[b-greek] Re: EGIERW in perfect in 1Cor 15

From: Steven R. Lo Vullo (doulos@chorus.net)
Date: Thu Nov 23 2000 - 15:07:25 EST

On 11/23/00 12:08 AM, Dmitriy Reznik wrote:

> Will you please help me to translate EGEIRW which is very often used in
> 1Cor 15 in perfect tense? Actually it is used in verses 12, 13, 14, 16,
> 17, 20. I would suspect it to be intransitive, as I have already been
> taught in this forum. But presence of G-d as the subject who HGEIREN
> Jesus makes me doubt. What would you say: should EGHGERTAI be translated
> as passive, or as intransitive middle?

Hi Dmitriy,

Although EGEIRW in the passive voice with an intransitive meaning is
certainly a legitimate option in many contexts, I think there are at least
two clues in 1 Cor 15 that favor the simple passive. You have already hit on
the first one: EGEIRW is used in the active voice twice in v. 15 with God as
subject and Christ as object. So the fact that in this context Paul had in
mind that Christ was raised by God is indisputable.

The other clue is that the discussion centers around the contention of some
in Corinth that there was no resurrection of the dead per se (vv. 12, 13,
15, 16). Paul uses the phrase ANASTASIS NEKRWN in vv. 12 and 13, where
NEKRWN seems to be an objective genitive, i.e., the action implied in
ANASTASIS is directed toward NEKRWN. The dead don't simply rise, they are
raised. This seems to be the implication of vv. 15 and 16 (cf. v. 29) also,
where the passive of EGEIRW is used of the dead in general, though in the
present tense instead of the perfect. Since it is difficult to think of
Paul, keeping in mind his theocentric mind, contemplating the dead in
general simply rising of their own accord, it would seem more natural that
he has in mind their being raised (i.e., by God).

I think the perfect tense is used with respect to Christ because Paul wants
to emphasize that Christ was not only raised, but that in his resurrection
mode he remains alive. After all, the hope of Christians is not simply that
Christ was raised at some point in time, but that he remains alive and is
coming for his own. It is EN TWi CRISTWi (v. 22) that we shall be made alive
(ZWiOPOIHQHSONTAI, again passive, probably a "theological passive"), which
will take place EN THi PAROUSIAi AUTOU (v. 23). Christians can't be made
alive in Christ if he is not still alive, and he can't come to make
Christians live if he is not still alive. Paul wants his readers to know
that Christ was raised and remains raised and ready to fulfill God's
promises to Christians in the future.

Steve Lo Vullo

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