From: Paul Toseland (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri May 12 2000 - 09:14:26 EDT
On 29 March 2000 at 13:30 I posted a query regarding 2 Cor 6:11-13. I
am interested in the hUMWN variant in 2 Cor 6:11,
and suggested that, if I may be allowed the hypothesis that this is the
original reading, then the noun phrase in 6:13, THN DE
AUTHN ANTISMISQIAN, rather than beginning anew sentence, should be read
in apposition to the main clause
STENOCWREISQE EN TOIS SPLAGCNOIS hUMWN. The text would then read like
TO STOMA hHMWN ANEWiGEN PROS hUMAS, KORINQIOI.
hH KARDIA hUMWN PEPLATUNTAI.
OU STENOCWREISQE EN hHMIN; STENOCWREISQE DE EN TOIS SPLAGCNOIS hUMWN,
THN DE AUTHN ANTIMISQIAN - hWS TEKNOIS LEGW.
PLATUNQHTE KAI hUMEIS.
A possible translation would then be:
I have opened my mouth to you, Corinthians! Your heart has become
You are not being crushed by us; you are being crushed by your inward
parts, the corresponding penalty -
I am speaking as though to children. Be indeed enlarged!
This translation is intended to bring out an echo of Isa 53:7 LXX in
6:11a, and of Deut 11:16 in 6:11b.
I realize that in raising this I am asking you all to accept, for the
purposes of discussion, a reading that may seem strange, perhaps even
incredible. Unfortunately, to outline my exegetical support here is
simply not practical. Perhaps it will help
if I say that my doctoral dissertation, in which I first proposed this,
has passed examination without a challenge on this point,
and that a number of eminent NT scholars have also read my dissertation,
and discussed it with me, without raising
exegetical objections. I have worked on this passage a good deal, and
am sure that this reading has considerable advantages; in particular,
it neatly resolves the problem of the connection of thought between 2
Cor 6:14-7:1 and the
surrounding material. Given the traditional reading, the line of
thought is so difficult here that many scholars have claimed
that 6:14-7:1 is not part of the original text. The connection between
6:1-10 and 6:11-13 is also difficult, but becomes quite
clear if the hUMWN reading is accepted. If anyone is interested in my
exegetical support for these grand claims, a rather
rough, unfinished argument can be found in Chapter 7 of my "The
(But be warned, this chapter is quite dependent on Chapters 1-6, and
does not really conclude until Chapter 8!).
Despite these advantages, however, I have long been troubled by the
syntactical role of DE in the noun appositional noun
phrase THN DE AUTHN ANTIMISQIAN. I have received some helpful responses
from list members, both on and off list,
and have responded to some of them on-list, 4 April 2000, 11:45. But
this problem remained unresolved. However, I have
now sought the opinion of Professor Jerker Blomqvist of Lund, who has a
long standing interest in the syntax of particles,
and I would like, with his kind permission, to share his response here.
>Any new suggestions regarding this vexed passage are welcome. But of
>they must be carefully tested to see if they are compatible with what
>know (or think we know) about Greek language (among other things). In
>case you suggest that a noun phrase THN AUTHN ANTIMISQIAN introduced by
>should be epexegetic, i.e. in syntctical terms function as an
>to a preceding main clause. Frankly, I do not think that is possible. I
>cannot remember to have seen DE in a phrase with that function. The
>parallel I can think of are examples of LEGW DE "by this I mean ..."
>introducing parenthetical explanations (frequent in Aristotle), but
>explanations differ from the type you suppose to exist in 2 Cor. in two
>respects: (1) they contain a main verb, i.e. are syntactically complete
>clauses by themselves, and (2) they explain a single word or noun
>the preceding clause, not the clause in its entirety. So I do not think
>they are comparable to THN AUTHN ANTIMISQIAN.
>Now, when I say "I have not seen that", this does not mean that such a
>thing could not exist in Greek. Greek is a language full of surprises.
>in order to make me (and others) accept that THN DE AUTHN ANTIMISQIAN
>function as an apposition to a full clause, you must find examples in
>Greek texts of this phenomenon, and I doubt that such examples exist.
>Alternately, you will have to presume that Paul here uses a mode of
>expression that no other Greek text known to us ever uses. That is
>possible, but you can never prove that you are right.
>If you ask me "How do you explain the syntax here?", my answer will be
>don't". Traditionally THN AUTHN ANTIMISQIAN is explained as some sort
>internal accusative construed with PLATUNQHTE, with THN AUTHN
>understood as equal to TO AUTO hWS ANTIMISQIAN. This is certainly not
>normal Greek either, and I have no better explanation. So the syntax is
>puzzle to me and, as you are well aware of, this is not the only
>this passage. Thus, new suggestions are welcome.
If this is right, then I am driven to the conclusion that it is not
6:14-7:1 which is secondary, but DE in 6:13! It is certainly
simpler to postulate that in the early transmission of the text a
particle was added, rather than that a whole passage; and I
think it is far easier to explain. The hHMWN variant would have arisen
naturally enough through assimilation to the
hHMWN of 6:11a, and the passage would no longer make sense. A later
copyist, reading the text pretty much as we do
today, then introduced DE into 6:13 to indicate that THN AUTHN
ANTIMISQIAN begins of a new sentence, and to smooth
out the asyndeton.
If DE is omitted from 6:13, then a parallel to the construction I am
suggesting is Rom 12:1, PARAKALW OUN hUMAS ...
PARASTHSAI TA SWMATA hUMWN ... THN LOGIKHN LATREIAN hUMWN.
How do others understand the syntax of 6:13? And has anyone ever come
across DE in an appositional noun phrase?
I also have a question about word order. Suppose that Paul had written
OU STENOCWREISQE EN hHMIN; THN DE
AUTHN ANTIMISQIAN, STENOCWREISQE DE EN TOIS SPLAGCNOIS hUMWN. would
this be a 'normal'
construction, at least for him? In Rom 8:3 Paul writes TO GAR ADUNATON
TOU NOMOU ... TON hEAUTOU hUION
PEMYAS ... KATEKRINEN THN hAMARTIAN EN THi SARKI. Here we seem to have
an appositional noun phrase
which begins a sentence introduced by GAR. In 2 Cor 6:13, as it is
usually understood, we seem to have the same sort of
thing: THN DE AUTHN ANTIMISQIAN ... PLATUNQHTE KAI hUMEIS; a sentence
beginning with a noun phrase in
apposition with a main clause and introduced by DE. Of course,
Blomqvist does not consider this construction formal
Greek either. But is there a better explanation? Or would this
construction be more 'normal' than my suggestion? And if
not, why does the order of the clauses make such a difference?
In many ways I would feel more comfortable arguing that DE in 6:13 is
not original; frankly, it doesn't feel right. But the
only ground for arguing that it is secondary would be that it could not
belong in the original construction.
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