1Co 1.18

Shaughn Daniel (shaughn.daniel@student.uni-tuebingen.de)
Sat, 4 May 1996 12:20:06 +0100

1Co 1.18a o logos gar o tou staurou TOIS men APOLLUMENOIS mwria estin,
1Co 1.18b TOIS de SWZOMENOIS hmin dunamis theou estin.

TOIS SWZOMENOIS is apparently a present passive dative masculine 1p plural
participle from the Gk verb SWZW. One can reconstruct the present active
sentence by common sense: God SWZei (present = "saves" or "is saving") some
people. The "some people" is transformed into "those saved" or "being
saved", depending on whether the present is understood as simple or
continuous (some use progressive for continuous). The participial phrase is
then put in the dative case, which brings in the idea of "to/for" those
people. TOIS SWZOMENOIS ("to/for those being saved" OR "to/for those
saved") is parallel to TOIS APPOLLUMENOIS ("to/for those being destroyed"
OR "to/for those perished" OR "to/for those destroying themselves"). The
form of TOIS APOLLUMENOIS is either passive or middle, entailing that
either a. God APOLLUsin someone or b. someone APOLLUtai him/her-self.

Question: for all I know, the -MENOIS is a middle/passive ending for
present participles: if correct, then why can't SWZOMENOIS be construed as
middle here implying "those saving themselves"? On the deeper philosophical
level and connection with "working out one's salvation" in Phil, it would
seem that dunamis/logos is in a believer and this is the life
principle/power/energy/thing which allows the one "possessed" with it to
"continually transform" themselves into "righteous" people. I'm not wanting
to debate whether that is the case philosophically or theologically. I'm
more interested in knowing if that is a LOGICAL explanation based on the
ambiguity of the participial evidence. It may not be the best explanation,
but it is an original thought with me (although I'm sure someone else has
thought through it before as well).

Shaughn Daniel
Tuebingen, Germany