EN + reference to a person

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Tue Aug 28 06:22:18 EDT 2001


More than a week has passed since Mike brought this suggestion to the list.
Who knows why it hasn't been touched? Perhaps there's some trepidation
regarding the suggestion, that it is an interesting but bold and
unprecedented notion and probably involves some theological assumptions
even if it is formulated as a "simple" grammatical/semantic proposition.
I've been thinking about it and, as indicated below, I really think it's a
highly dubious proposition; here are my reasons.

At 2:42 PM -0400 8/17/01, Mike Sangrey wrote:
>Dear BGreekers,
>
>I've been thinking (wondering, cogitating) about phrases of the
>form `EN <possible article> <some reference to a person>'.
>
>For example,
>  EN CRISTWi
>or
>  EN TWi PNEUMATI
>or
>  EN AUTWi
>
>I've wondered if I should think of these as `intensified datives'.
>
>In other words, taking Robertson's characterization of the dative
>as "case of personal interest" we would then have EN + the dative
>(when the nominal refers to a person) as conveying "up close and
>personal."

For my part ("personally") I have serious doubts about this. When Robertson
speaks of the dative as "case of personal interest," I think he's speaking
of the original dative case used for indirect object, as opposed to the
Locative and Instrumental/comitative cases which had endings merging into
the dative-case endings. EN was most commonly used with the Locative to
express stationary location in space or time, far less frequently (although
there are instances) with the Instrumental/Comitative to express
means/instrumentality.

If we say EN TWi PNEUMATi (and I think that EN PNEUMATI is more common in
the GNT) I don't think "personal relationship" is what's meant here but
rather means: "by means of the Spirit"--and I also thing a theological bias
may be entering into the equation if one thinks of Spirit in terms of "a
person" in any ordinary sense of "a person."

Finally, I think that the usage of EN CRISTWi, like that of EIS CRISTON,
about which we've recently had discussion on the list, there's probably
something more or something different involved: a sort of "incorporation"
into the (corporate) body of Christ. I don't mean to say that the believer
is not deeply, personally, involved when EN CRISTWi, but rather that (it
seems to me) the believer is involved in a relationship with the "body of
Christ" which includes not simply himself/herself and Christ but the whole
body of believers as a corporate whole.
And I think also that EN AUTWi really most commonly means the same thing as
EN CRISTWi when used in proximity, and that here the pronoun AUTOS is
substituted for the noun CRISTOS.

My guess is that there are some assumptions, perhaps or probably
theological ones, that govern this notion of "close personal relationship"
expressed by EN + dative case form. For these reasons I'd reject the
suggestions below.

>So, taking the above examples and translating to fully bring out
>the sense, we have:
>
>  "in an up close and personal relationship with the Messiah"
>and
>  "in an up close and personal relationship with the Spirit"
>and
>  "in an up close and personal relationship with him"
>
>Now, simply grabbing the examples Iver used under a different,
>though related thread:
>
>  Luke 4:1 HGETO EN TWi PNEUMATI EN THi ERHMWi
>  "In a close, personal relationship with the Spirit, he was lead
>  into the wilderness."
>
>  1 Cor 6:2 KAI EI EN hUMIN KRINETAI hO KOSMOS
>  "and if you judge the world in a close, personal way..."
>
>  2 Cor 3:14 hOTI EN CRISTWi KATARGEITAI
>  because in a close, personal relationship with the Messiah
>  it is set aside."
>
>And, adding one of my own:
>
>  Eph 6:18 PROSEUCOMENOI EN PANTI KAIRWi EN PNEUMATI
>  praying on every occasion in a close, personal relationship with
>  the Spirit.
>
>What are your thoughts about the idea of an intensified dative?

See above.
-- 

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/



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