Re: 2 Thess 2:6

Date: Sat Sep 07 1996 - 15:12:38 EDT

Your argument about that the reader's knowledge of the evil being implied
by APOKALUFQHNAI has nothing to do--that I can see--with the grammar of the
verse. What you seem to be saying is that their knowledge is implied by, and
is the necessary result of, the true grammatical result, i.e. the revelation.
In effect, it is the result of a result, and that means the revelation takes
logical (and temporal) precedence. So you still have the burden of showing
how the readers' knowledge is the cause of the revelation. If you reply that
they do not cause it, God does, then we come back to question of whether a
purpose clause can express the purpose of someone other than the subject of
the governing verb, and since no one else has yet offered input on that issue,
it is possible that the other listers are as undecided or even dubious about
it as I am (I myself have said that silence does not equate to tacit assent,
so I emphasize "possible"). Moreover, if the clause is from God's perspec-
tive, it cannot logically be a result clause (precluding the possibility that
God is the cause, not the readers)--not, that is, according to the grammar.
As to learned opinions, based on observation, that Paul doesn't tie purpose
clauses to substantives, I have two problems: (1) a participle may be used
as a substantive, as it is here, but it does not thereby lose its verbal
element, and can take a direct object etc. just as any verb can; (2) pro-
nouncements about a writer's style are questionable. You have to have a
great deal of literature from one writer in various contexts before you can
approach any level of probability regarding details of his style, and I'm
not sure we have that for any of the NT writers, though I will concede that
Paul might be the one, if any. I am fascinated by the possibility of defining
writers' styles using computer-assisted research and statistics, but in the
past that possibility hasn't drawn much of a response on the lists, except
skepticism or the reply that it can be done, but one is unsure how. You
would think that we can be certain about stylistic details in Homer, for
example, where there is a fairly large corpus (in length, not number) and
repetition, but even in Homer there appear to be questions remaining. The
observation before us about Paul's use of the EIS clause reminds me of a
very good comedy/drama about baseball strategy I just saw. A pinch hitter
with a very low average is hitting against a pitcher he has never seen,
and one commmentator says something like, "But you have to remember that
this batter has a history of hitting pitchers that he has never seen on a
2 and 1 count at home in domed stadiums!" The batter strikes out anyway,
and I suspect the same thing may be true of this evaluation of Paul's
style. (Sorry for the lengthy aside; I tend toward that on Saturdays.)

Don Wilkins
UC Riverside

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