Re: EN of the personal agent & 1 Cor 6:4

From: Steven Craig Miller (
Date: Sat Oct 09 1999 - 16:36:39 EDT

To: Clayton Stirling Bartholomew,

<< I know this is an old topic but I keep hearing this mystical talk as if
the EN + Dative meant this or that and it gets me going again. >>

I don't know what you mean by "gets me going again," I hope this doesn't
constitute a personal problem, and if it does, I hope you seek the
appropriate professional help. As for "hearing this mystical talk," I'm at
a loss to know to what your refer. I haven't seen any messages posted on
this subject which contained any "mystical talk." Perhaps some, perhaps
even myself, have poorly conceived some grammatical point concerning the
Greek language, but I wouldn't refer to such as "mystical talk," it is
merely someone's (perhaps even my own) attempt to come to grasp with the
Greek language.

I've been reading Greek for over fifteen years, but I would be the first to
admit that there are many finer points which I don't understand. If EN +
the dative be one of them, I would be more than happy to have my ignorance
properly corrected. Unfortunately, I found very little in your message
which personally helped me to a better understanding of the Greek language.
Perhaps you could discuss specific examples, that might help me understand
the point you were trying to make.

The example which began this discussion is 1 Corinthians 6:4, which the
NRSV translates as follows:

<< If you have ordinary cases, then, do you appoint as judges those who
have no standing in the church? >>

The question that was asked was whether EN THi EKKLHSIAi might mean "by the
church" as opposed to meaning "in the church." My answer was that EN plus
the dative is not normally used to express agency. What do you think?

-Steven Craig Miller (

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