[b-greek] 'Intensive' KAI?? (2 Cor 3:6)

From: Paul Toseland (patoseland1@cableinet.co.uk)
Date: Fri Oct 06 2000 - 12:43:45 EDT

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2 Cor 3:6


My interest is in the syntactical function of KAI.

The NASB takes KAI in the sense 'also': 'who has also made us adequate
as servants of a new covenant'. The difficulty then is to determine the
antecedent of KAI. The language of 2:16b (KAI PROS TAUTA TIS hIKANOS?)
echoes Exod 4:10 LXX, Moses' call narrative, and the hIKANOS language is
picked up again in 3:5, as well as 3:6; so perhaps the implication might
be that, just as God made Moses competent for his ministry, so also he
has made Paul competent for his. But there is no *explicit* reference to
Moses in the preceding context (2:14-3:5), and this would demand quite a
lot of the readers.

The NRSV ignores KAI altogether: 'who has made us competent to be
ministers of a new covenant' - as do e.g. NIV, and many commentators.
The NEB seems to take KAI as adding emphasis to hOS: 'It is he who has
qualified us to dispense his new covenant ...' Thrall* suggests that the
function of KAI is actually to emphasize the whole relative clause.

I suspect that KAI should be understood as confirmatory: 'Our competence
is from God, who has indeed made us competent ...'; and the confirmation
then has the *effect* of emphasizing the relative clause. However,
Levinsohn** defines KAI as an additive particle, and makes no mention of
an emphatic role. Nor does BAGD mention such a category.

I would like to canvass opinion on the notion of 'Intensive KAI'. Is KAI
ever purely intensive? Does KAI ever have the role of adding emphasis to
to a following (or preceding) word or phrase, or a whole clause, other
than as a consequence of introducing a confirmation of a point already


Paul Toseland

* Thrall, M. E., 1994, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the
Second Epistle to the Corinthians, Vol. 1, ICC, Edinburgh: T&T Clark, pp
230-31 n 288.
** Levinsohn, S. H., Discourse Features of New Testament Greek, 2nd
edition, SIL 2000, pp 95-106.

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