Rewards Ceremony?

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Mon Aug 28 11:38:42 EDT 2000


At 4:02 PM +0000 8/27/00, Mark Wilson wrote:
>Brief question:
>
>2 Cor. 5:10
>
>BHMATOS TOU CRISTOU
>
>
>Regarding the BHMA, were there two very different and separate uses for this
>“seat?”
>
>I was under the impression that the BHMA was a “judgment seat” in a negative
>sense (judicial), but that it also was a “rewards ceremony” place, a place
>where “judgment” was not used in any judicial or legal sense.
>
>If the latter alone where intended, how then does EITE AGOQON EITE FAULON
>function in this “rewards ceremony?”
>
>Is there any extra-biblical use where BHMA was used in its "rewards
>ceremony" sense with FAULON being related to this ceremony?

It would really be more helpful to have the entire text before us that
includes both the items being brought into discussion:

TOUS GAR PANTAS hHMAS FANERWQHNAI DEI EMPROSQEN TOU BHMATOS TOU CRISTOU,
hINA KOMISHTAI hEKASTOS TA DIA TOU SWMATOS PROS hA EPRAXEN, EITE AGAQON
EITE FAULON.

BHMA means fundamentally: "a platform (place to stand firmly on two feet
<BAINW), hence a raised 'platform' or 'dais'; it is the "witness stand" in
a courtroom or a "tribunal" (more often than not); although I haven't
checked it I would expect it to be a platform at Olympia or Delphi or any
other site of competitions on which prizes are awarded. In the present
context however, the BHMA TOU CRISTOU is surely the place of Christ's final
tribunal; But the language of the rest of this verse is loaded with
semi-technical phrasing: AGAQON and FAULON are to be understood as spelling
out hA EPRAXEN: "so that every one may get recompense (KOMISHTAI) for
things (performed) by means of one's body (TA DIA TOU SWMATOS) with respect
to the things which s/he has done (PROS hA EPRAXEN), whether (the thing
which one has done is) good (AGAQON) or bad (FAULON). Perhaps your problem
arose from KOMISHTAI: KOMIZOMAI can have several different senses, among
them "receive one's due," i.e. "receive one's reward or punishment." It
would be possible to take AGAQON and FAULON as objects of KOMISHTAI, but I
think it's grammatically easier to take them in apposition to the relative
pronoun hA. In my opinion it is the usage of KOMIZOMAI more than anything
else here that makes this verse confusing to one not familiar with the
forensic usage.
-- 

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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