Re: Philippians 3:14

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Oct 20 1998 - 08:34:56 EDT

<x-rich>At 8:29 AM -0500 10/19/98, John M. Sweigart wrote:


>(1) Forgive my grammatical lack of expertise, but could you further
elaborate on the difference between the partitive and the limiting

>In my view there are two other problems in this verse.

>(2) In what sense should we understand KLHSIS? In most theological
reading it seems to be discussed almost as a technical term. The
lexicons do not agree. The choices seem to be (a) understanding it in a
salvific sense; (b) understanding it in an eschatological sense.(c)

>(3) Should the phrase KATA SKOPON be "towards the mark" with the
cultural referent being the various games of the Greek world or "in
accordance with the model, form" with a reference back to Phil. 2:7.

(1) The partitive appears originally to have been a distinct IE case
that was absorbed into the genitive in many IE languages; its sense is
"some of" or "a part of"; it can be used, when needed, as a subject or
an object of a verb (object especially of a verb of sensation like
AKOUW, AISQANOMAI, hAPTOMAI or of eating and drinking like ESQIW,
PINW), while the "limiting" genitive is the catch-all terms for all
nouns whose genitive case indicates attachment to another noun in one
way or another (including "possessive," "subjective/objective," and
"definition" or "apposition," etc.). Both should be distinguished from
ablatival usages which clearly indicate or extend the notion of

(2) Here's what I find in Accordance: instances of KLHSIS and Louw and
Nida; you can do your own choosing (I will say that I don't think it is
eschatological in a fundamental sense but only in the sense that the
invitation has an eschatological implication):

Rom. 11:29; 1Cor. 1:26; Eph. 1:18; Eph. 4:1; Eph. 4:4; Phil. 3:14; 2Th.

2Tim. 1:9; Heb. 3:1; 2Pet. 1:10

33.312 KALEW ; KLHSIS <bold>, </bold>EWS <italic>f</italic>;
PROSKALEOMAI : to urgently invite someone to accept responsibilities
for a particular task, implying a new relationship to the one who does
the calling - 'to call, to call to a task.'56

33.313 KLHSIS <bold>, </bold>EWS <italic>f:</italic> the state of
having been called to a particular task and/or relation - 'calling.'
ask you then live worthy of your calling to which (God) has called
you' Eph 4:1. As in the case of KALEW, KLHSIS , and PROSKALEOMAI
(33.312), it may be entirely impossible to use a term in a receptor
language which means literally 'to call.' Therefore, it may be
necessary to translate Eph 4:1 as 'I ask you then live worthy of the
responsibility which God has urgently invited you to accept' or ' live
worthy of the task which God has given you to do.'

87.2 KLHSIS,EWS <italic>f:</italic> the station in life or social role
which one has - 'station, role.' hEKASATOS EN THi KLHSEI EN hHi EKLHQH
EN TAUTHi MENETW 'everyone should remain in the station of life in
which he was called' 1Cor 7:20. In this context, KLHSIS refers to the
status or role of being either a slave or a free person. In a number of
languages this expression in 1Cor 7:20 can be best translated as
'everyone should continue to be the same kind of person that he was
when he was called.' Such an expression must, of course, refer to one's
position in society and in the total social structure, not to
particular aspects of moral or immoral behavior.

(3) KATA SKOPON should, I think, be understood in terms of the athletic
metaphor of racing that Paul uses so effectively in Philippians more
than once. I'd take it as an adverbial expression--"goalwise," or "in
terms of goal"--of a type formed with KATA + acc. so regularly in Koine
Greek much like more recent English adverbs coined by adding "wise" to
a noun (as in "That's the way it crumbles, cookiewise.").

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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