[B-Greek] "episemoi en tois apostolois"
George F. Somsel
gfsomsel at juno.com
Sun Aug 29 07:28:11 EDT 2004
On Sun, 29 Aug 2004 02:11:27 EDT CWestf5155 at aol.com writes:
> <<In a message dated 8/28/2004 8:06:47 PM Mountain Standard Time,
> slovullo at mac.com writes:
> On Aug 28, 2004, at 11:15 AM, CWestf5155 at aol.com wrote:
> > Yes, I heard a paper given at ETS supporting this reading, where
> > Wallace was
> > one of the co-authors (but not the reader). I did't find it
> > convincing, since
> > in Bencancon-Spencer's paper it was shown with repeated citations
> > occurrences of EN + dative do support "among" rather than "in the
> > presence of,
> > particularly when the research included Hellenistic literature
> > the NT and
> > LXX. There were at least several clear examples of the same
> > construction that
> > meant "among". This must be the basis of any decision rather
> > concluding than EN
> > + genetive meaning "among" in one occurence precludes the
> > of EN +
> > dative meaning "among" in any occurrence.
> > I'd like to have both papers in my hands, but when the reader was
> > questioned,
> > the position seemed more based on how the naked dative functions
> > how EN
> > + dative functioned.
> > The distinct impression left was that the research and the call in
> > Net
> > Bible was results-driven. I'd like to see that further tested.
> This is a good point, Cindy. I think, though, that just as important
> the syntactic question is the semantic question: What does APOSTOLOS
> mean here? Is it to be taken more strictly, as Paul seems to take
> term APOSTOLOS in, say, 1 Cor 15.7 and 9, or more loosely, as he
> to take it in, say, 2 Cor 8.23 and Phil 2.25? Surely he does not
> the term in the same way in 2 Cor 8.23 and Phil 2.25 as he does
> elsewhere when he asserts his special authority. There seems to be a
> degree of authority in one use that does not coincide with the
> Indeed, it seems at that any authority on the part of the one is
> dependent on the other. I think that other evidence of this sort
> other parts of the NT could be proffered. BDAG brings this
> out well in definitions 1 and 2, s.v., APOSTOLOS:
> 1. of messengers without extraordinary status *delegate, envoy,
> 2. of messengers with extraordinary status, esp. of God's
> It is not hard for me to see a distinction between authoritative
> spokesmen for God on the one hand, and an identifiable cadre of
> messengers to the widespread churches on the other. In recent years
> there has been an acknowledgment that the early church, though
> separated geographically, was much more mobile and interconnected
> previously thought. In this context these "messengers" would have
> served an important role--to keep the wider church informed of plans
> and developments crucial to the spiritual good and geographic spread
> the faith.
> Steve, greetings!
> OK, now we're looking at Paul's usage of the term APOSTOLOS. So
> concentrate first on the usage in 1 Corinthians.
> Coming from a discourse analysis mindset, the semantic content of
> in 1 Cor 15:7, 9 is constrained by the occurrences of APOSTOLOS in
> chs. 9 and
> 12. I hope that the discussion of semantic constraint of a word by
> co-text is not beyond the purpose of the list.
> 1 Cor 9 is concerned with the rights of an apostle, and Paul and
> choice not to exercise their rights. 1 Cor 9:5-6 indicate the Paul
> believes that
> Barnabas also has an apostle's rights: MH OUK EXOMEN EXOUSIAN...hWS
> KAI hOI
> LOIPOI APOSTOLOI...H MONOS EGW KAI BARNABAS; That is, the first
> person plural
> refers to Paul and Barnabaas.
> In I Cor 12:28-29, the term APOSTLE refers to a
> messenger/authoritative link
> between churches with a kind of first rung underpinning ministry
> It is
> considered by Paul to be a spiritual gift distributed sovereignly by
> the Spirit. It
> is comparable to PROPHETHS, which is on the second rung. APOSTOLOS
> is not
> excluded when Paul tells the Corinthians to eagerly desire spiritual
> At the point of Christ's resurrection (1 Cor 15:7), there were at
> least 11
> APOSTOLOS. And is James necesarily excluded from this list?
> Possibly the
> phrases EPEITA WFQH IAKWBW EITA TOIS APOSTOLOIS PASIN can infer that
> James was the
> first apostle that Jesus appeared to, and then he appeared to all of
> There is no reason to conclude that, in Paul's use of the term,
> there were no
> more people who received that gift--certainly the gift of prophecy
> was still
> open (1 Cor 14). I Cor 12-14 seems to indicate that it is not a
> closed set.
> If APOSTOLOS is not a closed set for Paul, I have no trouble at all
> Titus and Epaphraditus in that role (2 Cor 8:23; Phil 2:25),
> particularly since
> Barnabas had the role also. And in the follow-up letter (2 Cor) we
> have the
> "super apostles" hUPERLIAN APOSTOLWN (11:5) who are really Satan's
> Paul's argument against them is not that apostle is a closed set.
> Granted, Luke's use of the term APOSTOLOS seems restricted to the
> 12, and it
> is possible that the two may use the term differently. There should
> be no
> compulsion to harmonize Luke and Paul's terminology.
> Cindy Westfall
> Denver Seminary
I'm glad you mentioned that, Cindy. Although I knew that there was a
restrictive use of APOSTOLOS and a looser usage, I had forgotten about
that particular passage and would have considered Paul to have used it in
the restrictive sense. Perhaps there is need to examine whether there is
truly a restrictive sense outside of Luke.
Also, I plan to take a closer look at the use of EN + dat pl. You could
be right on that, but, since I am relying of what I considered to be a
reasonably reliable source, I didn't actually examine it myself. When I
get a little time I'll do so.
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