Re: XARIN as preposition: Gal 3:19

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sat May 27 2000 - 06:25:19 EDT

At 1:50 AM -0400 5/27/00, wrote:
>A week ago I was told that XARIN in this verse is used as a preposition. I
>have been thinking about this and trying to assimilate the concept.
>I looked XARIN up in my dictionary and it did define it as such; an
>accusative used as a preposition. meaning "as a favor to; because of ".
>If such is the use here, is PARABASEWN (gen plur ) the object of the
>proposition ("as a favor for, or because of transgressions") or should we
>seek an unspoken object (them? us? you?)? The tricky part of the
>construction is the apprent object (at least to the NKJV translators) is that
>the object precedes the preposition. (Does this make it a "suf-position"?
>Sorry, could not resist the temptation to pun.) In English we sometimes put
>the preposition at the end of the sentance (just to irk our grammar teachers)
>but it always has a clear object at the beginning of the sentance. After all
>we would not say "Up to what are you?" ( unless your name is Yoda). Is this
>construction similar? are there other examples? Unless I learn something
>solid I may continue to translate this as " It was added as a grace to {us}
>because of transgressions"
>Thanks for yuor help understanding this structure.
>PS: I will invest in a good lexicon as soon as I can afford it. Thanks.

To resond to the last part first, in the meantime you can surely consult
the Perseus LSJ.

CARIN is, of course, the acc. sg. of CARIS; Greek uses another acc. sg. of
a noun DIKHN from DIKH in the sense of "way," "manner" similarly as an
adverbial accusative; it's like our use of suffixes "-wise" or "-like" in
English to form adverbs in what a Hebrew grammarian might call a
"construct" form to make an adverb. Generally CARIN and DIKHN follow upon
the genitive dependent upon them. I suppose you could say that the genitive
is of the object of the preposition, but the real reason is simply that
structurally the case of a noun dependent upon another noun is normally the
genitive. And I'd say that the sense of CARIS here as a 'preposition' is
something like "in return for"--I argued the other day that the most
fundamental sense of CARIS is something like "expression of goodwill and
the responsive goodwill it elicits."

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243 OR

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