From: Edgar M. Krentz (
Date: Sun Oct 13 1996 - 21:25:02 EDT

>Dear Professor Krentz,
>You might have seen a mailing from me on the B-Greek list regarding this,
>but I'd like to pick your brains, if you don't mind. Is there any evidence
>of literary parallels to the expression EN CHRISTW either in Greek lit or
>Jewish? I'm interested in the literal phrase rather than its meaning. For
>example, I know that Philostratus uses EN ARTEMIDI once.
>Actually, I am more interested in the Pauline use of EN KURIW which is used
>in quite a variety of ways. It is used regularly when greetings are passed
>on (Rom 16:8-13, for example) but,as you well know, it is used by Paul in
>expressions like:"rejoice in the Lord" and a widow is free to marry again
>but only "in the Lord" etc etc. If you have any off-the-cuff (or more
>considered) ideas on this phrase, I'd appreciate them too.
>Thanks for any response you care to give.
>In Christ,
>Rick Strelan
>University of Queensland

Rick, this has sat on my computer for a very long time--unanswered. That is
because I really do not have much to add to any standard work on this. I
have not in the past collected or looked for parallels to the construction
and do not have a gthering of parallels.

I did look up quickly my copy of Adolf Deissmann's work *Die
neutestamentlich Formel "in Christo Jesu"* (Marburg: N. G. Wlwert, 1892) to
see what he said in this classical work. He argues that it is a quite
original creation on Paul's part, not dependant on the LXX or other Jewish
linguistic influences. He argues that Paul conceives of EN CRISTWi as being
practically the equivalent of EN PNEUMATI, since Paul conceives of the
resurrected Christ as pneumatic.

He cites a few possible parallels from ancient Grek literature:

Dio Chrysostom 1.p. 384 (Reisk.); Demosthenes 18.193 (pp. 93-94). He does
not interpret it as a corollary to "putting on Christ".

I also did a very krapid check through the recent *Hellenistic Commentary
to the New Testament*, ed. Klaus Berger, Carsten Colpe, and M. Eugene
Boring (Nashville: Abingdon Pres, 1995) and did not find useful parallels
(it was very rapid!). Nor do I have available to me Wettstein's great
collection of parallels in his *Novum Testamentum Graece* or the recently
published vol. 2 of the "New Wettstein," or the work by M. Bouttier.

Given your interest in this phrase, perhaps you are embarking on a topic
that could lead to a new, important monograph on this phrase. I would be
happy to read it.

Peace, Ed Krentz

Edgar Krentz, New Testament OR *****
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
1100 East 55th Street
TEL.: 773-256-0752 FAX: 773-256-0782

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