From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Feb 03 1997 - 15:43:21 EST

At 2:05 PM -0600 2/3/97, James H. Vellenga wrote:
>> From: "Carl W. Conrad" <>
>> At 9:35 AM -0600 2/3/97, James H. Vellenga wrote:
>> >From Carl Conrad:
>> >>
>> >> Here's where the ACCENTS are important, Jonathan. It's: hO\. Unless the
>> >> article hO is followed by an enclitic (e.g. hO/ GE), it NEVER has an
>> >> accent; when you see a hO with an accent and there's NO following
>> c,
>> >> it can only be a relative pronoun, as it is in fact here: relative
>> >> pronoun acc., object of NOHSAI, and I think I would explain this as an
>> >> anticipatory relative clause in apposition to THN SUNESIN MOU,
>>deeming PR=
>> OS
>> >> as having THN SUNESIN MOU as its chief object.
>> >
>> >Would it be possible to interpret the hO\ as a backward rather
>> >than a forward reference? I'm weak on my genders, but could
>> >it refer back to the "mystery", or even the act of having
>> >previously written? Thus,
>> >
>> > "the secret ... just as I wrote to you briefly before, in view of which
>> > (PROS hO\) you are able ...."
>> I think that could certainly be possible, but it seems to me to leave THN
>> SUNESIN MOU hanging too loosely, and God forbid anybody should be
>> encouraged to think it is an accusative absolute! ;-) At any rate, it
>> certainly does pick up the notion of MUSTHRION from the preceding clause
>> with a view to clarifying how Paul came to understand it. I just find it
>> easier to understand it as, " ... with regard to which thing--my
>> understanding of the mystery of Christ--you can get a sense of as you read
>> =2E.."
>But it seems to me that THN SUNESIN MOU is a natural direct object
>of NOHSAI. Moreover, ANAGINWSKONTES could also be interpreted as
>"[upon] recalling", suggesting a remembering of something in the
>past, such as "my writing to you briefly." If hO\ is a relative
>pronoun referring to something mentioned in the preceding phrase,
>it no longer needs to be the direct object of NOHSAI. And finally,
>Paul's understanding is EN the mystery of the Messiah -- perhaps
>"within" or "by means of" -- so that the "mystery of the Messiah"
>is not the object but rather the mode of the NOHSAI.
>N'est-ce pas? Or am I being too analytical and missing the

Certainly it's possible. It may even be right! As I've said repeatedly,
(almost) any way of reading the linkage between phrases and clauses in
Ephesians can stake a claim to plausibility as good as (almost) any other.
I certainly would not try to be dogmatic about this. To me, however, that
usage of PROS seems a bit strained, while the usage of a neuter relative
with an antecedent implicit in the relative pronoun itself seems to me a
relatively common construction. I may certainly be wrong about this, but
I'm still inclined to read it as I've indicated.

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

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