[b-greek] Re: Galatians 2:1

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Thu Nov 22 2001 - 15:52:06 EST

At 5:42 PM +0000 11/22/01, Keith Thompson wrote:
> I see my question has generated a bit of interest, but I'm still
>confused and left without an answer. (B-Greek has been very helpful but
>sometimes I find people answer questions I haven't asked and don't
>answer the questions I ask.)
> If Paul had wanted to say 'during/throughout fourteen years' how would
>he have written it? I would expect exactly what's written in Galatians
>2:1. And I'm still not sure whether this form is always an idiom meaning
>'after' or sometimes literally means 'during' or 'throughout'.
> Thanks again for any help.

Sorry that we answer the questions you didn't ask. I've seen what Clay has
written in response, but I think there IS an answer to the way the question
is being put now:

The text we're working from is Gal 2:1 EPEITA DIA DEKATESSARWN ETWN PALIN
ANEBHN EIS IEROSOLUMA META BARNABA. The preceding verse that matters in
this regard is
wanted to emphasize the duration of his stay there, I think he would
probably have used an accusative of extent of time, perhaps something like
EKEI DE EMENON/EMEINA DEKATESSARA ETH -- the imperfect if the emphasis is
on continuous residence, the aorist if the fact that the residence lasted
for fourteen years is emphasized.

But the problem (and I agree with Clay's previous response to this here) is
that what Paul qualifies with that DIA DEKATESSARWN ETWN is the predicate
PALIN ANEBHN EIS hIEROSOLUMA: the "return trip" indicated by the aorist
verb is not something he would have said took place "DURING fourteen
years." Granted that travel was slower in those days than now, I still
don't believe it would have taken fourteen years for the journey from "the
high country of Syria and Cilicia" to Jerusalem.

In your original message you wrote:

At 12:33 PM +0000 11/17/01, Keith Thompson wrote:
> Can DIA+genitive have a meaning 'after' (I would expect META+accusative)?
> Doesn't it rather indicate the time during which the action took place,
>probably repeatedly?

In your follow-up message you wrote:

At 1:33 PM +0000 11/18/01, Keith Thompson wrote:
> The
>translation which didn't say 'after fourteen years' translates most
>idioms literally (Green's Literal Translation) and had 'through fourteen
> So is it definitely or only probably an idiomatic usage here? Is it
>possible it could mean 'during fourteen years'? I was looking at 1:18,
>for variety both a different verb and a different phrase are used? Or
>does DIA+genitive of time always mean 'after'?

So, yes, you DID ask whether META TRIA ETH and DIA TRIWN ETWN would be
synonymous expressions, and I'd say: Yes, they are, but it will depend on
what sort of verb they are being used with; either of them used with an
aorist of traveling is going to indicate "three years later."

As for "Green's Literal Translation," I can only say that while DIA
DEKATESSARWN ETWN can indeed mean "in the course of fourteen years" or
"through fourteen years," in this particular context with an aorist verb of
traveling your literal translation is in fact in error or misleading. DIA
DEKATESSARWN ETWN cannot possibly mean "I went back to Jerusalem during
fourteen years" but only "I went back to Jerusalem fourteen years later"
or, if you'd prefer, "In fourteen years I went back to Jerusalem" --but
even there, "in fourteen years" is really referring to the end of the
fourteen-year interval.


Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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