Phil 1:28 hHTIS

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Thu Jan 10 12:19:55 EST 2002


>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

<snip>

Carl said:
> 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.
>
Thanks for these examples. Your suggested analysis now sounds more
reasonable to me.
Let me add two similar examples:

1 Cor 3:17 	EI TIS TON NAON TOU QEOU FQEIREI, FQEIREI TOUTON hO QEOS,
hO GAR NAOS TOU QEOU hAGIOS ESTIN, hOITINES ESTE hUMEIS

Although NAOS is the antecedent of hOITINES, the rel. is in plural because
the sanctuary is here used in the non-literal sense of believers in plural,
and maybe anticipating the plural hUMEIS.

Eph 3:13 DIO AITOUMAI MH EGKAKEIN EN TAIS QLIYESIN MOU hUPER hUMWN, hHTIS
ESTIN DOXA hUMWN

Although the antecedent is plural, hHTIS is singular, because the thought is
on the singular concept QLIPSIS, and maybe anticipating the singular DOXA.

These examples are illustrative and helpful, but I am still having a problem
with Phil 1:28. My problem has to do with the anaphoric nature of hOSTIS and
also the suggestion that hHTIS may refer to a whole clause. I would have
expected a neuter form if it was a whole clause. (But is a neuter singular
form of hOSTIS really possible?)
In 1 Tim 3:15, the reader can quickly make a mental connection between OIKOS
QEOU and EKKLHSIA. After all, the House of God is one of the major OT terms
for the Temple, and in Paul's letters, the new Temple of God is the Church.
The more common word for this concept is EKKLHSIA. So one can maintain that
hHTIS refers back to the implied semantic word EKKLHSIA.
Similarly in Eph 6:2, the preceding clause is a well known example of an
ENTOLH, so hHTIS refers back to an implied (semantic) word ENTOLH.

Going back to Phil 1:28, it is not clear to me that the idea of "not being
intimidated in any way by the opponents" can be considered an
indication/pointer to the opponents of "their destruction and our
salvation". I would not think so. How would the reader connect this clause
to a feminine word/concept without jumping ahead to ENDEIXIS? It makes more
sense to me to think that FAITH as opposed to the opponents lack of faith is
what points to their destruction and the salvation of those who have faith.
I think that all the senses of faith may be relevant in this context: The
content of the faith, the activity of believing in it and faithfulness in
the middle of persecution and suffering. In an idiomatic translation based
on my analysis, I would suggest to clarify the antecedent and translate
hHTIS by "your faith" rather than the nebulous "this".

I can see both options better now, and don't want to be dogmatic one way or
the other. I am simply trying to understand the text as fully as possible in
order to translate it meaningfully.

Thanks,
Iver Larsen




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