Re: Barnabas 2:2-3

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Feb 22 2000 - 12:14:07 EST

<x-rich>At 11:32 AM -0500 2/22/00, Bart Ehrman wrote:

> The first couple of chapters of the epistle of Barabas are full of

>tough nuts. Here's one that I'm scratching my head over, from Barn.


>2 Reverential awe and endurance are the helpers of our faith, and

>and self-restraint do battle on our side; 3 TOUTWN OUN MENONTWN TA



> The Greek of v. 3 is usually punctuated with a comma after hAGNWS,

>that MENONTWN (genitive absolute) is taken as transitive with TA PROS

>KURION as some kind of object or accusative of respect (while these

>await the matters that pertain to the Lord in a holy way, or while

>things persist with respect to the matters that pertain to the Lord in

>holy way). But I'm not sure what either of these options actually

>(i.e., what the sense is).


> I suppose one could punctuate it differently so that the TA PROS

>is the subject of the SUNEUFRAINONTAI, and then the four nominatives

>the end are appositional ("while these continue, the things that
relate to

>the Lord -- wisdom, understanding, perception, and knowledge -- are

>gladdened together with them in a holy way). But I'm not sure that's



> Anyone want to throw in their two cents?

Just about exactly that--and 2c used to be worth a lot more than it is

LSJ at Perseus for SUNEUFRAINOMAI gives:
Pass., <italic>rejoice together</italic>, D.H.<italic>Rh.</italic>2.5,
Ph.1.405; meta gunaikos LXX <italic>Pr.</italic>5.18; tini
<italic>with</italic> one,
18.217</color></underline>, Hdn.2.8.9.

</bigger></fontfamily><color><param>0000,7777,0000</param>(1) I don't
see how MENW could be transitive with TA PROS KURION hAGNWS to convey
the sense that you suggest; MENW ought to mean "endure" or "withstand
the frontal assault of" in the military context of your metaphor, in
which case that neuter plural phrase seems out of place; I rather agree
with you that it would make more sense to take TA PROS KURION hAGNWS
with what follows, the more so in that the adverb hAGNWS seems very
curiously positioned after TA PROS KURION but very naturally just

(2) The alternative punctuation yields better sense, I think--and
perhaps we could take TA PROS KURION and hAGNWS as adverbial with
SUNEUFRAINONTAI, yielding something like: "And with respect to the Lord
wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and recognition share reverently in
joy with them (i.e. w/ patience and self-restraint)." Your other
suggestion, taking the four nominatives as appositional to TA PROS
KURION, is another possibility, but it seems to me that adverbial
accusatives of the sort represented by TA PROS KURION are not uncommon
in Hellenistic Greek (remember Mark 2:2 KAI SUNHCQHSAN POLLOI hWSTE
MHKETI CWREIN MHDE TA PROS THN QURAN--which I understand to mean "and
many were gathered together so that there was no room left, not even
near the door.") IF this two-cent thought has any validity, the sense
would be that while the good fight of faith is being sustained--while
patience and self-restraint hold steadfast (MENONTWN), the higher
spiritual sisters of these somatic soldiers, there in their own
Lord-ward realm, share the satisfaction of these somatic soldiers at
the successful resistance being offered against the foe. It all sounds
very much like John Bunyan to me, and I'm not sure that my thoughts are
even worth the tuppence.


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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