1 Thess 2:15 ENANTIWN

Michael Holmes holmic at bethel.edu
Wed Oct 28 11:41:28 EST 1998

At 11:15 AM 10/28/98 EST, Paul Dixon wrote:
>In 1 Thess 2:15 should ENANTIWN be taken as a participle 
>in parallel with the preceding participles APOKTEINANTWN
>Or, should it be taken simply as an adjective (as BAG
>has it listed under the adjective  ENANTIOS, A, ON rather
>than the verb ENANTIOOMAI).

With apologies for what Oscar Cullmann termed the "vice of auto-citation,"
perhaps I could pass along part of a footnote from my recent commentary on
the Thessalonian letters, as a partial answer to Paul's query; the second
paragraph below is most directly relevant to his questions:

 Regarding the four participles in 2:15–16a,

"The translations vary considerably in their treatment of these participles
and the repeated KAI's in 2:15–16a: "the ones KAi having killed the Lord
Jesus KAI the prophets KAI having driven us out KAI not pleasing God KAI,
hostile to all people, hindering us ..."  In 2:15a, the NRSV ("who killed
both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, ...") treats the first KAI as if it
came after "having killed" rather than before, while the NIV ("who killed
the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out ...") ignores the
first and translates the third as if it were a longer phrase.  Preferable is
either (1) "who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us
out ..." (NASB), which links closely the verbs "killed" and "drove out," or
(2) "who also killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out ...,"
which picks up the list-like character of the string of accusations.

"In 2:15b–16a there are competing structural patterns: while the first three
clauses of vv. 15–16 are composed of a noun or pronoun phrase followed by a
participle, in the fourth clause the noun phrase is followed by an adjective
("hostile") and then a participle ("hindering").  Both the NIV ("They ...
are hostile to all men in their effort to keep us ...") and NRSV ("they ...
oppose everyone by hindering us ...") emphasize the adjective, as it
immediately follows the noun clause; they treat the adjective as if it were
a participle parallel to the first three, and subordinate the following
participle to it.  Alternatively, one may emphasize the obvious parallelism
of the four participles, as does the NASB ("not pleasing to God, but hostile
to all men, hindering us ...").  But the NASB treats the linking conjunction
KAI as though it were a contrasting one ("but," DE or ALLA); instead
translate "they are not pleasing to God and, hostile to humanity, are
hindering us ..." (cf. E. J. Richard, Thessalonians, 121–122).

Mike Holmes
Bethel College

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