[B-Greek] Galatians 4:9
George F Somsel
gfsomsel at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 1 21:19:56 EDT 2007
The στοιχεῖα (see on v 3), it is now made plain, not only regulated the Jewish way of life under law; they also regulated the pagan way of life on the service of gods that were no gods. To be enslaved to such counterfeit deities was to be enslaved to the στοιχεῖα, and the Galatians would be enslaved to the στοιχεῖα all over again if they ‘reverted’ not to their former paganism but to Jewish religious practices. That, as Paul saw it, his Gentile readers were tending to revert to a form of religion which they had practised before their conversion to Christianity is emphasized by his repeated πάλιν...πάλιν ἄνωθεν. For all the basic differences between Judaism and paganism, both involved subjection to the same elemental forces. This is an astonishing statement for a former Pharisee to make; yet Paul makes it—not as an exaggeration in the heat of argument but as the deliberate expression of a carefully thought
Bruce, F. F. (1982). The Epistle to the Galatians : A commentary on the Greek text. Includes indexes. (202). Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.
Wieseler’s statement, “Das πάλιν, welches hier wiederum, nicht rückwärts, heisst, weist auf eine frühere Bekehrung (ἐπιστροφή) hin, nämlich auf die ihrem, v. 8 erwähnten Heidenthume gegenüber in dem νῦν δέ u. s. w. angedeutete Bekehrung von den Götzen (ἐπιστροφὴ ἀπὸ τῶν εἰδώλων) zu Gott in Christo,” escapes self-contradiction only by the expedient of supposing πάλιν to apply to ἐπιστρέφετε only, not to ἐπιστρέφετε ἐπὶ … στοιχεῖα, an interpretation which would require us to read: “How turn ye again, this time to the weak and beggarly rudiments?” The view, moreover, in support of which he resorts to this difficult expedient, viz., that Paul does not include the former heathenism of the Galatians under τὰ … στοιχεῖα compels him further to limit the effect of πάλιν ἄνωθεν in the next clause to δουλεύειν, reading in
effect, “to which ye desire to be in bondage, this constituting for you a second bondage.” Such a harsh severance of verb and adverb in two successive clauses is not demanded by the usage of πάλιν and is, in fact, self-refuting. The obvious and unescapable implication of the language is that the conversion to τὰ … στοιχεῖα is a return to a state generically the same as the idol-worship under which they formerly were.
Burton, E. D. W. (1920). A critical and exegetical commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians. "Appendix. Detached notes on important terms of Paul's vocabulary": p. 363-521. (232). New York: C. Scribner's sons.
πῶς ἐπιστρέφετε πάλιν ἐπὶ τὰ ἀσθενῆ καὶ πτωχὰ στοιχεῖα, “how can you turn back again to the weak and miserable basic principles?” “How can you turn back?” is a rhetorical question that puts before the Galatian Christians a dilemma: Knowing God the Father in the intimacy established by Christ and the Spirit, how is it possible for them to want any other relationship? The use of πῶς in such questions suggests “how is it possible that” (cf. 2:14; also Rom 3:6; 6:2). The verb ἐπιστρέφω (“turn around,” “turn back”) is a technical term for either religious conversion (cf. 1 Thess 1:9; also Luke 1:16; Acts 3:19; 9:35; 11:21; 14:15; 15:19; 26:18, 20; passim) or religious apostasy (cf. 2 Peter 2:21–22). Its use here in the present tense indicates that the Galatians’ action of apostatizing was then in progress (cf. v 10; also Comment at 1:6 and 5:2–4).
Longenecker, R. N. (2002). Vol. 41: Word Biblical Commentary : Galatians. Word Biblical Commentary (180). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.
And long ago Martin Luther wrote
He reproveth the Galatians therefore, because they would be in bondage to the law again, which doth not take away sins, but increaseth them. For whilst a sinner, being weak and poor himself, seeketh to be justified by the law, he findeth nothing in it but weakness and poverty itself. And here two sick and feeble beggars meet together, of whom the one is not able to help and heal the other, but rather molesteth and troubleth the other.
Luther, M. (1997). Commentary on Galatians. Translation of In Epistolam S. Pauli ad Galatas ... commentarius.; Reprint of the 1839 ed. published by B. Blake, London, under the title: A commentary on Saint Paul's Epistle to the Galatians. (Ga 4:10).
Therefore, O faithful Christian, search for truth, hear truth,
learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
defend the truth till death.
- Jan Hus
----- Original Message ----
From: Elizabeth Kline <kline_dekooning at earthlink.net>
To: Stephen Walch <swalchy at thewaytoyahuweh.com>
Cc: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Monday, October 1, 2007 3:41:57 PM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Galatians 4:9
On Oct 1, 2007, at 8:27 AM, Stephen Walch wrote:
> νῦν δὲ γνόντες θεόν, μᾶλλον δὲ
> γνωσθέντες ὑπὸ θεοῦ, πῶς
> ἐπιστρέφετε πάλιν ἐπὶ τὰ ἀσθενῆ
> καὶ πτωχὰ στοιχεῖα οἷς πάλιν
> ἄνωθεν δουλεύειν θέλετε
> NUN DE GNONTES QEON MALLON DE GNWSQENTES hUPO QEOU PWS EPISTREPHETE
> PALIN EPI TA ASQENH KAI PTWCHA STOICHEIA OIS PALIN ANWQEN DOULEUEIN
> How does one understand Paul’s usage of the word ἄνωθεν
> (ANQEN) in this verse? Is Paul just strengthening the usage of
> πάλιν (PALIN)?
ANWQEN - Danker 3rd ed. "Oft. strengthened by πάλιν [PALIN] (CIG
1625, 60; Wsd 19:6) Gal 4:9." Thankyou George.
Wis. 19:6 ὅλη γὰρ ἡ κτίσις ἐν ἰδίῳ
γένει πάλιν ἄνωθεν διετυποῦτο
ὑπηρετοῦσα ταῖς σαῖς ἐπιταγαῖς
ἵνα οἱ σοὶ παῖδες φυλαχθῶσιν
WIS. 19:6 hOLH GAR hH KTISIS EN IDIWi GENEI PALIN ANWQEN DIETUPOUTO
hUPHRETOUSA TAIS SAIS EPITAGAIS hINA hOI SOI PAIDES FULACQWSIN ABLABEIS
PALIN ANWQEN in Gal. 4:9 looks like it might be a Hellenistic
equivalent of PALIN AUQIS[Ion. AUTIS] or AUQIS PALIN. On the other
hand Alford cites Meyer in support of reading PALIN ANWQEN as
equivalent to Plut. solert. anim. p959 EK NEAS AUQIS ARCHS or PALIN
EX ARCHS BARN. 16:8
BARN. 16:8 ... KAI ELPISANTES EPI TO ONOMA EGENOMEQA KAINOI, PALIN EX
ARCHS KTIZOMENOI: DIO EN TWi KATOIKHTHRIWi hHMWN ALHQWS hO QEOS
KATOIKEI EN hHMIN.
Barn. 16:8 καὶ ἐλπίσαντες ἐπὶ τὸ
ὄνομα ἐγενόμεθα καινοί, πάλιν ἐξ
ἀρχῆς κτιζόμενοι· διὸ ἐν τῷ
κατοικητηρίῳ ἡμῶν ἀληθῶς ὁ θεὸς
κατοικεῖ ἐν ἡμῖν.
I don't anything after H.Ridderbos and F.F.Bruce on Galatians so
someone with a better library might be able to explain why Alford and
Meyer's readings are no longer in vogue.
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