Re: EPI PASH TH MNEIA hUMON - Philippians 1:3

From: Carlton Winbery (
Date: Wed Aug 11 1999 - 09:38:15 EDT

>On 08/10/99, ""Joseph Brian Tucker" <>" wrote:
>> Greetings
>I came across a rather simple construction in Philippians, that I soon
>realized required some attention. EPI PASH TH MNEIA hUMON means, "in all
>the [my]remembrance of you." Is this phrase a subjective genitive "for all
>your remembrance [of me]." This seems contextually possible (4:10). This
>requires a causal sense of EPI in verses 3 and 5 - and a parallel
>prepositional clause understanding, as well. (verse 5 EPI THi KOINWNIAi
>No; MNEIAi, of course, depends upon EPI, but hUMWN depends upon MNEIAi and
>here should, I think, be seen as an "objective" genitive: "at every mention
>of you" = "every time I mention you." It's true that in verse 5 the hUMWN
>ought rather to be seen as subjective: "your sharing" = "the fact that you
>Does this conflict with Paul's normal usage of MNEIA? In Romans, 1
>Thessalonians, the reference is to Paul's remembrance of his addressees.
>Because of the normal epistolary structure of Paul's writings, should EPI
>PASHi THi MNEIAi hUMWN be taken as an objective genitive?
>I think the instances of MNEIA in the letters of Paul are all with an
>objective genitive, i.e., the genitive represents an object of
>"remembrance" or "mentioning."
>Gordon Fee opts for, "everytime I remember you." As does Silva.
>O'Brien opts for, "because of your remembrance of me."
>I think Fee and Silva are right here; I think that MNEIA more normally
>means "bringing to consciousness," "calling to mind," or "mentioning" than
>it does "remembrance" in the sense of "thinking graciously about" (a person
>or persons).
For me the most important factor in determining objective or subjective
genitive is context. Of course that includes the writers's usage elsewhere.
At one time I opted for subjective genitive until I noticed verse 7. "For
me to think this way concerning all of you is right." It seems Paul is the
one doing the remembering.

Another issue is MOI in verse 7. It is interesting that on rare occasions
the dative of reference functions with the infinitive very much like the
accusative of reference does with the infinitive in what some call the
subject accusative. Should we add another catagory for the subject dative?

Dr. Carlton L. Winbery
Foggleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
Ph. 1 318 448 6103 hm
Ph. 1 318 487 7241 off

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