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

Elizabeth Kline kline_dekooning at earthlink.net
Sun May 17 17:10:56 EDT 2009

On May 17, 2009, at 1:17 AM, Iver Larsen wrote:

> KATARGEW only occurs (4 times) in the whole letter, and that is in  
> the passage from 3:7-14. I
> expanded the relevant passage to 3:18, because there are other words  
> that create cohesion in 3:7-18.
>> I think another thing to bear in mind is that, for the 1st century  
>> hearer, the natural thing to
>> do, without a specific referent in v. 14, would be to run back in  
>> his or her mind to the last
>> use(s) of KATARGEW (i.e., v. 13, etc.). Paul has been using the  
>> verbe in the preceeding sentences
>> to get a point across; the natural thing to do as a hearer would be  
>> to connect the
>> lines between the different occurences.
> ... I agree that the four uses of KATARGEW are linked and form a  
> cohesive band. The first
> instance in v. 7 is feminine and clearly links to DOXA. Once we come  
> down to v. 11, Paul has
> introduced the contrast between the two covenants in two ways: the  
> first is by letter, the second is
> by Spirit, the first leads to condemnation and death, the second to  
> God's approval and acceptance
> (DIKAIOSUNH). The participle in v. 11 is neuter, so it does not link  
> directly to DOXA nor DIAQHKH in
> v. 6, nor to DIAKONIA, but probably in a more general sense to all  
> that was involved in the old
> covenant that Moses stood as a symbol for. The genitive participle  
> in v. 13 is probably again
> neuter, at least not feminine, referring to "that thing" that is  
> being done away with, the whole
> concept of the old covenant with its fading glory.
> Then in v. 14 we have the indicative present KATARGEITAI. This is  
> the tricky one, because you could
> argue that it is hH PALAIA DIAQHKH just mentioned that is being  
> abolished EN CRISTWi. In that case,
> this abolishment was done through the death and resurrection of  
> Christ. That is a past event for
> Paul, so if that had been the intention, I would have expected an  
> aorist form of KATARGEW like
> KATHRGHQH, not the imperfective present form.
> KALUMMA is another band of cohesion. It occurs 4 times in verses  
> 13-16. In addition, we have
> ANAKALUPTW 2 times in v. 14 and 18, the only two occurrences in the  
> whole NT. As has been pointed
> out, KALUMMA is the subject immediately preceding, so it is natural  
> (I think) to take that as the
> subject for KATARGEITAI. The present tense links to v. 16: PERIAITEI  
> TO KALUMMA, another present
> tense and a synonym of KATARGEW that is more specific to a veil. The  
> imperfective form fits with
> hHNIKA EAN (whenever). It is a repetitive act for diffirent  
> individuals. Whenever they believe,
> their veil is removed.

I don't see any problems with Iver's analysis.

On the subject of cohesion, the thematic threads [a.k.a. topics,  
themes] in this discourse segment are woven together in a complex  
manner. In several places the reader is tempted to ask, what is Paul  
talking about now? The subtle shifts in theme often have no clear  
boundaries, the different themes overlap at edges. For example, the  
difficulty the Israelites had gazing upon fading DOXA of  TO PROSWPON  
MWUSEWS [hH PALAIA DIAQHKH] is first introduced in 3:7:


No mention yet of  TOU  KALUMMATOS, that doesn't show up until v13 and  
by the time it does appear, there has been a somewhat abrupt  
transition [digression?] in v12 ECONTES OUN TOIAUTHN ELPIDA POLLHi  
PARRHSIAi CRWMEQA  so that the introduction of TOU  KALUMMATOS appears  
to be a supporting argument for the statement in v12, however the  
beginning of v14 ALLA EPWRWQH TA NOHMATA AUTWN looks like yet another  
shift in topic which is developed at some length and this makes v12  
look like a digression.

I think this illustrates that having KATARGEITAI with hH PALAIA  
DIAQHKH as subject in v14b  after some development of TOU  KALUMMATOS  
is not contrary to Paul's writing style. Paul doesn't always drop the  
previous theme when he moves on to a new one. He is capable of  
dragging loose ends of the previous discussion into the new one or  
even weaving the two together in a subtle manner.

Elizabeth Kline

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