From: Jim Beale (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Jun 02 1997 - 07:19:30 EDT
At 10:57 PM -0400 6/1/97, andrew low wrote:
>I'm sorry if this is either an old or an obvious issue, but I've been
>puzzled by the phrase E)N XRISTW=I. The LSJ (if one overlooks the fact
>that some of these options seem most appropriate for plural
>prepositional objects) suggests the following as possible translations
>of E)N: at the place of (chez, bei), in the presence of, by (at the side
>of?), surrounded by, in respect of, by means of, in the manner of.
>Romans 3:24: DIKAIOU/MENOI DWREA\N TH=I AU)TOU= [QEOU=] XA/RITI DIA\
>TH=S A)POLUTRW/SEWS TH=S E)N XRISTW=I I)HSOU=.
>Why not TH=S U(PO XRISTOU=, for example? (TH=S PARA XRISTOU= might be
>confusing here, with A)POLUTRW/SEWS.)
>Romans 6:11: ZW=NTAS DE\ TW=I QEW=I E)N XRISTW=I I)HSOU=.
>Is this means, manner, or something else? Is it really Greek at all?
I take these as instances of locative of sphere. I will quote to
you from Sanday and Headlam's comments on Romans 6:11,
EN XRISTWi IHSOU. This phrase is the summary expression of
the doctrine which underlies the whole of this section and
forms, as we have seen, one of the main pillars of St. Paul's
theology. The chief points seem to be these. (1) The relation
is conceived as a local relation. The Christian has his being
`in' Christ, as living creatures `in' the air, as fish `in'
the water, as plants `in' the earth (Deissmann, p. 84 ...)
The reference is to Deissmann's _Die Neutestamenliche Formel "in
Christo Jesu"_ (1892). I have not read this, but I would like to!
I'll try not to wax too realistic here, but compare the saying of
Jesus himself in John 15:4,
MEINATE EN EMOI, KAGW EN hUMIN. KAQWS TO KLHMA OU DUNATAI
KARPON FEREIN AF' hEAUTOU EAN MH MENH EN TH AMPELW, hOUTWS
OUDE hUMEIS EAN MH EN EMOI MENHTE.
Mystical union with Christ is in view; brought about by faith, that
is, in believing the truths of Scripture. There is some deep sort
of relation between the Logos and the logoi such that the logical
sphere of the latter is the ontological sphere of the former. To
be "in Christ" is to be related to Him in such a way that His words
have the place of central priority in our hearts. "In Him we live
and move and have our being."
It's hard to be very precise without involving an entire metaphysic,
which is not called for here. In my opinion, it's hard for modern
nominalistic man (being nurtured in the school of the scientific
method from our youth) to free himself from the earth-bound way of
thinking. Perhaps a good reading of Plato is helpful in understanding
the Bible! :-)
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