Re: THi ELEUQERIAi in Gal 5:1 (Doch Nochmals)

From: Bill Barton (
Date: Wed Jun 09 1999 - 18:53:14 EDT

Carl Conrad wrote (June 9, 1999):

CC>My own opinion on Gal 5:1 continues, for the time being ..., to be that
text printed in UBS4/NA27, even if it is earlier and accounts for the
variants found in other MSS, is probably not right. I'd be inclined to
enclose ELEUQERIAi in square brackets (nor am I yet persuaded, obviously,
that ELEUQERIAi is a Dative of Manner, as Daniel Christiansen most recently

If ELEUQERIAi is a Hebrew cognate dative, then it is intensifying the verb;
that is, Christ has "totally freed us."

Otherwise, could it be that the function of ELEUQERIAi is not to intensify,
but rather to contrast? That would fit the context of the passage since
the passage contrasts slavery and freedom.

In that case, the contrast would be part of the logical argument, viz.
"[since] it is for freedom that Christ has set us free, therefore stand
firmly and do not submit to a yoke of slavery."

The grammatical construction of ELEUQERIAi would then be a pure dative
rather than locative or instrumental.

Robertson seems to take this view when he says, "Rather dative case instead
of instrumental, 'for freedom,' 'for the (article) freedom that belongs to
us children of the freedwoman.' " (Word Pictures, vol. 4, pg. 309)

The NIV appears to translate along the lines of a pure dative: "It is for
freedom that Christ has set us free..."

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