Galatians 4:12-14 Γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ

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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Galatians 4:12-14 Γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ

Post by Barry Hofstetter » January 17th, 2020, 8:50 am

"Hypothetical lost grammar?" What is that even supposed to mean? When I read Galatians, I see nothing lost at all. The grammar is all right there, coherent and sensible. What you seem to be trying to do is find parallels between Galatians and Hebrews, and possibly influence of the former on the latter, but in what you have written that seems to arise from certain assumptions about the text. Despite your citation of Greek, you are not really dealing with the Greek.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Gregory Hartzler-Miller
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Re: Galatians 4:12-14 Γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ

Post by Gregory Hartzler-Miller » January 17th, 2020, 9:28 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
January 17th, 2020, 8:50 am
"Hypothetical lost grammar?" What is that even supposed to mean?
"The hypothetical lost grammar" or THLG refers to an alternative interpretation of the grammar of Paul in Galatians 4:12-14. THLG is very different from the traditional interpretation of the grammar, and thus, according to this hypothesis, the grammar Paul and his first readers would have taken for granted in this particular passage has been lost. THLG is outlined in the opening post on this thread.
Here is a link to the opening post:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5015#p33300
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Galatians 4:12-14 Γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ

Post by Barry Hofstetter » January 17th, 2020, 11:49 am

Gregory Hartzler-Miller wrote:
January 17th, 2020, 9:28 am
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
January 17th, 2020, 8:50 am
"Hypothetical lost grammar?" What is that even supposed to mean?
"The hypothetical lost grammar" or THLG refers to an alternative interpretation of the grammar of Paul in Galatians 4:12-14. THLG is very different from the traditional interpretation of the grammar, and thus, according to this hypothesis, the grammar Paul and his first readers would have taken for granted in this particular passage has been lost. THLG is outlined in the opening post on this thread.
Here is a link to the opening post:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5015#p33300
What I hear you saying is "The text doesn't really mean what everybody thinks it means, even thought it doesn't say what I think it means. Therefore, the original grammar was different."
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Gregory Hartzler-Miller
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Re: Galatians 4:12-14 Γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ

Post by Gregory Hartzler-Miller » January 17th, 2020, 12:54 pm

I'm trying to be tentative, and so calling my comprehensive rereading of the grammar a hypothesis, awkwardly perhaps. I'm trying to say that I think I may have rediscovered the original grammar of Gal. 4:12-14 (which has seemingly been lost). I am encouraged in my rereading of this passage, first and foremost by parallels in Paul's undisputed writings (including coherence with Gal. 2:20), and second by echos in Hebrews.
Last edited by Gregory Hartzler-Miller on January 17th, 2020, 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Galatians 4:12-14 Γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ

Post by Barry Hofstetter » January 17th, 2020, 1:18 pm

Gregory Hartzler-Miller wrote:
January 17th, 2020, 12:54 pm
I'm trying to be tentative, and so calling my comprehensive rereading of the grammar a hypothesis, awkwardly perhaps. I'm trying to say that I think I may have rediscovered the original grammar of Gal. 4:12-14 (which has been lost). I am encouraged in my reading of this passage in Galatians, first and foremost by parallels in Paul's undisputed writings, including coherence with Gal. 2:20, and second by echos in Hebrews.

I wonder what experts in Greek think of what I've dug up. I suppose I'm like a prospector who after a long time out alone in "them thar hills" has found what he takes to be gold. He takes his find to town get an expert appraisal. He really wants to know what he has found. Is it gold or fools gold?

Is the rereading genuine?
Well, the text says what it says. I have the same problem with this as I do a lot of higher criticism. You really can't get behind the text. It's just speculation, and, more in line with the purposes of this group, there is nothing in the text itself which supports such a theory.
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Peng Huiguo
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Re: Galatians 4:12-14 Γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ

Post by Peng Huiguo » January 18th, 2020, 2:17 am

Greg, ἄγγελον and Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν at the end of Gal. 4:14 refer to Paul, not the Galatians — just saying, because your translation seems to lean toward the latter. Also, πειρασμός can mean not really "temptation" but some fortitude-straining hardship (Luke 22:28, Acts 20:19), which I think fits better the context here. Galatians is a unique epistle in revealing the vulnerability of its author by weaving in and out of religious entreaties and personal addresses, and this passage that you're examining imho falls in the "personal address" category. If you over-theologize it, you would risk losing sight of the ostracized man seeking kindred spirit to fight a battle of faith.
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Gregory Hartzler-Miller
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Re: Galatians 4:12-14 Γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ

Post by Gregory Hartzler-Miller » January 18th, 2020, 10:31 am

Peng Huiguo wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 2:17 am
Greg, ἄγγελον and Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν at the end of Gal. 4:14 refer to Paul, not the Galatians...

I do not disagree. I have tried to show that it was the apostle who was received by the Galatians as if he were ἄγγελον and Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν, and in the proposed rereading, they did so because he was tempted like them in his flesh. I have tried to explain the leap of faith on their part in light of Gal. 2:20 where the life the apostle Paul lived “in the flesh” was a clear window to “faithfulness.” The life the apostle lived in the body modeled faithfulness in times of human temptation (Cf. 1 Cor. 9:24-27 and 10:13).
Peng Huiguo wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 2:17 am
Also, πειρασμός can mean not really "temptation" but some fortitude-straining hardship...
I have struggled at length with the type of “temptation” that best fits the scenario and I have come to interpret it as temptation of desire to carry out “works of the flesh” (like a typical Gentile sinner). This fits the context of Galatians as found at 5:16, were Paul said: Λέγω δέ, Πνεύματι περιπατεῖτε καὶ ἐπιθυμίαν σαρκὸς οὐ μὴ τελέσητε. Later, at 6:1, Paul made it clear that being a spiritual guide to those who have transgressed does not make one immune to “temptation” to transgress similarly. The call is to be "gentle" (this is fruit of the Spirit) and watch oneself in the process.

Ἀδελφοί, ἐὰν καὶ προλημφθῇ ἄνθρωπος ἔν τινι παραπτώματι, ὑμεῖς οἱ πνευματικοὶ καταρτίζετε τὸν τοιοῦτον ἐν πνεύματι πραΰτητος, σκοπῶν σεαυτόν, μὴ καὶ σὺ πειρασθῇς.
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Peng Huiguo
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Re: Galatians 4:12-14 Γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ

Post by Peng Huiguo » January 18th, 2020, 11:02 am

I have struggled at length with the type of “temptation” that best fits the scenario
There's benefit in not reading too tightly into small bits of text. There's also a limit to the range of context before it becomes tenuous. And many greek words are polysemous. It won't do to rigidly map πειρασμός to "temptation" every time and then force the English sense of that translated word back onto the greek word. Gal 4:13-14 has answered fully what that πειρασμός was — an inclination to withhold welcome from Paul on account of his ailment (whatever that was, the epistle doesn't elaborate, and we should leave it at that, though v. 15 seems to hint at some eye problem).
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Gregory Hartzler-Miller
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Re: Galatians 4:12-14 Γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ

Post by Gregory Hartzler-Miller » January 18th, 2020, 12:03 pm

Peng Huiguo wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 11:02 am
Gal 4:13-14 has answered fully what that πειρασμός was — an inclination to withhold welcome from Paul on account of his ailment
In my rereading of Galatians 4:14, I have given a lot of thought to what did and did not happen:

καὶ τὸν πειρασμὸν ὑμῶν ἐν τῇ σαρκί μου οὐκ ἐξουθενήσατε [με] οὐδὲ ἐξεπτύσατε [με], ἀλλὰ ὡς ἄγγελον Θεοῦ ἐδέξασθέ με, ὡς Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν. [in my reading the object of the pair of verbs is με.]

RE: ἐξουθενέω, In the Corinthian correspondence Paul used this verb in two directions. On one hand, Paul used it against rival judges who, in his judgement, should have been “despised” in the church (1 Cor. 6:4). On the other hand, Paul said he had opponents who “despised” his speech. It is very interesting to reflect on why they may have “despised” his speech. According to Paul, it had to do with their judgement of him, that whenever he was “present.” his body was “weak” (2 Cor. 10:10). It seems they would have taken a skeptical view of Paul’s rhetoric of "becoming as" weak in 1 Cor. 9:21-22. I can hear them complaining: How can he claim to "become as" the weak when his body is already "weak"?:

τοῖς ἀνόμοις ὡς ἄνομος, μὴ ὢν ἄνομος Θεοῦ ἀλλ’ ἔννομος Χριστοῦ, ἵνα κερδάνω τοὺς ἀνόμους· ἐγενόμην τοῖς ἀσθενέσιν ἀσθενής, ἵνα τοὺς ἀσθενεῖς κερδήσω· (Cf. Γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ, ὅτι κἀγὼ ὡς ὑμεῖς, ἀδελφοί, Gal. 4:12)

It also seems they accused him of walking according to the flesh (ὡς κατὰ σάρκα περιπατοῦντας) to which he replied in 2 Cor. 10:3 with this fine distinction:

Ἐν σαρκὶ γὰρ περιπατοῦντες οὐ κατὰ σάρκα στρατευόμεθα

This rhetorical conflict is relevant interpreting Paul's meaning in Galatians 4:12-14 where, in my rereading, Paul was speaking about experiencing temptation of desire just like “weak” Gentile sinners. This temptation of theirs was “in” his “flesh.” The initial welcome from the Galatians was "because of" not in spit of his speech with respect to their "temptation" in his "flesh." (In my rereading their knowledge of Paul's in-the-flesh experience of their "temptation" must have involved speech. How else could they have known about his experience with temptation of desire like theirs?)

It seems that the thought of "despising" such speech arose only later, under the influence Paul’s opponents. Thus, at Gal. 4:16 he asked,

ὥστε ἐχθρὸς ὑμῶν γέγονα ἀληθεύων ὑμῖν;
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Gregory Hartzler-Miller
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Re: Galatians 4:12-14 Γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ

Post by Gregory Hartzler-Miller » January 20th, 2020, 2:09 pm

At the point when the Galatians had received the apostle as "an angel of God, as Christ Jesus,” the Galatians would have "gouged out their eyes" and given them to him!

μαρτυρῶ γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι εἰ δυνατὸν τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ὑμῶν ἐξορύξαντες ἐδώκατέ μοι.

What did that language symbolize? We are told that, having heard the apostle “speaking the truth” (4:16), they were blessed (4:15). It seems likely that they were filled with a sense of “zeal” for the “good” (4:17-18). Perhaps they had already “received the Spirit by hearing with faith” (3:2). Thus, they already had the sense of belonging to Christ Jesus that inspires of response of baptismal willingness, or even eagerness to “crucify the flesh with its passions and desires” (5:24). Over against circumcision of the foreskin, such an offering of the eyes is perhaps symbolic of circumcision of the heart and of the eyes. Eyes are an apt symbol of temptation of desire: “ἡ ἐπιθυμία τῆς σαρκὸς καὶ ἡ ἐπιθυμία τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν” (John 2:16, Cf. Matt. 5:29).

Such a symbolism makes sense if, as my rereading suggests, their “temptation” in the apostle’s “flesh” was temptation of desire to do "works of the flesh" in the manner of Gentile vice. It makes sense if the apostle's “flesh” was both a mirror of their temptation of desire and a window to “faithfulness”--that of God’s son who who had loved them and given himself for them …(Gal. 4:14 and 2:20 Cf. Rom. 8:3). If so, they were likely convicted of sin. Repentant before God, and grateful for God's mercy, they were willing to making an offering of love, even an offering of their own eyes.
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