In Acts 1:6, it is written,

Ϛʹ Οἱ μὲν οὖν συνελθόντες ἠρώτων αὐτὸν λέγοντες· κύριε, εἰ ἐν τῷ χρόνῳ τούτῳ ἀποκαθιστάνεις τὴν βασιλείαν τῷ Ἰσραήλ; NA28, ©2012

What is the function/meaning of εἰ in this verse? How should it be understood and translated?


The quote/question literally translates

lord, if/is* in the time it, will you restore the kingdom of Israel?

*while εἰ does not mean "is", it functions similarly as "is" in this context

However, εἰ can have a slightly different meaning when it introduces an interrogative clause:

εἰ, if: but in strong statements, approaching oaths in character, and as the first word in an interrogative clause, it is probably a mere graphic equivalent, first appearing second century B.C., of ἦ [and should be written εἶ], and in the former case = verily, indeed, assuredly (sometimes negative [Semitic], assuredly not, Mk. 8:12, Heb. 3:2), while in the latter it is merely a particle asking a question. [The Latin translators, however, rendered interrogative εἶ by si.] εἰ μή (nisi); but only, e.g. Lk. 4:26 f., John 15:4, Ac. 27:22, Rev. 21:27; in Mk. 6:8 probably due to a misreading of an Aramaic word = and not: εἰ δὲ μή, εἰ δὲ μήγε (Aramaism?), (alioqui, si minus, sin autem, &c.), otherwise: εἴπερ (= εἴ περ) a more emphatic εἰ, if indeed.

(Souter, A. (1917). A Pocket Lexicon to the Greek New Testament (p. 72). Oxford: Clarendon Press.)

Lexham English Bible translates it as "is"

Is it at the time (LEB)

NKJV just drops the word and makes "at this time" an adverb clause

will You at this time

The word, in this case, introduces an interrogative clause.

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