[B-Greek] Referent of hOS (Ignatius to the Magnesians) ?

Rick Brannan textgeek+bgreek at gmail.com
Tue Aug 24 17:51:33 EDT 2010

Folks —

Schoedel writes the following of this in his Hermeneia volume on Ignatius:

The last sentence of the letter is a complexly worded farewell. The
identification here of the “spirit” with “Jesus Christ” has sometimes
been taken to show that Ignatius taught a “ Spirit-christology” (cf. 2
Clem. 14.4). This is not correct. As we have already seen, the Spirit
of God and the Spirit of the trinitarian formula play roles
independent of christology in Ignatius (see on Mag. 13.1); and the
spirit/flesh antithesis, though relevant to christology, has a
different ambience (see on Eph. 7.2). In any event, here the
“unwavering spirit” is almost certainly a human disposition since
“possessing an unwavering spirit” further defines the attitude of
those who are strong “in godly concord” (compare the “blameless and
unwavering mind” of Tr. 1.1). Moreover, the “unwavering spirit” and
“Jesus Christ” are connected by an expression, ὅς ἐστιν, “who is,”
that in Ignatius does not flatly identify two terms but leaves open a
whole range of possible relations between them (see on Eph. 20.2). It
is used here to identify Christ as the source of the unwavering spirit
of the Magnesians.

William R. Schoedel et al., Ignatius of Antioch : A Commentary on the
Letters of Ignatius of Antioch (Hermeneia--a critical and historical
commentary on the Bible, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985), 132-33.

Having worked through the text of Ignatius rather closely over the
summer, I can say (at least for me) when I read Ignatius, I get the
sense that he just assumes you'll pick up a lot of what he's only
subtly implying. Stuff like just saying "the will" but really meaning
"the divine will". It's almost like you've got to really read the
Ignatius corpus once, then read it over again and say "oh, yeah. duh!"
to fill in the blanks. Lightfoot's larger work on Ignatius is
invaluable for this; but Schoedel is pretty handy too.

Rick Brannan

On Tue, Aug 24, 2010 at 5:28 AM, Barry H. <nebarry at verizon.net> wrote:
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Peter Streitenberger"
> To: <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 8:01 AM
> Subject: [B-Greek] Referent of hOS (Ignatius to the Magnesians) ?
>> Dear friends,
>> in the letter of Ignatius to the Magnesians we read in Chapter 15:
>> Translated: "Fare ye well in godly concord, and possess ye a stedfast
>> spirit, which is Jesus Christ."
>> http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/ignatius-magnesians-lightfoot.html
>> I just wonder if the relative pronoun hOS refers back to PNEUMA? hOS is
>> masculine and PNEUMA neuter. If that's true it sounds kind of modalistic
>> (PNEUMA and CRISTOS as one being)?
> Lightfoot, as would I, takes the pronoun here as proleptic, referring to
> Christ, even though the antecedent is technically PNEUMA.  My guess is that
> Ignatius is not really being too technical or ontological here, but saying
> that their "steadfast spirit" is from Christ.
> N.E. Barry Hofstetter
> Classics and Bible Instructor, TAA
> http://www.theamericanacademy.net
> (2010 Savatori Excellence in Education Winner)
> V-P of Academic Affairs, TNARS
> bhofstetter at tnars.net
> http://www.tnars.net
> http://my.opera.com/barryhofstetter/blog
> http://mysite.verizon.net/nebarry
> ---
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He who translates a verse verbatim is a liar.
But he who alters it is a villain and a heretic.
                          -- Talmud Bavli (Qid. 49a)

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