[b-greek] Re: Editorial "we"

From: Glenn Blank (glennblank@earthlink.net)
Date: Tue May 22 2001 - 17:54:38 EDT

My apologies to the list if someone has already replied to Richard along
this vein. I have been off the list awhile, and may have overlooked a
similar reply.

On Sat, 05 May 2001 "Mark Wilson" wrote:

>> In every instance Wallace gives, I can see the NT writer referring
>> to himself and his apostolic team.

On Mon, 7 May 2001 Richard Ghilardi wrote

> On the assumption that all the
>"we's" of QESS. A refer to PAULOS and his SUNERGOI, i.e., at least
>SILOUANOS and TIMOQEOS and perhaps others, a most perplexing circumstance
>arises at 3:1f,3,5.

>In vs 1 PAULOS says that he and his SUNERGOI were MONOI merely because
>one of their party, TIMOQEOS, had gone off to QESSALONIKH. Was it not
>rather TIMOQEOS who was MONOS, being separated from the rest? How can a
>GROUP of people be described as MONOI merely because one of their group
>leaves? Were the 11 apostles MONOI when one of their number, IOUDAS, left
>(by death)?

But can not MONOI be used of a group of people; e.g., John 6:22 . . .MONOI
hOI MAQYTAIS AUTOU APHLQON ("his disciples had departed alone [i.e., without
Jesus]"). It seems to me that MONOI does not convey singularity, as does
our English derviative "mono-" but rather exclusivity.

>Vs 3 corroborates this understanding [of editorial "we"] because it
apparently echos PRAXEIS
>9:16; 20:23 --
>As PAULOS MONOS is the recipient of these divine revelations so he is the
>sole object of the divine appointment of QESS. A 3:3.

Not necessarily. He alone received those particular revelations of Acts
9:16 and 20:23, but that does not mean the others of his SUNERGOI were not
also EIS TOUTO KEIMEQA (I Thessalonians 3:3) via their own revlelations.
>Finally in vs. 5 he emphatically switches to the singular to demonstrate
>to the QESSALONIKEIS that his interest in them is not only ministerial
>but intensely personal.

Or maybe the swith to singular was because the decision to send Timothy had
been his alone and not a group decision. If he were switching to singular
merely to strike a more personal note, why would he switch back to plural at
the end of this same sentence -- hO KOPOS HMWN ("our labor"). It seems
instead that he is speaking for the group in some statements and making
other propositions with reference only to himself.

>If I have established that PAULOS was using the editorial "we" in QESS. A
>3:1,3, it is then highly probable that he used it throughout the letter
>and very likely in QESS. B as well.
>If I have made a mistake somewhere in my thinking, I would very much
>appreciate knowing where it is. Frankly, I'm not entirely comfortable
>with this argument, but I don't know why.

You are right -- the switch from plural to singular in this passage is
intriguing, particularly with the exactly parallel phrases MAKETI STEGONTES
([when] we could no longer bear) in verse 1 and MAKETI STEGWN ([when] I
could no longer bear) in verse 5. But your lack of comfort with your
argument only highlights the comment previously made on this thread, that
getting inside the author's head to differentiate when his use of plural
indicates a referential plural from when it indicates some other speech act
seems elusive.

Your comrade in the search,
glenn blank
Pensacola FL

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