[b-greek] Re: 2 Cor. 5:14 plenary genitive?

From: Randy Leedy (Rleedy@bju.edu)
Date: Tue Feb 06 2001 - 08:44:23 EST

I started this message early yesterday afternoon, but was unable to
finish it yesterday. I see from today's digest that this thread is not
getting any attention, but since I nearly finished this yesterday, I
finish it off today and post it, then drop the topic if there is no

A little follow-up on previous post (more contextual analysis) :

Whatever "love of Christ" means (subjective, objective, or both), it
must be something that can "constrain" (KJV) a person's behavior. Paul
explains how the constraint works in the remainder of the sentence:
"BECAUSE we have come to this conclusion..." The constraining power
lies in a compelling conviction that he articulates in two parts. Part
one is that the inescapable conclusion to be drawn from the fact that
one person died for all is that, in a sense, all died. The only place
for self in this picture is in a casket. Part two moves on to the
purpose of this arrangement: that those who live (because of the
later-stated factor of the resurrection) should then live for the one
who died and rose for them.

This is the fundamental reality of life for Paul; this is the
conviction that constrains all his behavior. He articulates this as an
explanation of what he means by "the love of Christ constrains us."
So, I ask, what understanding of "love of Christ" is consistent with
this larger statement? Is the constraint in the awareness that Christ
loves Paul? Of course, because Christ's love is the sine qua non; it
is Christ's love for Paul that so arrests his attention. But is it not
also consistent with this larger statement to say that Paul's
corresponding love for Christ constrains his behavior? If I may very
loosely paraphrase the core of sentence, I would put it this way: "The
love of Christ compels me: the love He displayed in dying for me
renders me incapable of doing otherwise than loving Him back."

If this reading of the sentence is correct, then there is clear
contextual support for both subjective and objective genitive for
CRISTOU. I would not be surprised at all if Paul in fact did intend
both meanings. But, as I said before, I am very hesitant to create a
new usage category for the few instances where such double meaning is
only a strong possibility at best. And the term "plenary" strikes me
as pretty rotten as well. What in the world is a "full" genitive?
"Full" sounds to me as though this category should combine ALL (or
nearly all) genitive uses. For those who take the view that all
genitives are, at their root, either subjective or objective, I
suppose this makes sense. But Wallace has managed to find a few usage
categories in addition to those two, and in his scheme, the label
"plenary" is certainly far from transparent in its meaning.

Blessings! (Acts 3:26)

Randy Leedy
Bob Jones University Seminary

(P.S. If any replies could be CCed to me, I'd much appreciate it,
since I see the list only in digest form.)

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