[B-Greek] The force of ὡς ἂν in 1 Corinthians 12:2
cwconrad2 at mac.com
Thu Feb 24 12:13:39 EST 2011
On Feb 24, 2011, at 12:01 PM, Kevin W. Woodruff wrote:
> As I'm translating 1 Corinthians 12:2, I'm struggling with what the exact sense of the phrase ὡς ἂν has in the sentence.
> BDAG says, "marker indicating perspective or point of view, with component of cautious statement, as if, as it were, so to speak" in one place (under ὡς ) but in another place (under ἂν), "denoting repeated action in past time, but only under certain given conditions." Both references cite 1 Cornithians 12:2 as a reference.
> Other translations have,
> "somehow or other"
> "used to be"
> "every time"
> "somehow "
> "even as "
> Any thoughts?
Text (and context): 1Cor. 12:1 Περὶ δὲ τῶν πνευματικῶν, ἀδελφοί, οὐ θέλω ὑμᾶς ἀγνοεῖν. 2 Οἴδατε ὅτι ὅτε ἔθνη ἦτε πρὸς τὰ εἴδωλα τὰ ἄφωνα ὡς ἂν ἤγεσθε ἀπαγόμενοι. 3 διὸ γνωρίζω ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐδεὶς ἐν πνεύματι θεοῦ λαλῶν λέγει· Ἀνάθεμα Ἰησοῦς, καὶ οὐδεὶς δύναται εἰπεῖν· Κύριος Ἰησοῦς, εἰ μὴ ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ.
[1Cor. 12:1 PERI DE TWN PNEUMATIKWN, ADELFOI, OU QELW hUMAS AGNOEIN. 2 OIDATE hOTI hOTE EQNH HTE PROS TA EIDWLA TA AFWNA hWS AN HGESQE APAGOMENOI. 3 DIO GNWRIZW hUMIN hOTI OUDEIS EN PNEUMATI QEOU LALWN LEGEI· ANAQEMA IHSOUS, KAI OUDEIS DUNATAI EIPEIN· KURIOS IHSOUS, EI MH EN PNEUMATI hAGIWi.]
I take the sense of hWS AN HGESQE APAGOMENOI as "how you used to/would get carried away (in ecstasy) before inanimate idols." I think Paul is acknowledging that there is a pagan religious experience and here seeks to distinguish a Christian believer's religious experience as different in kind from that of a pagan; it is unthinkable to Paul that a Christian believer can fail to acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
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