Re: Dative in John 4:23

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Mar 11 1997 - 06:57:38 EST

At 6:25 AM -0600 3/11/97, Andrew Kulikovsky wrote:
>Fellow Greeks,
>IN John 4:23 we find the following:
>"when the true worshipper will worship the Father in spirit and truth"
>Now, the question I have is what kind of dative is EN PNEUMATI KAI
>ALHQEIA? How should I understand the KAI? Should I take this as two
>separate datives, EN PNEUMATI and ALHQEIA, which are linked by KAI?
>My gut feeling is that these are instrumental datives of manner. Brooks
>and Winbery call it an Instrumental of Manner. I also checked Moule and
>Zerwick but didn't find much help.
>Assuming, it is an instrumental of manner and that this is one compound
>dative, my translations would be:
>"when the true worshipers will worship the father spiritually and

I think this is essentially right--that it's the instrumental dative with
that EN which is increasingly used with instrumental dative in Koine, and
especially in Semitizing Koine (wasn't it argued last week that this usage
seems to have been influenced by the Hebrew preposition B' in LXX
versions?). The question is whether "truthfully" is quite the best English
for EN ALHQEIAi. I don't have Brown's commentary ready to hand with me at
home here, but I seem to recollect that he had an interesting discussion on
the phrase at the end of Jn 1:14, PLHRHS CARITOS KAI ALHQEIAS. As I recall,
he wanted to associate ALHQEIA there somehow with Heb. AMUNAH and
understand it as meaning "steadfastness," "trustworthiness"--and moreover
to understand the two nouns joined by the KAI as a hendiadys, so that the
phrase meant something like "full of trustworthy graciousness." If the same
kind of reasoning should be applied to Jn 4:23, then EN PNEUMATI KAI
ALHQEIAi might mean something like "with a sure spirituality," i.e., with a
spirituality which is unwavering in its endeavor, to use the Spinozistic
phrase "to persevere in being what it is" (perseverarein suo esse).

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

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