From: Rod Bias (Rod.Bias@asu.edu)
Date: Sat May 04 1996 - 09:41:10 EDT
Shaughn Daniel wrote:
> 1Co 1.18a o logos gar o tou staurou TOIS men APOLLUMENOIS mwria estin,
> 1Co 1.18b TOIS de SWZOMENOIS hmin dunamis theou estin.
> TOIS SWZOMENOIS ("to/for those being saved" OR "to/for those
> saved") is parallel to TOIS APPOLLUMENOIS ("to/for those being destroyed"
> OR "to/for those perished" OR "to/for those destroying themselves").
> Question: for all I know, the -MENOIS is a middle/passive ending for
> present participles: if correct, then why can't SWZOMENOIS be construed as
> middle here implying "those saving themselves"?
It seems to me that TOIS men APOLLUMENOIS and TOIS de SWZOMENIOS are *NOT* parallel
precisely because of the "men...de..." construction. Wouldn't that make them more antithetical than
parallel? Centuries ago it became the practice in English-speaking countries to teach beginning
Greek students to translate "men...de..." as "on-the-one-hand ... and on-the-other-hand." This
wooden approach quickly becomes tedious but emphasizes the contrast rather than any parallel: "For,
on one hand, the word of the cross is drivel 2/4 those being destroyed [by their own efforts?]; on
the other hand, 2/4 us (those being saved [by God's efforts?]) it (it = word of the cross) is God's
dy-no-mite." To me, the idea seems to be that the "word of the cross" cuts two ways ... it is a
"double-edged sword" ... the same message affecting one group one way and another group another
way. Isn't the entire chapter one of contrasts rather than parallels? Maybe I'm missing something
that real Greek scholars can point out -- I'm only a student of Greek, not a scholar.
Rodney L. Bias (602) 438-9202 4648 East Saint Catherine Avenue Phoenix, Arizona 85040-5369 USA
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