Re: Gal 1:4 art-noun-art-part-adj

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Sep 24 1997 - 08:29:54 EDT

At 7:03 AM -0500 9/24/97, John Kendall wrote:
>It occurred to me that yet again <sigh> I wasn't entirely clear earlier. Just
>a quick postscript to avoid misunderstanding...
>I wrote:
>>It's not that I thought the construction was "extraordinary", just unusual.
>>I'm not sure that the attributive pattern
>>article-substantive-article-attributive-attributive is all that common in the
>>NT, but I could well be hopelessly wrong!
>As Carl rightly points out, it seems natural to read the phrase TOU ENESTWTOS
>PONHROU not as a multiple attributive in second attributive position, but as a
>substantival phrase in apposition to TOU AIWNOS. This indeed would not be an
>unusual construction and my phrasing was unfortunate. But if this is so, why
>the textual variant and why does BDF regard this construction as "harsher"? Am
>I missing something here?
>>I'm sorry, but my question was very poorly phrased. It was really prompted by
>>the textual variant. Let me try again. What syntactic/stylistic reasons would
>>motivate the scribal change from
>>Having now got hold of BDF, I see that the former phrase is described without
>>further explanation as "harsher" (269(5)). This seems to be scratching where
>>I'm itching. But in what sense is it "harsher"?

I'm not quite confident about this, but having read over the BDF article
you've referenced, it appears to me that "they" are saying (implying,
perhaps) that AIWN PONHROS may very well be a common expression, and
indeed, it does seem to be conceptually identical to hAUTH hH GENEA PONHRA
which appears several times in the Synoptic gospels, such that the two
words constitute a single notion. Now IF that's what's meant, they MAY be
saying that EK TOU ENESTWTOS AIWNOS PONHROU is a collocation more natural
because the two words are retained in juxtaposed position (as, for instance
Latin RES PUBLICA is quite regularly written as a single word RESPUBLICA,
and it's hard to conceive of sticking another adjective or demonstrative
between the two, e.g. RES HAEC PUBLICA or RES NOSTRA PUBLICA, although one
might well write HAEC RES PUBLICA or RES PUBLICA NOSTRA). IF that is the
between AIWNOS PONHROU which are felt to require immediate juxtaposition,
and so is "harsher" than EK TOU ENESTWTOS AIWNOS PONHROU.

That's an elaborate piece of guesswork, and as I said before, I'm not
altogether sure that this is the right answer.

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

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:29 EDT