Re: 1 Cor 12:2

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Sep 03 1998 - 06:38:22 EDT

<x-rich>At 9:32 PM -0500 9/02/98, pwiles wrote:

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I have a question re 1 Corinthians 12:2 specifically with reference to
the prepositional phrase <fontfamily><param>Helena</param>pro\ ta\
eidwla ta\ afwna
(</fontfamily><fontfamily><param>Times_New_Roman</param>I realise that
this verse is inherently difficult due to being an anacolouthon)

Is it syntactically possible to see this phrase as adverbially
qualifying </fontfamily><fontfamily><param>Helena</param>hgesqe
</fontfamily><fontfamily><param>Times_New_Roman</param>in the
subordinate clause </fontfamily><fontfamily><param>Helena</param>w*
an hgesqe </fontfamily><fontfamily><param>Times_New_Roman</param>ie
can it be syntactically part of a subordinate clause when it precedes
the clause marker (</fontfamily><fontfamily><param>Helena</param>w*

My resulting translation is:

"You know that when you were Gentiles, when ever you were led to dumb
idols, you (were) being led astay."

(I am assuming that there is an implied
</fontfamily><fontfamily><param>Times_New_Roman</param>so that the
participle is effectively a periphrastic imperfect


</fontfamily>I'd be more inclined to understand APAGOMENOI not as the
participle of a periphrastic imperfect but circumstantially with HGESQE


<fontfamily><param>Times_New_Roman</param>I would appreciate comment as
to wheher this is an acceptable translation?


</fontfamily>I'm not sure that I'd call this an anacoluthon in the
proper sense; it seems to me that the remarkable thing about it is the
foreward-thrusting PROS TA EIDWLA TA AFWNA, which indeed should, I
think, be construed with the claus hWS AN HGESQE APAGOMENOI. But two
points that seem to me missed in the version here: (1) the hWS is
functioning to introduce the noun clause which functions as the object
of OIDATE; and (2) the AN should, I think, be construed with HGESQE. In
fact, this AN with HGESQE is the most extraordinary thing about this
clause: it seems to be used here to indicate iteration in what is, for
practical purposes, a past general condition (although the older
classical conditional construction uses an AN in the apodosis ONLY of
contrary to fact or future less vivid conditions. I read this as: "You
know how (hWS) you used to be drawn in rapture (APAGOMENOI) toward
speechless idols, when you were pagan." I've always understood this to
mean that Paul is here endeavoring to (preparing to) draw a distinction
between pagan ecstatic religious experience and Christian ecstatic
religious experience, suggesting that in outward appearance they are
perhaps not readily distinguishable.

What's awkward, it seems to me is the AN with HGESQE APAGOMENOI; it's
as if there's a conflation here between two older constructions: (a)
present contrary to fact ("If you were pagan, you would be drawn in
rapture toward speechless idols") and past general ("when you were
pagan, you used to be drawn in rapture toward speechless idols"). But
here we have the introductory hOTE of a past general condition used in
conjunction with AN + imperfect more characteristic of a future less
vivid (should/would) condition.

I really need to go back and check the NT grammars on AN in an
apodosis; with loss of the optative from standard usage, there seems to
be a change in the usage of AN.

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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