In Philippians 2:2 what does the second κατα imply?

How do I work out the meaning of a Greek text? How can I best understand the forms and vocabulary in this particular text?
Forum rules
This is a beginner's forum - see the Koine Greek forum for more advanced discussion of Greek texts. Please quote the Greek text you are discussing directly in your post if it is reasonably short - do not ask people to look it up.

When answering questions in this forum, keep it simple, and aim your responses to the level of the person asking the question.
Post Reply
Bill Ross
Posts: 101
Joined: August 12th, 2012, 6:26 pm

In Philippians 2:2 what does the second κατα imply?

Post by Bill Ross » March 13th, 2019, 11:24 am

Phil 2:2 mGNT
ἐν αἷς ποτε περιεπατήσατε
κατὰ τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ κόσμου τούτου
κατὰ τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρος τοῦ πνεύματος
τοῦ νῦν ἐνεργοῦντος ἐν τοῖς υἱοῖς τῆς ἀπειθείας
I might expect there to be only κατὰ with an implied comma and to read the second κατὰ phrase as being in apposition to the first. With the second κατὰ preceding the second clause, does it instead further qualify the first κατὰ clause? IE:

The Philippians' behavior is according to the AION, which is by apposition τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρος τοῦ πνεύματος.

OR,

The Philippians' behavior is according to the AION which coordinates with τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρος τοῦ πνεύματος.

OR,

The Philippians' behavior is according to the AION and with τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρος τοῦ πνεύματος.
0 x


What I lack in youth I make up for in immaturity.

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1551
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: In Philippians 2:2 what does the second κατα imply?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » March 13th, 2019, 12:33 pm

It's Eph 2:2...

The two prepositional phrases are coordinate, and not in apposition.
0 x
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε

Bill Ross
Posts: 101
Joined: August 12th, 2012, 6:26 pm

Re: In Philippians 2:2 what does the second κατα imply?

Post by Bill Ross » March 13th, 2019, 1:52 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
March 13th, 2019, 12:33 pm
It's Eph 2:2...

The two prepositional phrases are coordinate, and not in apposition.
By that I think you mean this:

"The Philippians' behavior is according to τὸν αἰῶνα which coordinates with τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρος τοῦ πνεύματος."

So are τὸν αἰῶνα and τὸν ἄρχοντα different entities that cooperate?
0 x
What I lack in youth I make up for in immaturity.

Wes Wood
Posts: 692
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: In Philippians 2:2 what does the second κατα imply?

Post by Wes Wood » March 13th, 2019, 4:11 pm

Bill Ross wrote:
March 13th, 2019, 1:52 pm
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
March 13th, 2019, 12:33 pm
It's Eph 2:2...

The two prepositional phrases are coordinate, and not in apposition.
By that I think you mean this:

"The Philippians' behavior is according to τὸν αἰῶνα which coordinates with τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρος τοῦ πνεύματος."

So are τὸν αἰῶνα and τὸν ἄρχοντα different entities that cooperate?
Philippians 2:2 "complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind."

Ephesians 2:2 "in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—"
0 x
Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1551
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: In Philippians 2:2 what does the second κατα imply?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » March 13th, 2019, 5:39 pm

Bill Ross wrote:
March 13th, 2019, 1:52 pm
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
March 13th, 2019, 12:33 pm
It's Eph 2:2...

The two prepositional phrases are coordinate, and not in apposition.
By that I think you mean this:

"The Philippians' behavior is according to τὸν αἰῶνα which coordinates with τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρος τοῦ πνεύματος."

So are τὸν αἰῶνα and τὸν ἄρχοντα different entities that cooperate?
Bill, do the lexical work on the vocabulary items. While I vaguely recall that in Gnosticism αἰών can refer to a celestial being of some sort, it's most likely that the writer is using it in the more usual sense of "age" and referring to the current world system, particularly with τοῦ κόσμου. ἄρχων in this context almost certainly refers to Satan, note that it's in apposition to τοῦ πνεύματος (which is genitive by way of attraction).
0 x
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε

Bill Ross
Posts: 101
Joined: August 12th, 2012, 6:26 pm

Re: In Ephesians 2:2 what does the second κατα imply?

Post by Bill Ross » March 15th, 2019, 8:53 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
March 13th, 2019, 5:39 pm
Bill Ross wrote:
March 13th, 2019, 1:52 pm
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
March 13th, 2019, 12:33 pm
It's Eph 2:2...

The two prepositional phrases are coordinate, and not in apposition.
By that I think you mean this:

"The Philippians' behavior is according to τὸν αἰῶνα which coordinates with τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρος τοῦ πνεύματος."

So are τὸν αἰῶνα and τὸν ἄρχοντα different entities that cooperate?
Bill, do the lexical work on the vocabulary items. While I vaguely recall that in Gnosticism αἰών can refer to a celestial being of some sort, it's most likely that the writer is using it in the more usual sense of "age" and referring to the current world system, particularly with τοῦ κόσμου. ἄρχων in this context almost certainly refers to Satan, note that it's in apposition to τοῦ πνεύματος (which is genitive by way of attraction).
Are you presuming a comma before τοῦ πνεύματος? Wouldn't it just be "the air of the breath/spirit" that is animating the disobedient? Working from the vocabulary:

AION: BDAG lists this in the category of a person:
...④ the Aeon as a person, the Aeon (Rtzst., Erlösungsmyst. 268 index under Aion, Taufe 391 index; Epict. 2, 5, 13 οὐ γάρ εἰμι αἰών, ἀλλʼ ἄνθρωπος=I am not a being that lasts forever, but a human being [and therefore I know that whatever is must pass away]; Mesomedes 1, 17=Coll. Alex. p. 197, 17; Simplicius in Epict. p. 81, 15 οἱ αἰῶνες beside the μήτηρ τῆς ζωῆς and the δημιουργός; En 9:4 κύριος τ. κυρίων καὶ θεὸς τ. θεῶν κ. βασιλεὺς τ. αἰώνων; PGM 4, 520; 1169; 2198; 2314; 3168; 5, 468; AcPh 132 [Aa II/2, 63, 5]; Kephal. I p. 24, 6; 45, 7) ὁ αἰ. τοῦ κόσμου τούτου Eph 2:2. The secret hidden from the Aeons Col 1:26; Eph 3:9 (Rtzst., Erlösungsmyst. 235f); IEph 19:2 (Rtzst. 86, 3); cp. 8:1 (Rtzst. 236, 2). Various other meanings have been suggested for these passages.—CLackeit, Aion I, diss. Königsbg. 1916; EBurton, ICC Gal 1921, 426–32; HJunker, Iran. Quellen d. hellenist. Aionvorstellung: Vortr. d. Bibl. Warburg I 1923, 125ff; ENorden, D. Geburt des Kindes 1924; MZepf, D. Gott Αιων in d. hellenist. Theologie: ARW 25, 1927, 225–44; ANock, HTR 27, 1934, 78–99=Essays I, ’72, 377–96; RLöwe, Kosmos u. Aion ’35; EOwen, αἰών and αἰώνιος: JTS 37, ’36, 265–83; 390–404; EJenni, Das Wort ʿōlām im AT: ZAW 64, ’52, 197–248; 65, ’53, 1–35; KDeichgräber, RGG I3 193–95; HSasse, RAC I 193–204; MNilsson, Die Rel. in den gr. Zauberpapyri, K. humanist. Vetenskapssamfundets Lund II ’47/48, 81f; GJennings, A Survey of αιων and αιωνιος and their meaning in the NT, ’48; GStadtmüller, Aion: Saeculum 2, ’51, 315–20 (lit.); EDegani, ΑΙΩΝ da Omero ad Aristotele ’61 (s. Classen, Gnomon 34, ’62, 366–70; D.’s reply in RivFil 91, ’63, 104–10); MTreu, Griech. Ewigkeitswörter, Glotta 43, ’65, 1–24; JBarr, Biblical Words for Time2 ’69; OCullman, Christus u. die Zeit3 ’62.—B. 13. EDNT. DDD s.v. Aion. DELG. M-M. TW. Sv.

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 33). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
If it isn't in apposition then is this a different spirit?

"ruler": IE: an individual
"authority": or "power"
"air": IE: mostly nitrogen
"breath/spirit": Seems like either works since they are essentially synonyms
"manifesting": Usually used for mighty works of supernatural power

How is a comma being implied?

Note: I am investigating Paul's concept of "Satan". Does he think him to have an unholy spirit/breath ala the holy spirit/breath of God that while not omnipresent is capable of indwelling, animating and empowering for mighty works those devoid of God's holy breath/spirit. As here:
[1 Corinthians 2:12 KJV]
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

[1 John 4:1 KJV]
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

[1 John 4:3 KJV]
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
Might Paul be alluding to the AION of myth to color his description of the operation of the Satan? I'm still trying to figure this all out.
0 x
What I lack in youth I make up for in immaturity.

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1551
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: In Philippians 2:2 what does the second κατα imply?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » March 15th, 2019, 9:45 am

A comma would simply indicate the reader's understanding of the text, so I'm not assuming punctuation, but meaning. I'm a bit too busy to compose a response at the moment, but maybe this will help (and I notice that he agrees with my understanding of the text, which means he's pretty smart :) ) :


Larkin wrote:2:2 ἐν αἷς ποτε περιεπατήσατε κατὰ τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ κόσμου τούτου, κατὰ τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρος, τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ νῦν ἐνεργοῦντος ἐν τοῖς υἱοῖς τῆς ἀπειθείας·

ἐν αἷς. Sphere. Extending the figure of a way of life as “walking” (περιεπατήσατε), it gives the environment in which it is pursued (Eadie, 121). The relative pronoun agrees in gender with ἁμαρτίαις, but has both terms as its antecedent.
περιεπατήσατε. Aor act ind 2nd pl περιπατέω. This verb differs from ζάω in referring to the conduct of one’s life.
κατὰ τὸν αἰῶνα. Standard. Given the object, the PP probably indicates “after the manner of.”
τοῦ κόσμου τούτου. Attributed genitive (see 1:5 τοῦ θελήματος). Lexically, both αἰών and κόσμος can mean “world system” (LN 41.38). It is best to distinguish between them in this construction in terms of their concrete referents, time and space, and render “world-age,” a way of talking about “both temporal and spatial aspects of fallen human existence” (Lincoln, 95).
κατὰ τὸν ἄρχοντα. Standard.
τῆς ἐξουσίας. Objective genitive (see 1:1 on θεοῦ). This is not a descriptive genitive, “powerful ruler,” but the object of the ruler’s activity. The expression should be viewed as a metonymy for the sphere (“domain”) in which authority is exercised (BDAG, 353.6) rather than a reference to supernatural powers who are ruled over (contra LN 12.44), for which there is no ancient evidence (Best, 205).
τοῦ ἀέρος. Epexegetical genitive, identifying the “domain” more precisely. “Air,” the space above the earth, is the domain of transcendent beings or powers (cf. 6:12; see also 1:3 on ἐπουρανίοις).
τοῦ πνεύματος. Genitive in apposition to ἄρχοντα. The genitive case is due to the preceding genitives’ influence (Best, 205; cf. BDF §137.3 for similar incongruities) and the referent is Satan. It is not a genitive of subordination modifying ἄρχοντα with the referent being an evil spirit of the age, over which Satan rules (1 Cor 2:12; cf. 1 Tim 4:1; contra Abbott, 42). Nor is it in apposition to ἐξουσίας, further describing Satan, since ἐξουσίας refers to a domain not a spirit being. Nor should both ἐξουσίας and πνεύματος be understood collectively (“evil spirits”; contra Eadie, 129).
τοῦ … ἐνεργοῦντος. Pres act ptc neut gen sg ἐνεργέω (attributive).
ἐν τοῖς υἱοῖς. Locative.
τῆς ἀπειθείας. Attributive genitive with Semitic influence (see Moule, 174–75).
Larkin, W. J. (2009). Ephesians: A Handbook on the Greek Text (pp. 28–29). Waco, TX: Baylor University Press.
1 x
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε

Bill Ross
Posts: 101
Joined: August 12th, 2012, 6:26 pm

Re: In Philippians 2:2 what does the second κατα imply?

Post by Bill Ross » March 15th, 2019, 6:27 pm

Lots to chew on, thanks.
0 x
What I lack in youth I make up for in immaturity.

Post Reply