[B-Greek] question about Matthew 17:5
George F Somsel
gfsomsel at juno.com
Thu Feb 3 00:01:47 EST 2005
On Wed, 2 Feb 2005 16:34:20 EST MPAymerNYC at aol.com writes:
> I am finding a number of arguments concerning eudokhsa in Matthew
> (Matthew 3:17, etc.). The argument is that the aorist in this text
> is a
> "punctiliar" aorist used for the punctiliar sense of the present
> Is anyone else troubled by this use of eudokhsa, or is there LXX
> for this use?
> Does the punctiliar argument really resolve the theological
> question? I
> mean, does it significantly shift the dialogue to have the voice say
> "in whom I am
> pleased at this moment?"
> If anyone has any thoughts, I would appreciate them.
> Dr. M. Aymer
> Assistant Prof of NT
> The Interdenominational Theological Center
Mt 17.5 and Mt 3.17
hOUTOS ESTIN hO hUIOS MOU hO AGAPHTOS, EN hWi EUDOKHSA
I have always been suspicious of a "theology of the tenses." While tense
does have an influence upon our understanding of the meaning of the text,
this is not always (or perhaps not even generally) theological in nature
but in the way this is being presented from the viewpoint of the author
or as the author conceives the reader to view it.
Rather than basing a conclusion upon the aorist of EUDOKEW, I would
rather look at another factor -- the EN hWi. There are a number of
instances where the accusative is used with EUDOKEW, e.g.
EUDOKHSAS, KURIE, THN GHN SOU,
APESTREYAS THN AIXMALWSIAN IAKWB
You have favored your land, O Lord,
You have returned Jacob's captives.
Another passage in the LXX differs from the MT in having hH YUXH MOU [my
Spirit] where the MT has NaP:$oW [his spirit] (the MT is rather unclear
here) but has EUDOKEW with EN AUTWi
EAN hUOSTEILHTAI, OUK EUDOKEI hH YUXH MOU EN AUTWi, hO DE DIKAIOS EK
PISTEWS MOU ZHSETAI
If he turns back, my Spirit will not be pleased with him, but the
righteous shall live by my faith(fulness?)
This would appear to support the traditional rendering of EN hWi in Mt.
There is, however, one particular passage where both a prepositional
phrase with a dative AND an accusative appears which I think might be
pertinent for an understanding of the meaning in our passage
hOTI EN AUTWi EUDOKHSEN PAN TO PLHRWMA KATOIKHSAI
for he favored all creation by dwelling in him
The usage of EN + (dat.) AUTOS is of a different nature from than that in
Mt in that it signals a dative of means whereas I would suggest that in
Mt we have a dative of instrument "I was favorable in / through him" thus
it would not seem to be "I was pleased WITH HIM."
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