[B-Greek] 2 Cor 3:14b - subject of KATARGEITAI

Donald COBB docobb at orange.fr
Fri May 15 03:47:26 EDT 2009


Hello Paul,

Sorry you've had to wait so long to get an answer! 2 Cor 3:14 is not an easy text. I would point out a couple things:

First, leaving to one side the meaning of KATARGEW, the ending of v. 14 can carry two different meanings: μὴ ἀνακαλυπτόμενον ὅτι ἐν Χριστῷ καταργεῖται, MH ANAKALUPTOMENON, hOTI EN CHRISTWi KATARGEITAI. 
- "For up to this present day, the same veil remains on the reading of the Old Covenant, *it is not lifted, because it is (only) abolished in Christ*"
- "For up to this present day, the same veil remains on the reading of the Old Covenant, *not being unveiled that it disappears/is set aside in Christ*"

In the first understanding, the reference is to the veil, in the second it is to the Old Covenant. According to BDAG, ANAKALUPTW can have as an accusative either the person/thing that is veiled or the veil itself. I.e., the phrase itself is somewhat ambiguous.

Secondly, aside from the "only" that has to supplied (a fairly minor point), I think the "grammatical considerations" concern especially Paul's use of KATARGEW in this chapter. Outside of verse 14, it is found three times, refering each time to the glory of the Old Covenant (especially as it found expression in the glory shining on Moses' face): 

2 Corinthians 3:7 Εἰ δὲ ἡ διακονία τοῦ θανάτου ἐν γράμμασιν ἐντετυπωμένη λίθοις ἐγενήθη ἐν δόξῃ, ὥστε μὴ δύνασθαι ἀτενίσαι τοὺς υἱοὺς Ἰσραὴλ εἰς τὸ πρόσωπον Μωϋσέως διὰ τὴν δόξαν τοῦ προσώπου αὐτοῦ τὴν καταργουμένην
EI DE hH DIAKONIA TOU QANATOU EN GRAMMASIN ENTETUPWMENH LIQOIS EGENHQH EN DOCHi, hWSTE MH DUNASQAI ATENISAI TOUS hUIOUS ISRAHL EIS TO PROSWPON MWUSEWS DIA THN DOCAN TOU PROSWPOU AUTOU THN KATARGOUMENHN

2 Corinthians 3:11 εἰ γὰρ τὸ καταργούμενον διὰ δόξης, πολλῷ μᾶλλον τὸ μένον ἐν δόξῃ 
EI GAR TO KATARGOUMENON DIA DOCHS, POLLWi MALLON TO MENON EN DOCHi

2 Corinthians 3:13 καὶ οὐ καθάπερ Μωϋσῆς ἐτίθει κάλυμμα ἐπὶ τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ πρὸς τὸ μὴ ἀτενίσαι τοὺς υἱοὺς Ἰσραὴλ εἰς τὸ τέλος τοῦ καταργουμένου. 
KAI OU KAQAPER MWUSHS ETIQEI KALUMMA EPI TO PROSWPON AUTOU PROS TO MH ATENISAI TOUS hUIOUS ISRAHL EIS TO TELOS TOU KATARGOUMENOU

Paul uses KATARGEW in all these verses to speak of the glory of the Old Covenant that is disappearing or fading, already in its initial manifestation on Moses' face at Sinai, and he does it to contrast that glory with the greater one that "remains", that of the New Covenant in Christ and of the Spirit. This glory, being greater, eclipses the already disappearing glory of the Covenant given through Moses. In that sense, the παλαιὰ διαθήκη PALAIA DIAQHKH is clearly, to my mind at least, the obvious referant in v. 14.

Thirdly, it may be interesting to explore the possibility that the ambiguity in the way 14b is expressed may be deliberate--something we would do well to bear in mind in many of Paul's ambiguous statements. The "veil" that is on the heart is something that needs to be removed, and that can only be done "in Christ", by the Spirit. Paul seems to be hinting at the idea that there is a veildness that is part and parcel of the Old Covenant, unlike the New Covenant which allows a complete PARRESIA, "openness" (vv. 12, 17), and that material veiling easily shades off into a spiritual veiling or blinding (v. 14a; 4:3-4). If that's the case, it may be that Paul is suggesting that there is in Christ a double "disappearing" or "setting aside", that of the Old Covenant and that of the "veil" which--in one way or another--hides the glory of God that shines in the face of Christ (4:4).

There are obviously huge hermeneutical questions that this text poses concerning the relationship between the Old and New Testament, etc., and there are several different interpretations of this passage, but that's a discussion that lies outside the scope of B-Greek, of course.

Donald Cobb
Aix-en-Provence, France


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carl Conrad" <cwconrad2 at mac.com>
To: "B-Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Cc: "Paul Toseland" <paul at weakamongtheweak.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 9:26 PM
Subject: [B-Greek] 2 Cor 3:14b - subject of KATARGEITAI


> 
> Forwarded for Paul Toseland:
> ========
> 2 Cor 3:14b
> 
> ACRI GAR THS SHMERON hHMERAS TO AUTO KALUMMA EPI THi ANAGNWSEI THS
> PALAIAS DIAQHKHS MENEI, MH ANAKALUPTOMENON, hOTI EN CHRISTWi  
> KATARGEITAI.
> 
> Danker states, s.v. KATARGEW 3,
> 
> 'the subject may be hH PALAIA DIAQHKA or, more probably (despite some
> grammatical considerations), K|ALUMMA; in the latter case the mng. is
> remove.'
> 
> Could someone please explain precisely what these grammatical
> considerations night be? I appreciate that the question may not be a
> simple one, in that the sentence can be constructed in several different
> ways.
> 
> Many thanks,
> Paul Toseland
> ---
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> 
>


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