Hebrews 10:25--Article Usage

Mike Sangrey msangrey at BlueFeltHat.org
Mon Jan 28 15:03:00 EST 2002

On Mon, 2002-01-28 at 14:02, Jim Crouch wrote:
> By using the definite article (THN EPISUNAGOGHN), does the writer indicate
> that he has a specific assembly in mind, one with which his readers would
> be familiar?


I've taken this to be "the gathering of yourselves together" which then,
in this context, doesn't quite refer to the commonly held interpretation
of attending meetings.

Starting in vs 19 there are other words which signify a movement from
within a broad group toward a single locus point:  "enter the Most Holy
Place" (THN EISODON...) and "draw near" (PROSERCWMEQA). So there are
lexically cohesive ties which suggest something other than meeting
attendance.  They suggest movement from somewhere out there to this
fixed point that the author has been talking about.

For this, and other reasons dealing with the flow of argument in the
text (the genre is exhortative and focused on generating belief in
Christ), I tend to think that the "gathering together" did not have to
do with attending meetings, but had to do with being gathered together
to Christ.

So, to answer your specific question, no, the article does NOT refer to
a specific assembly since EPISUNAGOGHN does not refer to an assembly
generally considered.  But the article should be thought of as making
EPISUNAGOGHN point to the very thing the author has been talking about
all along.  "THIS gathering together" is too strong, but perhaps brings
out the force a little better.  At least, the force as I see it.
Mike Sangrey
msangrey at BlueFeltHat.org
Landisburg, Pa.
                        "The first one last wins."
            "A net of highly cohesive details reveals the truth."

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