Re: Gal. 4:14

From: Edgar Foster (
Date: Thu Aug 13 1998 - 20:01:57 EDT

Hi George! Good to hear from you again.

---George Athas wrote:

>Hi Edgar!

>I would echo Carl's remarks that the Hebrew of Zechariah would have
little bearing over what Paul says in epistolic Koine Greek.<

I respectfully disagree. Paul was an avid scholar of the Hebrew
Scriptures, and he quoted profusely from God's sacred DAVAR. Pauline
ideas are both heavily influenced and guided by the Hebrew OT. This is
evidenced by the Pauline delineation of the exalted "name" given to
Christ (Phil. 2:9-11). It is quite possible that Paul had the Hebrew
SHEM in mind when elaborating on the heavenly glorification of IHSOUS
XRISTOS. Furthermore, 1 Thess. 3:13 seems to draw off of Zech. 14:5.
There is also the matter of semitic influence in connection with the
Greek word hWS (BAGD 897). Dan. 7:14 LXX: hWS hUIOS ANQRWPOU HRXETO

>Zechariah employs a quasi-poetic style of prose which shows climactic
parallelism- not necessarily equivalence of all the components.<

I would concur that the three "components" mentioned in Zech. 12:8 are
not per se equivalent. God (ELOHIM) and His MALAK are clearly not
identical. But all three terms (in Zech. 12:8) do depict the same
truth: the enfeebled of Jerusalem will be empowered! An example of
this type of parallelism is also found in Job 38:7. There, the
"morning stars" and the sons of God manifestly refer to the same
corporate entity (angels). Yet, "morning stars" is a symbol for the
"sons of God." Therefore, there is not strict equivalence, but an
intensifying effect vis-a'-vis the words of YHWH in Job 38:7. I think
that Paul possibly used the same device in his epistles (Phil. 4:6, 7;
2 Thess. 2:2).

>Also, the contexts of Zechariah and Galatians are so vastly different
that you cannot legitimately draw any influence from Zechariah over to

Here again, the (literary) "contexts" don't have to be similar to
infer that one influences the other. This can be seen by comparing the
context of Zech. 14:5 with 1 Thess. 3:13. It would also seem that Rev.
11:11, 12 contains elements of both Gen. 2 and Ezek. 37. If so, this
would indicate that literary contexts are not required to be exact, in
order to serve as intratextual evidences.

>The conclusion of one passage can't be used to interpret the other in
this case. Context is the all important canon.<

I agree that "context" is important, but we must also adequately
define context. If by context, you strictly mean--literary
context--then I do not agree. If by context, you encompass other
factors, then we can voice unanimous assent. Let me just briefly add
that cotext is also important in determining the meaning of a text.
While all may not agree, I therefore see it as quite plausible that
Zech. 12:8 possibly influenced Gal. 4.

Always a pleasure, George!

Edgar Foster

Classics Major

Get your free address at

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:39:56 EDT