virgil newkirk virgilsalvage1 at msn.com
Sun Mar 5 16:44:59 EST 2006

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Iver Larsen" <iver at larsen.dk>
To: "Jeffrey B. Gibson" <jgibson000 at comcast.net>; 
<b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 02, 2006 6:39 AM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Phil 2:17 genitive PISTEWS

> RRedden604 at aol.com wrote:
>   " Snip "

" The  context makes it clear that it is not Paul who is offering the
 sacrifice, but  the Philippians."


You then commented:

" I disagree, as does BAGD. Just the opposite is the case. In the previous 
verse, Paul has just said that he has laboured
> for the Gospel - EKOPIASA. And he believes that this labour will not have 
> been in vain, as long as the Philippians have
> matured in their faith and are honouring God in their lives. I recommend 
> that you read the whole of Philippians chapters
> 1 and 2 to get the background. Notice especially verses like 1:6,9-10, 22, 
> 25, 27, 2:15-16.
> Since Paul has just talked about his struggle for the sake of the Gospel 
> to impart faith and maturity to the
> Philippians, it is most likely that the sacrifical service (to God for 
> their benefit) he is talking about is his own. He
> has struggled hard in the face of many obstacles and persecutions, and he 
> hopes that it will not be in vain. As long as
> his audience keep the faith and mature in it, it will not have been in 
> vain. Then he can rejoice together with them as
 the next verse says."


For me, you have "generalized" into ambiguity what the immediate context 
that precedes verse 17 makes explicitly clear. You have made those verses 
and what they say into something you refer to as Paul's "labor for the 
gospel." Paul (specifically) has just referred to, (verse 16), the effort he 
has expended towards the Phillipians and what it was for: his being able to 
rejoice in the day of Christ concerning their standing before the Lord...yes 
? and in verses 12-16, what that refers to is their stability (that they 
were presently having)in both responsibility for and continued effort in 
maintaining their attitude, standing, and connection to being sons of God in 
their relation to Him and their relation and standing towards the world they 
still lived in.

Paul was concerned about and extremely interested in their stability at the 
present time and in their continuing in that kind of experience as concerns 
their steps with the Lord and the world. This will help us understand then 
why he wrote what he wrote next and perhaps will help us know what Paul 
meant by his use of EPI followed by QUSIAi KAI LEITOURGIAi.

Paul has already, once, at least, wrote about something that could have been 
affecting the Phillipians attitude in a negative way. Paul wanted to assure 
them in chapter 1: 12-14 concerning his "bonds."

In verse 17 of chapter two, Paul is about to mention something else that 
could discourage them and he is going to attempt to put it in such a way to 
make it clear...it is just another instance of something to "rejoice about."

Paul writes, " ALLA EI KAI " which is something like...Hey ! Yes, I might be 
about to be poured out (seemingly, not good !) Paul's next statement makes 
it seem that it might be even worse for the Phillipians because of: EPI 
QUSIAi KAI LEITOURGIAi. Here, for me, EPI, as indicating "on" their 
sacrifice and service.... or Paul's possibly being poured out EPI (based on) 
their sacrifice and service just doesn't make any sense, that is, provide 
meaning for me considering that the context is about Paul's concern about 
their attitude and stability.

It might be worse for the Phillipians because this possible pouring out 
could be occuring EPI QUSIAi KAI LEITOURGIAi. If here we take EPI with the 
dative to be indicating a "time at...during a period of time...at the very 
period of time" of their sacrifice and service characterized by their 
conviction about things concerning Paul (which most agree they had been 
performing) it might stumble them. It might make them think..what ? at the 
very time we're assisting our dear brother...he's going to be killed ? Paul 
assures them...yes, maybe right at this very time....but I rejoice and 
rejoice with you and in reference to the same TO D'AUTO..I charge you to 
protect your attitude about things...Be rejoicing KAIRETE and be rejoicing 

BDAG...EPI 18. "b" with the dative, time at, or during which

Iver, you said, and I agree with you when you said,

It is also an exegetical mistake to
> ignore the immediately preceding context in order to focus on a later 
> context. The reason this is a mistake is that a
> text has progression. Concepts are built up by the writer, and the reader 
> should not build on what has not yet been
> said. You are not supposed to read or hear a letter being read backwards.

Iver, I also have a problem with the following when you wrote:

> > [Jeffrey Gibson:] Does regarding/ translating PISTEWS as "faithfulness" 
> > help to solve the problem?

Iver you responded with:

" > No, it doesn't. The main problem as I see it is exactly the problem 
raised by Mitch in the first place. What is the
> relationship between Paul's sacrificial service and the faith of the 
> Philippians."


This is not what Mitch brought up. Mitch wrote and then asked:


I guess this is some kind of analogy or metaphor, but
I wonder what are the genitive semantic options for
"service of your faith" seems like a pretty
straightforward translation, but it doesn't seem to
convey much meaning. Can anyone offer other options
for how this genitive might be translated?"


It seems to me another place you mis-spoke or at the least mis-represented 
the text was; when you wrote:

"As long as
his audience keeps the faith and matures in it, it will not have been in 
vain. Then he can rejoice together with them as
the next verse says."


I would say, no, that is not what Paul said. He did not make the condition 
that he would rejoice with them in verse 17 and 18 based on their keeping 
the faith & maturing in it. What he said was that "if" that "if" happened 
and he was in fact poured out it was something that he joyed about and even 
with them joyed about and then cemented it with them that it was "in fact" 
something to be joyed about by using the imperative "KAIRETE" and then 
assuring them that he would be joying about it right along with them.

Phillipians 2:17 could be understood to be saying that Paul was concerned 
about their attitude being damaged by something that may in fact happen, but 
just like everything in their life, was something to rejoice over...istm.

Virgil Newkirk
Salt Lake City, Utah


More information about the B-Greek mailing list