κατεγνωσμένος in Gal. 2:11

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Charlie Johnson
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κατεγνωσμένος in Gal. 2:11

Post by Charlie Johnson » June 29th, 2011, 4:26 pm

I have a few questions about κατεγνωσμένος in Gal. 2:11. First, is the participle periphrastic or adjectival? Or, is the meaning so similar either way that the question is unhelpful?

Second, what voice is κατεγνωσμένος? If passive, we would have to supply an agent. Paul makes no sense. God seems like a stretch in the context. Certainly none of the people in Jerusalem were condemning Peter. LSJ offers "self-condemned," which makes good sense, but wouldn't that be more of a middle meaning? LSJ lists this text under passive uses.

Third, is there anything significant about the choice of perfect tense? Perhaps the aspect highlights Peter's state of being condemned? Or is it simply temporal, since Peter was already condemned by the time Paul confronted him?


Ὅτε δὲ ἦλθεν Κηφᾶς εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν, κατὰ πρόσωπον αὐτῷ ἀντέστην, ὅτι κατεγνωσμένος ἦν.
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cwconrad
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Re: κατεγνωσμένος in Gal. 2:11

Post by cwconrad » June 29th, 2011, 5:17 pm

Charlie Johnson wrote:I have a few questions about κατεγνωσμένος in Gal. 2:11. First, is the participle periphrastic or adjectival? Or, is the meaning so similar either way that the question is unhelpful?

Second, what voice is κατεγνωσμένος? If passive, we would have to supply an agent. Paul makes no sense. God seems like a stretch in the context. Certainly none of the people in Jerusalem were condemning Peter. LSJ offers "self-condemned," which makes good sense, but wouldn't that be more of a middle meaning? LSJ lists this text under passive uses.

Third, is there anything significant about the choice of perfect tense? Perhaps the aspect highlights Peter's state of being condemned? Or is it simply temporal, since Peter was already condemned by the time Paul confronted him?


Ὅτε δὲ ἦλθεν Κηφᾶς εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν, κατὰ πρόσωπον αὐτῷ ἀντέστην, ὅτι κατεγνωσμένος ἦν.
(1) I don't think it matters that much what one prefers to call it: it means that the subject of this predicate was, at the time of the main verb's action, in a particular state; even as a periphrastic pluperfect, it's sense is equivalent to the imperfect of a stative verb. You might compare εἱστήκει -- the verb is pluperfect and means "he/she/it was standing", but ἦν ἑστηκώς would mean the same thing.

(2) This verb (καταγινώσκω) is fundamentally transitive, which would lead one to think it could only be found in active or passive senses. But when you say that, IF it is passive, you have to supply an external agent, you bring to light the fundamental "liquidity" of the Greek middle-passive. By "liquidity" I mean the fact that Greek didn't make the distinction that English-speakers are so intent on pinning down. I think that what the text clearly means is that Cephas "was clearly in the wrong." Who said so? Who declared him to be in the wrong? He certainly hadn't been tried by a court and found guilty by a jury -- unless we recognize Paul as that jury. After all, it's Paul who makes this assertion. BDAG's entry on καταγινώσκω in this verse is phrased in an interesting way:
—κατεγνωσμένος ἦν he stood condemned (by his own actions or by his opinions publicly expressed, cp. Diod. S. 34+35 fgm. 29 κατεγνώσθη=he was condemned [by his outrageous deed or by his opinion publicly expressed], i.e. the faithless friend of Gracchus; Diog. L. 6, 33 καταγινωσκομένους [by their public opinions]; Jos., Bell. 2, 135) Gal 2:11.
I must say that I think BDAG makes pretty good sense here.

(3) I think this should be understood as equivalent to an imperfect stative, and yet, that also implies prior behavior by Cephas: "I opposed him because he was clearly in the wrong" = "I opposed him because he'd made a perfect ass out of himself."

I'm not sure this is really very helpful, but I do think that the question brings to light the less-than-wholly-adequate character of the traditional grammatical categories we employ to analyze a construction like this: we know perfectly well what the text means, but it's not so easy to explain why it means that.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Jason Hare
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Re: κατεγνωσμένος in Gal. 2:11

Post by Jason Hare » June 29th, 2011, 5:36 pm

Charlie Johnson wrote:Paul makes no sense.
Not generally the best assumption to make. ;) Why not assume that a native speaker wrote correctly and that we just need to adjust how we think of it in order to understand it? That's probably the better way of approaching it.
Charlie Johnson wrote:God seems like a stretch in the context. Certainly none of the people in Jerusalem were condemning Peter. LSJ offers "self-condemned," which makes good sense, but wouldn't that be more of a middle meaning? LSJ lists this text under passive uses.

Third, is there anything significant about the choice of perfect tense? Perhaps the aspect highlights Peter's state of being condemned? Or is it simply temporal, since Peter was already condemned by the time Paul confronted him?

Ὅτε δὲ ἦλθεν Κηφᾶς εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν, κατὰ πρόσωπον αὐτῷ ἀντέστην, ὅτι κατεγνωσμένος ἦν.
I don't take it as periphrastic, but maybe I'm wrong. I would just take it adjectivally, stating that he was "in the state of having been condemned" (that's the long way that we rehearsed the perfect way back when).

LSJ gives this for the passive use:
Pass., καταγνωσθεὶς δειλίαν being convicted of cowardice, D.H. 11.22; κ. ἐπὶ λογοκλοπίᾳ D.L. 8.54; κατεγνωσμένος self-condemned, Ep. Gal. 2.11.
...
Pass., θάνατός τινος κατέγνωστο Antipho 5.70, cf. Lys. 13.39, Jusj. ap. D. 24.149; later καταγνωσθεὶς θανάτῳ Ael. VH12.49: abs., κατεγνώσθησαν they were condemned, Th. 4.74, cf. And. 4.8; τὸ ἀδίκημα κεκριμένον ἐστὶ καὶ κατεγνωσμένον Lycurg. 52.
Who did the condemning? Peter's own actions, by which he abandoned his inclusivity (in his acceptance of Gentiles and eating at their tables) and drew apart into hypocrisy (as it states in verse 13: καὶ Βαρναβᾶς συναπήχθη αὐτῶν τῇ ὑποκρίσει). This hypocrisy in action was Peter's condemnation.

At least, that's how I read the text. Do you see something different?

Jason
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Charlie Johnson
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Re: κατεγνωσμένος in Gal. 2:11

Post by Charlie Johnson » June 29th, 2011, 5:51 pm

Jason, I meant "Paul makes no sense" as the implied agent of condemnation. At least, it makes very little sense to me to say, "I opposed him, because I condemned he (or he was condemned by me)." Sorry for the lack of clarity.

Carl, thanks for the answers. I've read Galatians a number of times and am familiar with the sense. I'm going back through now and trying to shore up my understanding of how the text means what it does. I did look at BDAG, and I found that helpful. I guess I was wondering whether being condemned by his own actions is more middle or passive. If I understand you correctly, I don't really have to choose between the two. That goes against my training, in which I was always required to parse m-p verbs as EITHER middle OR passive. But, it makes sense.

I'm hung up on the language of "in the wrong." I mean, is there any time the verb is used in the active or middle as just "to be wrong"? I guess I'm seeing a leap from being wrong to being condemned or convicted of wrong. Though, I do acknowledge the idea that one may be accused by his own words. So, perhaps I'm making too much of an issue here.
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cwconrad
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Re: κατεγνωσμένος in Gal. 2:11

Post by cwconrad » June 29th, 2011, 8:08 pm

Charlie Johnson wrote:Carl, thanks for the answers. I've read Galatians a number of times and am familiar with the sense. I'm going back through now and trying to shore up my understanding of how the text means what it does. I did look at BDAG, and I found that helpful. I guess I was wondering whether being condemned by his own actions is more middle or passive. If I understand you correctly, I don't really have to choose between the two. That goes against my training, in which I was always required to parse m-p verbs as EITHER middle OR passive. But, it makes sense.

I'm hung up on the language of "in the wrong." I mean, is there any time the verb is used in the active or middle as just "to be wrong"? I guess I'm seeing a leap from being wrong to being condemned or convicted of wrong. Though, I do acknowledge the idea that one may be accused by his own words. So, perhaps I'm making too much of an issue here.
The thing to realize here is that we're understanding meanings, not translating words. "In the wrong" in English usage means, according to my dictionary,
responsible for a quarrel, mistake, or offense
. It is a quasi-judicial usage: we speak of parties in a dispute as being "in the right" or "in the wrong." Now καταγινώσκω is a judicial verb meaning, "find guilty." One who has been found guilty is "clearly in the wrong." A verb antithetical to καταγινώσκω is δικαιόω, a word we tend to gloss as "justify" although its basic sense is "exculpate" or "vindicate" -- but it could also be glossed as "prove (x) to be in the right." Compare the conclusion of the Lucan parable of the Pharisee and the Tax-collector, Luke 18:14 λέγω ὑμῖν, κατέβη οὗτος δεδικαιωμένος εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ παρ᾿ ἐκεῖνον· I think that δεδικαιωμένος here means just the opposite of κατεγνωσμένος: κατεγνωσμένος = "clearly in the wrong" just as δεδικαιωμένος means "clearly in the right" -- and I think the same question you've raised about the voice of κατεγνωσμένος could be raised about the voice of δεδικαιωμένος: It really doesn't make much sense to quibble over whether δεδικαιωμένος is middle or passive or whether we can discern an external agent who "vindicates" or "justifies" the tax-collector. The point of the formulation κατέβη οὗτος δεδικαιωμένος is there can be no mistaking here which of the two is "in the right."
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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