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

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Fri Oct 06 2000 - 13:31:03 EDT

At 5:43 PM +0100 10/6/00, Paul Toseland wrote:
>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

I'm just beginning to mull this over and may well change my mind in due
course (but only in due course!). Right now I'm thinking that there is
sufficient overlap of senses to hIKANOS and hIKANOTHS in this passage to
justify understanding KAI in its more normal adverbial ("also") sense
rather than as distinctly "intensive" sense (I've noted Clay's response and
citation of Louw & Nida, but I noted also that Louw & Nida didn't cite this
passage for that intensive sense of KAI). It seems to me that Paul is here
moving between notions of hIKANOTHS as "sufficiency" or "adequacy" as a
human being accepted by God and an alternative notion of
"qualification/licensing/empowering for a function." And I have something
of a sense here that, although this entire section does concern the
qualification of Paul as a 'minister of the gospel', nevertheless in 3:4-5
he's referring to hIKANOTHS in a narrower sense as the affirmation of
dignity that no human being can affirm for him/herself but that must come
only from God through Christ, and THEN in 3:6 he is saying, it seems to me,
that "God [not only affirmed/confirmed me as a human being in a way that I
could never do for myself but) ALSO affirmed me AS A MINISTER OF THE NEW
COVENANT" (I am assuming that the first-person plural here has reference
only to himself in fact). I'll continue mulling, but that's what I'm
thinking at this point.


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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