Phil. 4:7

Edgar Foster questioning1 at
Sat Jul 10 18:51:47 EDT 1999

--- "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad at> wrote:

>Without disagreeing specifically with what Jim suggests by way of
interpretation, I would note that EIRHNH is hardly a verbal noun, and
we ordinarily apply the subjective/objective distinction of genitives
(which is an interpretive category in any case, and not a semantic
distinction in the morphology) only to nouns representing a verbal

To clarify what you state above, I want to put forth a few points for
your consideration. 

(1) Normally, I have viewed hH EIRHNH in Phil. 4:7 as something that
God gives (not something that is descriptive of His Being). The deep
structure of this verse seems to be "The peace that God gives will
guard your hearts and minds." I think this interpretation fits in with
the overall context of the passage. Would not hUPEREXOUSA indicate that
EIRHNH is verbal in 4:7?

(2) In his exegetical grammar that I have recently been studying,
Richard Young writes that hH EIRHNH TOU QEOU is a subjective genitive,
meaning "God gives peace." He also cites Rom. 16:25 as an example of a
subjective genitive: KATA TO EUAGGELION MOU. He suggests that "the
genitive MOU is the subject of the verbal idea in EUAGGELION." Should
we view EUAGGELION as a verbal noun in Rom. 16:25?

(3) Regarding verbal nouns, Young says that "Discerning what should be
considered verbal nouns in a particular text is not simple." He then
discusses endings which indicate whether a noun should be viewed as
verbal (-SIS, -MOS, -THS, THR, -TWR) as well as the words built on
verbal stems. Could EIRHNH fit into one of these categories?

(4) How would you understand EIRHNH in Col. 3:15? Does it have a verbal
force in this passage?


Edgar Foster
Classics Major
Lenoir-Rhyne College

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