PAROUSIA and EPISUNAGWGH

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Thu May 11 06:56:47 EDT 2000


At 8:34 PM -0700 5/10/00, Jason Hare wrote:
>2 Thess. 2:1
>    ERWTWMEN DE hUMAS, ADELFOI, hUPER THS PAROUSIAS
>    TOU KURIOU hHMWN IHSOU CRISTOU KAI hHMWN
>    EPISUNAGWGHS EP' AUTON
>
>Mike,
>
>I should have to wonder about this verse (or about
>your separation of it).  One thing that seems to hold
>for me is Sharp's rule.  (I know that I like,
>sometimes, to overuse that rule, but HEY, it's a good
>one!)  If it applies to this construction (hUPER THS
>PAROUSIAS... KAI... EPISUNAGWGHS), then the
>construction would show that the two refer to the same
>event.  When Christ appears, we will be gathered to
>Him.  Does this not also reflect what He said in
>Matthew 24.31?  (at the PAROUSIA "the angels... will
>gather together his elect")
>
>Just a suggestion.  We used Sharp's rule to prove
>theological issues from the text, why would it not
>hold for something like this?

and

At 2:25 AM -0700 5/11/00, Jason Hare wrote:
>Blaho,
>
>> the PAROUSIA is of the Christ and EPISUNAGWGH is of
>> us
>
>IMHO, the problem with you position is this: the
>second hHMWN is objective.  It is not "our gathering"
>(as if to say "we gather... [object]"), but it is
>CHRIST's gathering of us.  He is still the participant
>in the action.  Because it is objective, the
>construction can still stand (TSKS).

Two points here:

(1) There's not really any way of determining whether hHMWN in this
instance is objective or subjective (for one thing, the distinction between
objective and subjective genitive has more to do with how we translate into
a target language and is not in the Greek at all: these genitives with
verbal nouns are structural patterns rather than semantic ones. In the
present instance we could argue just as well that the verb represented by
EPISUNAGWGH is EPISUNAGOMAI (middle intransitive) rather than EPISUNAGW
(active causative).

(2) The discussion, although grounded in grammar, really seems to be
theologically-driven; for my part, I don't think it's a very sound practice
to make grammar bear the weight of theological proof; I think it's better
to analyze the grammatical possibilities for understanding the sense of the
text and let the text speak for itself. If analysis of the text supports
your theological position, you may be "in business," but the text itself
may be more neutral theologically than any particular person wants to
believe.

-- 

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/



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