From: Edgar Foster (
Date: Sat Apr 18 1998 - 16:49:44 EDT

Dear Carl,

Thanks for your thorough answer. You answered my question to the tee.
I had wondered whether Paul is saying he restricted his preaching
when among the Corinthians to Jesus and him "crucified." As I perused
the rest of the context, it becomes evident that Paul meant just what
you stated. In 1 Cor. 2:2, EI MH seems to intensify TI (I may be wrong
there). Later, in 1 Cor. 2:6ff, Paul also seems make an antithesis
between what he FIRST preached to the Corinthians, and what he "now"
preaches as he writes to them. In 1 Cor. 15:50ff, he does indeed speak
of a MUSTERION, hitherto concealed to the Corinthians. It seems that
from 1 Cor. 2:6 onward, Paul is saying that his message is now going
to ascend to a different level. He would no longer confine himself to
preaching to the Corinthians only about Christ and him crucified. Paul
would now speak about the "hidden" SOFIAN THEOU which entailed the
resurrection of believers and the glorious BASILEIAN associated with
the "mysteries" of God (Mark 4:11). Paul would now progress on to the
"deep things of God" (1 Cor. 2:9, 10).


E. Foster

---"Carl W. Conrad" wrote:
> At 10:08 PM -0500 4/17/98, Edgar Foster wrote:
> >How should we understand EIDENAI TI HN hUMIN EI MH IHSOUN XRISTON
in 1
> >Cor. 2:2? Is TI used in a relative or absolute sense here?
> >
> >E. Foster
> The citation threw me at first because of the HN, whereas the text
> reads EN--EN hUMIN, "among you." The TI is, of course, indefinite and
> enclitic, "anything." I'm not exactly sure what your question is
aiming at,
> but I'll take a guess: does Paul mean, literally, that "Jesus
> him crucified" is the only thing at all that he knew when he began to
> preach to those who became the congregation at Corinth? or does Paul
> that when he began to preach in Corinth, his message focused solely
on the
> gospel of the crucified Christ?
> If that's the meaning of your question, then I would go with the
latter of
> the two views above. EIDENAI construes with EKRINA, which I take to
> that he made a decision initially (aorist 1 sg.) when he started his
> proclamation in Corinth that the only assumption or basis of his
> would be "Jesus Christ crucified." I would understand that further
> within the context of Paul's account of his understanding of the
> in the Corinthian church in 1:10-17 and statement the remainder of
> 1 about divine wisdom and human wisdom. What that situation in Corinth
> actually is and whether Paul understands what it actually is may be
> different things, but I read Paul's understanding of the situation
as the
> presence of a strong tendency among the Corinthian believers toward
> might be called an incipient 'Gnosticism,' some of the dominant
elements of
> which are: an elitism evident among some members who believe their
> understanding (GNWSIS) is superior to that of others and that entails
> ethical views of license to do as they please, regardless of the
> consequences of their behavior for other believers, that also
entails a
> conception of religious experience as essentially private rather than
> shared with a worshiping community, and that also entails a sense of
> spirituality having no linkage to Jesus' death and resurrection as a
> historical fact of salvific importance. These at least are some of the
> elements that seem to me to be linked to each other in the course of
> whole letter as governing Paul's understanding of the fundamental
> he confronts in this congregation. While all these matters may seem
to be
> remote from the passage about whose meaning you are asking, I think
they do
> actually constitute the context for what Paul is saying in the passage
> immediately in question. In that light then, I'd say that Paul does
> mean that "Jesus Christ crucified" is absolutely the only thing he
> but rather he means that "Jesus Christ crucified" is the only basis
for his
> preaching to the Corinthians--he made no assumptions about the
> themselves or their background, social status, education, prior
> experience or anything else. I think he means that the only
assumption he
> made (that's the sense I take of EKRINA EIDENAI TI = "I deemed that
I knew
> anything") is the centrality of the crucifixion of Jesus to the good
> that he preached.
> Now, whether or not that corresponds as an answer to the question
you were
> asking remains open, but if it doesn't, then I trust you will
clarify your
> question more precisely.
> 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
> WWW:

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