Re: KTISIS in 2 Cor. 5:7

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Nov 12 1998 - 06:23:58 EST

At 12:04 AM -0600 11/12/98, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
>Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>> I wanted to add a note about Col 1:15; in that previous thread I declared
>> my belief that PASHS KTISEWS there is partitive; I still think so, and I
>> don't see why understanding KTISIS as a cosmological metaphor carried over
>> from a political sense should alter that. Even supposing that PRWTOTOKOS
>> governs a "genitive of subordination," I'm inclined to think that's a
>> subcategory of the partitive. The neat thing about Philo's conception of
>> KTISIS (one of the neat things, at any rate) is that he considers the
>> KTISIS to be a community, something in its own way like the Stoic ideal of
>> the KOSMOPOLIS, and he argues that God sets forth a NOMOS for the whole as
>I wonder, then, whether this has a bearing on the "he is a new creature"
>vs. "there is a new creation" debate re 2 Cor. 5:7? It seems to me that
>what has been said here favours the latter reading.

Yes, I would say it DOES 'favour' the latter reading--if one is endeavoring
to be little, although "he/she is a new creature" (a) intelligibly
expresses the sense, even if one understands the literal meaning the latter
way, and (b) accords better with the 3rd person subject of the protasis, EI

A way to preserve the political metaphor would be to write, "there is a new
foundation"--i.e. a planting of a new colony of one's selfhood. Well,
perhaps there's no reason to let the imagination run hog-wild. On the other
hand, the Pauline indication of the great endeavor involved in "working out
one's salvation in fear and trembling" accords with Vergil's formulation in
the proem of the Aeneid, about the founding of Rome by a Trojan exile (who
had to descend to the underworld and undergo a spiritual rebirth in Book 6):


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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