Philippians 1:27

Steven Lo Vullo slovullo at
Sat Mar 23 20:42:00 EST 2002

on 3/23/02 6:20 PM, Polycarp66 at at Polycarp66 at wrote:

> In a message dated 3/23/2002 5:44:50 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> slovullo at writes:
>> EITE ... EITE are coordinating correlative conjunctions, forming a "whether
>> ... or" construction. It seems most natural that the participle APWN is
>> introduced by the second EITE, not the verb AKOUW, since the first EITE
>> clause features two participles (ELQWN and IDWN). APWN is contrasted with
>> ELQWN and IDWN. In light of this, my first impulse is to ask, "In what way
>> does AKOUW go with APWN?" If we take seriously the symmetry of the EITE
>> clauses, and conclude that the second introduces APWN, then how could we
>> explain a subordinate participle construed with a finite verb to which it is
>> NOT subordinate (APWN with AKOUW)? Seems like a stretch to me. It is far
>> more natural to understand all three participles a subordinate to AKOUW. And
>> how common is it for a purpose clause introduced by hINA to have no explicit
>> verb? I would think it is not very common at all.
> I think that the emphasis upon the structure EITE . . . EITE is correct.
> What we have here is
> It may seem a bit strange to have two participles paralleling a participle
> and a finite verb.  AKOUW is not the expected verb to complete the purpose
> clause.  The purpose clause continues on to include the result introduced by
> hOTI with the purposed result that STHKETE "you may stand . . ."

Hi George:

I'm having a bit of a problem understanding the above explanation.

First, why is AKOUW not the "expected" verb to complete the purpose clause?
How can anyone know what verb to "expect" in a purpose clause? What verb
SHOULD we expect? Since AKOUW may be subjunctive, what is there to keep us
from construing it with hINA? Construing as I have done makes perfect sense:
"Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that
... I may hear about your situation [as those who ARE conducting themselves
in such a manner], that you are standing firm in one spirit, etc." His
purpose in exhorting them to conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the
gospel is that he may hear a good report about those things that accompany
or comprise living in such a manner, whether he hears it personally in their
presence or from sources in his absence. Rhetorically, this is a challenge
from a leader to those whom he leads not to let him down.

Second, how does STHKETE, an indicative verb, come to mean "you MAY stand"?
It is introduced by hOTI, not hINA. "That you ARE standing" is the way we
would normally understand such a construction. And this construes quite
nicely with TA PERI hUMWN as an appositive. Again, if we were to take away
TA PERI hUMWN, the hOTI clause would construe quite naturally with AKOUW as
a direct object. And how does the hOTI clause come to construe with hINA?
You say the purpose clause "continues on." Continues on from what? And
through what? And where is the subjunctive verb, needed in a purpose clause,
if AKOUW is eliminated? And why should the hOTI clause be understood as a
consecutive clause? Result is a special use of hOTI, and normally when this
is the case the hOTI clause is subordinate to an interrogative clause (see
Gen 20.9; Judg 14.3; 1 Sam 20.1; 1 Kings 18.9; John 7.35; 14.22; Heb 2.6).

I still do not see any compelling reason to complicate what is essentially a
simple construction.

Steven Lo Vullo
Madison, WI
slovullo at

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