Re: PANTES OU versus OU PANTES in 1 Cor 15:51

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sat Apr 24 1999 - 08:24:03 EDT

At 10:56 PM -0500 4/23/99, Moon-Ryul Jung wrote:
>Dear Carl,
>On 04/23/99, ""Carl W. Conrad" <>" wrote:
>> At 12:31 AM -0500 4/23/99, Moon-Ryul Jung wrote:
>> >Dear B-Greekers,
>> >
>> >In 1 Cor 15:51, we read
>> >
>> >It is translated as "we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be
>> >changed". So, OU is taken to modify PANTES. The translation
>> >implies that some will sleep. Is it the right way to interpret
>> >the greek?
>> >
>> >Is there no difference between the above sentence and
>> I'm not absolutely confident of this, but I rather think that the
>> resolution of the problem lies in the fact that PANTES is not a
>> substantival subject but predicative and therefore adverbial in both
>> clauses; it is, moreover, the emphatic element in both clauses, and I think
>> that's the primary reason why it takes first position in PANTES OU
> "All of us inclusively (i.e. 100% of us) are NOT going to
>> sleep, but all of us inclusively (i.e. 100% of us) ARE going to undergo
>> transformation.."
>Does this rendering imply that no one of us is going to sleep?

No. Perhaps you'd prefer this: "We shall not sleep--all of us." Certainly
it could have been written OU PANTES KOIMHQHSOMEQA and perhaps have been
clearer that way, but I don't think the meaning is changed by the different
word order so much as that Paul intended to make PANTES the emphatic word
in both clauses in order to make it all the more forceful in the second
clause. He wants to emphasize the collective aspect of apocalyptic
redemption. Perhaps an even more vivid rendering, though I don't know
whether the Greek could properly be punctuated to yield this: "All of
us--even though we won't be all sleeping--yet ALL OF US will undergo

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

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