Phillipians 2: two questions

Maurice A. O'Sullivan mauros at
Sat Dec 12 19:20:33 EST 1998

At 16:40 12/12/98 -0600, you wrote:
>At 4:18 PM -0600 12/12/98, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>>I was surprised by two things in the syntax of Phillipians 2:
>>1. In verse 1, why is it EI *TIS* SPLAGCNA? Isn't this a mistake in
>My text punctuates as EI TIS SPLAGCNA KAI OIKTIRMOI, ... Certainly if TIS
>were meant to be construed solely with SPLAGCNA it would have to be TINA,
>but it would appear that we have a ... (trumpet sounding): HENDIADYS--I
>think the two words are meant together to stand for the conception of
>compassionate fellow-feeling and that TIS construes with the IDEA
>represented by the two nouns together. This is awkward, as one might expect
>a plural, but I'm not sure but what a plural wouldn't be awkward too.
>Strange, I've never noticed that bit before.


I notice that Zerwick in his Analytical Key points out that this occurs
nowhere else in the NT.
In his "Biblical Greek Illustrated by Examples" (Pontifical Biblical
Institute, Rome 1963 ) ge devotes section 9 to a consideration of 
Ph. 2:1, and the fact that:

"St. Paul introduces his admonition by a fourfold appeal:
EI TIS........
EI TI ...... (variant reading EI TIS )
EI TIS.....
EI TIS   --- the one under our consideration

"The question here " he goes on " arises whether the defective concord of
the fourth member, and of the variant to the second, can be admitted so as
to read TIS in all four and take the sense as being " if there be any ... ".

He answers " So far as Hellenistic Greek is concerned  the  neuter form TI
is used indeclinably in  papyri i.e without agreement in gender or number [
two examples given ]
Hence, an indeclinable TIS would be the less remarkable, but since we have
no instances of such a use, some have preferred to read TI in all four of
Paul's expressions"

However, he goes on to consider this too great a modification of the
meaning,  and gives his reasons.

Hope this is of some help.


Maurice A. O'Sullivan  [ Bray, Ireland ]
mauros at

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