Re: Heb 13:5

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sat Jan 08 2000 - 10:42:55 EST

At 10:26 AM -0600 1/8/00, Dmitriy Reznik wrote:
>Dear friends,
>In Heb 13:5 is ARKOUMENOI a participle with a meaning of imperative, or its
>meaning is participle with a verb "to be" omitted? Is it an ellipsis then?


This is in a sequence of what we call "ethical parenesis," wherein
everything stated is in effect advice about how the readers/audience ought
to behave. I would understand the text of the first clause therefore with
an ESTW and a hUMWN: "Let your manner be not-in-love-with-money" and the
participle with an implicit imperative ESTE, so that you're really quite
right: ARKOUMENOI does function as a participle here: "contenting
yourselves with your present circumstances."

>My another question is about an expression PTOCOI PNEUMATI (Mat 5:3). Can
>anybody shed any light what this means? Is there any real information and
>not just theological guesses?

You may get quite a variety of answers to this one; my "2-cents-worth" is
that one really needs to become familiar with the whole spirit of Matthew's
"Jewish Christianity" or "intense passion for the higher righteousness" in
order to make sense of the phrase PTWCOI PNEUMATI. I've always thought that
the single most 'inspired' version or paraphrase of the beatitude
containing this phrase was, "Blessed are they who know their own spiritual
poverty ..."

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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