Re: Philippians 1:6

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sat Aug 14 1999 - 18:13:05 EDT

At 3:36 PM -0400 8/14/99, Joseph Brian Tucker wrote:
>1. AGAQON does not have an article, Wallace refers to it as the fourth
>attributive position, why?

I don't know; my copy of Wallace is back in St. Louis, whither I'm headed
back tomorrow. It may be because the adjective follows upon the noun, which
gives it the rhetorical force (by word-order) of "a work that is good." But
I wouldn't cavil about it, since there's no article with either the noun or
the adjective.

>2. EPITELESEI seems to be in apposition here, any thoughts? Trans. as
>"(since I am confident) being convinced of this very thing, namely,
>that....will perfect it until..."

I would prefer to say that the hOTI clause as a whole is in apposition to
>3. EPITELESEI works as a simple predictive future here? Does it suggest a
>progressive idea here? Isn't the normal way to express a continuous future
>action with a future periphrastic participle?

"predictive"? Yes, if that's what you call a faith assertion about the
future. Modern Greek distinguishes aoristic and continuous futures, but
ancient Greek does not; although it has been argued that the future tense
derives historically from the short-vowel aorist subjunctive, I gather that
the currently accepted view is that the S/SE element forming the future is
desiderative rather than an aorist -S-. At any rate, I'd say that the
future tense can express progressive OR simple fact, but that the notion of
progression or continuity here derives from the associated prepositional
phrase ACRI hHMERAS CRISTOU IHSOU; that seems to me to indicate an end
reached over the course of time as opposed to a terminal point in the
future pure and simple. I'd say that Phil 1:11 expresses the sort of
fulfilment of the process of maturation in Paul's audience: a full-grown
harvest ripe for the picking.

>4. PEPOIQWS is a causal adverbial participle "since I am confident..."


>5. hOTI introduces a conjunctive clause that is substantival in apposition
>to TOUTO?

Yes; isn't this what you really meant in (2) above?

>6. Based on these questions, what would be a good translation of this

" ... fully convinced of this very thing, that he who initiated in you
productivity that is good will continue to bring it to completion all the
way up to the day of Christ Jesus."

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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