Re: Galatians 1:15-17: Two Questions

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Jun 10 1996 - 21:25:11 EDT

At 4:38 PM -0500 6/10/96, Mr. Timothy T. Dickens wrote:
>Dear Fellow Greecist at B-Greek:
>My question has to do with two Greek syntactical constructions found
>in Paulís letter to the Galatians 1:15-17.
> First, it seems that the main verb in vs.16 is EUDOKHSEN
>(aorist indicative active, 3rd per. Sing), and despite its long
>distance, due to the long adverbial clause, is linked to the Aorist
>infinitive active APOKALUPSAI. Thus, the main clause is "When (he)
>was pleased to reveal. . ." Yes or No Dear Friends? I need to be

Yes, APOKALUPSAI completes EUDOKHSEN; the only qualification I'd offer to
the way you're taking it is that EUDOKHSEN really is impersonal: "it was
his pleasure"--and one could even argue that APOKALYPSAI is the subject of
EUDOKHSEN. This is a periphrasis for an older expression EDOKSEN + dative:
"[To do X] seemed (to him) good" or "it seemed good (to him) [to do X]."

> My second question has to do with how to read the adverb
>EQEWES in vs. 16b. Should this adverb be read with the following
>two negatives, or with what immediately follows in vs. 17 "OUDE

I think you must mean EUQEWS. The positioningof this adverb is
extraordinary. It is said that an adverb should modify a verb, an adjective
or another adverb. One could argue that the EUQEWS here modifies the
negation OU--or that it modifies the verb in the following clause,
PROSANEQEMHN; the fact that we have a coordinated OUDE that must construe
with ANHLQON at the beginning of 17 makes this reasonable. However, my
sense is that the positioning of the EUQEWS indicates that it SHOULD be
construed with both OU and OUDE. I'd translate to convey the effect: "The
first thing I did was not confer with flesh and blood, nor was it to go up
to Jerusalem ..." Of course if you put it with the verbs instead of with
OU/OUDE it still delivers the same meaning: "I did NOT at once confer with
flesh and blood, NOR did I (at once) go up to Jerusalem ..." In my opinion,
however, for what it's worth, the extraordinary emphatic placement of
EUQEWS (and there's so much in this letter about which Paul is emphatic and
highly emotional) is intended to underscore Paul's intense reluctance to
blurt out to any and all the nature of his revelatory experience.

>PS: when replying please write to my address above. Thanks

If you're going to keep putting questions to B-Greek, you might as well

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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