Congrats to me!

From: Bart Ehrman (
Date: Wed Feb 23 2000 - 12:54:27 EST

   OK, thanks. I guess the problem I'm having with this way of
understanding SUGXARIZW EMAUTWi is the *English*. Normally, I would take
"congratulate myself", to mean something like "pat myself on the back for
something I've done." Do others "hear" it differently or am (for neither
the first nor last time!) missing the point?

-- Bart Ehrman

On Wed, 23 Feb 2000, Carl W. Conrad wrote:

> At 8:06 AM -0500 2/23/00, Bart Ehrman wrote:
> > The body of the letter of Barnabas begins:
> >
> >2 The righteous acts of God toward you are so great, so rich, that I am
> >exceedingly overjoyed -- beyond measure -- by your most fortunate and
> >glorious spirits; for such a firmly implanted grace have you received --
> >the gift that comes from the Spirit! 3 DIO KAI MALLON SUGXARIZW EMAUTWi
> >ELPIZWN SWQHNAI; for truly I see in you the Spirit that has been poured
> >out upon you from the riches of the Lord's fountain. It is the sight of
> >your face, which I have so long desired, that has so amazed me about you
> >
> > What to do with this beginning to v. 3? SUGXARIZEIN with the dative
> >can mean to "congratulate," and so it's usually translated here. But it's
> >hard to see how what he has just said in v. 2, or what he says here in v.
> >3, that would make him want to congratulate himself (these are not his
> >converts and he regularly claims, somewhat disingenuously, not to be their
> >teacher, just one of the hoi polloi). So does it mean that he's rejoicing
> >together with the recipients? That might make better sense, but then what
> >to do with the EMAUTWi? Could it be going with ELPIXWN ("hoping in
> >myself"/"hoping deep down"?)? Seems unlikely. But then it must be going
> >with SUXARIZEIN, and so we're back to "congratulate myself."
> Actually, I think this is barely a penny's'orth. The ending of the passage
> you've cited makes clear, doesn't it, that the author (Barnabas or
> quicumque) does feel intense satisfaction in his relationship with the
> addressee--this opening reads almost like a love letter!--isn't he saying
> that he feels personally blessed in his relationship with the addressee
> because of the grace that has come upon the addressee and through him back
> to "Barnabas"--so why shouldn't he "congratulate" himself. I suppoe that
> SUGCAIRW or SUGCARIZW is somewhat like SUNOIDA used with a reflexive
> dative. So to me at least this doesn't seem so unnatural: the author does
> feel extraordinarily graced by what he perceives and appreciates in the
> friend's appearance--and feels, evidently, that the relationship is one
> that contributes even to his own salvation (SWQHNAI ELPIZWN). At any rate,
> 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
> WWW:
> ---
> B-Greek home page:
> You are currently subscribed to b-greek as:
> To unsubscribe, forward this message to
> To subscribe, send a message to

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:59 EDT