[B-Greek] The force of ὡς ἂν in 1 Corinthians 12:2
iver_larsen at sil.org
Fri Feb 25 03:06:32 EST 2011
----- Original Message -----
From: "Carl Conrad" <cwconrad2 at mac.com>
To: "Kevin W. Woodruff" <cierpke at prodigy.net>
Cc: "Biblical Greek List" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: 24. februar 2011 20:13
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] The force of ὡς ἂν in 1 Corinthians 12:2
> 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
> [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.]
It may be helpful to look at how the different pieces contribute to the whole.
Verse 2 first has a time setting: when you were Gentiles/pagans (not being God's
people). This situation is then described with a participle that I would take as
middle: HTE PROS TA EIDWLA TA AFWNA ... APAGOMENOI. You got carried away (or
went along) to worship those mute idols. The verbs have the imperfective aspect
which may refer to either prolonged or repeated action. Then we have a
comparative subordinate clause: hWS AN HGESQE. I take the hWS here as
comparative "as", because the time is already set. The AN indicates a
contingency or an irrealis aspect. The verb has the imperfective aspect which
may well indicate repeated action, but could also refer to a situation that took
place over an extended period of time. It comes out the same in the end, since
worshipping idols for years amounts to doing it many times. I would take this
verb as a true passive, indicating that there must have been (AN) some powerful
beings (who could not be seen) that pulled you to do that. You got carried away
to worship those mute idols as if someone had been pulling you. So, hWS AN comes
out as "as if". Those forces are in opposition to and different from the Holy
Spirit in the next verse.
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