Re: Pros

From: Donald L. Shaffer (
Date: Thu Jun 03 1999 - 05:37:00 EDT

On 06/02/99, "" wrote:
> Donald,
> In a message dated 6/1/99 4:30:29 AM Mountain Daylight Time,
> writes:
> >
> > The implied oneness for PROS is my conclusion. If I am wrong, I want to
> > know. But if I am right, I would like everyone to know. It would make a
> > big
> > difference in what our Bibles are saying.
> >
> Somewhere in the archives, I also wrote about how certain constructions with
> PROS did involve some kind of relationship of some kind of component with a
> whole, such as the relationship of individuals to a group to which the
> individual belonged. This relationship didn't seem to follow with other
> stative verbs or other occurences.

I am glad that you responded. Most of the verses that caught my attention
you listed below. They are a combination of EIMI and PROS. They are the
ones that had me convinced that there was an implied oneness, or as you put
it, indicates a component of a whole. Some others that I was looking at
didn't clearly support or refute my conclusion. Some I thought might
support it. But since I have looked closer at other verses, some of them
don't seem to fit the idea of a oneness. But again, those verses didn't
contain EIMI.

> The 'collocation' that I saw as significant was EIMI + PROS (not including
> pariphrastics): there were only a few (Jn. 1:1; Mt. 13:56; Mk. 6:3; 9:19;
> 14:49; Lk. 9:41; I Thess. 3:4; 2 Thess. 2:5; 2 Thess. 3:10; I Jn. 1:2). I
> concluded that there might be enough evidence of association of a 'part to a
> whole' to justify a study of the collocation of EIMI + PROS in Hellenistic
> literature. The number of occurences in the NT are too few to draw any
> conclusions that can be taken seriously, and each occurrence might be
> contested .

I think that another verse that belongs on the list is the second verse of
John. There may be some others which have the state of being understood,
such as 1 Jn. 1:3. I would agree that a study would be justified.
Couldn't the LXX be part of the study?

There may be few occurrences of EIMI + PROS in the NT, but the context
seems to say something. John 1:1,2 are the verses that started my
research. But Mark 6:3 is the first one that gave me the idea of an
implied oneness. The context shows that the Jews were reasoning that Jesus
couldn't be so special because His father and brothers were normal people.
Then they said that His sisters were with them. I don't see why they would
have included that fact unless it also was important to their reasoning
about Jesus' identity. If a oneness is implied, then the sisters would be
normal people because they would be included with themselves; as normal
> I think that you can say at this point that the use of PROS does not EXCLUDE
> oneness, as some have claimed, though I don't think that 'oneness' is the
> best inclusive description of the relationship. For that matter, I'm not
> comfortable with 'part to whole' either.

Well, that was my original intent when I started my research. I wanted to
show that the argument "Jesus can't be God since He was *with* God" doesn't
hold up. John 1:1 shouldn't be a stumblingstone to faith. But rather than
just showing that PROS doesn't exclude oneness, I have come to the
conclusion that it actually indicates in some way a oneness.

> So, the hypothesis that I would test is not that PROS indicates this kind of
> relationship or that it has a 'meaning' of oneness, but whether the
> collocation of EIMI and PROS might indicate this kind of relationship, since
> a pattern seemed to emerge in the occurances.
> Cindy Westfall
> PhD Student, Roehampton

Thanks for the help. It now seems clear to me that I need only research
that combination of EIMI and PROS.

Donald L. Shaffer

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