[b-greek] Lk 12:21

From: Rbsads@aol.com
Date: Wed Aug 01 2001 - 22:50:54 EDT


For a beginner, the verse is a difficult study of the use of nominative,
dative, and prepositional forms. Earlier discussion about the 8 case
functions certainly seems to pertain to translating this verse.

The NRSV translates as follows: "So it is with those who store up treasures
for themselves but are not rich toward God."

This rendering leaves me wondering what is meant by being "rich toward God."
Is the passage saying that the rich man should have given more of his stores
to the church, in other words he should have given something to God, perhaps
to the poor?

There seems to me to be more of a sense of abstract, spiritual nourishment

It seems plain that Jesus shifts focus between the first and second phrase.
The man found security in storing material treasures. But the true source of
life is found in trusting God.

Such a shift from material security to more intangible, more real, spiritual
security can be read into the text because the verse is describing God, but
does the language give support to such an interpretation of spiritual
nourishment beyond the reader's own conceptual associations?

The NRSV has "being rich toward God." This translates EIS in accordance with
the 8 case function system, but the translation leaves me confused about what
is intended.


The dative can be understood as the benificiary of the stored treasure and
the participle phrase translated as "the one storing treasure for himself."


Might the prepositional phrase be interpreted, rather as conveying direction
to God, as conveying the means of enrichment? It would then be translated as
"not becoming rich by God." This would imply that life from God and its
sustenance is received from a relationship with God, in contrast to one who
enriches himself.

These considerations would translate verse 20 as follows:

"Thus the one storing treasures for himself and not becoming rich by God
(will lose his life)."

My lexicon indicates that PLOUTEW has NT useages for spiritual enrichment.

A final question concerns the use of the nominative participles. Is there an
understood verb as I indicated in the parentheses above, with the two
nominative participles to be understood as subject of that understood verb?


Richard Smith
Chattanooga, TN

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