From: Carl W. Conrad (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Feb 21 1996 - 13:25:04 EST
On 2/21/96, James H. Vellenga wrote:
> > From email@example.com Wed Feb 21 11:29:55 1996
> > Date: Wed, 21 Feb 1996 10:29:53 -0600
> > To: firstname.lastname@example.org (James H. Vellenga)
> > From: email@example.com (Carl W. Conrad)
> > Subject: Re: Summary: Something from Nothing (longish)
> > On 2/21/96, James H. Vellenga wrote:
> > > > From firstname.lastname@example.org Wed Feb 21 09:01:24 1996
> > > >
> > > > On 2/21/96, James H. Vellenga wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > I find this discussion of thinginess and unthinginess relative to
> > > > > creation fascinating. But if the concept of "no-thing-ness" was
> > > > > the order of the day, can it be generalized in translation?
> > > > > For example, in 1 Cor. 13.2-3, when Paul says "I am nothing" and
> > > > > "I gain nothing," is he really saying "I am unsubstantial" and
> > > > > "I gain no tangible benefits"? Or is OUDEN/OUQEN a different kind
> > > > > of fish?
> > I guess I was less than clear as well: there is no discernible distinction
> > in meaning between the two.
> So if
> a) we assume that OUDEN means "no-thing" rather than nothing, then
> b) Paul really is saying "I gain no tangible benefits."
> But if he's saying he gains no tangible benefits by giving up both property
> and body without doing it with love, this seems a little strange --
> since he seems to be covering the whole gamut of tangible benefits.
> That is, even if he did do it with love, he would wind up only with
> intangible benefits -- i.e., "no-thing" in any case.
> In other words, under assumption a), this statement doesn't seem to
> make sense to me.
> Does this reflect back on whether Paul actually uses OUDEN to mean
> "no-thing" as opposed to "nothing"?
(a) In this instance OUDEN is actually an adverb: OUDEN WFELOUMAI = I shall
help myself NOT AT ALL/NOT ONE BIT/NOT ANYTHING.
(b) In the context of these verses, the theme is that of chapters 12 and
14, the XARISMATA or "spiritual achievements." I think he is saying in
verses 2 and 3 of chapter 13, (2) I am not anything at all; (3) I shall
benefit myself not any at all. In both verses the assertion means that
there is no XARISMA represented in performance of these actions which
might, in the view of some, be considered pious acts.
(c) I re-iterate: I don't think the alternation between OUQEN and OUDEN has
any significance whatsoever. If others think it does, please argue the
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org
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