Re: UPAKOUW + case?

From: Randy Leedy (
Date: Fri May 07 1999 - 09:41:03 EDT

A LONG time ago (i.e., Tuesday), Carl Conrad wrote

>>>Randy, this is actually fascinating; it's just possible we may be able to
do something with this. While I don't much like (as you, more than any
other, perhaps, are aware) the idea of a pattern of doctrine as that to
which one is obedient rather than a person, nevertheless there is surely
the OT model of the Torah as something alive, something readily personified
as Wisdom, and something ultimately coming to be identified with the Logos
who is Christ. Perhaps similar is the figurative language Paul uses in Rom
TOIS MELESIN MOU. I've always wanted to convey NOMON here as "regime:--an authoritative governing body to which one is subject.

Now checking LSJ-Glare, I find that hUPAKOUW used with a dative of
impersonal things: sun-rays, a diet (hUPAITH); it's used of an ailment
giving way to a remedy; I won't go on and cite it all.

Then a final point. I keep harping on this because I think people really
are uncomfortable with the diachronic view of the Greek language, even
though I am fascinating by the side-by-side existence in the language of
expressions that are couched in traditional syntax and expressions couched
in what we know actually did become standard syntax later. One of these
instances known to every reader of the NT is the parallel use of verbs of
speech (LEGW, LALW) with datives and with PROS + acc; I suspect something
similar is involved in PISTEUW construed with a dative and PISTEUW
construed with EIS + accusative. What I think is going on in Hellenistic
Greek is the initial stage of the process of atrophy of the dative in favor
of prepositions with the accusative. And I'm wondering whether the phrase
that troubles you in Rom 6:17 falls into this same category.

>Can anyone cite the earliest instance(s) of hUPAKOUW construed
>unambiguously with its object expressed by EIS?

I can't find any in LSJ, but if one had the time, this looks like something
worth pursuing on the TLG disk by isolating documents from the first
century B.C. and later to search for how hUAPKOUW is construed. I'll bet
that it can be found with EIS + acc., even if the dative is more common.

Well, Carl, it looks like this topic must not be fascinating to anyone other than you and me. Anyway, I DO find hUPAKOUW construed with EIS cited in my old LS (and it's also in the Perseus version), but in the sense "listen (and submit) to" rather than "obey," seeming almost to be a legal term. But then, that idea doesn't seem so far removed from Rom. 6, does it?

In perusing LSJ on Perseus, I find this item that provokes an interesting thought:
"6. of ailments, yield, give way to a remedy, ... plÉgais hu., of metal, Plu.2.802b...."

I assume the Plutarch citation refers to something like a smith forming the metal by hammer blows. Now, this is probably off the mark, but the idea of metal yielding to pressure, and the presence of TUPON in Rom 6:17 makes me wonder whether Paul may be using an image something like stamping coins. LS seems almost to suggest that TUPOS might be able to represent something like a die, the pattern used to stamp an impression. I realize that this idea is getting away from your suggestion that the doctrinal pattern is something alive and personifiable, but it's an interesting idea: "You yielded from the heart to the doctrinal die to which you were subjected." (Again, the wording from Rom. 6:17 is hUPHKOUSATE DE EK KARDIAS EIS hON PAREDOQHTE TUPON
DIDACHS.) Carl, you've a much better handle than I on the range of meaning of these Greek words, and this rendering can only work with very specific understandings of hUPAKOUW, TUPOS, AND PARADIDWMI. Does this suggestion strike you as even possible?

However interesting this idea may be, though, I still have reasons for thinking that the grammar is better taken with EIS TUPON as the "object" of hUPAKOUW, with the relative clause hON PAREDOQHTE as an embedded modifier of TUPON. And the meaning is simply, "You obeyed from the heart the form of doctrine which you were delivered." The only thing I'm lacking to satisfy me on this point is a clear parallel example of hUPAKOUW + EIS used this way. And since I don't have access to the TLG disks, I guess I'll have to continue waiting until either someone favors me with results from such a search or until I get access to the data and try it myself.

Finally, an apology for taking so long to respond. This is exam week, and on top of exams and grading for 5 classes I've also had about 800 pages of workbook material to polish for duplication for next year's classes. And now I'm off to commencement rehearsal...hope I make it on time!

In love to God and neighbor,
Randy Leedy
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC

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