Philippians 1:1-2

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Fri Sep 3 08:50:14 EDT 1999


At 7:36 AM -0500 9/3/99, Joseph Brian Tucker wrote:
>Greetings
>
>Here are a few questions from Philippians 1:1-2.
>
>PAULOS KAI TIMOQEOS DOULOI CRISTOU IHSOU PASIN TOIS hAGIOIS EN CRISTWi
>IHSOU TOIS OUSIN EN FILIPPOIS SUN EPISKOPOIS KAI DIAKONOIS, CARIS hUMIN KAI
>EIRHNH APO QEOU PATROS hHMWN KAI KURIOU IHSOU CRISTOU.
>
>Why are there no verbs in this verse, what verb is implied and what would
>be its form?

This follows, with some distinctive Pauline variation, the standard
"salutation" or "greeting formula" in ancient letters: generally there's a
nominative case form of the sender's or senders' name(s), a dative case
form of the recipient's or recipients' names, and quite commonly an
infinitive with an implicit or explicit verb governing it, usually CAIREIN
KELEUEI (where CAIREIN represents the imperative sg. CAIRE or pl. CAIRETE.
Thus: "X (nom.) bids Y (dat.) be joyful" = "X greets Y." One could compare
the common Latin formula in a Ciceronian letter to Atticus: CICERO ATTICO
SALUTEM (DICIT) = "Cicero says SALVE to Atticus" = Cicero greets Atticus."
What Paul has done is to substitute for CAIREIN KELEUEI a Hellenized form
of the more common Jewish formula, SHALOM ("Peace!) with an added
transformation of the CAIREIN formula into CARIS, so that the actual words
of greeting are "grace and peace"--i.e. "Paul to all the saints ... (sends
the greeting): 'Grace and Peace!'"

>What is the function of DOULOI in this verse? What is its relationship to
>PAULOS KAI TIMOQEOS?

This is in apposition to PAULOS KAI TIMOQEOS: Paul describes them as
"servants" or "slaves of Christ Jesus."

>Why is CRISTOU IHSOU in the genitive? What type of genitive is it?

This is ordinary garden-variety genitive of one noun dependent on another;
call it "possessive" if you like: Paul and Timothy are "Christ's"
slaves/servants.

>What is the force of EN in this passage?

EN CRISTWi (IHSOU) is a very common Pauline formula, variously interpreted,
but perhaps most commonly interpreted as meaning something like "in
corporate union with Christ (Jesus)." We've had several threads on this
phrase over the course of years on B-Greek.

>Is TOIS OUSIN adjectival or substantival? On what do you base your
>conclusion?

I'd call it adjectival and more specifically attributive to TOIS hAGIOIS EN
CRISTWi IHSOU, but one could as easily speak of it as substantival and say
that it is in apposition to TOIS hAGIOIS EN CRISTWi IHSOU--I think these
are alternative ways of understanding the same construction. As an
attributive adjectival construction one might translate the phrase as "to
the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi together with ..." but as an
appositive, one might translate it as "to the saints in Christ Jesus, the
ones who are at Philippi together with ..." But surely you can see that the
meaning is the same whichever mode of describing the construction you
prefer.

It would be worth your while to compare the constructions in this
salutation of Philippians with those in salutations of other Pauline
letters: you'd find generally the same elements with slight variations.



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 



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