From: Paul Toseland (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Jul 31 2000 - 08:11:20 EDT
On 30 Jul 2000 at 23:01:05 GMTMark Wilson wrote:
> >2 Cor. 2:14
> ?TWi DE QEWi CARIS TWi PANTOTE QRIAMBEUONTI hHMAS EN TWi CRISTWi
> >Concerning QRIAMBEUONTI, many translations seem to lean toward a causative
> >force, such as:
> >"who always causes us to triumph." (NET Bible alternate trans.)
> >Would not the lexically idea be:
> >“cause us to be lead in a triumphal procession” ??
> >I was lead to believe that this word QRIAMBEUONTI was used of the captives
> >of war, not the conquerors. Hence, whatever is meant here, Paul is
> >describing us as captives of a war, being displayed in humiliation and, if
> >the metaphor allows, as the losers in this war.
Yes, you are right to question the NET Bible translation, which is
similar to the
KJV ('which always causeth us to triumph in Christ'); there is no
for these. The known instances of QRIAMBEUW as a transitive verb, with
accusative object a person, are few, but they all point to the sense “to
by means of a triumph a victory over”. The object is never the
In 2 Cor 2:14, the one over whom God is said to be celebrating a victory
There are four known instances of the passive form of the transitive
verb; in three
of these the context makes clear that the sense is “to be lead in the
procession”, but in one instance, Plutarch Vita Antonii 84.4.7, the
sense is “to be
the reason for the celebration of a triumph”, the accusative object of
being the deceased (and buried) Anthony. Although scholars have
other senses for QRIAMBEUW in 2 Cor 2:14, the linguistic evidence is
If Paul is drawing upon the imagery of a triumphal procession, then he
God as always celebrating by means of a triumph a prior victory in which
himself was defeated. The complex imagery must therefore include an
Paul's conversion and call on the road to Damascus.
The reference to Paul's desperate journey from Asia to Macedonia in
together with the, together with the following EN PANTI TOPWi, suggests
Paul does indeed have in mind the image of himself being led by God in a
procession which continually celebrates his capture, i.e. conversion
(cf. 2 Cor
5:14, hH GAR AGAPH TOU CRISTOU SUNECEI hHMAS - here the verb
has the sense 'takes us captive' - Paul is not an unwilling captive).
Prisoners in triumphal processions were indeed put on display and
and were often being led to their death. This image of Paul would
have pleased his opponents! But he wastes no time in transforming the
As he is led EN CRISTWi, he says, THN OSMHN THS GNWSEWS AUTOU
FANEROUNTI DI' hHMWN EN PANTI TOPWi. That is not a description of the
role of a prisoner in such a procession. Incense was burnt in triumphal
processions, but the incense bearers were among the highest ranking
participants, and were placed alongside the chariot of the triumphant
himself - in this case, God. So Paul now indicates that he is being by
God himself, mounted on his throne chariot (cf. Ezek 1), and constantly
his presence (KATENANTI QEOU, 2:17). One who stands constantly in the
presence of God is constantly receiving revelation from God, and speaks
his true prophet-apostle. But I am jumping ahead of Paul's argument.
There is a further twist. In Greco-Roman art, there is evidence that the
triumpjal procession was used as a metaphor for the epiphany procession
a god. The purpose of such processions was to make manifest (FANEROW)
the presence and power of the god, and the god's presence was indicated
the burning of incense. Paul's Corinthian readers would actually have
far more familiar with such religious processions than with the
processions. This imagery is developed throughout 2 Cor 2:14-7:4, but I
better end here.
Hope this helps.
Paul Toseland (PhD Bristol)
*For the evidence and a good discussion see Breytenbach, C., 1990,
Proclamation and God’s “Thriambos”: Notes on 2 Corinthians 2:14-16b.
Neotestamentica 24/2 pp 257-71
PS I hope my paragraph formating has survived; apologies if it is a
My email client, Netscape 4.7, seems to change my paragraphing when
the message is sent.
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