From: Eric Weiss (
Date: Sun Feb 01 1998 - 01:58:00 EST

In English the word "sting" can mean both 1) "a pain or wound resulting
from stinging" and 2) "a sharp-pointed organ, as in insects and plants,
that pricks, wounds, etc." (This second thing I would tend to call a
"stinger" to distinguish it - the weapon - from the wound - the "sting"
- it inflicts.)

While it seems from BAGD and LSJ (Internet Perseus) that KENTRON
primarily means 2) above (i.e., the sharp pointed thing that causes the
"sting"), can it also mean the resulting sting itself as it does in

I'm doing some work with I Corinthians 15:55-56 and am trying to
"picture" how sin, death and the law are related in Paul's colorful
imagery here - once I know what options I have for KENTRON, I can go to
work on deciding what kind of genitives Paul is using here with KENTRON
TOU QANATOU and DUNAMIS THS hAMARTIAS (I could use some help with this,
too - though their syntactical(?) relationship could suggest that Paul
would use the same kind of genitive for both - e.g., both would be
subjective or possessive or source, etc. - need this be the case?).

Just offhand, the TEV seems to give a nice meaning-based translation:
"Death gets its power to hurt from sin, and sin gets its power from the
law." Any comments on this rendering?

On the other (off) hand, both F.F. Bruce's paraphrase - "It is sin that
imparts its sting to death; it is the law that gives such power to sin,"
and Ronald Knox' translation - "It is sin that gives death its sting,
just as it is the law that gives sin its power," use "its" somewhat
ambiguously so that I, for one, am not quite sure if they are saying
that sin is imparting ITS OWN sting(er) to death or is giving death what
is now ITS (death's) sting(er). Any comments here?


"Eric S. Weiss"

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