Fwd: Re: Titus 3:1

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Wed Nov 3 06:53:10 EST 1999

As I received two copies of this message from Ronald Ross off-list, I am
assuming that he intended to send one of them to the list, and I do think
it is a concern that ought to be dealt with by any who have wisdom to bring
to bear on this question. I'll append my own not very adequate response to
it below.

>Date: Tue, 02 Nov 1999 22:37:13 -0600
>From: Ronald Ross <rross at expressmail.net>
>X-Accept-Language: en
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>To: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu>
>Subject: Re: Titus 3:1
>"Carl W. Conrad" wrote:
>> At 10:07 AM -0500 11/2/99, Mark Gibbs wrote:
>> >       Greetings,
>> >
>> >       I may be displaying my ignorance here so please bear with me...
>> >
>> >       Titus 3:1a reads:
>> >
>> >
>> >       I understand that the infinitive is serving as the direct object
>> >of the imperative verb, but what is the relationship between the
>> >infinitive and the 2 plural datives, if any?  With the absence of KAI
>> >between the nouns (and I realize that the KAI appears in the majority
>> >text, but we need not go down that path) am I totally out of line to see
>> >the ARCAIS as somehow acting as a modifier of EKOUSIAIS (i.e., "ruling
>> >authorities).  It just seems to me that there is more going on here than
>> >meets the eye.
>> I don't think there's much more than meets the eye here.
>> I'd understand it exactly as you put it, that the two datives mean "ruling
>> authorities." Although this is the only place in the NT where the two
>> appear in direct conjunction, there are several instances where the two are
>> used together in such a way that they seem to be synonymous: Lk 12:11,
>> 20:20, 1 Cor 15:24, Eph 1;21, 3:10, 6:12, Col 1:16, 2:10, 2:15 (all this
>> from a quick check in AcCordance).
>Pardon my intrusion.  It seems to me that if we understand the two datives
>as "ruling
>authorities" we must assume that the first ('ARCAIS') is being used
>adjectivally. Yet
>I have been unable to find any adjectival use registered in lexicons such
>as Arndt
>and Gingrich or Louw and Nida.  Interesting, Blass and Debrunner doubt the
>grammatically of this "phrase".
>Ronald Ross
>UBS translations consultant
>Linguistics Department
>University of Costa Rica

I responded to this from home yesterday evening after the B-Greek server
came back up following a down-period of several hours, and I had no
reference works directly at hand when I replied. I'm not surprised that the
lexica cited by Ronald have not found adjectival use of the noun ARCH, but
I am surprised that they haven't commented on this passage wherein these
two dative plural nouns must somehow construe as a unit--and I would guess
that one of the commentaries on the pastoral letters ought to have a
comment on it. In fact I have Metzger's note from the second edition of his
Textual Commentary on the GNT, p. 586, s.v. Titus 3:1 ARCAIS [B]:

"After ARCAIS the Textus Receptus adds KAI, following the later uncials (Dc
K P) as well as most of the minuscules, versions, and Fathers. The more
difficult asyndetic construction is supported by the best witnesses of both
the Alexandrian and Western types of text (Sin A C Dgr.a G Psi 33 1739
it.g). It is possible that the conjunction may have fallen out accidentally
in transcription (ARCAISKAIEXOUSIAIS). On the other hand, since KAI is
lacking also between the following two infinitives (according to the
decisive weight of witnesses: only Fgr G it.g syr.p Basil insert KAI), it
appears that the author deliberately framed his sentence concisely, and
that the presence of KAI is the result of the desire of copyists to relieve
the asyndeton."

Thus Metzger. Now, as the punctuated UBS4 text reads: hUPOMIMNHSKE AUTOUS
EINAI, I am left wondering how the editorial committed understood this
phrase; if they thought the two dative plural nouns represented different
entities so that we might suppose the author to be urging believers (a)
hUPOTASSESQAI ARCAIS and (b) PEIQARCEIN EXOUSIAIS, then why didn't they put
a comma separating the two dative nouns as they did separating the two
infinitives? Or did they in fact understand ARCAIS EXOUSIAIS as I have
suggested, "ruling authorities."

As I sit here pondering alternatives (including that the author wished to
send us a subliminal clue regarding Pauline authorship of this epistle),
one other rather remote possibility comes to mind from Latin usage (and it
has always fascinated me that Latin usage must be a factor in some aspects
of Hellenistic Greek usage): from a very early date Roman senators were
addressed by the title "patres conscripti" and the title is translated
"conscript fathers" as if "conscripti" is thought to be an adjective or
participle construed with the noun "patres." Yet it is generally believed
that this phrase originates from the combination in the Roman senate at an
early date of two categories of senators: (a) heads of Roman noble
families--the "fathers" and (b) other noblemen or important men from
outside the hereditary nobility who have been "enrolled" as senators in
addition to the hereditary nobility--and these would be called "enrollees."
BUT, there is no record of the phrase used to address the senate as a body
ever having had a conjunction (PATRES ET CONSCRIPTI). My addled brain is
pondering the thought, not that the phrase ARCAIS EXOUSIAIS in Titus 3:1 is
modeled upon the Latin usage for what, in the Republic at least, were
indeed the "ruling authorities" of Rome (of far greater importance than
consuls and praetors who were simply executive officers for the Senate),
but that the recurrent traditional collocation of ARCAI and EXOUSIAI in the
plural must have given rise to the sense that they are really synonymous
nouns regularly used in a single phrase, and that the conjunction is really

That is, of course, pure speculation off the top of my head. But I still
wonder what the editorial committee actually thought, and why, if they
thought that ARCAIS and EXOUSIAIS, despite the absence of a conjunction,
referred to two distinct entities, they didn't bother to place a comma
between them? I can't speak for them, but if I WERE a betting man, I'd bet
that they thought the phrase meant "ruling authorities."

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
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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