Phil 1:28 hHTIS

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Wed Jan 9 18:12:42 EST 2002


At 9:31 AM +0100 1/9/02, Iver Larsen wrote:
>> >
>> >Phil 1:27-18 hOTI STHKETE EN hENI PNEUMATI, MIAi YUCHi SUNAQLOUNTES THi
>> >PISTEI TOU EUAGGELIOU KAI MH PTUROMENOI EN MHDENI hUPO TWN ANTIKEIMENWN,
>> >hHTIS ESTIN AUTOIS ENDEIXIS APWLEIAS
>> >
>> >Does hHTIS refer back to the feminine PISTIS or can it possibly refer
>> >forward to ENDEIXIS?

First let me concede what I should have seen at first, that THi PISTEI in
the above text must have the sense "what is believed."

>Concerning the idea that the content of the gospel should be a pointer to
>the opponents - AUTOIS ENDEIXIS - that those who do not obey it are lost and
>those who obey it are saved, I see no problem. In fact, this is a key
>element of the Christian doctrine as it is proclaimed by Paul. And he adds
>in 1:28 KAI TOUTO hUPO QEOU. That the proclamation of the gospel shows that
>the opponents are destined for destruction while the believers in Philippi
>are destined for salvation is not just Paul's idea, but the content of the
>gospel that comes from God.

I'll continue to entertain this as a possibility, although I continue to
think it more likely that the antecedent of hHTIS ... ENDEIXIS is the
entire preceding sequence from hOTI STHKETE through hUPO TWN ANTIKEIMENWN.

>Carl continued:
>> I think that hHTIS must rather, as Iver suggests in his
>> question, refer forward to ENDEIXIS. In affirming that, however, I think
>> we'd have to see an elliptical construction here, such that hHTIS is
>> attracted into or takes its number, gender and case from ENDEIXIS, its
>> predicate noun, but that it represents what grammatically ought rather to
>> be a hO TI (the neuter indefinite pronoun, not the conjunction)
>> which would have as its antecedent MH PTUROMENOI EN MHDENI hUPO TWN
>ANTIKEIMENWN, "not
>> letting yourselves be tripped up in any way by your opponents." That might
>> still make it look like the steadfastness (PISTIS) of the Philippians is
>> demonstrative of the perdition of their opponents, but it seems to me that
>> it's the combination implicit in the present participles MH PTUROMENOI and
>> ANTIKEIMENWN: the ongoing efforts of the opponents in the face of the
>> ongoing persistence of the Philippians in steadfastness.
>
>I suggested that hHTIS might possibly refer forward to ENDEIXIS because I
>had seen that claim by some people. But having read your explanation it
>seems even more unlikely to me that this is possible. It just does not fit
>with how hOSTIS is used in the GNT. It is the kind if desperate conjecture
>that ought to be the last resort when everything more reasonable fails.

Let me make a stab at making that "desperate conjecture" appear to be a bit
more reasonable.

>The two relevant senses of hOSTIS are number 2 and 3 in BAGD.:
>
>2b. "to emphasize a characteristic quality, by which a preceding statement
>is to be confirmed"
>
>3. "Quite oft. hOSTIS takes the place of the simple rel.  this occurs rarely
>in class. usage (but s. Hdt. 4, 8, 1 and oft.; Thu. 6, 3, 1; Demosth. 38, 6;
>17; Kühner—G. II 399f), but much more freq. in later Gk."
>These two are often difficult to differentiate as Bauer himself admits under
>section 2b: "Yet many of the passages already mentioned may be classed under
>the following head (3), and some that are classed there may fit better in
>this one (2)."

Yes, and this includes the substitution of hO TI for hO.

>If we set aside the somewhat idiomatic use of the genitive form in hEWS
>hOTOU which occurs five times in the NT, hOSTIS only occurs in the
>nominative in the GNT and never in the singular neuter. (The few potential
>cases of a neuter indefinite rel. hO TI are highly disputed and can better
>be explained as hOTI). The plural neuter hATINA occurs 5 times out of the
>129 nominative instances of hOSTIS.
>As far as I can tell hOSTIS always refers back to a preceding noun of the
>same gender, and it may skip a number of intervening words, e.g. in Luk 8:43
>7 words, Rom 16:7 6 words and Heb 10:8 11 words. Therefore, I see no problem
>in having hHTIS refer back to THi PISTEI TOU EUAGGELIOU and thereby skipping
>over a parenthetical comment of 6 words.

Let me cite two instances of hOSTIS that seem to me parallel to the
understanding of hHTIS ... ENDEIXIS that I have upheld and that I rather
think is the common understanding of this text with which Iver disagrees.

1 Tim 3:15 ... EAN DE BRADUNW, hINA EIDHiS PWS DEI EN OIKWi QEOU
ANASTREFESQAI, hHTIS ESTIN EKKLHSIA QEOU ZWNTOS, STULOS KAI hEDRAIWMA THS
ALHQEIAS.

Here the antecedent of hHTIS must clearly be OIKWi QEOU, "God's household",
but the relative pronoun seems to refer to the IDEA of "God's household"
rather than to the noun OIKWi, and for that reason it does what happens not
very commonly but occasionally: it takes the case of its predicate noun.

The other passage:

Eph 6:2 TIMA TON PATERA SOU KAI THN MHTERA, hHTIS ESTIN ENTOLH PRWTH EN
EPAGGELIAi

Here the antecedent of hHTIS must be the entire abbreviated form of the
commandment, TIMA ... MHTERA, but in this instance also the relative
pronoun takes its case from the predicate noun ENTOLH.


>The reason I raised the issue is that I am translating Philippians at the
>moment, and I seem to disagree with most English translations and
>commentators on 1:28. So I would like to be proved wrong if I am wrong, in
>order to produce a faithful translation.

If you honestly believe that hHTIS in this instance refers back to PISTEI,
then certainly you should translate in accordance with your honest
understanding of the passage; but you need not claim that "most English
translations and commentators on 1:28" are relying upon a "desperate
conjecture." In this instance I personally think that they're right.
-- 

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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