[B-Greek] ESTAI hH EXOUSIA AUTWN EPI TO XULON THS ZWHS--"They're going to have a right to the tree of life"? (Rev. 22:14)

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Wed Nov 29 20:06:57 EST 2006


On Nov 29, 2006, at 7:51 PM, Webb wrote:

> Dear Listees,
>
>
>
> ESTAI hH EXOUSIA AUTWN EPI TO XULON THS ZWHS, Rev. 22:14
>
>
>
> See also:
>
>
>
> DWSW AUTWi FAGEIN EK TOU XULOU THS ZWHS hO ESTIN EN TWi PARADEISWi  
> TOU QEOU
> MOU Rev. 2:7
>
>
>
> I don't understand why Rev. 22:14 doesn't say, "They're going to have
> authority over the tree of life". I've done a search on  
> EXOUSIA .EPI, and I
> can't find anyplace in the Greek NT or the LXX where it means "a  
> right to
> partake of the good things of" rather than "authority over". The  
> idea of
> "authority over the tree of life" is obviously somewhat  
> counterintuitive,
> but if that weren't regarded as theologically impossible, would one  
> still
> translate it as "a right to the tree of life"?

I think what's being misunderstood here is EXOUSIA. It is the noun  
from the impersonal verb EXESTI, commonly used with a dative of the  
person and infinitive to indicate what it is in the power or  
opportunity of the person involved to do. I think that "a right to  
the tree of life" is misleading -- although not really wrong --  
because it suggests a constitutionally defined freedom. What's in  
play here, I think, is "unlimited access" or "ready access" -- to the  
tree of life.

On the other hand, if you really WANT to use the term "right,"  
perhaps that's appropriate in the sense that in Genesis 3:21-22 hO  
ANQRWPOS in the persons of Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden to  
forestall their access to the tree of life and living forever. So the  
"right" to the tree of life was taken away in Genesis 3, and  
"restored" in Rev 22.


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





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