James 5:3c - Could it be a question?

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jeffreyrequadt
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James 5:3c - Could it be a question?

Post by jeffreyrequadt » December 15th, 2011, 12:57 pm

I was talking to someone yesterday that took the last part of James 5:3, ἐθησαυρίσατε ἐν ἐσχάταις ἡμέραις as a question. The sense would therefore be a rhetorical one, such as "What have you stored up in/for/towards the last days?" Does this make sense linguistically/grammatically? Does it make sense within the context? Is this how such a question might be posed in typical Koine Greek?
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Jeffrey T. Requadt
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: James 5:3c - Could it be a question?

Post by Stephen Carlson » December 15th, 2011, 1:25 pm

jeffreyrequadt wrote:I was talking to someone yesterday that took the last part of James 5:3, ἐθησαυρίσατε ἐν ἐσχάταις ἡμέραις as a question. The sense would therefore be a rhetorical one, such as "What have you stored up in/for/towards the last days?" Does this make sense linguistically/grammatically? Does it make sense within the context? Is this how such a question might be posed in typical Koine Greek?
It's tough sometimes to tell sometimes whether we're looking at a statement or a question. Presumably, there was some tonal or prosodic distinction, but the manuscripts don't record this information.

At any rate, if ἐθησαυρίσατε ἐν ἐσχάταις ἡμέραις was indeed a question, it would mean, "Have you saved up for/in the the last days?" I'm not sure how this question is supposed to make sense in the context, but a clue that does not really make sense is your acquaintance's need to add the word "what" to make the question work better. Greek would need the interrogative τί for your acquaintance's understanding of it to work. In that case, it would have been obvious that it was a question

Stephen
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

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