EPEI in Rom 3.6
Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Tue Dec 12 09:50:46 EST 2000
At 11:18 AM +0100 12/12/00, Iver Larsen wrote:
>> On 12/10/00 8:05 PM, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>> > I'd add that it seems to me that EPEI frequently serves the same function
>> > as a GAR, and that Rom 3:6 is a good instance of this. Couldn't we as
>> > easily understand the sense if it were
>> > <PWS GAR KRINEI= hO QEOS TON KOSMON?> ?
>> That sounds right. I do have one more question, though. (Please bear with me
>> in my penchant for "correct" terminology.) GAR can be a subordinating causal
>> conjunction or a coordinating explanatory conjunction (using Gramcord tags).
>> Am I correct to assume that it would be a coordinating explanatory
>> conjunction in the above case?
>Well, what Carl suggests does not sound right to me. The function of GAR
>of my pet themes, so I have done some research on it over the years, not as a
>classical scholar - which I am not - but as a linguist.
>GAR and EPEI do not serve the same function anywhere and GAR could not be used
>in Rom 3:6, although the two are not far apart in this context. GAR is not
>really a causal conjunction as is the traditional understanding. It is an
>explanatory conjunction. Of course, a cause is a kind of explanation, so
>contexts it could appear as GAR is also causal, but it is a better linguistic
>description to say that it is explanatory, and then let the context narrow
>the exact nature of the explanation. In narrative texts, it can introduce
>background information which is needed at that point to explain what has just
>been said or what has just happened. In the gospels it is often used to
>introduce an explanation of an otherwise cryptic saying of Jesus or to
>an explanatory comment by the author. (For instance, the famous GAR in
>introduces John's comments on the speech of Jesus to Nicodemus.) In expository
>texts like Romans, it introduces further support of a word or phrase in the
>preceding sentence. By doing this, it picks up what has just been said and
>a further logical point to the argument. It is not a completely new point, but
>it further develops what has just been said. Broadly speaking, therefore,
>explanatory. The causal idea came about in the process of transferring the
>function into English, and English does not have anything like GAR, so the
>causal idea was the closest approximation, and it works reasonably well in
>certain contexts, even if it is inaccurate.
>The terms subordinating and coordinating are fine when we talk about clauses
>within a sentence, but they are not very useful, IMO, when it comes to
>connectors. And GAR is usually a sentence connector. If a conjunction by
>definition has to be either coordinating, subordinating (or possibly
>superordinating?), then it is better not to call GAR a conjunction, but to use
>the term sentence connector from discourse linguistics.
>EPEI has two rather distinct meanings. (Is EPEI derived from EPI and EI?
>meanings of EPEI correlate with the two basic meanings of EI - since and if.)
>One is the simple, subordinating causal meaning "since, because". This is the
>meaning we find in the gospels. The other meaning is used by Paul in his
>argumentative letters (Romans, 1 and 2 Cor) and a little in Hebrews. This
>meaning appears to require the filling in of an ellipsis as follows:
>Since-if/supposing (that was - or was not - the case then).. This is why the
>translation "otherwise" is commonly used in English. (I do have the New DBAG,
>but Bauer 6.th edition suggests an ellipsis, too for EPEI.)
>In Romans 3:6 the ellipsis, taken from 3:5, would be: supposing (God was
>how could he judge the world. This works fine also for the other places where
>Paul uses EPEI (in Romans at 11:6,22).
>I am sorry, Steve, if this doesn't help your diagramming, but I am very
>interested in the semantics of Biblical Greek as a prerequisite for my main
>field, which is translation.
>>On 12/10/00 8:05 PM, Carl W. Conrad wrote (in response to Stephen
>>LoVullo's follow-up question to my assertion to which Iver Larsen takes
>>Stephen: Am I correct to assume that it would be a coordinating explanatory
>>conjunction in the above case?
>Yes, and it seems to me that the GAR is frequently used ...
>to add a rhetorical question:
>1 Cor 2:10 ... TO GAR PNEUMA PANTA ERAUNA, KAI TA BAQH TOU QEOU; 11 TIS GAR
>OIDEN ANQRWPWN TA TOU ANQRWPOU EI MH TO PNEUMA TOU ANQRWPOU TO EN AUTOU?
>1 Cor 2:15 hO DE PNEUMATIKOS ANAKRINEI [TA] PANTA, AUTOS DE hUP' OUDENOS
>ANAKRINETAI. 16 TIS GAR EGNW NOUN KURIOU, hOS SUMBIBASEI AUTON?
I think that these rhetorical questions are in fact very much like that in
Romans 3:6 (MH GENOITO: EPEI PWS KRINEI hO QEOS TON KOSMON?) and that Paul
COULD just as well have written MH GENOITO: PWS GAR KRINEI hO QEOS TON
I can't agree therefore that "GAR and EPEI do not serve the same function
anywhere and GAR could not be used in Rom 3:6, although the two are not far
apart in this context." Perhaps in classical Attic the distinction is
sharper, and yet it seems to me that the function of GAR in stichomythia in
tragedy and comedy expanded considerably its range of meanings and that
probably that usage in stichomythia reflects conversational usage of GAR;
whether or not it is etymologically valid, I have come to understand the
way GAR works most adequately by seeing it as derivative from an original
enclitic, GE that follows upon a preceding word to underscore its
importance + an ARA which itself has a broad range of meanings, one
significant one being to mark a conclusion being drawn (= "then," "in that
case"), the combination yielding the linkage, "Yes indeed, because ..." And
particularly when GAR follows upon an interrogative word (such as TIS in 1
Cor 2:11 or TIS in 1 Cor 2:15), its sense seems to me to be "in that case"
or "if that's the case." And that's why I think Paul might just as well
have written MH GENOITO; PWS GAR KRINEI hO QEOS TON KOSMON?
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
cwconrad at ioa.com
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