Re: Galatians 5:4 THS XARITOS ECEPESATE: what kind of genitive?

From: David L. Moore (
Date: Sat Oct 12 1996 - 14:38:27 EDT

At 03:33 PM 10/11/96 -0400, Stephen Schaefer wrote:
>>>As for THS XARITOS ECEPESATE, I think we must understand THS XARITOS as
>>>ablatival and construed with the EC (I'd really prefer to spell this EKS
>>>or, but that's primarily because the Greek font I uses J for Xi) in the
>>>compound verb: "from grace have you been cast out"--I know that it's more
>>>normal to translate that: "you have fallen from grace," but PIPTW normally
>>>functions for the passive of BALLW, so that here EKPIPTW = passive
>>>of EKBALLW (which, curiously, has a regular political/juridical sense of
>>>"exile" and "divorce" in classical Attic). I won't even remotely touch the
>>>question of how we are to interepret this theologically!
>>Are we allowed to make theological comments? Forgive me just this once,
>>The passage is perhaps not talking about forensic justification. When he
>that, in their Christian lives, sanctification is impossible through
>legalism. They need Christ and grace.

        This interpretation avoids the theological problems (in terms
conflicts with Paul's theology in general) that some other interpretations
of this passage fall into. I would agree with Stephen that Paul is probably
not talking about forensic justification here. By coming under the Law the
Galatians had been separated from the effectualness of Christ: by pursuing
justification by works they had fallen from grace as an effectual principle
for their salvation to a system that is unable to justify them in any way.
Lightfoot also treats ECEPESATE as Carl does, but the only example he gives
is from a classical author, and I wonder if Koine would understand it that way.

        Calvin mentions that "they were not so grossly mistaken that they
believed that they were justified by the observance of the law alone; but
they wanted to mix Christ with the law.... [T]he smallest part of
righteousness cannot be attributed to the law without renouncing Christ and
His grace" (Calvin, _Galatians_, _in loc._).
David L. Moore Director
Miami, Florida, USA Department of Education Southeastern Spanish District of the Assemblies of God

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