Re: 1 Cor 1:18

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Sep 10 1997 - 08:19:44 EDT

At 5:23 AM -0500 9/10/97, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>At 08:14 PM 9/9/97 +0100, Rev. Craig R. Harmon wrote:
>>I am a new subscriber to this list and I find it very interesting. As a
>>pastor, I try to use the Greek text as much as I possibly can in my own
>>study as well as in sermon preparation. It's not that I don't get the
>>meaning here, but I can't figure something out in this text, perhaps
>>someone could help. Could someone please tell me, what kind of Datives
>>are TOIS...APOLLUMENOIS and TOIS...SWIZOMENOIS. Also, just what do they
>>modify, ESTIN, or MWRIA?
>The datives for TOIS APOLLUMENOIS and TOIS...SWIZOMENOIS convey the meaning
>"to", as in, "to those who are being lost". The dative often carries the
>meaning "to" or "for" - in my Gramcord notes, this is referred to as the
>"Pure Dative". Another way of putting this is to say that these datives
>identify indirect objects.
>I have a hard time answering the question "just what do they modify, ESTIN,
>or MWRIA?", since they don't really modify anything. I think it may be
>helpful to think of the verse this way:
>Indirect object #1: TOIS MEN APOLLUMENOIS
>Predicate clause: MWRIA ESTIN
>Indirect object #2: TOIS DE SWiZOMENOIS hUMIN
>Predicate clause: DUNAMIS QEOU ESTIN
>The subject functions as the subject for two different object/predicate
>constructions. In each case, the indirect object gives the scope for the
>predicate clause - only those who are perishing think that the cross is
>foolishness, and only we who are being saved think that it is the power of

The old-time term for these datives is "ethic dative"--a term the intended
meaning of which I've never been quite able to discern. Some more recently
have termed this a "sentence modifier," but whichever term you prefer, the
dative phrase construes, I'd say, with the whole clause(s), MWRIA
ESTIN/DUNAMIS QEOU ESTIN, and could be translated "in the eyes of those who
are perishing" and "in the eyes of those who are coming to salvation" OR
"So far as those who are perishing are concerned, it is stupidity, but so
far as those who are coming to salvation are concerned, it is God's

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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