Re: Philippians 1:9-11

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sat Sep 18 1999 - 09:14:36 EDT

At 9:28 PM -0500 9/17/99, Joseph Brian Tucker wrote:
>I have placed the entire sentence in one post instead of breaking it up,
>thanks for the suggestion. I hope it makes answering the questions easier.

Why do I get the impression that we are composing, bit by bit, a new
commentary on the Greek text of Philippians? Looks like we began back on
September 3 and have been plodding along verse by verse. Oder?

>Verse 9
>1. Concerning the first KAI, what is the specific connection? Since
>parataxis are rare in Paul, it would seem a reason could be supplied. Maybe
>the connection is with the prayer from verse 8 and the fact of him praying
>in verse 4. Silva sees it as resumptive of verse 4, O'Brien verse 8. What
>do you think?

Are parataxis some special kind of taxis? Or are we referring to parataxis
as the well-known brother of hypotaxis (Aeschylus claimed, after all, that
KONIS was the sister of PHLOS). My sister-in-law, when asked once to
describe Les Miserables said she thought that referrred to herself, except
that she wasn't plural yet.

But to get to the question, let's throw in another hypothesis, that the
link is with verse 6, where Paul though fully confident (PEPOIQWS), enough
so to pose his proposition in the indicative, might nevertheless be said to
be expressing a prayer--and after all, the content of verse 9 does appear
to "flesh out" the notion expressed in verse 6. I would take this KAI,
moreover, as adverbial: "This too is my prayer ..."

>2. What is the function of TOUTO in the sentence?

In this instance I'd say it points forward to the substantive clause
beginning with hINA, much as AUTO TOUTO in verse 6 points forward to the
hOTI clause there.
>3. It seems that there are two possibilities for the use of the tense of
>PROSEUCOMAI, which is best and how would you translate it?

If you'd stated which two possibilities you had in mind, it might be easier
to answer. I'd see the clause simply as, "This too is my prayer, that ..."

>4. What is the force of EN EPIGNWSEI KAI PASHi AISQHSEI?

I'm not convinced that there is a distinct difference in meaning between
the two nouns; my sense rather is that together they express the notion of
a discerning sensitivity into loving response in a situation, not simply
some abstract understanding of what AGAPH is--i.e., I don't think this is
simply about abstract Ethics but rather about practical application in
specific situations.

>Verse 10
>1. EIS + The articular infinitive TO DOKIMAZEIN, what are the
>classification possibilities for the infinitive?

Here you go again with this passion for classification; I think that
generally EIS + articular infinitive functions exactly the same way as
hWSTE + infinitive and hINA + subjunctive constructions function: i.e., to
express a purpose or to express a result. If you use "so that" for the
EIS/hWSTE/hINA and then convey the subject and verb of the following
construction as "'x' may 'do y'," you'll come out all right.

>2. How does hUMAS function?

As the subject of DOKIMAZEIN ("you Philippians, I pray, may put to the
proof ...")

>3. How would you classify the use of the participle TA DIAFERONTA and its
>function in this sentence?

I wouldn't classify it at all. Since it has an article, it is clearly
substantival; since DIAFERW, among its common senses, means "be better
than," this has to mean in this instance, "what is better."

>4. What are EILIKRINEIS KAI APROSKOPOI and what is their function?

Grammatically they are predicate adjectives linked to the subjects of HTE,
i.e. the Philippians addressed here. Since the context here points to
examination by a judge, the terms have to mean 'free from questionable
motives' and 'free from discernible blemish' respectively.

>5. Should hHMERAN be translated definite even though it is anarthrous?

I should think so; it would seem to me that in this instance it's almost a
proper expression "Christ's Day"--at any rate, it's not as if there were
several other "Days of Christ" that we'd need to distinguish one of them
with an article.

>Verse 11
>1. What type of participle is PEPLHRWMENOI - I know it is a perfect passive
>ptc. that modifies "that you might be"? Are there any sub-categories for
>understanding this participle?

Categories and sub-categories, no. I tried to say last week that all these
categories and sub-categories for circumstantial participles are dreamed up
by translators for the sake of expansive conversion of the Greek participle
into a paraphrase in the target language; we really ought not to imagine
that the Greek writer had any notion of such categories. I would say simply
that it is circumstantial and not further defined: you could take your pick
between "because you are full to the brim" (except that the metaphor is of
trees loaded with fruit ripe for harvest or of stalks of grain fully ripe
and ready for harvest) ..." or "when you have become fully ripe ..."--but
the Greek says no more than "filled with fruit ..." or "ripe with crop ..."

>2. How is KARPON functioning and how does DIKAIOSUNHS relate to KARPON?

KARPON is the direct object of the middle ptc PEPLHRWMENOI: "having filled
your fruit/crop full"--you can give this a passive translation of course,
but that's just a translator's trick: "having been fully fruit-filled"
(sounds like a jelly-doughnut, which was not, methinks, the metaphor Paul
had in mind).

>3. What does the article TON DIA IHSOU CRISTOU do to the prepositional
>phrase? There seems to be two options...

Do you have some sort of algorithm for doing this sort of analysis? "If not
a, then b"? I'm reminded of Franz Werfel's play about the Jewish merchant
and Polish colonel escaping together from Nazi-occupied Europe; the Jewish
merchant (played by Danny Kaye in the movie version, "The Colonel and I")
would say something like, "My father always told me there was more than one
way to get out of a situation like this," to which the Colonel would
regularly reply, "For a man of honor there is only one way."

There is only one option for TON DIA IHSOU CRISTOU: it is an attributive
phrase referring to KARPON; the whole phrase could have been written TON
DIA IHSOU CRISTOU KARPON, but the positioning of the phrase in this
instance lets it have the force of an appositional attribute: "filled with
the crop, the crop that depends upon the agency of Jesus Christ."

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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