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

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Sat May 16 04:27:21 EDT 2009


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Elizabeth Kline" <kline_dekooning at earthlink.net>
To: "greek B-Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Cc: "Paul Toseland" <paul at weakamongtheweak.org>
Sent: 16. maj 2009 00:28
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] 2 Cor 3:14b - subject of KATARGEITAI


>I spent some time reading 2Cor 3 in USB3 and Robinson-Pierpont over
> the last several days and concluded that Paul was trying to dazzle us
> with his brilliant rhetoric and the result is somewhat less than
> perfectly clear. Perhaps the climax of confusion is reached in verse 10:
>
> 2Cor. 3:10 καὶ γὰρ οὐ δεδόξασται τὸ
> δεδοξασμένον ἐν τούτῳ τῷ μέρει
> εἵνεκεν τῆς ὑπερβαλλούσης δόξης.
>
> 2COR. 3:10 KAI GAR OU DEDOXASTAI TO DEDOXASMENON EN TOUTWi TWi MEREI
> hEINEKEN THS hUPERBALLOUSHS DOXHS.
>
> KAI GAR OU DEDOXASTAI TO DEDOXASMENON is a truly marvelous expression
> and what follows EN TOUTWi ... DOXHS isn't particularly lucid either.
> To really appreciate Paul's ambiguities, avoid the versions. One thing
> is perfectly clear, DOXA ...  marks a theme in this discourse segment
> and for that reason I agree with Donald that Paul uses "KATARGEW in
> all these verses to speak of the glory ..." and on the subject of
> KATARGEW is the "disappearing glory of the Covenant given through
> Moses".

I would agree that Paul expresses himself economically, but I don't think he is very difficult to
understand nor ambiguous as long as we start reading at least from verse 7.
The main topic in 7-18 is the contrast between the old covenant and the new covenant. Each are
described in different ways. The old covenant is one of death, writings on stones, limited glory,
condemnation, being done away with, being veiled (not understood). By contrast, the new covenant is
one of Spirit, writings on the heart, greater glory, righteousness, freedom, active, unveiled.

Paul uses KATARGEW 25 times and what is or is not being "done away with" are very many different
things. Most common are law (4 times), death (2), promise (2), rulers of this world (2) and the
following each one time: God's faithfulness, body of sin, existing things, stomach, food,
prophecies, knowledge, imperfect things, childish things, glory, old covenant, relationship with
Christ, stumbling block, lawless one. So, I disagree that Paul uses the word in all the verses in
this chapter to speak of glory. There is no constraint on collocation, and it is the immediate
context that tells us what is being done away with, not what was the object connected to the word in
other places.

I would say that to understand verse 10, one must first look at verse 7. Here the face of Moses
shone with "glory" and this represented the glory of the old covenant. This glory was KATARGOUMENHN,
i.e. in the process of being done away with or disappearing.
The word TO DEDOXASMENON then IMO refers back to PROSWPON MWÜSEWS. The glory of the face of Moses
(representing the covenant of Moses) was glorious in its own way, but it/he was OU DEDOXASTAI when
compared with THS hUPERBALLOUSHS DOXHS, i.e. the overwhelming glory of the new covenant.
>
> However, having managed to google[1] to M.J.Harris (2Cor 2005 Eerdmans
> pp 290-319) (search strings: "murray j harris"  " the Old Covenant")
> it seems that the argument for KALUMMA as subject is worth
> considering. The text again:
>
>
> 2Cor. 3:13 καὶ οὐ καθάπερ Μωϋσῆς ἐτίθει
> κάλυμμα ἐπὶ τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ πρὸς
> τὸ μὴ ἀτενίσαι τοὺς υἱοὺς Ἰσραὴλ
> εἰς τὸ τέλος τοῦ καταργουμένου.  14
> ἀλλὰ ἐπωρώθη τὰ νοήματα αὐτῶν.
> ἄχρι γὰρ τῆς σήμερον ἡμέρας τὸ
> αὐτὸ κάλυμμα ἐπὶ τῇ ἀναγνώσει τῆς
> παλαιᾶς διαθήκης μένει, μὴ
> ἀνακαλυπτόμενον ὅτι ἐν Χριστῷ
> καταργεῖται·
>
>  2COR. 3:13 KAI OU KAQAPER MWU+SHS ETIQEI KALUMMA EPI TO PROSWPON
> AUTOU PROS TO MH ATENISAI TOUS hUIOUS ISRAHL EIS TO TELOS TOU
> KATARGOUMENOU.  14 ALLA EPWRWQH TA NOHMATA AUTWN. ACRI GAR THS SHMERON
> hHMERAS TO AUTO KALUMMA EPI THi ANAGNWSEI THS PALAIAS DIAQHKHS MENEI,
> MH ANAKALUPTOMENON hOTI EN CRISTWi KATARGEITAI·
>
> Murray argues that KALUMMA is the subject of the most recent finite
> verbs and this would it difficult to supply DOXA ... as subject for
> KATARGEITAI. I would suggest that DOXA ... is implied in 13c   EIS TO
> TELOS TOU KATARGOUMENOU and that  the absence of explicit reference
> here demonstrates that DOXA ... is still active and available.

Yes, the face of Moses and preceding context is enough to show that it is the glory of the face of
Moses that is disappearing, but since Moses represents the covenant, both the covenant and its glory
is disappearing.

> Two other problems:  What to do with ANAKALUPTOMENON? Is it an
> accusative absolute, if not how does if function? How to read hOTI in
> hOTI EN CRISTWi KATARGEITAI. Should it be hO TI or hOTI? Punctuation
> hO, TI? Perhaps someone else can solve these.

I would consider hOTI to be used in its common sense of "because" here.
ANAKALUPTOMENON could refer back to PROSWPON, and that is enough to explain the neuter participle
which is probably nominative. Confer ANAKEKALUMMENWi PROSWPWi in v. 18.
Whereas v. 13 talks about PROSWPON MWÜSEWS, that is then extended to point to the covenant of Moses
which is veiled whenever it is being read in the synagogues for the Jews who have not believed in
Christ. It is only when they believe in Christ that this veil over the covenant of Moses is done
away with -  EN CRISTWi KATARGEITAI.
This is explained clearly in v. 16:
ἡνίκα δὲ ἐὰν ἐπιστρέψῃ πρὸς κύριον, περιαιρεῖται τὸ κάλυμμα.
hHNIKA DE EAN EPISTREYHi PROS KURION PERIAIREITAI TO KALUMMA.

So, in my view, if we look at the context, it can only be the veil that is done away with when one
turns to the Lord.

>
> On May 15, 2009, at 12:47 AM, Donald COBB wrote:
>
>> 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, referring 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

The feminine form makes it clear that the participle is linked to DOXA.

>> 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

The neuter nominative makes it less likely that it links to DOXA. It could refer to the neuter
PROSWPON MWÜSEWS, and consequently to what the face of Moses represents here, namely the old
covenant. It could also be a more abstract neuter contrasting the concept of the old temporary
covenant with the new, permanent one (TO MENON). It can hardly refer to glory, because the two
concepts are described in terms of glory. The first arrived by way of (through) glory and the second
remains with/in glory.

>>
>> 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

Again, I think it is the old covenant (represented by the face of Moses) that is being done away
with. DOXA is only a description of the covenants.

>>
>> 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 referent
>> in v. 14.

Looking at the context, it is equally obvious to me that the veil is the referent as explained in v.
16. It is true, of course, that the old covenant has been done away with, but here Paul seems to
talk on a more personal level. The Jew who hears the law being read in the synagogue, do not
understand and believe its prophetic fulfillment in Jesus, so its significance is veiled to him. But
once he turns to Christ, the veil (his lack of understanding) is done away with and he now
appreciates the greater glory of the new covenant.

Iver Larsen




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