Re: dynamic words

From: Carlton L. Winbery (
Date: Fri Mar 08 1996 - 12:25:18 EST

Cal Redmond wrote:
> Does this phrase refer
> to those who were highly esteemed (as in most commentators I've read), or
> does it mean those who have the reputation but not the substance, as in
> Plato's _Apology of Socrates_, in 21B and C (in Loeb's numbering), where
> Socrates says HLTHON EPI TINA TWN DOKOUNTWN SOFWN EINAI, and then goes on
> to say that the man had the reputation of being wise but was not.

> What then does that do for us in Gal. 2? Is Paul here granting honor to
> those in Jerusalem, or is he indicating that they have an undeserved
> reputation for importance, as I think might be more likely?
In addition to what Carl wrote from the use of DOKEW in the Greek world,
Paul's harsh letter to the Corinthians may answer Cal's question. II Cor.
11:5; 12:11. He did not consider himself inferior (hUSTERHKENAI 11:5 and
hUSTERHSA 12:11) to those "superlative" apostles (TWN hUPERLIAN APOSTOLWN).
Surely he means that their reputation was somewhat undeserved. TEV "to
those very special so-called 'apostles' of yours!" 11:5; "to those very
special 'apostles' of yours." Many commentators feel that Galatians was
written in the same time period as this letter. If so, it is reasonable
that Paul was using DOKOUNTWN and DOKOUNTES in Gal. 2:6 in a similar way.
This would seem to be supported by the phrase hOPOIOI POTE HSAN OUDEN MOI
DIAFEREI, "whatever they were formerly makes no difference to me." You can
almost hear Paul say that in some way these guys are overrated. But, he
did go on to say, "but they did recognize the legitimacy of our mission
(vss. 9-10).

Carlton Winbery
Chair Religion/Philosophy
LA College,
fax (318) 442-4996 or (318) 487-7425

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