Re: Re. 2 Cor 4:15 and seemingly impossible constructions!

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Nov 25 1998 - 12:56:34 EST

<x-rich>At 12:29 PM +0000 11/25/98, Paul F. Evans wrote:



2 Cor 4:15




Is this a difficult construction or what?


I can sort of get it gist but can grasp it fully. What does the
subject of the verb PERISEUHi? And how does a subjunctive play into


So far I have:


in order that grace abound through many (a majority) something to do
with thanksgiving overflowing, to the glory of God!



If this is incredibly simple be gentle with my fragile ego, I have
pored over this for several hours and have refused the to simply accept
the word of a commentary, without trying to understand the grammar.


What makes this verse difficult is the very deliberate redundancy of
its phrasing: it underscores in about as many ways as possible the
conception of multiplication.

In particular:

PERISSEUHi is subjunctive because this is a purpose clause introduced
by hINA: "Everything (is) for your sakes, SO THAT grace MAY ABOUND ...

hH CARIS is indeed the subject of PERISSEUHi

PLEONASASA is an aorist participle, fem. nom. sg. construing with hH
CARIS; here its sense is something like "having increased" or "having
grown even fuller"

DIA THN EUCARISTIAN could construe either with PLEONASASA or with
PERISSEUHi, but it doesn't really make that much difference to the
meaning since both the participle and the subjunctive main verb express
much the same idea of abounding/multiplying; TWN PLEIONWN is genitive
plural and, I'd say, substantival, so that we understand it as "of many
persons." The phrase therefore is something like "because of the
thanksgiving of many (persons)."

Putting the clause together so as to underscore the deliberate
redundancy (which can hardly be muted here!): "so that grace, having
multiplied because of the thanksgiving of multiplied (persons) may
multiply for the glory of God" = "so that grace, having become more
abundant because of the thanksgiving of many persons, may abound toward
the glory of God." Or, as I indicated above, you could construe the
prepositional phrase DIA TWN PLEIONWN THN EUCARISTIAN just as easily
with the verb PERISSEUHi and it would yield pretty much the same sense:
not only here, but elsewhere also Paul really likes to illustrate the
idea of redundancy with a redundant grammatical construction. Does that

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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