From: Carl W. Conrad (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Nov 10 2001 - 08:05:54 EST
At 5:56 PM -0800 11/9/01, Dmitriy Reznik wrote:
>I have a question on 2Cor 4:4:
>3 EI DE KAI ESTIN KEKALUMMENON TO EUAGGELION hHMWN, *EN* TOIS
>APOLLUMENOIS ESTIN KEKALUMMENON
>4 *EN* hOIS hO QEOS TOU AIWNOU TOUTOU ETUFLWSEN TA NOHMATA...
>3 and if also our good news is vailed, in those perishing it is vailed,
>4 in whom the god of this age did blind the minds ...
>My question is what EN in both verses can mean. Can it mean "for"?
>I met an opinion that in Galatians 1:16 (to reveal his Son *in* me, that
>I might preach him among the Gentiles; straightway I conferred not with
>flesh and blood) "EN" also means "for".
>Is that true, or can "EN" in these texts mean "for"?
I'm not quite sure whether you're asking a question about proper
translation or (as I would have thought) about understanding the meaning of
My own (initial) perception of the function of EN + dative in the two
phrases at issue here is that they are essentially 'locative' and that EN
means something like "among"--the phrases answer the questions, "WHERE is
the gospel veiled from sight?" and "WHERE has God blinded the insights"--
i.e. among which persons?
I must confess, however, that I've been through something of an "odyssey"
of my own with respect to meanings and function of EN in Koine Greek,
awaking first to what seemed to me an unusual usage of EN for
instrumentality (EN TWi PNEUMATI = "by means of the spirit") and even, it
seems, for what would seem to be an indirect object that doesn't need a
preposition--so that, yes, EN TOIS APOLLUMENOIS and EN hOIS might be
equivalent to TOIS APOLLUMENOIS and hOIS as datives of indirect
object--because these look quite a bit like the phrasing of Paul in 1 Cor
1:18 hO LOGOS GAR hO TOU STAUROU TOIS MEN APOLLUMENOIS MWRIA ESTIN, TOIS DE
SWiZOMENOIS hHMIN DUNAMIS QEOU ESTIN. So yes, I guess that "for" might be
quite appropriate in this context.
I keep calling attention to the fact that Koine Greek is a language in
flux, and just as I seem to want to remind others who insist upon the
synchronic view of the language (as if it were a perfectly regular pattern
of idiomatic, grammtical and syntactic behavioral patterns), so I have to
keep reminding myself that Koine usage has in so many respects left
classical Attic usage far behind, even if it retains much of the Attic
usage. And certainly one of the most remarkable features of Koine Greek is
the expanded role of the prepositions, the fact that they are becoming
bearers of meaning increasingly independent of the case form of the
substantives with which they are used; they are on their way to the modern
language wherein practically all prepositions take the accusative and the
preopositions are the primary bearers of meaning. The usage of EN in Koine
Greek has been for me a matter of gradual discovery; as Solon remarked,
GHRASKW AEI POLLA DIDASKOMENOS.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
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