Re: 1Co 1.18

Shaughn Daniel (
Sun, 5 May 1996 04:30:32 +0100


>There's no question that SWZOMENOIS c o u l d be middle here, but it seems
>to me that what is implied here is that the GOSPEL is the instrument
>whereby we are being saved.

AND IF this instrumental function is there, then is it not also "equally"
implied that the LOGOS=GOSPEL is the instrument whereby others are
destroyed? The Gospel is one thing (DUNAMIS) to one group of people
(SWZOMENOIS) and another thing (MWRIA) to another group of people
(APOLLUMENOIS). And it seems that the scripture quoted in 1.19 also bares
this out: APOLW (transitive verb) THN SOFIAN (direct object) TWN SOFWN KAI
THN SUNESIN (direct object) TWN SUNETWN AQETHSW (transitive verb). In other
words, the LOGOS/GOSPEL/GOD is instrumental in forming two groups:
destroyed ones and saved ones. It's theological nitpicking at this point, I
suppose, but Paul talks about this all over the Hauptbriefe: branches being
cut off and others grafted in, divine election with no accountability to
man (Jacob I loved, Esau I hated), etc. My question: from the theological
side, does this make sense and is it LOGICALLY argued from
grammatical/syntactical grounds?

>In sum, APOLLUMAI is closer to what we
>traditionally deem "intransitive" than to a real middle voice, while SWZW
>really does have all three traditional voices (even if the Passive IS a
>secondary development out of the Middle, in synchronic terms the verb is
>used in all three voices in the Hellenistic period).

Fundamentally, how does one demonstrate that APOLLUMAI is "intransitive"
here in 1Co 1.18? If it is "intransitive" or "transitive" is not something
I'm going to die for, but it is important for demonstrating a couple of
things at the moment: a. the destruction/cursing effect of the gospel and
b. the dualism of Pauline theology in the Hauptbriefe. I know that this is
taking a turn on things: in my original post, I may have been seeking to
demonstrate that SWZOMENOIS was more middle than passive, but now it seems
that APOLLUMENOIS is more passive than middle. Sorry for any confusion this
may be causing.

Shaughn Daniel
Tuebingen, Germany