Re: Hebrews 3:14

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sun May 03 1998 - 17:44:08 EDT

At 11:28 AM -0500 5/3/98, wrote:
>I would just like to draw your attention to the first clause in the
>Greek, to show its structural power. [where you write, "We have come
>to share in Christ..."]
>This literally reads "Participants - for - we have become - of the
>Christ". And in English this transliterates nicely with "For we have
>become participants of Christ." But what this lacks, and the Greek
>has, is the distribution of GEGONAMEN to both 'participants' and 'of
>Christ'. Thus both the fact that we have become participants and that
>we have become 'of Christ' are 'built in' to this construction. The
>'we have become' is a two edged sword that works in both directions.
>English cannot do this without repeating the verb. Hence we end up in
>English trying to capture this power with your verb construction "We
>have come to share [in Christ]", and others as well. Which is why
>there really is no substitute for 'seeing' it in the Greek. which is,
>after all, the language that Someone saw fit that it be written in!!

Neat as this might appear, it won't wash syntactically: TOU CRISTOU can
only be construed with METOCOI here, which indeed calls for a partitive
genitive. But as a consolation, George (if you need one), (a) all the
meaning you could possibly desire is there even if you understand METOCOI
TOU CRISTOU as the predicate phrase to GEGONAMEN, and (b) the perfect
GEGONAMEN is itself a pretty powerful form in this sentence, underscoring
the full present reality of "what we have become."

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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