Re: Another 2 Clement gem

From: Mary L B Pendergraft (
Date: Fri Feb 19 1999 - 11:11:34 EST

At 08:56 AM 2/19/99 -0600, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>At 8:38 AM -0500 2/19/99, Bart Ehrman wrote:
>> In 2 Clement 10, after "for if we are eager to do good, peace will
>>pursue us," comes a peculiar line (v. 3): dia tauthn gar thn aitian ouk
>>estin heurein anthrwpon, hoitines paragousi phobous anthrwpinous,
>>prohirhmenoi mallon thn enthade apolausin h thn mellousan epaggelian.
>> Can anyone make sense of this without emending the text?
>> Can anyone who thinks the text needs to be emended suggest something
>I have to transcribe this into our more standard transliteration to make it
>clear for myself; what I'm wondering (I don't have a Greek text of the
>original handy) is whether the ANQRWP- form following hEUREIN is acc. sg.
>or genitive plural;
>We want, of course, an antecedent for hOITINES, which could not ordinarily
>be the singular ANQRWPON, in which case the hOITINES clause dangles. The
>one thought that occurs to me is that, IF the word in question is the
>genitive plural ANQRWPWN, it could be partitive; in earlier Greek, and
>perhaps in second-century Atticist Greek also, it's common enough to find
>partititives functioning as subjects and objects of sentences. So, IF the
>word is ANQRWPWN, understood as a partitive and as subject of hEUREIN, then
>we'd have: "if we are eager to do good, peace will pursue us, since it is
>for this reason that it is impossible for any men to find it, such as bring
>along human anxieties, since they have chosen enjoyment here rather than
>the promise to come." I am understanding OUK ESTIN here again in the sense
>OUK EXESTIN, "it isn't possible ..."
>A bit more awkward, I think, but conceivable, is to understand ANQRWPON as
>an acc. sg. subject of hEUREIN, and then, since it can be understood as a
>generic human being, make the following clause a generic plural, as we do
>in careless colloquial English, e.g.: "No one can do this, if they try to
>do something else at the same time."

I incline to Carl's second way of understanding this--it is awkward, but
the style throughout the text is not particularly elegant.
Now, you could fix the problem by emending to ANQRWPOUS, but I'd be hard
pressed to explain why any scribe with that before him would write the


Mary Pendergraft
Associate Professor of Classical Languages
Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem NC 27109-7343
336-758-5331 (NOTE: this is a new number)

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