παρακαλεῖσθε

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παρακαλεῖσθε

Postby Scott Lawson » November 7th, 2012, 1:20 pm

What is the force of παρακαλεῖσθε at 2 Corinthians 13:11?

The present tense in imperatives is usually to command the action as an ongoing process. (I learned this from Carl in another post. Thanks Carl!)
It is also passive which indicates that there is comfort that is being given from an outside source.

Could it be Englished as "continue letting yourselves be comforted?"

What I'm truly interested in is whether or not it is implied that there is an inability/resistance to continue recieving comfort?

On a personal note, I find that to be the case in my circumstances and wonder why the peace of God doesn't continually reign in my heart - is there something wrong with me? Why does God hate me so much?...I've never done anything FOR Him! :shock:

Sorry if this got too personal...just wondering if the use of the present passive imperative implies the constant need to be open to comfort and that we need to be aware of a tendency to resist being comforted.

Scotty
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Re: παρακαλεῖσθε

Postby Eeli Kaikkonen » November 7th, 2012, 3:29 pm

Scott Lawson wrote:Could it be Englished as "continue letting yourselves be comforted?"


The more I read Greek and these kind of "emphasized" or "nuanced" translations the more I feel those translations are misleading. If Paul would have wanted to say "continue doing so" he would have had many good ways to say so. Instead he used generic, neutral present tense. It must be understood against the alternative tense, aorist. Aorist would have referred to a specific event as a whole, but it wouldn't be natural here, because being comforted is continuous by nature, unless it's being comforted for some time or in some situation only and viewed as such. (Even if it's for some time or some situation only it can easily be viewed as non-completed! Choosing a tense involves choosing a viewpoint.)

What I'm truly interested in is whether or not it is implied that there is an inability/resistance to continue recieving comfort?


Based on my opinion above I would say "no" as long as the tense is concerned. It's context dependent. The same goes for the passive. There has been some discussion about passive commands before. The passive (or mediopassive) voice doesn't say how "active" or "passive" the activity of the imperative really is. It can be said that it involves at least some amount of activity because otherwise imperative would be pointless, but then God created the world with imperative (LXX)... My gut feeling is that sometimes the passive imperative can be a strong wish as much as a direct command.

Be blessed and comforted, even though you don't find it in grammar!
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Re: παρακαλεῖσθε

Postby cwconrad » November 7th, 2012, 5:35 pm

Scott Lawson wrote:What is the force of παρακαλεῖσθε at 2 Corinthians 13:11?

The present tense in imperatives is usually to command the action as an ongoing process. (I learned this from Carl in another post. Thanks Carl!)
It is also passive which indicates that there is comfort that is being given from an outside source.

Could it be Englished as "continue letting yourselves be comforted?"


Text: 2 Cor 13:11 Λοιπόν, ἀδελφοί, χαίρετε, καταρτίζεσθε, παρακαλεῖσθε, τὸ αὐτὸ φρονεῖτε, εἰρηνεύετε, καὶ ὁ θεὸς τῆς ἀγάπης καὶ εἰρήνης ἔσται μεθ᾿ ὑμῶν.

All these exhortations are in the present tense and all urge upon the congregation ongoing behavioral patterns; I don't see why the continuous aspect requires any special emphasis (these are hardly exhortations to do anything once only!).

What I do not understand is why one would understand παρακαλεῖσθε as passive. It would seem to me that it's clearly reflexive, or in the plural here, reciprocal: "Encourage each other." I know that's not the way the translators want to deal with it, but why not?
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
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πίνειν, συνεκποτέ’ ἐστί σοι καὶ τὴν τρύγα Aristophanes, Plutus 1085
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Re: παρακαλεῖσθε

Postby Barry Hofstetter » November 7th, 2012, 11:50 pm

cwconrad wrote:Text: 2 Cor 13:11 Λοιπόν, ἀδελφοί, χαίρετε, καταρτίζεσθε, παρακαλεῖσθε, τὸ αὐτὸ φρονεῖτε, εἰρηνεύετε, καὶ ὁ θεὸς τῆς ἀγάπης καὶ εἰρήνης ἔσται μεθ᾿ ὑμῶν.

All these exhortations are in the present tense and all urge upon the congregation ongoing behavioral patterns; I don't see why the continuous aspect requires any special emphasis (these are hardly exhortations to do anything once only!).

What I do not understand is why one would understand παρακαλεῖσθε as passive. It would seem to me that it's clearly reflexive, or in the plural here, reciprocal: "Encourage each other." I know that's not the way the translators want to deal with it, but why not?


Actually, at least one translation, the ESV, takes it as a reciprocal:

2Co 13:11 Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.


So you are not alone... :)
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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