Parsing of Gal 3:11

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Mon Oct 1 17:13:05 EDT 2001


I think this is a matter of PUNCTUATION rather than PARSING, but
ultimately, of course, one of understanding the structure of the sentence.

At 10:22 AM -0400 10/1/01, Moon-Ryul Jung wrote:
>Dear bgreekers, let us consider:
>
>(1)
>hOTI DE EN NOMWi OUDEIS DIKAIOUNTAI PARA TWi QEWi DHLON, hOTI
>hO DIKAIOS EK PISTEWS ZHSETAI.
>
>The above, with its decision to place the comma after DHLON,
>is usually translated as:
> That in the law nobody is justified before God is obvious,
> because the righteous shall live by faith.
>
>If we put the comma before DHLON as:
>
>(2)
>hOTI DE EN NOMWi OUDEIS DIKAIOUTAI PARA TWi QEWi, DHLON hOTI
>hO DIKAIOS EK PISTEWS ZHSETAI,
>
>it will be translated as:
>
> Because in the law nobody is justified before God, it is
> obvious that the righteous shall live by faith.

I think that EN NOMWi here is instrumental: "by means of Law".

>One of the fundamental principles of writing is "
>the subject and its predicate should be as close as possible".
>
>(2) satisfies this principle better than (1). In (2), the
>predicate DHLON is immediately followed by its subject,
>the hOTI clause.
>
>Is there any reason for most translations prefer (1) to (2)?

Yes. It is generally assumed that the first hOTI simply introduces the noun
clause that is the subject of DHLON (ESTIN), while the second hOTI is
causal and the clause following explains the proposition by reference to an
OT citation: hO DIKAIOS EK PISTEWS ZHSETAI. That is to say: that final
clause is not a conclusion to be deduced but the premiss upon which the
assertion in the first clause is based. It has to be recognized that Hab.
2:4 is being cited in the last clause as a reason why the proposition in
the first clause is valid. Note that in vs. 13 the same structure is
evident: the proposition is first stated: CRISTOS hHMAS EXHGORASEN EK THS
KARARAS TOU NOMOU GENOMENOS hUPER hHMWN KATARA, and then the justification
for that assertion is offered from scripture: hOTI GEGRAPTAI, "EPIKATARATOS
PAS hO KREMAMENOS EPI XULOU." Vs. 12 is slightly different but has the same
order: the false assertion is negated and contrasted (through ALLA) with
the scriptural basis: "hO POIHSAS AUTA ZHSETAI EN AUTOIS."
-- 

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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