Verb of thinking + τί(ς) (+ ἐστιν) + art. nom. phrase

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Stephen Hughes
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Verb of thinking + τί(ς) (+ ἐστιν) + art. nom. phrase

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 29th, 2015, 8:11 pm

Perhaps I was wrong to say that this question is beyond current knowledge limits. So far as I know everything has been studied and re-studied, so this probably has been too.

Does anyone actually have an answer for this?
Romans 12:1 wrote:δοκιμάζειν ὑμᾶς τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ τὸ ἀγαθὸν καὶ εὐάρεστον καὶ τέλειον.
In the phrase δοκιμάζειν ... τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ, was the verb δοκιμάζειν chosen as suitable because;
  1. δοκιμάζειν is used with mental processes such as θέλημα.
  2. δοκιμάζειν is conventionally used with the question τί.
  3. δοκιμάζειν is used specifically with questions about mental processes such as τί τὸ θέλημα.
  4. δοκιμάζειν is used because something (accidently in this case τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ) is tested against a list of attributes τὸ ἀγαθὸν καὶ εὐάρεστον καὶ τέλειον
  5. δοκιμάζειν is used to describe the consideration of the question <<τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ.>>
  6. δοκιμάζειν is used to describe the process of checking something against a standard.
  7. None of the above. Please specify: ____________________.
  8. No idea.
Similar phrases are found at Romans 8:27, Ephesians 1:18,19; 3:18; 5:17 and Colossians 1:27.
Romans 8:27 wrote:ὁ δὲ ἐρευνῶν τὰς καρδίας οἶδεν τί τὸ φρόνημα τοῦ πνεύματος, ὅτι κατὰ θεὸν ἐντυγχάνει ὑπὲρ ἁγίων.
(Non-significant NA-UBS variant ἐραυνῶν)
Ephesians 1:18,19 wrote:πεφωτισμένους τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς τῆς καρδίας ὑμῶν, εἰς τὸ εἰδέναι ὑμᾶς τίς ἐστιν ἡ ἐλπὶς τῆς κλήσεως αὐτοῦ, καὶ τίς ὁ πλοῦτος τῆς δόξης τῆς κληρονομίας αὐτοῦ ἐν τοῖς ἁγίοις, 19 καὶ τί τὸ ὑπερβάλλον μέγεθος τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ εἰς ἡμᾶς τοὺς πιστεύοντας , κατὰ τὴν ἐνέργειαν τοῦ κράτους τῆς ἰσχύος αὐτοῦ
(Non-significant NA-UBS variants τῆς καρδίας [ ὑμῶν ] and the omission of καὶ before τίς ὁ πλοῦτος)
Ephesians 3:18 wrote:ἐν ἀγάπῃ ἐρριζωμένοι καὶ τεθεμελιωμένοι ἵνα ἐξισχύσητε καταλαβέσθαι σὺν πᾶσιν τοῖς ἁγίοις τί τὸ πλάτος καὶ μῆκος καὶ βάθος καὶ ὕψος,
(Non-significant NA-UBS variant ὕψος καὶ βάθος)
Ephesians 5:17 wrote:Διὰ τοῦτο μὴ γίνεσθε ἄφρονες, ἀλλὰ συνιέντες τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ κυρίου.
(Non-significant NA-UBS variant συνίετε)
Colossians 1:27 wrote:οἷς ἠθέλησεν ὁ θεὸς γνωρίσαι τί τὸ πλοῦτος τῆς δόξης τοῦ μυστηρίου τούτου ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, ὅς ἐστιν χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν, ἡ ἐλπὶς τῆς δόξης·
(Non-significant NA-UBS variant ὅ)
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

George F Somsel
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Re: Verb of thinking + τί(ς) (+ ἐστιν) + art. nom. phrase

Post by George F Somsel » January 29th, 2015, 9:05 pm

Δωκιμάζειν does not simply designate a mental process. Its emphasis is upon testing. Perhaps the Moulton and Milligan entry will be helpful

δοκιμάζω 1381
is not uncommon in its primary sense of “testing.” Syll 52214 (iii/B.C.) δοκιμάζειν δὲ τὰ ἱερεῖα τοὺς προβούλους, with other officials. P Ryl II. 11435 (c. A.D. 280) . . .] κατὰ τὸ δικαιότατον δοκιμάσει ὁ κράτιστος [ἐπιστράτηγο]ς̣, “his excellency the epistrategus shall sift the matter with the utmost equity.” So still in vi/vii A.D., P Oxy I. 128 9 ἵνα τὸ παριστάμενον ἐπʼ αὐτῷ δοκιμάσῃ, “in order that you may judge of his present condition” (Edd). P Flor II. 1194 (A.D. 254) ὅπως δοκ[ιμάσας γρά]ψη̣ς μοι εἰ οὕτως ἔχ̣[ει, “that after inquiry you may write to me whether it is so.” P Gen I. 328 (A.D. 148), of an inspector of calves for sacrifice—καὶ δοκιμάσας ἐσφράγ[ισα ὡς] ἔστιν καθαρός. From “proving” to “approving” was a step taken long before these documents were written, so that the ambiguity which meets us in Rom 2:18 and Phil 1:10 is based on the normally coexisting uses. So in the earliest known marriage-contract, P Eleph 110 (B.C. 311–0) (= Selections, p. 3) differences between husband and wife are to be settled by three men—οὓς ἂν δοκιμάζωσιν ἀμφότεροι, “whom both shall approve,” and in P Fay 10623 (c. A.D. 140) a plea for exemption from certain public services is put forward on behalf of physicians, and especially of those who have “passed the examination” like the petitioner—μάλ[ι]στα [δὲ οἱ δε]δοκιμασμένοι ὥσπερ κἀγ[ώ: cf. Syll 3719 (time of Nero) ἀνὴ[ρ] δεδοκιμασμένος τοῖς θείοις κριτηρίοις τῶν Σεβαστῶν ἐπί τε τῇ τέχνῃ τῆς ἰατρικῆς καὶ τῇ κοσμιότητι τῶν ἠθῶν—a character certificate and an examination, to qualify for M.B. In the inscrr. indeed the verb is almost a term. techn. for passing as fit for a public office: see Milligan Thess. p. 18. So OGIS 903 (the Rosetta Stone—B.C. 196) ὃν (sc. Πτολεμαῖον Ἐπιφανῆ) ὁ Ἥφαιστος ἐδοκίμασεν, i.e. “examinatum probavit ideoque regem constituit” (Dittenberger): the same phrase meets us in a Munich papyrus, Chrest. I. 10910 (end of iii/B.C.), of Ptolemy Philopator, ὃν ὁ Ἥφαιστος ἐδοκ[ίμασεν, ὧι ὁ Ἥλιος ἔδωκεν τὸ κρ]άτος. Hence comes a meaning hardly distinguishable from δοκεῖν, as in P Petr III. 41 10 ὁ]ποτέρως οὖν καὶ σὺ δοκιμάζεις, οὕτ̣ως [ἔσ]ται, “whichever way, then, you also approve of, so it shall be” (Edd.). P Oxy VI. 9287 (ii/iii A.D.) φανερόν σοι ποιῶ ἵνα ἐὰν δοκιμάσῃς ποιήσῃς πρὶν προλημφθῆναι, “I therefore inform you, in order that if you think fit you may act before she is entrapped” (Edd.) with reference to a plot against a girl, P Giss I. 40ii. 10 (A.D. 215) δηλωταιον (? δηλοποιεῖν) [ἐ]δοκίμασα, P Tebt II. 32610 (c. A.D. 266) τὸν ἴδιον ἐμαυτῆς ἀδελφὸν . . . δοκιμάσασα προ[στ]ήσεσθαι γνησίως τοῦ παιδίου, “having found that my own brother will honourably protect the child” (Edd.), P Oxy I. 71i. 18 (A.D. 303) κελεῦσαι εἴ σοι δοκοῖ ἢ τῷ στρατηγῷ ἢ ᾧ ἐὰν δοκιμάσῃς, to instruct, if you will, the strategus or any other magistrate whom you may sanction” (Edd.). For a verb δοκιμάω, unknown to LS, see P Tebt I. 2478 (B.C. 117) καθότι [ἂ]ν̣ δοκ̣ι̣μήσῃς, P Oxy III. 53324 (ii/iii A.D.) ὃν ἐ[ὰν δ]οκιμᾷς, and cf. Mayser Gr. p. 459, also below s.v. δοκιμή. Note that δοκιμόω is old, at any rate in its Aeolic form δοκίμωμι, found in Sappho, and in the learned Aeolic of Julia Balbilla, in the suite of Hadrian, Kaibel 9917.

James Hope Moulton and George Milligan, The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1930), 167.

At the moment there is a consideration of whether the President's nominee to be Attorney General is suitable for the office. The questioning that is taking place might be considered δοκιμάζειν.
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cwconrad
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Re: Verb of thinking + τί(ς) (+ ἐστιν) + art. nom. phrase

Post by cwconrad » January 30th, 2015, 8:07 am

I was happy to see George's response to Stephen's query. I don't think the construction involving the substantive-clause introduced by the interrogative pronoun as object of the verb is problematic. I do remember thinking through the question of the sense of δοκιμάζειν several years ago in its context in Rom 12:1-2:
Παρακαλῶ οὖν ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, διὰ τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν τοῦ θεοῦ παραστῆσαι τὰ σώματα ὑμῶν θυσίαν ζῶσαν ἁγίαν εὐάρεστον τῷ θεῷ, τὴν λογικὴν λατρείαν ὑμῶν· 2 καὶ μὴ συσχηματίζεσθε τῷ αἰῶνι τούτῳ, ἀλλὰ μεταμορφοῦσθε τῇ ἀνακαινώσει τοῦ νοὸς εἰς τὸ δοκιμάζειν ὑμᾶς τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ, τὸ ἀγαθὸν καὶ εὐάρεστον καὶ τέλειον.
Part of the problem for me, and that problem persists to this day, is the question, what is the sense of τὴν λογικὴν λατρείαν ὑμῶν -- a question renewed in Stephen's recent query about how that phrase should be construed. I do think that BDAG (which I won't cite here) has it right in the sense, "rational worship" -- using the mind in devout service to God. I think that δοκιμάζειν means putting one's thinking process to work at discerning what the will of God, the good thing (to do), and the thing that is gratifying (to God) and mature (I think that's more the sense of τέλειον here: not what a child might do impulsively but what an experienced adult determines is best in the situation). I don't know whether "situational ethics" adequately describes what Paul is urging here, but it does seem to me that he's saying that doing the right thing involves something other than "doing as the Romans do", that it involves grasping the facts of the choices one is facing and determining what the love of God is exhorting one to do here and now -- and that this necessarily involves using one's mind and thinking hard about it.

Years ago I taught a New Testament Introduction course and posed an essay question about Paul's ethics; I remember one student responded: "Paul's ethics are very simple." In response I asked, "Have you really thought about the meaning of Rom 12:1-2?"

I sometimes fear that I'm being overly subjective here, but whenever I think anew about these verses, it always comes out the same way in my thinking.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Verb of thinking + τί(ς) (+ ἐστιν) + art. nom. phrase

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 30th, 2015, 11:16 am

cwconrad wrote:I don't think the construction involving the substantive-clause introduced by the interrogative pronoun as object of the verb is problematic
I don't think it is problematic either. I am noting that in non-narrative cases like these, it consistently comes after a verb of thinking.
George F Somsel wrote:Δωκιμάζειν does not simply designate a mental process. Its emphasis is upon testing.
The basic syntactic structure is the question; "τί {ἐστιν} τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ;" A verb of thinking can be added to the front of that. I'm assuming that the particular verb of thinking adds a direction to the type of thought process that is going to be carried out to be able answer the question that it introduces. I agree with you, George, that the type of mental process that is being prompted here is testing, and I suspect, but have not been convinced more than 70%, that the test for the accepting that something is the will of God is that it is ἀγαθὸν καὶ εὐάρεστον καὶ τέλειον - is my action in this situation intrinsically good, is it pleasing to God and is it perfect - δοκιμάζειν ὑμᾶς means you yourselves judge what the will of God is. [My slightly less favoured opinion is that once we find God's will not our own, then we will know that it is τὸ ἀγαθὸν καὶ εὐάρεστον καὶ τέλειον (cf. Luke 22:42 πλὴν μὴ τὸ θέλημά μου, ἀλλὰ τὸ σὸν γενέσθω). The δωκιμάζειν in that interpretation is an introspection and self-knowledge in the light of God - the δοκιμάζειν ὑμᾶς has almost the sense of judge (for) yourself to see what is God's will and what is yours. The δωκιμάζειν is in effect a resignation to holiness and just about the same as a πύρωσις - as in Psalm 65:10 ὅτι ἐδοκίμασας ἡμᾶς ὁ θεός ἐπύρωσας ἡμᾶς ὡς πυροῦται τὸ ἀργύριον and various other places.]

There seems to me to logically be two ways to interpret the way that the verb of thinking can be understood. It might be to; a) describe the type of thinking involved in handling the question, or b) the actual answer to the question. To take συνιέναι first, does συνιέντες τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ κυρίου imply that to find the will of the Lord we use understanding, or that after we know / follow the will of the Lord, we are no longer foolish? In other words, is συνιέναι a process or the result? For εἰδέναι it seems clear that the knowing comes after the searching ὁ δὲ ἐρευνῶν τὰς καρδίας οἶδεν τί τὸ φρόνημα τοῦ πνεύματος (a man's spirit that is). The desire was to know the answer to the question τί τὸ φρόνημα τοῦ πνεύματος; and that is found out by searching.

In that case that the question beginning with τί(ς) is an explication of the process that needs to be undergone for the verb of thinking to be carried out, then it seems that the verb of thinking is the process not the result.
cwconrad wrote:I think that δοκιμάζειν means putting one's thinking process to work at discerning what the will of God, the good thing (to do), and the thing that is gratifying (to God) and mature (I think that's more the sense of τέλειον here: not what a child might do impulsively but what an experienced adult determines is best in the situation).
I like this understanding of τέλειον here. Self-benefit and self-interest should not the main considerations here.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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