Lk 12:21

Rbsads at Rbsads at
Wed Aug 1 22:50:54 EDT 2001


For a beginner, the verse is a difficult study of the use of nominative, 
dative, and prepositional forms. Earlier discussion about the 8 case 
functions certainly seems to pertain to translating this verse.

The NRSV translates as follows:  "So it is with those who store up treasures 
for themselves but are not rich toward God."

This rendering leaves me wondering what is meant by being "rich toward God." 
Is the passage saying that the rich man should have given more of his stores 
to the church, in other words he should have given something to God, perhaps 
to the poor?

There seems to me to be more of a sense of abstract, spiritual nourishment 

It seems plain that Jesus shifts focus between the first and second phrase. 
The man found security in storing material treasures.  But the true source of 
life is found in trusting God.

Such a shift from material security to more intangible, more real, spiritual 
security can be read into the text because the verse is describing God, but 
does the language give support to such an interpretation of spiritual 
nourishment beyond the reader's own conceptual associations?

The NRSV has "being rich toward God."  This translates EIS in accordance with 
the 8 case function system, but the translation leaves me confused about what 
is intended.


The dative can be understood as the benificiary of the stored treasure and 
the participle phrase translated as "the one storing treasure for himself."


Might the prepositional phrase be interpreted, rather as conveying direction 
to God, as conveying the means of enrichment? It would then be translated as 
"not becoming rich by God." This would imply that life from God and its 
sustenance is received from a relationship with God, in contrast to one who 
enriches himself.

These considerations would translate verse 20 as follows:

"Thus the one storing treasures for himself and not becoming rich by God 
(will lose his life)."

My lexicon indicates that PLOUTEW has NT useages for spiritual enrichment.

A final question concerns the use of the nominative participles. Is there an 
understood verb as I indicated in the parentheses above, with the two 
nominative participles to be understood as subject of that understood verb?


Richard Smith
Chattanooga, TN

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