Phil 1:28 hHTIS
Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Thu Jan 10 14:21:40 EST 2002
At 6:19 PM +0100 1/10/02, 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
>> 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
>> Here the antecedent of hHTIS must clearly be OIKWi QEOU, "God's
>> 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
>> 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.
I would understand this differently, Iver: (a) hHTIS is feminine NOT with
reference to the preceding QLIYESIN but solely by attraction to the number,
gender, and case of DOXA; and (b) the antecedent of the hHTIS is really MH
EGKAKEIN. A glance at NET's version and note on this passage is superbly
illustrative of the complexity of this syntactical issue we're wrestling
3:13 For this reason I ask you31 not to lose heart because of what I am
suffering for you,32 which33 is your glory.34
33sn Which. The antecedent (i.e., the word or concept to which this clause
refers back) may be either "what I am suffering for you" or the larger
concept of the recipients not losing heart over Paul's suffering for them.
The relative pronoun "which" is attracted to the predicate nominative
"glory" in its gender and number (feminine singular), making the antecedent
ambiguous. Paul's suffering for them could be viewed as their glory (cf.
Col 1:24 for a parallel) in that his suffering has brought about their
salvation, but if so his suffering must be viewed as more than his present
imprisonment in Rome; it would be a general description of his ministry
overall (cf. 2 Cor 11:23-27). The other option is that Paul is implicitly
arguing that the believers have continued to have courage in the midst of
his trials (as not to lose heart suggests) and that this is their glory.
Philippians 1:27-28 offers an interesting parallel: the believers' courage
in the face of adversity is a sign of their salvation.
34tn Or "Or who is your glory?" The relative pronoun hHTIS (hH TIS), if
divided differently, would become H TIS. Since there were no word breaks in
the original mss, either word division is possible. The force of the
question would be that for the readers to become discouraged over Paul's
imprisonment would mean that they were no longer trusting in God's
>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?)
I think, Iver, that the differentiation between hOSTIS and hOS has to a
considerable degree evanesced in the Hellenistic period. The neuter
singular form of hOSTIS, usually spelled by editors as hO/ TI -- two words
to distinguish it from the conjunction hOTI which derives from it--and
that's what I was suggesting in my initial response to your query; in fact,
however, although I've seen hO/ TI in numerous instances in classical
Attic, I haven't seen it much in Hellenistic texts outside of the clearly
Atticizing writers, and so far as I can tell there's not a single instance
of it in the GNT.
As for the problem with the relative pronoun referring to the whole clause,
isn't that precisely the case in Eph 6:2? I think that it is the CONCEPTION
represented by the clause; this is what the article (especially in earlier
Greek) can so readily do--convert even a whole paragraph into a
substantive. I'd contend that this substantivization is always a
possibility even in Hellenistic Greek, and that what we have in Phil 1:28
is not so much the doctrine promoted and defended by the Philippian
congregation that is the ENDEIXIS AUTOIS APWLEIAS but rather their solid
and unshakable resistance to all efforts of their adversaries to undermine
their committed community that is the unmistakable indication to the
opponents that they are on the losing side, on the side of LOSS, in fact.
>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.
And all the more so in that OIKOS probably doesn't refer to a structure but
rather to a "household" as a social unit.
>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.
In my opinion, Iver, you are excessively "hung up" over the fact that hHTIS
is feminine; for my part, on the other hand (1) PISTEI seems pretty far, as
an antecedent, removed from hHTIS, while (2) I don't understand how the
DOCTRINE espoused by the Philippians can itself ENDEIXAI to the opponents
their own APWLEIAN: do they really know and understand that doctrine so
that they can recognize it as an ENDEIXIS AUTOIS THS APWLEIAS?
All I can say at this point, Iver, is that you've opened up quite a "can of
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
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