James 5:7 οὖν

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Iver Larsen
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Joined: May 7th, 2011, 3:52 am

Re: James 5:7 οὖν

Post by Iver Larsen » November 24th, 2011, 2:34 am

Jakob K. Heckert in his book "Discourse function of conjoiners in the Pastoral Epistles" also discusses οὖν and other Greek discourse particles. He looks at them from 3 perspectives: Classical Greek, NT Greek and Discourse linguistics. This last perspective is basically that of Levinsohn, who was his teacher in linguistics and supervisor.

J. Heckert quotes my paper on page 95 as follows: "Larsen says, "the basic relationship expressed by οὖν is consequence" by which he means inference." It is news to me that this is what I meant, since neither of the two ever asked me what I meant. I do not quite agree that this is what I meant. It may be a different perspective on English words, and I am not a native speaker of English. Looking up "consequent" in my English dictionary I find several definitions:
1. a logical result or effect,
2. significance of importance
3. in consequence, as a result

In my terminology, inference is a logical deduction, while consequence is much broader than logical deductions. I chose consequence rather than inference in order to be able to cover five of the 7 suggested functions under one term. If Levisohn and Heckert use "inference" to be equivalent with my "consequence" we are more agreed than I thought.
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Mark Lightman
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Re: James 5:7 οὖν

Post by Mark Lightman » November 25th, 2011, 12:01 am

For the beginner, the first step in getting a grasp of οὖν is to contrast it with γάρ:
ὁ Aaron Rogers καλὸς στρατηγός (quarterback) ἐστιν. νικᾷ οὖν πολλἀκις.
Aaron Rogers is a fine quarterback. So he wins lots of games.
versus
ὁ Tim Tebow καλὸς στρατηγός (quarterback) ἐστιν. νικᾷ γὰρ πολλάκις.
Tim Tebow is a fine quarterback. You see, he wins lots of games.
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David Lim
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Re: James 5:7 οὖν

Post by David Lim » November 25th, 2011, 6:20 am

Iver Larsen wrote:Jakob K. Heckert in his book "Discourse function of conjoiners in the Pastoral Epistles" also discusses οὖν and other Greek discourse particles. He looks at them from 3 perspectives: Classical Greek, NT Greek and Discourse linguistics. This last perspective is basically that of Levinsohn, who was his teacher in linguistics and supervisor.

J. Heckert quotes my paper on page 95 as follows: "Larsen says, "the basic relationship expressed by οὖν is consequence" by which he means inference." It is news to me that this is what I meant, since neither of the two ever asked me what I meant. I do not quite agree that this is what I meant. It may be a different perspective on English words, and I am not a native speaker of English. Looking up "consequent" in my English dictionary I find several definitions:
1. a logical result or effect,
2. significance of importance
3. in consequence, as a result

In my terminology, inference is a logical deduction, while consequence is much broader than logical deductions. I chose consequence rather than inference in order to be able to cover five of the 7 suggested functions under one term. If Levisohn and Heckert use "inference" to be equivalent with my "consequence" we are more agreed than I thought.
I agree that "consequence" is rather different from "inference". However I still think that "therefore" in English can be used even if there is little logical inference, though such usage seems to be disappearing and being replaced by "so" or "now then", both of which are unfortunately informal and convey a different tone. This is not quite relevant on B-Greek of course, but what do you suggest as alternatives to convey the original better than "therefore"?
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cwconrad
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Re: James 5:7 οὖν

Post by cwconrad » November 25th, 2011, 7:49 am

David Lim wrote:
Iver Larsen wrote:Jakob K. Heckert in his book "Discourse function of conjoiners in the Pastoral Epistles" also discusses οὖν and other Greek discourse particles. He looks at them from 3 perspectives: Classical Greek, NT Greek and Discourse linguistics. This last perspective is basically that of Levinsohn, who was his teacher in linguistics and supervisor.

J. Heckert quotes my paper on page 95 as follows: "Larsen says, "the basic relationship expressed by οὖν is consequence" by which he means inference." It is news to me that this is what I meant, since neither of the two ever asked me what I meant. I do not quite agree that this is what I meant. It may be a different perspective on English words, and I am not a native speaker of English. Looking up "consequent" in my English dictionary I find several definitions:
1. a logical result or effect,
2. significance of importance
3. in consequence, as a result

In my terminology, inference is a logical deduction, while consequence is much broader than logical deductions. I chose consequence rather than inference in order to be able to cover five of the 7 suggested functions under one term. If Levisohn and Heckert use "inference" to be equivalent with my "consequence" we are more agreed than I thought.
I agree that "consequence" is rather different from "inference". However I still think that "therefore" in English can be used even if there is little logical inference, though such usage seems to be disappearing and being replaced by "so" or "now then", both of which are unfortunately informal and convey a different tone. This is not quite relevant on B-Greek of course, but what do you suggest as alternatives to convey the original better than "therefore"?
I rather think this thread -- insofar as it passed beyond a discussion of the usage of οὖν in Jas 5:7 into a broader discussion of the particle itself; I think it belongs in "Greek Language and Linguistics."

Particles really are "pesky." This discussion has helped to make us conscious of the perils of facile equivalencies between ancient Greek and modern English (or any other language). "Consequence" is indeed not quite equivalent to "inference." I was rather skeptical of τὸ τοῦ Φωσφόρου ῥῆμα:
Mark Lightman wrote:For the beginner, the first step in getting a grasp of οὖν is to contrast it with γάρ:
ὁ Aaron Rogers καλὸς στρατηγός (quarterback) ἐστιν. νικᾷ οὖν πολλἀκις.
Aaron Rogers is a fine quarterback. So he wins lots of games.
It seems to me thaτ this confounds logical consequence with cause and effect. I think I would expect a ὡστε or ἵνα construction here rather than an οὖν construction: ὥστε πολλάκις νικῆσαι.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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

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