Re: EIS - purpose or result?

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Oct 28 1997 - 09:53:12 EST

At 10:28 AM -0600 10/28/97, Eric Weiss wrote:
>Thank you, Carl, for encouraging discussion on my question about
>DIKAIOSUNH QEOU. I had been eagerly awaiting a response from you, and
>hope that others join in.
>Now ... Are there any rules for determining when EIS indicates PURPOSE
>as opposed to RESULT? E.g., Romans 1:5 - "through whom we received grace
>and apostleship EIS hUPAKOHN PISTEWS - i.e., to bring about (PURPOSE) -
>OR - resulting in (RESULT) - obedience of faith among all the
>nations/gentiles for his name's sake."? I probably would have assumed
>PURPOSE, except in 1:8 Paul says that their faith/faithfulness is
>proclaimed in the whole world - which could indicate that he views his
>and others' apostleship as already achieving a measure of success, i.e.,
>it has RESULTED in the gentiles believing and obeying the gospel. Is
>this, too, as well as other instances where EIS can be taken either way,
>a matter of one's theological predisposition?

An interesting question, to be sure, but not one that may admit so simple
an answer. It is a curious fact (curious to me, at any rate) that even as
Hellenistic Greek is changing and losing some of its capacity to make sharp
distinctions, it is also developing new ways of making older distinctions.
In this particular matter, however, I rather think that a distinction has
been lost; it seems to me that hWSTE + infinitive in earlier Greek normally
indicated a probable consequence, almost never a purpose. In Hellenistic
Greek however, hWSTE seems to be used with an infinitive to indicate both
purpose and result. And I think that the same applies to EIS used with the
articular infinitive: it can be used both ways, and consequently one has to
make a judgment call on which we have in a particular instance, while
paying close attention to the whole context.

Which, I guess, is a way of saying: I'm not sure that there ARE any "rules
for determining when EIS indicates PURPOSE as opposed to RESULTS." I'm not
saying that there aren't any, but my guess is that it has to be decided
case by case, and that there may be some disagreement over the less obvious

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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