2 Corinthians 3:18 κατοπτριζόμενοι

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bphillips
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Joined: July 24th, 2013, 9:34 pm

2 Corinthians 3:18 κατοπτριζόμενοι

Post by bphillips » July 25th, 2013, 5:24 pm

Hi all,

I'm a layman and a beginner, having gone through Mounce's Basics many years ago, I'm now doing it over (since I forgot it all). So, I am working through a Greek grammar systematically, but I would like help with 2 Corinthians 3:18.

ESV
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.


Nestle-Aland 28
ἡμεῖς δὲ πάντες ἀνακεκαλυμμένῳ προσώπῳ τὴν δόξαν κυρίου κατοπτριζόμενοι τὴν αὐτὴν εἰκόνα μεταμορφούμεθα ἀπὸ δόξης εἰς δόξαν καθάπερ ἀπὸ κυρίου πνεύματος.


I have two problems with it.

1) Because of the context and the "common sense" of the passage, I have a hard time seeing 'κατοπτριζόμενοι' as "beholding in a mirror", and think this makes more sense with the 'active' meaning, 'producing a reflection'.
What evidence exists to show that the middle voice absolutely cannot mean "to reflect" and must mean, "to behold"? With "behold", I get the sense that I see something, and that's it. With "reflecting", I get the sense that Christ shines and I'm the mirror, mirroring His glory in the world. (and in this act of mirroring, I am being transformed).

2) "ἀπὸ δόξης εἰς δόξαν " is translated by many modern bibles as "from one degree of glory to another". But it makes more sense to me, contextually, that this is about being transformed from HIS glory in(to) glory - i.e., Having the veil removed in Christ, and mirroring the splendor of the Master, we are being transformed from (his) splendor into splendor.... (his splendor transforms us, creating splendor in us).
Is there anything in the Greek that makes my translation impossible?

Thoughts? Corrections?
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Tender Regard in Christ,
Brian Phillips

Louis L Sorenson
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Re: 2 Corinthians 3:18

Post by Louis L Sorenson » July 25th, 2013, 5:31 pm

Here is what BDAG has to say on κατοπτρίζω·
κατοπτρίζω (the noun κάτοπτρον is the most common term in the pap for mirror [New Docs 4, 150]; act.=‘produce a reflection’ in Plut., Mor. 894f; mid.=‘look at oneself in a mirror’ in Diog. L. 2, 33; 3, 39; 7, 17; Artem. 2, 7; Athen. 15 p. 687c. In the same mng. ἐγκατοπτρίξασθαι εἰς τὸ ὕδωρ SIG 1168, 64 [III B.C.]. Pass. τὰ κατοπτριζόμενα=‘what is seen in a mirror’ POxy 1609, 19) occurs once in our lit., in the middle, prob. w. the mng. look at someth. as in a mirror, contemplate someth. (cp. Philo, Leg. All. 3, 101. The Itala and Vulg. transl. ‘speculantes’; Tert., Adv. Marc. 5, 11 ‘contemplantes’. Likew. the Peshitto, Bohairic, and Sahidic versions) τὴν δόξαν κυρίου the glory of the Lord 2 Cor 3:18 (cp. 1 Cor 13:12, s. Straub 24).—Rtzst., NGG 1916, 411, Hist. Mon. 242ff, Mysterienrel.3 357; PCorssen, ZNW 19, 1919/20, 2–10; ABrooke, JTS 24, 1923, 98; NHugedé, La Métaphore du Miroir dans 1 et 2 Cor ’57; JLambrecht, Biblica 64, ’83, 243–54.—Schlatter, Allo, WKnox, St. Paul and the Church of the Gentiles ’39, 132; JDupont, RB 56, ’49, 392–411; KPrümm, Diakonia Pneumatos I, ’67, 166–202; WvanUnnik, NovT 6, ’63, 163–69, et al. prefer the mng. reflect. See s.v. ἔσοπτρον.—DELG s.v. ὄπωπα B. M-M. TW.
Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed.) (535). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: 2 Corinthians 3:18

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 26th, 2013, 1:19 am

And here is LSJ:
LSJ wrote:κατοπτρ-ίζω, show as in a mirror or by reflexion, τοῦ -ίζοντος [τὴν ἶριν] ἀστέρος Placit.3.5.11:—Pass., to be mirrored, Anon.Oxy.1609.19.
II. Med., look into a mirror, behold oneself in it, Zeno Stoic.1.66, S.E.P.1.48, Ath.15.687c, etc.
2. behold as in a mirror, ἰδέαν Ph.1.107; δόξαν Κυρίου 2 Ep.Cor.3.18 (but here perh.reflect).
Looks like there's doubt over what it means in 2 Cor 3:18.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Iver Larsen
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Re: 2 Corinthians 3:18

Post by Iver Larsen » July 26th, 2013, 5:10 am

bphillips wrote:Hi all,

I'm a layman and a beginner, having gone through Mounce's Basics many years ago, I'm now doing it over (since I forgot it all). So, I am working through a Greek grammar systematically, but I would like help with 2 Corinthians 3:18.

ESV
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.


Nestle-Aland 28
ἡμεῖς δὲ πάντες ἀνακεκαλυμμένῳ προσώπῳ τὴν δόξαν κυρίου κατοπτριζόμενοι τὴν αὐτὴν εἰκόνα μεταμορφούμεθα ἀπὸ δόξης εἰς δόξαν καθάπερ ἀπὸ κυρίου πνεύματος.


I have two problems with it.

1) Because of the context and the "common sense" of the passage, I have a hard time seeing 'κατοπτριζόμενοι' as "beholding in a mirror", and think this makes more sense with the 'active' meaning, 'producing a reflection'.
What evidence exists to show that the middle voice absolutely cannot mean "to reflect" and must mean, "to behold"? With "behold", I get the sense that I see something, and that's it. With "reflecting", I get the sense that Christ shines and I'm the mirror, mirroring His glory in the world. (and in this act of mirroring, I am being transformed).

2) "ἀπὸ δόξης εἰς δόξαν " is translated by many modern bibles as "from one degree of glory to another". But it makes more sense to me, contextually, that this is about being transformed from HIS glory in(to) glory - i.e., Having the veil removed in Christ, and mirroring the splendor of the Master, we are being transformed from (his) splendor into splendor.... (his splendor transforms us, creating splendor in us).
Is there anything in the Greek that makes my translation impossible?

Thoughts? Corrections?
Since this verb has active, middle and passive meanings, it seems best to keep the middle sense here: "looking (as) in a mirror." In this context the subject is not looking at himself but at the greatness/splendor of the Lord. It is always difficult to argue from what "makes sense", but this interpretation makes better sense to me - as it did to most Bible translators. By looking at and contemplating the greatness of the Lord we are transformed into that same image. It is "as in a mirror" because the mirrors of those days gave a somewhat unclear picture, and we do not see the Lord directly, but indirectly with the help of the Spirit of the Lord (cf. v. 17). In a sense the Spirit of the Lord is the mirror through which we behold the Lord himself.

ἀπὸ δόξης εἰς δόξα describes a movement, although a spiritual movement, an inner transformation. The first item is the starting point, the second the goal. But when the same word is used, it can refer to successive movements from one to another. For instance, in Matt 23:34 we read διώξετε ἀπὸ πόλεως εἰς πόλιν· - you will pursue (them) from one city to the next (from city to city). So, the transformation is from one level of greatness to the next level of greatness.

I have a third question since you are quoting the ESV. Why does it take the last word in ἀπὸ κυρίου πνεύματος as an apposition rather than a normal genitve: from the Spirit of the Lord? KJV had (correctly, IMO) "the Spirit of the Lord" but this was changed for some unknown reason by RSV to: "the Lord who is the Spirit". And ESV is a revision of the RSV, so it is not surprising that they kept it. However, the agent for this transformation is the Spirit, not the Lord. The Lord is what we contemplate and into whose image we are transformed. In v. 17a we are told: ὁ δὲ κύριος τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστιν· and there is no need to repeat that with an apposition in v. 18 as if it it was new information. In 17b we read: οὗ δὲ τὸ πνεῦμα κυρίου, ἐλευθερία - where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So "Spirit of the Lord" has been mentioned immediately before v. 18 and therefore it seems easier to take the phrase in v. 18 as a back reference to that same Spirit of the Lord. The order in κυρίου πνεύματος probably just emphasizes that this is not just any spirit, but the Lord's Spirit.
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