From: Kimmo Huovila (email@example.com)
Date: Sun May 28 2000 - 10:04:34 EDT
1. Cor 1:8
hOS KAI BEBAIWSEI hUMAS hEWS TELOUS ANEGKLHTOUS EN THi hHMERAi TOU
KURIOU hHMWN IHSOU CRISTOU.
How is BEBAIOW to be taken? As an equivalent of BEBAIWSEI hUMAS hWS
ANEGKLHTOUS (who will confirm that you are blameless) or of BEBAIWSEI
hUMAS hWSTE ANEGKLHTOUS ESTE (who will make you certain/secure so that
blameless; BADG: "who will strengthen you, so that you are blameless")?
I did a rather extensive (if not careful) study on the word BEBAIOW
(meaning I read the 243 occurrences I got from Perseus on the root) and
it seems that a person object is extremely rare. In the overwhelming
majority of cases, if not all, it means to make sure, confirm, not to
strengthen. The examples given by BADG on this meaning 'strengthen' (=
person object) are 1 Cor 1:8, 2 Cor 1:21, Col 2:7, 1 Mg 13:1. I did not
find more candidates (except Hebr 13:9) in my reading (but this is
hardly to be taken too conclusively - I did most of my reading tired
a full day's work with no error checking). None of these seems to
require the sense 'to strengthen' in the sense of giving strength.
2 Cor 1:21 hO DE BEBAIWN hHMAS SUN hUMIN EIS CRISTON KAI CRISAS hHMAS
Col 2:7 ERRIZWMENOI KAI EPOIKODOMOUMENOI EN AUTWi KAI BEBAIOUMENOI THi
PISTEI KAQWS EDIDACQHTE, PERISSEUONTES EN EUCARISTIAi
Being strengthened in faith or made certain with respect to faith?
Hebr 13:9 KALON GAR CARITI BEBAIOUSQAI THN KARDIAN, OU BRWMASIN...
This is perhaps the most convincing example of the 'strengthening'
sense. Secure the heart (akin to many middle uses in Classical or
Atticizing Greek, e.g. BEBAIWSQAI THN POLIN, Josephus)? Or make oneself
secure with respect to heart, ie. become secure in heart.
1 MG 13:1 SPOUDAZETE OUN BEBAIWQHNAI EN TOIS DOGMASIN TOU KURIOU KAI TWN
To become certain?
None of these examples seems to require the sense of strengthening in
the sense of giving strength. The semantic domain of the word seems to
be rather security than strength.
I was unable to find a syntactic parallel for the use of BEBAIOW in 1.
Cor 1:8 (personal object and an adjective in the predicate position).
So, I wonder if there is a way to argue that the expression should be
understood either as 'will confirm that you are blameless' or 'will make
you secure so that you are blameless'. The predicate construction per se
could probably be used for either idiom, and in the absense of
parallels, how can we judge? Or are there perhaps parallels that I
I am not aware if this idea of 'confirming that you are blameless' is
found in any standard dictionary. But is it a legitimate possibility,
and does the other rendering any stronger proofs for it?
(Of course one could study the context and try to figure out which would
fit better our understanding of what Paul would probably have said - but
this could easily get us deep into areas outside of b-greek topics. I am
more looking for linguistic arguments.)
What do you think?
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