EN + reference to a person

Brian Swedburg brian at discoveryhills.org
Tue Aug 28 13:29:04 EDT 2001


On 8/28/01 9:04 PM, "Mark Wilson" <emory2oo2 at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Carl:
> 
> You wrote:
> 
> -----
>> 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 think 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."
> -----
> 
> I would put this as, "I also think a theological bias may be
> entering into the equation if one thinks of Spirit in terms
> of "a person" or "not a person" without first looking at
> all the data.
> 
> That is, if one approaches scripture with a predisposition one
> way or the other, they may be said to have a bias.
> 
> I think we all, including myself, sometimes forget that we
> all have our presuppositions and backgrounds that can bias
> the way we approach scripture. Unless you are actually arguing
> that YOUR position is the right one because you have no bias,
> then that's a horse of another color :o )
> 
> My thoughts
> 
> Mark Wilson
> 
> 
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> 
Greetings mark & B-Greek,
    Having been one who has felt the need to point out the bias/hermeneutics
issue, you have raised in your defense, on the list before, I can appreciate
your response.  I must admit that in this case, I concur that what you are
in effect calling an 'intensified dative  of interest', does appear to force
a 'new' semantic on a prepositional phrase which in its plain sense is
sufficient.

Let me use your own examples...

Luke 4:1 HGETO EN TWi PNEUMATI EN THi ERHMWi
>  "In a close, personal relationship with the Spirit, he was lead
>  into the wilderness."
    The plain grammatical sense appears to be that The Spirit himself lead
Jesus. (Call it agency or means depending on your theology)
>
>  1 Cor 6:2 KAI EI EN hUMIN KRINETAI hO KOSMOS
>  "and if you judge the world in a close, personal way..."
>   
Again, to my thinking, the plain sense of the saints being agents of
judgment is sufficient.

>  2 Cor 3:14 hOTI EN CRISTWi KATARGEITAI
>  because in a close, personal relationship with the Messiah
>  it is set aside."
>
Particularily here I would graciously question your logic.  It is the veil
that is removed "in Christ".  Were I to take up your cause as I grasp it, I
would translate the passage "because the veil is personally, up close and
intimately, removed in Christ"  So, the veil is removed and effected
personally.  Again, I find agency an adequate understanding of EN XRISTW.

>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.

This passage does have a different ring.  I would be hard pressed at present
to say I am entirely comfortable with reference, means, sphere, etc... I
would need to consider more closely the PNEUMOLOGY of Ephesians as a whole
before landing, so I wont address this verse.
>
>What are your thoughts about the idea of an intensified dative?

Please except these thoughts as response to your own invitation.  I always
enjoy the dialogue. I know I had a very novel consideration for the grammar
of Phil 4:8, that list members graciously challenged.  Consequently, I
learned and grew.  At other times, I have held my ground.  Perhaps you can
press me to find that agency is inadequate for the verses I suggested.

Thanks for the excuse to break away from a busy day and interact with the
WORD in Greek.

Brian P. Swedburg
Student




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