From: Mike Sangrey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Sep 28 2000 - 14:28:02 EDT
My question concerns Phil. 1:6:
PEPOIQWS AUTO TOUTO,
hOTI hO ENARXAMENOS EN hUMIN ERGON AGAQON
EPITELESEI ACRI hHMERAS XRISTOU IHSOU
EPI THi KOINWNIAi hUMWN
EIS TO EUAGGELION
APO THS PRWTHS hHMERAS AXRI TOU NUN
My primary question is:
What are your thoughts regarding EN expressing agency in this verse?
Currently, my translation is:
I am confident of this: since your partnering has begun [this] good
work, it will be completed by the time the age of Messiah Jesus begins.
Some context of my thinking:
1. I don't think ERGON AGAQON refers to sanctification. Sanctification
doesn't appear to be in scope. However, Paul bubbles with
thankfulness for their partnering (KOINWNIA) with him as it affects
the promoting of the gospel (EUAGGELIZW). They not only supported
him financially, but supplied him with Epaphroditus who obviously
was a man of substantial character, a large sacrifice for the church.
These people were involved with Paul's activity. That's why I take
the referent for ERGON AGAQON to be EUAGGELION (or more specifically
EUAGGELIZW). This is the `good work' which Paul is talking about.
2. I tend to think of EN, when it expresses agency, to express a deep
and intimate involvement. The type of sacrifice the Philippian
church made was of this type.
3. ENARXAMENOS is in the nominative. Verse 5 starts with
EPI THi KOINWNIAi hUMWN
and I take that as a point of departure and therefore it establishes
the topic. ENARXAMENOS being in the nominative then makes perfect
sense to me if one takes the participle as characterizing the
action (commencement) the topic has done. That is, the Philippian
partnership began something, and it will be completed before a
4. ACRI (until) is between "the day of Christ Jesus" and a verb which
denotes completion. So, I take that to mean the work Paul is
performing will be completed before that day (day, age, or time).
5. I take hHMERAS XRISTOU IHSOU to be a similar phrase to "the time
of David" which refers to "the time when David reigned".
There's some interesting eschatological discussions lurking in this
verse. Too bad!!! :-) Off list for those, OK?
Thanks ahead of time.
Every Christian library should have a plaque which states:
"There is one book which explains all these."
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