[B-Greek] "But the body is of Christ"

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Thu Mar 30 04:50:21 EST 2006


On Mar 30, 2006, at 1:18 AM, (Eric Bess) SavemeOYah at aol.com wrote:

>
> The clause at the end of Colossians 2:17. I've heard many things  
> about this
> passage. Some say it is a positive opposite of "let no man  
> therefore judge
> you"  at the beginning of the verse. In other words, no man was to  
> judge the
> Colossians "but the body of Christ" (omitting "is" as it is not in  
> the  Greek).
>
> But I wanted to know if the Greek construction of this verse allows  
> such an
> interpretation.

Text: Col 2:16 MH OUN TIS hUMAS KRINETW EN BRWSEI KAI EN POSEI H EN  
MEREI hEORTHS H NEOMHNIAS H SABBATWN; 17 hA ESTIN SKIA TWN MELLONTWN,  
TO DE SWMA TOU CRISTOU.

What makes the suggested interpretation most unlikely is the way the  
relative clause (with antecedents clearly being the items regarding  
which "no one is to voice condemnation" correlates with TO DE SWMA  
TOU CRISTOU. That is to say, there is an antithesis set up between  
SKIA TWN MELLONTWN and TO SWMA TOU CRISTOU, an antithesis highlighted  
by the DE.

It should be noted too that the "you" of verse 17 is the plural  
hUMAS, which must refer to the whole congregation addressed in this  
letter; I would think that the congregation itself would be  
considered "the body of Christ" in the sense that this phrase refers  
to believers as the corporate body of Christ.

In sum, I think that the Greek text and the correlation of the  
elements in the clauses does NOT allow the construction and meaning  
suggested in Eric's query.

Some more recent discussions of this passage in our archives may be  
found at:
(http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-greek/)

July 30, 2003 Questions about col 2:16+17
April 28, 2003 Col 2:16-17 _ TO DE SWMA TOU CRISTOU
Jan 28, 2006 Col 2:17

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/




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