In view of the whole sentence context:
1 Cor 21: DOULOS EKLHQHS, MH SOI MELLETW; ALL' EI KAI DUNASAI ELEUQEROS
GENESQAI, MALLON XRHSAI.
I think that the ALLA indicates the second pair of clauses is antithetical
to the first, or perhaps rather that it contemplates the possibility of
freedom and explicitly rejects the notion of remaining in slavery if one
CAN gain freedom legitimately.
I'm inclined, personally, to want to punctuate with a question mark after
DOULOS EKLHQHS (although one might also see the whole sentence as two
parallel conditional constructions in a loose paratactice arrangement) and
understand its sense as follows: "Were you a slave when God called you?
Then don't worry about it; but if you even have the power (=opportunity) to
be emancipated, readily take advantage of it."
XRHSAI certainly DOES mean "take advantage of": it's a precise equivalent
of Latin UTOR or French SE SERVIR DE.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
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