EIS QEON

Steven R. Lo Vullo doulos at appleisp.net
Mon Aug 27 21:24:16 EDT 2001


on 8/27/01 5:55 PM, Mark Wilson at emory2oo2 at hotmail.com wrote:

> 
> In Hebrews 8:10, we have:
> 
> ...KAI EPI KARDIAS AUTWN EMPGRAFW AUTOUS
> KAI ESOMAI AUTOIS EIS QEON
> KAI AUTOI ESONTAI MOI EIS LAON.
> 
> What are the translational options for EIS, which
> I assume would be the same in its function with QEON and LAON.
> 
> Some translations seem to not translate it altogether.

Hi Mark:

I think this is a pheneomenon primarily due to Semitic influence. Where the
Hebrew would have the prefixed preposition lamed, the LXX would translate
with EIS, as is the case with the LXX of Jer 38.33 translating the Hebrew of
Jer 31.33, in turn followed by the author of Hebrews. Another example in
Hebrews is 1.5, quoting 2 Sam 7.14. Elsewhere in the NT is, e.g., Mark 10.8
(quoting Gen 2.24), Acts 4.11 (alluding to Ps 118.22), Rom 4.3 (quoting Gen
15.6), and Rom 11.9 (quoting Ps 68.23). I have also run into examples where
the author is not quoting the LXX (e.g., Rom 2.26; 4.3, 5, 9; but note that
the examples from Rom 4 are based on the quote of Gen 15.6 found in v. 3).
This construction only occurs with EIMI/, GINOMAI, and LOGIZOMAI (passive),
i.e., only with verbs that take a predicate nominative. So it seems that
EIS+accusative in these cases may simply be a substitute for a predicate
nominative.

As for why some translations don't translate it, that is probably because,
it is commonly considered simply a substitute for the predicate nominative.
The LXX writers were apparently compelled to translate it *somehow*, so
rather than use more natural Greek (i.e., a simple predicate nominative),
they chose to translate lamed with EIS. Wallace points out some evidence in
Matt 19.5-6 for taking this construction as a substitute for the predicate
nominative:

"That the construction is equivalent to the S-PN construction can be seen in
Matt 19:5-6. In v 5 the entrance into the new state is mentioned with this
construction (ESONTAI hOI DUO EIS SARKA  MIAN ['the two shall become one
flesh']), followed in the next verse by a declaration of the resultant state
with a normal PN (hWSTE OUKETI EISIN DUO ALLA\ SARX MIA)."

I suppose if we were compelled to assign it meaning beyond substitute
predicate nominative, result would be the best candidate.
-- 

Steve Lo Vullo
Madison, WI
 




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