Galatians 2:16 EAN MH

Steven Lo Vullo slovullo at mac.com
Fri Mar 29 16:28:22 EST 2002


on 3/29/02 2:24 PM, Glenn Blank at glennblank at earthlink.net wrote:

> and ISTM that what a subordinate clause modifies is the entire matrix
> clause, and not merely one of its constituents:  thus, it modifies
> 
> OU DIKAIOUTAI ANQRWPOS EX ERGWN NOMWN....

> Should it have been?  ISTM that both of these renditions say something
> different from what the text actually says.  Also, either omitting EX ERGWN
> NOMOU or changing EAN MH to ALLA makes the text say something different than
> what it does, while the meaning as it stands seems quite straightforward . .
> . "A man will not be justified by the works of the law unless it is on the
> basis of faith in Christ."  Now, we might would rather it say what it would
> say with ALLA than with EAN MH, but is that any reason for assuming the
> former is what Paul meant to say?
> 
> But now to jump to your side of the argument, Manolis, the context of this
> chapter does seem to be saying what verse 16 would say with ALLA rather than
> what it seems to say with EAN MH, and certainly in light of Ephesians 2.9,
> one would expect to see ALLA rather than EAN MH here.  So should I conclude
> that EAN MH and ALLA share a logical structure in Greek in a way that "but"
> and "if not" do not in English?  Or did Paul choose EAN MH instead of ALLA
> for some type of rhetorical effect?  Or?

The context, as you seem to concede in your above comments, clearly does not
support your rendering, "A man will not be justified by the works of the law
unless it is on the basis of faith in Christ." Indeed, the rest of this very
sentence rules out any such idea: KAI hHMEIS EIS CRISTON IHSOUN
EPISTEUSAMEN, hINA DIKAIWQWMEN EK PISTEWS CRISTOU KAI *OUK* EX ERGWN NOMOU,
hOTI EX ERGWN NOMOU *OU* DIKAIWQHSETAI *PASA* SARX. Yet you seem to indicate
that a subordinate clause MUST modify the entire matrix clause. It seems to
me that this is a case of a presuppositional rule overriding the evidence,
rather than the evidence supporting the rule. If the syntactical evidence
does not neatly fit the rule, I think the rule should, at the very least, be
revised. Not only that, but, if we concede that there is an ellipsis that
needs to be filled (and I'm not sure there is), there is more than one way
to understand how and where it should be filled. The following makes more
sense in the context:

OU DIKAIOUTAI ANQRWPOS EX ERGWN NOMOU

[OU DIKAIOUTAI ANQRWPOS] EAN MH DIA PISTEWS IHSOU CRISTOU

This is in keeping with the apparently causal sense of the particpial clause
and its relationship to the main verb (EPISTEUSAMEN) and the purpose (hINA)
and causal (hOTI) clauses that further modify it.
============

Steven Lo Vullo
Madison, WI
slovullo at mac.com




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