From: Carl W. Conrad (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Sep 14 2000 - 07:18:14 EDT
At 10:23 AM -0400 9/13/00, Mike Sangrey wrote:
>At 7:25 PM -0400 9/12/00, Mike Sangrey wrote:
>>KAI TOUTO PROSEUCOMAI,
>> hH AGAPH hUMWN ETI MALLON KAI MALLON
>> PERISSEUHi EN EPIGNWSEI KAI PASHi AISQHSEI,
>> EIS TO DOKIMAZEIN hUMAS TA DIAFERONTA
> PEPLHRWMENOI KARPON DIKAIOSUNHS
>>Is this saying that love promotes sound and practical scholarship?
>Carl Conrad <email@example.com> said:
>> I've seen Mark Wilson's response to this and agree essentially with
>> what he says, but my own initial reaction was that this suggestion of
>> Mike's was composed with tongue in cheek. Was I mistaken?
>Well, not really `tongue in cheek' as much as perhaps `outside of the
>box'; an appellative I've worn sometimes with honor, sometimes with
>> I think that the moral progress envisioned here and given expression
>> in these seemingly intellectual words EPIGNWSEI, AISQHSEI and
>> DOKIMAZEIN TA DIAFERONTA is actually more a matter of developing
>> sophisticated discernment as to how God's will for the well-being of
>> the person(s) one is dealing with in each particular situation is to
>> be promoted by one's own behavior in that situation.
>I would add, and perhaps this is a prominent difference, that "one's own
>behavior" must receive its impetus from love. This is the difference
>I note between my perspective and Mark's.
>Mark Wilson <firstname.lastname@example.org> said:
>> I take EN EPIGNWSEI as Means.
>> "Your love may abound by means of..."
>> Love, therefore, abounds as a by-product of knowledge. Not knowledge as the
>> academically driven accumulation of information or data, but knowledge in
>> the biblical sense of: [relationship with Jesus Christ--MJS].
>However, while I agree with Mark's statement, I don't think that is the
>thought these verses are making. What struck me with this verse is that
>love should abound in two areas and that the areas are intellectual in
>nature. With Mark, I tend to think of EPIGNWSIS as `intimate knowledge'
>and therefore think of it more in terms of relationship. However, here
>it is coupled with PASHi AISQHSEI which I can't think of in those terms.
>So, I think of this phrase as "competency and significant capacity to
>understand". And THAT phrase, to me, means scholarship. However, it
>doesn't stop there, but moves into a "proving out that which is valuable."
>Which is again a characteristic of sound scholarship, but with a twist:
>one must understand the `valuable' things are not intellectual in nature,
>but moral, thus DIKAIOSUNH. (That's why I used the phrase "practical
>It appears to me (if I may pit two extremes off of each other) to be
>a very careful balance between "Christianity is a spiritual thing,
>NOT intellectual" and "Education will usher in the new millennium".
>Scholarship, properly permeated with love (respect, humility), will
>result in intellectual growth which in turn results in keen discernment
>regarding what is really important morally.
>Or to put it differently, these verses appear to me to form the basis
>for the following quote taken from the Netiquette supplement sent to
>all subscribers of this list:
> While scholarly debate, including disagreement, is encouraged as a
> goal of this conference, attacks upon the character, intelligence,
> or faith of those participating are not acceptable. Criticism must
> focus upon the arguments of others; it may not be directed to the
Despite all this, I still question the use of the word "scholarship" in the
context of an understanding of Philippians 1:9-10. Perhaps I am perverse,
but I still am disinclined to take an intellectual slant on
hH AGAPH hUMWN ETI MALLON KAI MALLON
PERISSEUHi EN EPIGNWSEI KAI PASHi AISQHSEI,
EIS TO DOKIMAZEIN hUMAS TA DIAFERONTA,
my reason being that I see EN EPIGNWSEI KAI PASHi AISQHSEI as referring
essentially to what we might more naturally refer to as "sensitivity" to
the needs of the person(s) toward whom we are called to act lovingly. While
that might theoretically involve estimating the person's bank account,
credit rating, ability to earn a living, G.P.A., I.Q., etc., I think it's
more likely to be a sensitivity to what is most likely to be helpful to
that person in the given circumstances in which he or she now finds
him/herself. Likewise DOKIMAZEIN TA DIAFERONTA seems in this context (to me
at least) to have less to do with weighing in some hedonistic or other
calculus the right application of the law to this person than making a
sensitive judgment about what the person one is called upon to treat
lovingly now needs: bread, a good meal, a job, association with a community
of persons who will interact without judging this person, etc., etc., etc.
I just don't think intellectual calculation or "scholarship" has much to do
with this, although I DO think that it implies and means that the believers
challenged by Paul should use every resource at their command--including
their intelligence--to bring love meaningfully into play in their dealings
with each other and the rest of humanity.
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
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