[b-greek] Re: OUSIN in Phil 1:1

From: Clwinbery@aol.com
Date: Sat Mar 10 2001 - 15:59:34 EST

In a message dated 3/10/01 8:40:37 PM, njfitzpatrick@eircom.net writes:

OUSIN EN FILIPPOIS'. In most translations OUSIN is given as 'who
are'. Other translations give 'that are', 'which are' or 'qui sunt', while

some versions omit a translation. OUSIN is the present participle
active dative masculine second person plural.

A search found three other examples in the NT, which are Eph 1:1,
2Cor 1:1 and Romans 1:7. In all of these 'who are' is the most
common translation of OUSIN.

Thus none of the usual translations show that OUSIN is second
person. Would 'you who are' or, preferably, 'you being' be
preferred translations?

Explicitly using the second person 'you' makes the translation more
personal, warm and intimate. Secondly 'being' rather than 'who are'
uses one word rather than two words and shows more clearly that
OUSIN is a present active participle, agreeing with hAGIOIS in
number, gender and case.

Thus would an appropriate translation be '... to all the saints in Christ
Jesus, you being in Philippi....'? >>

It seems to me that your problem is how to English a Greek text. First the
participle OUSIN as you say is the present participle of EIMI. The article
simply relates it as an adjective back to PASIN TOIS hAGIOIS. Hence, Paul is
addressing the letter (as is his common practice) to "all the saints who are
in Phillippi." His use of the third person to do this may indeed sound less
personal in English than in Greek, so if you wanted to render it, "to you
Philippian saints," I would have no problem with that. It is unnecessary to
get every word in Greek into some equivilent word in English. It is important
to understand how every word in Greek was used by the author to frame his
thoughts so as to convey them to the readers.

To paraphrase Luther's oft repeated comment about Hebrew to German. When you
have the meaning of the Hebrew, lay aside the Hebrew and state it in the best
German you know. (or something like that)

Added note: we should not get into a broad discussion of translation
philosophy, so I repeat, the participle is used here to modify those
addressed in the letter (a common use of the dative) in the same way an
adjective is used to modify a noun. That connection needs to be expressed in

Carlton Winbery
Prof. Religion
Louisiana College
Pineville, LA

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