Acts 1:7

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Thu Oct 25 11:03:23 EDT 2001


At 4:01 PM -0400 10/24/01, Bryan Rocine wrote:
>Dear friends,
>
>A little translation question about OUS hO PATHR EQETO EN TH
>IDIA ECOUSIA:

i.e. OUC hUMWN ESTIN GNWNAI CRONOUS H KARIOUS hOUS hO PATHR EQETO EN THi
IDIAi EXOUSIAi.

>Is "within" or "by," (or some other choice) the translation
>of EN that most precisely represents the notion of the
>Greek?  I can accept that we do not know, if that is your
>answer.
>
>Why might I care?  While  I would not like theology to
>influence the decision about how to translate EN, I see that
>such the decision, if it can be made certainly, may have
>some small theological import in this verse.
>
>I have already found that most modern translations consider
>EN here as indicating a relationship of instrumentality,
>something like "...by his own authority."  I have also
>found,  after searching through other examples of TIQHMI +
>EN that this string otherwise expresses putting something
>into a place (Acts 5:25) or sphere of control (2 Cor 5:19).

In view of the fact that EQETO is middle here with a distinct
"SELF-serving" force to the verb--it is NOT EQHKEN, which might conceivably
mean "has established"--and that it is "his own" authority, I am inclined
to recognize the locative sense of EN here. And yet I note, as you have
indicated, that by far the more common conversion into English is "by his
own authority"--implying, I think, that EN + dative is here being
understood in the instrumental sense.

I haven't seen any other response to this question yet and I'd like to see
what others may have to say--and that's why I go ahead and hazard an
opinion, even if it's a vacillating one. I'm not sure that it really makes
a whole lot of difference: 'Did the Father "establish the times and
temporal turning-points to suit his own pleasure" (EQETO middle) by MEANS
of his own authority (EN + dative as instrumental)' or, alternatively, 'Did
the Father leave the status of the times and temporal turning-points within
his own authority (reading EN + dative as locative and understanding EQETO
EN THi IDIAi EXOUSIAi in the sense of reserving to himself the awareness)'?
-- 

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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