Lk 7:30; HQETHSAN EIS hEAUTOUS

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Sat Jan 16 07:15:19 EST 1999


At 1:38 AM -0500 1/16/99, Paul S. Dixon wrote:
>b-Greekers:
>
>I came across this in Lk 7:30 that really puzzles me.
>
>THN BOULHN TOU QEOU HQETHSAN EIS hEAUTOUS
>
>Compare some of the translations:
>"rejected the counsel of God against themselves" (KJV),
>"rejected God's purpose for themselves" (NASB),
>"rejected God's purpose for themselves" (NIV),
>"rejected God's purpose for themselves" (NRSV),
>"rejected the plan of God for themselves" (NAB), etc.
>
>It would seem the translations are taking EIS hEAUTOUS
>with THN BOULHN TOU QEOU instead of with
>HQETHSAN.  What gives here?
>
>Thoughts?

Well, A thought, at any rate. I think that the problem is in the English
rather than the Greek; as I read the Greek, EIS hEAUTOUS definitely must
construe with HQETHSAN: "they nullified with respect to themselves God's
will." The problem is that this is abnormal English word order which seems
ordinarily to require a direct object to follow the verb more or less
immediately. One could put the adverbial phrase first: "Insofar as it
applied to themselves, they rejected God's intent." My sense of these
translations is that they understand the sense of the Greek rightly but
their English doesn't reflect the structure of the Greek (because it can't,
without violating normal English word-order).

I think, if I've understood the sense of the Greek rightly, that hEAUTOIS
would have been the more classical formulation and also clearer than EIS
hEAUTOUS, which may reflect a Semitism. Certainly in terms of traditional
grammatical constructions, if EIS hEAUTOUS were meant to construe
attributively with THN BOULHN it should have another article (THN EIS
hEAUTOUS BOULHN)--but surely the phrase must construe adverbially with
HQETHSAN: they rejected it as something not applying to or obligating
themselves.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cconrad at yancey.main.nc.us
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/



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