Re: Gal 2:20

From: Carlton Winbery (
Date: Tue Apr 06 1999 - 06:58:31 EDT

Jim Denley wrote;

>Regarding the use of THi in "EN PISTEI ZW THi TOU hUIOU TOU QEOU."
>The use of an article in this manner intrigued me. Thought I'd pass along my
>Perhaps the first point is that Greek articles are not simply definite
>articles. They have demonstrative use as well, often pressing us in English
>to use a relative pronoun; e.g., SAULOS, hO KAI PAULOS; "Saul, who is also
>[known as] Paul," Act 13:9. Or in more strictly as demonstratives in
>MEN...DE constructions as in Gal 4:23 or standing alone as in Gal 5:24

This is like comparing apples and oranges. SAULOS, hO KAI PAULOS is a
construction in which hO KAI PAULOS is in apposition to SAULOS, "Saul also
called Paul."
Gal 2:20 involves the article that indicates grammatical relationship of a
structure that otherwise could not indicate case relationship, hence,
"faith of the Son."

>BGD (2nd ed.) showed several possibilities including the above examples. In
>the section on hO, hH, TO in paragraph II. 5. the discussion regards the use
>of the article with prepositional phrases, though in our passage the article
>follows the preposition.

I would not say it follows the preposition but it follows the verb.

> In II. 6. the discussion is regarding adverbial
>ideas (which a prepositional phrase is or which may refer to the verbal
>notion inherent in PISTIS). The discussion in II. 7. is regarding the use of
>the article with the genitive when it shows "kinship, ownership, dependence."
> II.7. seems to describe our passage the best. This would yield a
>translation something like, "in a faith I live, [which is] [dependent upon]
>the Son of God."

None of these egs. apply to Gal 2:20. THi TOU hUIOU is not adverbial but
adjectival, modifying PISTEI.

>I think we can note that the dative use fits well, not just because THi
>modifies the object of EN, but rather as the dative concept of THi and the
>genitive concept of TOU hUIOU TOU QEOU apply to ZW.

Its the dative concept of PISTEI that relates to ZW. The article relates
the genitive TOU UIOU to the noun.

>Paul may be saying that
>he lives in a relationship to a faith that is dative: i.e., it is his by
>indirect means. And where does this faith come from? It's of the Son of
>God. I think this fits BGD's discussion in II.7. PISTIS is a faith that
>Paul has by means of the Son of God. It makes sense then to place THi in its
>position as the text reads. It's not that Paul lives in a faith that's about
>the Son of God but that he's gained this faith from the Son of God.
This is the crucial question concerning subjective or objective genitive.
Previous discussions of this question have generally favored the objective
genitive in this instance, "faith that has the Son as its object." As I
said before the primary evidence for this is Pauline theology which is
beyond our purpose. Of course a subjective genitive cannot be completely
ruled out, but it seems to me to be much more complicated than it needs to
be unless, of course, you prefer to see Paul as a Calvinist, in which case,
be my guest.

Jim, thanks for participating in the discussion.

Carlton Winbery


Carlton L. Winbery Fogleman Professor of Religion Louisiana College Pineville, LA 71359

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