Koine Greek Reader, questions arising

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David Lim
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Re: Koine Greek Reader, questions arising

Post by David Lim » December 22nd, 2014, 4:14 am

Andrew Chapman wrote:With regard to stretching possibilities, how about taking ἐν Χριστῷ with ὀλίγον παθόντας rather than with τὴν αἰώνιον αὐτοῦ δόξαν? Somehow I feel that it is the article that makes one take it with δόξαν, but I am not 100% sure.
"παθοντας" is accusative and hence doesn't match with "χριστω". Neither does "εν χριστω" modify "δοξαν". The structure is:
[1 Pet 5:10] { ο <δε> θεος ( πασης χαριτος ) ο καλεσας { υμας } ( εις την αιωνιον αυτου δοξαν ) ( εν χριστω [ιησου] ) } ( ολιγον παθοντας ) ( αυτος ) καταρτισει στηριξει σθενωσει θεμελιωσει
"εις την αιωνιον αυτου δοξαν" and "εν χριστω ιησου" both modify "καλεσας", specifying the goal of calling ("to his everlasting glory") and mode of calling ("you being in Christ Jesus"). "ολιγον παθοντας" and "αυτος" both modify the 4 verbs "καταρτισει ...", specifying what must be the case ("[you] having suffered a little") when God does all that and how he does it ("himself"). Note that the majority text has an explicit "υμας" as object of the 4 verbs, and also has an optative "καταρτισαι" instead, with the other three being futures as in the NU text, which is interesting.
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David Lim
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Re: Koine Greek Reader, questions arising

Post by David Lim » December 22nd, 2014, 4:31 am

David Lim wrote:
Andrew Chapman wrote:With regard to stretching possibilities, how about taking ἐν Χριστῷ with ὀλίγον παθόντας rather than with τὴν αἰώνιον αὐτοῦ δόξαν? Somehow I feel that it is the article that makes one take it with δόξαν, but I am not 100% sure.
Oh I see you meant something else, and now I see what Stephen meant in his 'two-year-old moment'. I think that taking it as "suffering a little in Christ" is grammatically plausible, but I would say that it is semantically impossible, because "εν χριστω" in the NT means "by Christ" or "in reference to Christ", which does not go with suffering.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Koine Greek Reader, questions arising

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 22nd, 2014, 5:46 am

David Lim wrote:
David Lim wrote:
Andrew Chapman wrote:With regard to stretching possibilities, how about taking ἐν Χριστῷ with ὀλίγον παθόντας rather than with τὴν αἰώνιον αὐτοῦ δόξαν? Somehow I feel that it is the article that makes one take it with δόξαν, but I am not 100% sure.
Oh I see you meant something else, and now I see what Stephen meant in his 'two-year-old moment'. I think that taking it as "suffering a little in Christ" is grammatically plausible, but I would say that it is semantically impossible, because "εν χριστω" in the NT means "by Christ" or "in reference to Christ", which does not go with suffering.
David, could you expound on this observation a little, please? Like, what other preposition would be more suitable?
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David Lim
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Re: Koine Greek Reader, questions arising

Post by David Lim » December 22nd, 2014, 7:54 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
David Lim wrote:Oh I see you meant something else, and now I see what Stephen meant in his 'two-year-old moment'. I think that taking it as "suffering a little in Christ" is grammatically plausible, but I would say that it is semantically impossible, because "εν χριστω" in the NT means "by Christ" or "in reference to Christ", which does not go with suffering.
David, could you expound on this observation a little, please? Like, what other preposition would be more suitable?
Sure! "εν χριστω" denotes either an indirect agent as in "life/salvation/redemption/sanctification in Christ" or a point of reference as in "hope/trust/one in Christ". In some cases such as "live in Christ" as in 2 Tim 3:12, I think it depends on the context and may either mean "live in the same manner as Christ" or "live by relying on Christ". In my opinion, "suffering" cannot go with the semantic meaning of "εν χριστω" unless we intend to convey that Christ is somehow a means by which we suffer.

To say "on account of Christ", we should use "δια [τον] χριστον/ιησουν" (because of Christ/Jesus; see Phlp 3:7,8, 1 Cor 4:10, 2 Cor 4:5,11) or "ενεκεν [τον] χριστου/ιησου" (for the sake of Christ/Jesus; see Matt 5:11, 10:18,39, 16:25, Mark 8:35, 10:29, 13:9, Luke 9:24, Rom 8:36).
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Koine Greek Reader, questions arising

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 22nd, 2014, 8:22 am

David Lim wrote:"εν χριστω" denotes either an indirect agent as in "life/salvation/redemption/sanctification in Christ" or a point of reference as in "hope/trust/one in Christ". In some cases such as "live in Christ" as in 2 Tim 3:12, I think it depends on the context and may either mean "live in the same manner as Christ" or "live by relying on Christ". In my opinion, "suffering" cannot go with the semantic meaning of "εν χριστω" unless we intend to convey that Christ is somehow a means by which we suffer.
Outside this NT context, could suffering go with an εν?
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David Lim
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Re: Koine Greek Reader, questions arising

Post by David Lim » December 22nd, 2014, 9:14 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
David Lim wrote:"εν χριστω" denotes either an indirect agent as in "life/salvation/redemption/sanctification in Christ" or a point of reference as in "hope/trust/one in Christ". In some cases such as "live in Christ" as in 2 Tim 3:12, I think it depends on the context and may either mean "live in the same manner as Christ" or "live by relying on Christ". In my opinion, "suffering" cannot go with the semantic meaning of "εν χριστω" unless we intend to convey that Christ is somehow a means by which we suffer.
Outside this NT context, could suffering go with an εν?
Yes, and in fact many verbs can be modified by an adverbial prepositional phrase starting with "εν" to convey an indirect agent. But I can't think of a suitable situation where we would actually want to convey that some person is an indirect agent by which someone else suffers. It is already rare enough to have a person as an indirect agent (see LXX Psa 18:29 and some other examples at http://0-www.ibiblio.org.librus.hccs.ed ... 42&start=0). Anyway these are just my opinions and other people have a different interpretation of "εν" than I do and their answers might correspondingly be different, as you can see in the other thread.
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Andrew Chapman
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Re: Koine Greek Reader, questions arising

Post by Andrew Chapman » December 22nd, 2014, 9:23 am

David Lim wrote: "εν χριστω" denotes either an indirect agent as in "life/salvation/redemption/sanctification in Christ" or a point of reference as in "hope/trust/one in Christ". In some cases such as "live in Christ" as in 2 Tim 3:12, I think it depends on the context and may either mean "live in the same manner as Christ" or "live by relying on Christ". In my opinion, "suffering" cannot go with the semantic meaning of "εν χριστω" unless we intend to convey that Christ is somehow a means by which we suffer.
Myunderstanding is that the Christian is positionally in Christ Jesus - eg καὶ συνήγειρεν καὶ συνεκάθισεν ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, [Eph. 2.6] - so that our whole lives, including suffering, could potentially be thought of as in Him. He taught us that He identifies Himself directly with those who are suffering - ἐφ’ ὅσον οὐκ ἐποιήσατε ἑνὶ τούτων τῶν ἐλαχίστων, οὐδὲ ἐμοὶ ἐποιήσατε [Matthew 25.45], suggesting a very close association at least of the sufferer with the Lord. So if not 'in', then perhaps 'with' - a dative of association - as in συνετάφημεν οὖν αὐτῷ διὰ τοῦ βαπτίσματος εἰς τὸν θάνατον [Romans 6.4]; and Χριστῷ συνεσταύρωμαι· [Galatians 2.20]. When Paul says τοῦ γνῶναι αὐτὸν καὶ τὴν δύναμιν τῆς ἀναστάσεως αὐτοῦ καὶ [τὴν] κοινωνίαν [τῶν] παθημάτων αὐτοῦ, συμμορφιζόμενος τῷ θανάτῳ αὐτοῦ, this speaks to me of of a very close association of his own sufferings and those of Christ, however conceived. So I don't yet see it as 'semantically impossible'.

Having said that, your list seems to show that the idea of suffering on account of, or for the sake of Christ preponderates. To add one more, with πάσχω:

ὅτι ὑμῖν ἐχαρίσθη τὸ ὑπὲρ Χριστοῦ, οὐ μόνον τὸ εἰς αὐτὸν πιστεύειν ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸ ὑπὲρ αὐτοῦ πάσχειν, [Philippians 1.29]

Andrew
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David Lim
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Re: Koine Greek Reader, questions arising

Post by David Lim » December 22nd, 2014, 11:57 pm

Andrew Chapman wrote:
David Lim wrote: "εν χριστω" denotes either an indirect agent as in "life/salvation/redemption/sanctification in Christ" or a point of reference as in "hope/trust/one in Christ". In some cases such as "live in Christ" as in 2 Tim 3:12, I think it depends on the context and may either mean "live in the same manner as Christ" or "live by relying on Christ". In my opinion, "suffering" cannot go with the semantic meaning of "εν χριστω" unless we intend to convey that Christ is somehow a means by which we suffer.
Myunderstanding is that the Christian is positionally in Christ Jesus - eg καὶ συνήγειρεν καὶ συνεκάθισεν ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, [Eph. 2.6] - so that our whole lives, including suffering, could potentially be thought of as in Him. He taught us that He identifies Himself directly with those who are suffering - ἐφ’ ὅσον οὐκ ἐποιήσατε ἑνὶ τούτων τῶν ἐλαχίστων, οὐδὲ ἐμοὶ ἐποιήσατε [Matthew 25.45], suggesting a very close association at least of the sufferer with the Lord. So if not 'in', then perhaps 'with' - a dative of association - as in συνετάφημεν οὖν αὐτῷ διὰ τοῦ βαπτίσματος εἰς τὸν θάνατον [Romans 6.4]; and Χριστῷ συνεσταύρωμαι· [Galatians 2.20]. When Paul says τοῦ γνῶναι αὐτὸν καὶ τὴν δύναμιν τῆς ἀναστάσεως αὐτοῦ καὶ [τὴν] κοινωνίαν [τῶν] παθημάτων αὐτοῦ, συμμορφιζόμενος τῷ θανάτῳ αὐτοῦ, this speaks to me of of a very close association of his own sufferings and those of Christ, however conceived. So I don't yet see it as 'semantically impossible'.

Having said that, your list seems to show that the idea of suffering on account of, or for the sake of Christ preponderates. To add one more, with πάσχω:

ὅτι ὑμῖν ἐχαρίσθη τὸ ὑπὲρ Χριστοῦ, οὐ μόνον τὸ εἰς αὐτὸν πιστεύειν ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸ ὑπὲρ αὐτοῦ πάσχειν, [Philippians 1.29]
I agree that the NT portrays a close association between what Jesus suffered and what a christian might suffer. As John says, if people persecute him, they will persecute his disciples also. However, beyond that it must necessarily go into theology (which we shouldn't discuss on B-Greek), since it is not clear that Eph 2:6 refers to our whole life being "within Christ". Instead "εν χριστω ιησου" could mean "in Christ Jesus" in the sense of "his raising us up and sitting us in the heavenly places came with Christ Jesus", the same as in "I found the answer in Christ." (not that the answer is literally in Christ but that the answer came with Christ).

But okay I shouldn't say "semantically impossible". What I meant was that since the NT doesn't seem to have a single clear instance of "εν χριστω" being used to denote 'location' in Christ, the existence of such a concept is "impossible to prove". Combined with the fact that we see the concept of christian suffering always expressed as on account of Christ somehow suggests that maybe the typical(?) interpretation of "εν χριστω" as "positional" (whatever that is supposed to mean) isn't quite right. In general, things that God gives to christians are "εν χριστω" or "δια χριστου" (see Rom 8), but things that christians go through in life are "δια χριστον" or "ενεκεν χριστου" or "υπερ χριστου" (such as in Phlp 1:29 as you cited).
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Koine Greek Reader, questions arising

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 23rd, 2014, 8:35 am

The discussion of ἐν χριστῷ has blown where it will, as discussion are want to do. My unspoken hope in asking the questioning the statement in the corpus was wondering if ἐν was regularly used as a collocation with πάσχω. I don't have BADG handy, but it seems LSJ doesn't list it. That would suggest that ἐν χριστῷ should really be treated as an adverbal phrase not part of the verbs syntactic construction. If it is something that could be used quite freely, then I can't see it as semantically impossible. On the other hand ... perhaps it is not able to be used like that.
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Andrew Chapman
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Re: Koine Greek Reader, questions arising

Post by Andrew Chapman » December 24th, 2014, 4:30 pm

2) [continuing with the idea of a single thread, to deal with minor points arising from this excellent and very useful book]

ἀθέτησις μὲν γὰρ γίνεται προαγούσης ἐντολῆς διὰ τὸ αὐτῆς ἀσθενὲς καὶ ἀνωφελές– [Hebrews 7.18]

Rodney Decker (p. 109) says that 'The predicate of γίνεται consists of the causal phrase (δία ...).'

I would have said that γίνεται is intransitive, and that διὰ τὸ αὐτῆς ἀσθενὲς καὶ ἀνωφελές is an adverbial prepositional phrase modifying it. I think that together they form the predicate, the subject being ἀθέτησις προαγούσης ἐντολῆς. Is that wrong?

Andrew
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