke 3 wrote:3 καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν περίχωρον τοῦ Ἰορδάνου κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν, 4 ὡς γέγραπται ἐν βίβλῳ λόγων Ἡσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου· φωνὴ βοῶντος ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ· ἑτοιμάσατε τὴν ὁδὸν κυρίου, εὐθείας ποιεῖτε τὰς τρίβους αὐτοῦ· 5 πᾶσα φάραγξ πληρωθήσεται καὶ πᾶν ὄρος καὶ βουνὸς ταπεινωθήσεται, καὶ ἔσται τὰ σκολιὰ εἰς εὐθείας καὶ αἱ τραχεῖαι εἰς ὁδοὺς λείας· 6 καὶ ὄψεται πᾶσα σὰρξ τὸ σωτήριον τοῦ θεοῦ. 7 Ἔλεγεν οὖν τοῖς ἐκπορευομένοις ὄχλοις βαπτισθῆναι ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ·
Also in 1 Corinthians 8:
1 Corinthians 8 wrote: 1 Περὶ δὲ τῶν εἰδωλοθύτων, οἴδαμεν ὅτι πάντες γνῶσιν ἔχομεν. ἡ γνῶσις φυσιοῖ, ἡ δὲ ἀγάπη οἰκοδομεῖ. 2 εἴ τις δοκεῖ ἐγνωκέναι τι, οὔπω ἔγνω καθὼς δεῖ γνῶναι· 3 εἰ δέ τις ἀγαπᾷ τὸν θεόν, οὗτος ἔγνωσται ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ. 4 περὶ τῆς βρώσεως οὖν τῶν εἰδωλοθύτων οἴδαμεν ὅτι οὐδὲν εἴδωλον ἐν κόσμῳ, καὶ ὅτι οὐδεὶς θεὸς εἰ μὴ εἷς.
2.b. ουν serves to indicate a transition to something new. So especially in the Gospel of John (Rob. 1191: 'John boldly uses ουν alone ... it just carries along the narrative with no necessary thought of cause or result')
John 3 wrote: 7 ἰδὼν δὲ πολλοὺς τῶν Φαρισαίων καὶ Σαδδουκαίων ἐρχομένους ἐπὶ τὸ βάπτισμα εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, γεννήματα ἐχιδνῶν, τίς ὑπέδειξεν ὑμῖν φυγεῖν ἀπὸ τῆς μελλούσης ὀργῆς; 8 ποιήσατε οὖν καρπὸν ἄξιον τῆς μετανοίας·
John 9 wrote:16. ἔλεγον οὖν ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων τινές· οὐκ ἔστιν οὗτος παρὰ θεοῦ ὁ ἄνθρωπος, ὅτι τὸ σάββατον οὐ τηρεῖ. ἄλλοι ἔλεγον· πῶς δύναται ἄνθρωπος ἁμαρτωλὸς τοιαῦτα σημεῖα ποιεῖν; καὶ σχίσμα ἦν ἐν αὐτοῖς. 17. λέγουσιν οὖν τῷ τυφλῷ πάλιν· σὺ τί λέγεις περὶ αὐτοῦ, ὅτι ἤνοιξέν σου τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν ὅτι προφήτης ἐστίν. 18. οὐκ ἐπίστευσαν οὖν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι περὶ αὐτοῦ, ὅτι ἦν τυφλὸς καὶ ἀνέβλεψεν, ἕως ὅτου ἐφώνησαν τοὺς γονεῖς αὐτοῦ τοῦ ἀναβλέψαντος,
The 2.b. sense seems to fit the passages in James from this thread; the 2.a. sense may as well.
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Iver Larsen
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Re: James 5:7 οὖν

Post by Iver Larsen » November 23rd, 2011, 1:47 am

οὖν in John's Gospel does not conform to normal Greek usage. He has his very own way of using it. What exactly this way is, is more difficult to ascertain.

Paul Ellingworth has an article entitled Translating OUN in John's Gospel, available at http://www.ubs-translations.org. It is TBT, Volume 51, no. 1, January 2000.

There is a good article by Martha Reimer entitled The Functions Of Oun In The Gospel Of John, in
Selected technical articles related to translation, No. 13 (June 1985): 28–36. I don't think it is available on the Internet, but her summary is:

Conclusion and Summary
The connective oun is best seen as functioning on at least two major levels: the discourse and the thematic levels. Although meaning can be ascribed to it solely on the basis of how it is related to the preceding sentence(s), a more holistic function can be derived by looking at it from a discourse or thematic perspective. Its discourse function is that of moving the story line along by introducing “distinctive information” which furthers the author’s purpose. To best account for its skewed distribution in John, oun has also been assigned a thematic function—that of monitoring the tension of the developing theme according to the author’s purpose.
A number of questions have been raised by this study of the usage of oun in John The first is the question of what kind of relationship oun has with the other sentence conjunctions and asyndeton especially in the area of plot structure and development. The second question is that of a possible relationship between the use of the historic present tense and oun, since it appears that John is using both on a thematic level.

Iver Larsen
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: James 5:7 οὖν

Post by Stephen Carlson » November 23rd, 2011, 2:20 am

Stephen Levinsohn just gave a paper on οὖν at SBL. It can be found here: http://www.sil.org/~levinsohns/InferentialsPaper.pdf
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Alex Hopkins
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Re: James 5:7 οὖν

Post by Alex Hopkins » November 23rd, 2011, 8:04 am

Posts from Jonathan, Iver, and Stephen since I was last able to check this thread have been interesting and informative. I've not yet had the opportunity to wrestle with all the material referred to. In the article Stephen directed attention to, Levinsohn says,
I have argued elsewhere that οὖν constrains what follows to be interpreted as a distinct point that advances an argument in an inferential way. It is therefore characterised as +Inferential +Distinctive
.

This would seem to be different in its thrust from Iver's understanding - Iver, is that in fact the case? My second question, arising from the recent posts and the material referred to, concerns the degree to which the seven - or eight - senses of οὖν are to be regarded as mutually exclusive. In looking at the James 5:7 example Jonathan originally drew our attention to, I myself continue to find it relatively easy to see an inferential sense in its use, even if it be acknowledged that it may also be resumptive.

Alex Hopkins
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Iver Larsen
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Re: James 5:7 οὖν

Post by Iver Larsen » November 23rd, 2011, 11:37 am

Alex,

To answer your question, yes, my analysis is different from Levinsohn's. However, the brief SBL paper does not do justice to Levinsohn's analyses of οὖν. In his major work on Greek discourse, he says in section 7.4:

"Section 5.3.3 described οὖν as a marked developmental conjunction, employed in John’s Gospel in two ways: inferentially and as a resumptive (also called a “continuative”). οὖν is used in the same two ways in non-narrative text (see Heckert 1996:96), viz., 165
· inferentially
· as a resumptive, usually following material of a digressional nature such as that introduced by γάρ to strengthen an assertion or assumption presented in or implied by the immediate context.

Levinsohn does agree that οὖν is not adversative. However, he seems to limit those 7 possibilities to two. I do not find his use of "inferential" to be helpful, because he uses it in a much broader sense than normal. Even in his treatment of Rom 15:25-28, it could be argued that the οὖν actually resumes the topic of travelling to Spain that was left in v. 24. The δέ in v. 25 might better be simply analysed as introducing a parenthetical section. δέ basically signifies change of some sort, and one of those possible changes is to introduce background material or a deviation.
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