2 Cor 1:9 ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ... ἐσχήκαμεν

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2 Cor 1:9 ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ... ἐσχήκαμεν

Postby Stephen Carlson » May 25th, 2013, 9:25 am

2 Cor 1:9 wrote:ἀλλὰ αὐτοὶ ἐν ἑαυτοῖς τὸ ἀπόκριμα τοῦ θανάτου ἐσχήκαμεν, ἵνα μὴ πεποιθότες ὦμεν ἐφ’ ἑαυτοῖς ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ τῷ θεῷ τῷ ἐγείροντι τοὺς νεκρούς ·
Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death so that we would rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. (NRSV)
indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; (NASB)

Many translations, such as the NRSV and NASB quoted above, suggest that Paul's death sentence (or the feeling of it) was entirely in the past, but is this really the best understanding of the perfect ἔσχήκαμεν?

Also, is there some idiom with ἔχω ἐν ἑαυτῷ?
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Re: 2 Cor 1:9 ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ... ἐσχήκαμεν

Postby MAubrey » May 25th, 2013, 10:55 am

Probably not. ἐσχήκα is one perfect that regularly fit's Bache's Class four: where the grammatical contrast is intensional and conceptual rather than propositional in nature. In this case, the contrast (or lack there of) is between ἐσχήκα and ἔχω.

For those who aren't familiar with Bache's work, here's a little chart:
Image
These are the types of grammatical differences that a give set of contrastive forms are likely to convey.
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Re: 2 Cor 1:9 ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ... ἐσχήκαμεν

Postby Stephen Carlson » May 25th, 2013, 11:41 am

Yeah, I can see that in verses like Rom 5:2 where ἐσχήκαμεν can be replaced by ἔχομεν with hardly any discernible change in the propositional content. But I'm having a tough time applying that to 2 Cor 1:9. Is Paul still under a death sentence???

Note that the Vulgate translates the ἐσχήκαμεν of Rom 5:2 with the present habemus but it renders the same verb form in 2 Cor 1:9 with the "perfect" (= past perfective / anterior) habuimus, so it's not just English translators.
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Re: 2 Cor 1:9 ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ... ἐσχήκαμεν

Postby MAubrey » May 25th, 2013, 12:55 pm

Looking at the context, I see you're right. This is very odd. If we take it as a literal death sentence, then it might be reasonable to say that they still have it...but I don't know how plausible that is?

As for ἔχω ἐν ἑαυτῷ, there are nine instances in the NT of this collocation. But 2 Cor 1:9 is the only place where its interpreted as involving "feeling."

Matt 13:21
οὐκ ἔχει δὲ ῥίζαν ἐν ἑαυτῷ ἀλλὰ πρόσκαιρός ἐστιν
yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while

Mark 4:17
καὶ οὐκ ἔχουσιν ῥίζαν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἀλλὰ πρόσκαιροί εἰσιν
But they have no root, and endure only for a while

Mark 9:50
Καλὸν τὸ ἅλας ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἅλας ἄναλον γένηται ἐν τίνι αὐτὸ ἀρτύσετε ἔχετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἅλα καὶ εἰρηνεύετε ἐν ἀλλήλοις
Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

John 5:26
ὥσπερ γὰρ ὁ πατὴρ ἔχει ζωὴν ἐν ἑαυτῷ οὕτως καὶ τῷ υἱῷ ἔδωκεν ζωὴν ἔχειν ἐν ἑαυτῷ
For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself;

John 5:26
ὥσπερ γὰρ ὁ πατὴρ ἔχει ζωὴν ἐν ἑαυτῷ οὕτως καὶ τῷ υἱῷ ἔδωκεν ζωὴν ἔχειν ἐν ἑαυτῷ
For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself;

John 5:42
ἀλλὰ ἔγνωκα ὑμᾶς ὅτι τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ θεοῦ οὐκ ἔχετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς
But I know that you do not have the love of God in you.

John 6:53
εἶπεν οὖν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ἐὰν μὴ φάγητε τὴν σάρκα τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καὶ πίητε αὐτοῦ τὸ αἷμα οὐκ ἔχετε ζωὴν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς
So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

2 Cor 1:9
ἀλλὰ αὐτοὶ ἐν ἑαυτοῖς τὸ ἀπόκριμα τοῦ θανάτου ἐσχήκαμεν
Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death

1 John 5:10
ὁ πιστεύων εἰς τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ ἔχει τὴν μαρτυρίαν ἐν ἑαυτῷ
Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts.
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Re: 2 Cor 1:9 ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ... ἐσχήκαμεν

Postby Stephen Carlson » May 25th, 2013, 1:59 pm

MAubrey wrote:Looking at the context, I see you're right. This is very odd. If we take it as a literal death sentence, then it might be reasonable to say that they still have it...but I don't know how plausible that is?

I'll run this by someone I know working on Paul's biography.

MAubrey wrote:As for ἔχω ἐν ἑαυτῷ, there are nine instances in the NT of this collocation (and they're not all the same). But 2 Cor 1:9 is the only place where its interpreted as involving "feeling."

Thanks for that. Curiouser and curiouser.
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Re: 2 Cor 1:9 ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ... ἐσχήκαμεν

Postby Stephen Carlson » May 25th, 2013, 3:31 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:
MAubrey wrote:Looking at the context, I see you're right. This is very odd. If we take it as a literal death sentence, then it might be reasonable to say that they still have it...but I don't know how plausible that is?

I'll run this by someone I know working on Paul's biography.


OK, the answer I got is that is more likely that the sentence of death is metaphorical (cf. 4:10-11) than that Paul could have escaped the clutches of a Roman magistrate in the short period between sentence and execution.
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Re: 2 Cor 1:9 ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ... ἐσχήκαμεν

Postby MAubrey » May 25th, 2013, 4:08 pm

Well, then I've got nothing. Perfects being translated as past perfects isn't common to begin with, but then they're even less common with state predicates. I'm at a complete loss. I don't have any notes on this particular token either, which is a little disconcerting in itself.
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Re: 2 Cor 1:9 ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ... ἐσχήκαμεν

Postby Stephen Carlson » May 25th, 2013, 5:11 pm

MAubrey wrote:Well, then I've got nothing. Perfects being translated as past perfects isn't common to begin with, but then they're even less common with state predicates. I'm at a complete loss. I don't have any notes on this particular token either, which is a little disconcerting in itself.


Actually, I think the metaphorical reading allows the state of having a death sentence to be ongoing (as the reference to 2 Cor 4:10-11 may indicate).

As for Greek perfects being translated by Latin perfecta (past perfective), here's a list I made for Matthew (active indicative only, since the Latin perfect passive is vague between past perfective/anterior and resultative):

Matt 3:2 Μετανοεῖτε, ἤγγικεν γὰρ ἡ βασιλεία τῶν ούρανῶν. RAI adpropinquavit
Matt 4:17 Μετανοεῖτε, ἤγγικεν γὰρ ἡ βασιλεία τῶν ούρανῶν. RAI adpropinquavit
Matt 9:22 ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε. RAI te salvam fecit
Matt 10:6 πορεύεσθε δὲ μᾶλλονν πρὸς τὰ πρόβατα τὰ ἀπολωλότα RAI quae perierunt
Matt 10:7 Ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν. RAI adpropinquavit
Matt 11:11 ὑμῖν οὐκ ἐγήργεται ἐν γεννητοῖς γυναικῶν μείζων Ἰωάννου RAI non surrexit
Matt 13:46 εὑρῶν δὲ ἔνα πολύτιμον ἀπελθὼν πέπρακεν πάντα ὄσα εἶχεν RAI vendidit
Matt 15:24 Οὐκ ἀπεστάλην εἰ μὴ εἰς τὰ πρόβατα τὰ ἀπολωλότα ... RAI quae perierunt
Matt 18:13 χαίρει ἐπ’ αὐτῷ ἢ ἐπὶ τοῖς ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα τοῖς μὴ πεπλανημένοις. RAI quae non erraverunt
Matt 19:8 ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς δὲ οὐ γέγονεν οὕτως. RAI fuit
Matt 24:21 θλῖψις ... οἷα τοῦ γέγονεν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς κόσμου ἕως τοῦ νῦν RAI fuit
Matt 26:45 ἰδοὺ ἤγγικεν ἡ ὥρα καὶ ... RAI adpropinquavit
Matt 26:46 ἰδοὺ ἤγγικεν ὁ παραδιδούς με. RAI adpropinquavit
Matt 26:72 Οὐκ οἶδα τὸν ἄνθρωπον. RAI non novi
Matt 22:4b Ἰδοὺ τὸ ἄριστόν μου ἡτοίμακα, RAI paravi
Matt 24:25 Ἰδοὺ προείρηκα ὑμῖν. RAI praedixi
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Re: 2 Cor 1:9 ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ... ἐσχήκαμεν

Postby Justin Cofer » May 26th, 2013, 12:18 am

FWIW here's Murray Harris' take:

It is certainly possible to follow Moulton who (very tentatively) regards ἐσχήκαμεν here, as well as ἔσχηκα in 2:13 and ἔσχηκεν in 7:5, as aoristic perfects, such usage being perhaps a mannerism or idiosyncrasy that Paul dropped before writing (… Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ), διʼ οὗ καὶ τὴν προσαγωγὴν ἐσχήκαμεν in Rom. 5:2, where ἐσχήκαμεν cannot mean “we possessed.” In 2:13 and 7:5 these perfects are probably aoristic, since by the time of writing relief had come to Paul through the arrival of Titus. But in 1:9, although ἐσχήκαμεν is preceded by γενομένης … ἐβαρήθημεν … ἐξαπορηθῆναι (1:8), it is followed by ἵνα μὴ πεποιθότες ὦμεν κτλ.: perhaps in this case ἐσχήκαμεν implies both ἔσχομεν (“we received”) and ἔχομεν (“we [still] possess”). That is, the divine verdict of “Death” remained unaltered and kept ringing in his ears: “we received and still have the verdict, ‘You will die!’ ”27 There is little ground for rendering ἐσχήκαμεν as “we have accepted,” as if Paul had written ἐλάβομεν or εἰλήφαμεν, and no basis for believing that Paul is saying that he had accepted or become reconciled to a pre-parousia death or the possibility of a premature ending to his apostolic mission. A simple receipt and its effects are expressed by ἐσχήκαμεν, not a final acceptance of a verdict after a period of resistance.

Murray J. Harris, The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Milton Keynes, UK: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.; Paternoster Press, 2005), 156-57.


Benard takes it as some kind of historical perfect.

The tense of ἐσχήκαμεν is noteworthy; it seems to be a kind of historical perfect, used like an aorist (cf. chap. 2:13, 11:25, Rev. 5:7, 8:5, for a similar usage).

J.H. Benard, "The Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians" In , in The Expositor’s Greek Testament, Volume III: Commentary (New York: George H. Doran Company), 41.


Alford seems to take it as a perfect used in the historical sense.

The perfect ἐσχήκαμεν is here (see also ch. 2:12, 13) in a historical sense, instead of the aorist: which is unusual. Winer, edn. 6, § 40. 4 (see Moulton’s note 4, p. 340), illustrates the usage by ἦλθεν καὶ εἴληφεν (τὸ βιβλίον), Rev. 5:7: see also Rev. 8:5.

Henry Alford, vol. 2, Alford's Greek Testament: An Exegetical and Critical Commentary (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 630.


Plummer seems to think that ἐσχήκαμεν expressing the effects of τὸ ἀπόκριμα.

With the perfect, ἐσχήκαμεν, which vividly recalls the situation and prolongs it into the present, comp. 2:13 and 7:5.

The Second Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, ed. A. Plummer, Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1903), 29.


I am personally inclined to follow the metaphorical reading with τὸ ἀπόκριμα τοῦ θανάτου ἐσχήκαμεν indicating the state of having a death sentence to be ongoing, in order that Paul lives in a state of not putting his confidence in himself but God.
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Re: 2 Cor 1:9 ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ... ἐσχήκαμεν

Postby MAubrey » May 26th, 2013, 1:19 am

Justin Cofer wrote:FWIW here's Murray Harris' take:

Commentators rarely know what to do with difficult grammatical issues. I wouldn't put much stock in them at all.
Justin Cofer wrote:I am personally inclined to follow the metaphorical reading with τὸ ἀπόκριμα τοῦ θανάτου ἐσχήκαμεν indicating the state of having a death sentence to be ongoing, in order that Paul lives in a state of not putting his confidence in himself but God.

This is actually fairly feasible, particularly in consideration with all of the other instances of how ἔχω ἐν ἑαυτῷ functions in the other examples:
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