Re: 2 Cor 6:10

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Sep 02 1999 - 16:08:48 EDT

At 12:29 PM -0700 9/2/99, clayton stirling bartholomew wrote:
>>From: "Joe A. Friberg" <>
>>To: Biblical Greek <>
>>Subject: Re: 2 Cor 6:10
>>Date: Thu, Sep 2, 1999, 12:15 PM
>> KATA- generally has an intensifying effect.
>I wonder about this. I have read a number of KATAs both independent ones
>and ones in compound verbs. I know that there are grammars which say
>that " KATA- generally has an intensifying effect" but I remain
>unconvinced of this by my observation of KATA in actual use. I suspect
>that any statement about what KATA generally means will be generally
>wrong. But you know I am a contrarian by nature, always attacking the
>conventional wisdom on questions like "what does KATA mean?" I am not
>sure that questions like "what does KATA mean?" are the sort of
>questions that can be answered in any general way. To the b-greek
>veterans this observation will draw a lot of yawns and perhaps a some
>remark like "there he goes again."

"There he goes again!" Ah yes, he does indeed.

Actually I liked Joe's other comment more--the one that Clay has NOT cited:

>Choice of words EXW/KATEXW probably due to rhetoric as much as to specific
>sense of word. Especially since KATEXW is so polysemous--it must pick up
>much of its sense from context: here it is contrast between physical lack
>and spiritual riches/blessings.

I think that's right on target!

"polysemous"--yes, wonderful word, it is indeed polysemous; this is why in
my own response to Brian's original question I pointed to the numerous
articles in Louw & Nida for the many very different senses in which KATECW
is used.

As for "intensifying effect," I think that's as true for compounds with
DIA- and EPI- in particular, and often even APO- (APOBLEPW, for instance,
means "to focus one's eyes upon" although one might suppose that it means
"look away"--as in the immortal words of the Confederate national anthem).

It probably IS impossible to capture all the senses of KATA- very simply,
but I've always thought that "in hot pursuit" summed up some of what's
essential to it: "zealously," "intently," "downstream," with "hostility,"

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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