[b-greek] Re: Gal. 4:13 hOTI DI'

From: Steven R. Lo Vullo (doulos@merr.com)
Date: Sun Nov 11 2001 - 23:28:05 EST

on 11/11/01 6:08 PM, Wayne Leman at wayne_leman@sil.org wrote:

> Thanks to both of you, Steven and Carl, for responding. Yes, I should not
> have included hOTI in my question. I really should only have asked about DI'
> (DIA). I've gotten your two votes for the causal sense. What causes each of
> you (and many others, as well) to choose the causal sense here instead of
> some other sense? Does DIA which heads a prepositional phrase like this more
> often encode a causal sense, or is there something in the semantics of the
> context that tilts us that direction? And if we do have a causal
> relationship here, do we have any idea what the implicit relationship is
> DIA to have the causal sense (i.e. what was there about Paul's ASQENEIAN THS
> SARKOS that made it a cause for the clause that follows). I realize I'm
> asking for another opinion about something which is outside the immediate
> text, but I'd like to have the causal option make more sense to me than it
> does simply on the face of things as stated in this verse.

I opt for the causal sense of DI' for two reasons: (1) I don't have any
statistics at hand, but it seems to me that in the course my reading of the
GNT I have noted that DIA + accusative has a causal sense in the vast
majority of instances. There are only two other senses I know of: One is
similar, that of "a marker of a participant who is benefited by an event or
for whom an event occurs 'for the sake of, for, on behalf of, for the
benefit of'" (Louw-Nida, 90.38, using Mk 2.27 as an example). But I think
this is essentially causal, though a bit more nuanced because of the
semantic situation. The other is spatial, but that is exceedingly rare, and
doesn't fit here. (2) The lexicons I've consulted also indicate that the
most frequent sense of DIA with accusative is causal.

I think this is one of those situations where we will never have an answer
that truly satisfies. When Paul said OIDATE, he could be sure the Galatians
knew the situation to which he referred without him expanding on it. The
problem is that OU OIDAMEN, since we have no further information on the
situation and probably never will. So I think we just have to be satisfied
to render DI' + accusative as it normally would be rendered. I think any
other translation would perhaps give people the sense that we know more than
we really do.

Steven Lo Vullo
Madison, WI

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