Re: EUDOKIA in Phil 2:13

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Sun Jun 29 1997 - 16:22:35 EDT

At 10:53 AM 6/29/97 -0400, David Housholder wrote:
>Philippians 2:13 ends with hUPER THS EUDOKIAS commonly translated "for his
>good pleasure" The English phrase sounds as though it is for the personal
>joy of God that he works in people to will and do the things Paul has been
>speaking about.
>I believe, however, that EUDOKIA is usually =in= or =on behalf of= others.
>About this use BAGD suggests "above and beyond good will or in his (Gods)
>good will."
>"Above and beyond good will" could refer to motivation. Doing more than
>just what ordinary good will toward others would require or enable. "In his
>good will" could suggest the empowering source of the willing and doing is
>in God's attitude toward his people. In other words, he does not enable
>people grudgingly but as a positive result of the favor he has for them.

This is interesting in conjunction with Luke 2:14, which also uses the term
EUDOKIAS. Fred Danker's comments on that passage interpret the word in a way
similar to what you suggest:

>Luke 2:14 has long been a vexing problem.
>The problem appears now almost certainly solved in view of the scrolls' use
>of the phrases "sons of (God's) good pleasure" and "chosen of (God's) good
>pleasure" (cf. 1QH 4:30-38; 11:7-10). Ernest Vogt, a Jesuit scholar,
>concludes that "the Qumran texts do more than lend decisive support to this
>reading [EUDOKIAS]. They also indicate that 'God's good pleasure' here
>refers more naturally to the will of God to confer grace on those he has
>chosen, than to God's delighting in and approving of the goodness in men's
>lives. Thus neither 'good will toward men' nor 'peace among men with whom he
>is pleased' is an accurate translation, but rather 'peace among people of
>God's good pleasure,' i.e., God's chosen ones."

However, I don't quite know how to interpret the phrase hUPER THS EUDOKIAS
if EUDOKIAS is given that meaning.


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703

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