Re: 1 Cor 1:18

From: Dale M. Wheeler (
Date: Wed Sep 10 1997 - 13:06:35 EDT

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

I guess since I wrote the syntax notes in the Bible Companion/GRAMCORD
software, I should comment...

Technically, datives in a predicate nominative construction can't be called
indirect objects (because predicate constructions can't have "direct
If you go the next level in the hyperlink under "Pure Dative" you'll find the
following discussion (I note that Carl Conrad already identified these as
"Ethical" datives):

Ethical (Judicii): Dative Substantive supplies Subject who evaluates the
Verbal idea: "in the judgment of," "in the opinion of": Acts 7:20; Phil
1:21; Matt 18:17

The term "judicii" is the term used by one of my favorite grammarians--who
never wrote a grammar--Charles Ellicott (you can see his grammar at work in
his commentaries on the various epistles of Paul @1880's).

BTW, there are predicate constructions in which the dative noun does "feel"
like an indirect object and gets translated "to"; the "standard" way to
refer to those is "dative of destination".


Dale M. Wheeler, Ph.D.
Research Professor in Biblical Languages Multnomah Bible College
8435 NE Glisan Street Portland, OR 97220
Voice: 503-251-6416 FAX:503-254-1268 E-Mail:

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