Re: this week's exegesis passage

From: Kevin W. Woodruff (
Date: Wed Feb 17 1999 - 15:06:16 EST


That usage of EPI is discussed in BAGD 2nd ed. on 286 under the heading
I,1,b,gamma,where it is used to "introduce the object which is to be
discussed or acted upon."

Paul is basing his argument on the singular meaning that the singular refers
to _one_ (person) i.e. Christ and not to a collective _many_ (people) i.e.
the Jewish descendents of Abraham in general.

At 01:50 PM 2/17/99 -0600, you wrote:
> giving me a headache. I know it would help to diagram the blasted
thing, but I have no clue
>how to start... so here's my flaming tyro question of the week.
>The verse is Gal 3:16b. I have the 'a' part of the verse [TW DE ABRAAM
>KAI TW SPERMATI AUTOU] just fine. The rest is very very confusing to me.
It starts OU LEGEI [I
>am not saying? not saying what? no object, transitive verb?]; then a
confusing mosh of clauses
>KAI TOIS SPERMASIN [and to the (plural) seed]
>WS EPI POLLWN [when upon/by/over many]
>ALL' WS EF' ENOS [but when upon/by/over one]
>KAI TW SPERMATI SOU [but to his (singular) seed]
>OS ESTIN XRISTOS [which is Christ].
>I guess what's really making me nuts is I can't figure out what the POLLWN
and ENOS are referring
>to, or which translation of EPI to use. I'm stubbornly refusing to look at
the English --
>probably a mistake, but I want to try to make sense of this myself first.
>Feeling like a hopeless neophyte [which I take as a GOOD thing, actually,
keeps me humble],
>Jane Harper
>Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA
>Si hoc legere scis, nimium eruditionem habes.
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Kevin W. Woodruff, M.Div.
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Professor of New Testament Greek
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