Translation of Phil. 3.16

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Peter Streitenberger
Posts: 224
Joined: June 3rd, 2011, 10:45 am

Re: Translation of Phil. 3.16

Post by Peter Streitenberger »

Thanks for your concerns, the English suggestion is a problem for me, not so in German.

"Your proposed English translation represents a different understanding of the Greek syntax than what you seem to be arguing for".
That could be true. In German the suggestions was (normal Syntax, "dazu" is a correlate of εις ο for the infinitive extension):

"Jedenfalls sind wir dazu gelangt, demselben Maßstab zu folgen, derselben Gesinnung zu sein".
English (another try):
"In any case, to that/it we have come, to follow the same standard, to be the same mindset".

Assuming the prepositional phrase directing to the right.

I know that the BDR idea is realized in all the version and all versions treat this as adhortatives. The examples at least showed me, that such is never made. That caused the hesitation.

"is combined with the verbal notion of an infinitive to get a meaning something like "began to."
Yes, but not only this, as Verbs as "arrive, come to" have (see at least the NT examples, I named), such extensions with an infinitive.

"As far as I know, φθάνω is never used with an infinitive in the way you seem to think".
Yes, e.g. this one: 1Kings 12.18: „καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς Ροβοαμ ἔφθασεν ἀναβῆναι τοῦ φυγεῖν εἰς Ιερουσαλημ“.

"we have a "point of arrival" specified by εις ο which completes the predication of the verb φθἀνω"
Of course, sometimes, but not if treated as correlate, pointing to the left or right, granting the extension before or after.

"To get around this you would seem to have to come up with a novel explanation for the otherwise normal function of εἰς ὄ"
Pointing to the left or to the right as correlate is not so novel for εἰς ὄ.

If it is too unreasonable or uncommon for you, we could leave it as it is, at least for me the case is not settled, but who am I to propose something all other version are all against it :-), alone from this standpoint I (or we, as a translation committe is talking on that as well) have "bad cards" as we Germans say. But arguments ad populum (everyone does so, so you too) are not too convincing, this does not mean, in the opposite, that the other presented doubts and reasons (apart form all others do so) are not of high value for me, I am still thinking over it.

P.S. Philip 4.2 would be another example of an usual expansion of a main verb (predicate), already discredited here, by a depending infinitive (here without correlate): Εὐοδίαν παρακαλῶ, καὶ Συντύχην παρακαλῶ, τὸ αὐτὸ φρονεῖν ἐν κυρίῳ.
nathaniel j. erickson
Posts: 71
Joined: May 16th, 2016, 9:27 am

Re: Translation of Phil. 3.16

Post by nathaniel j. erickson »

I'll probably sign off of this discussion after this, as I'm a bit confused what you are actually trying to assert at this point. Even your German translation is treating the syntax of Phil. 3.16 as different from the examples you pull from TLG where φθάνω + infinitive is "idiomatic" (the fact that this happens with other verbs of motion is not really relevant for this particular passage since the point under discussion is not whether this idiom is possible, which it is, but whether it is what is going on in this passage, which there are reasons to doubt). The use of 'dazu' + the infinitive phrases (I don't remember how these are described in German grammar off the top of my head) would not seem to be warranted if Phil. 3.16 were analogous to the text from Aristotle or 1 Kings that you point to. In those texts, the main verb + infinitive unite into one main predication. In your translation, they seem to be making two (or rather, three) distinct predications, where the infinitive phrases are expansions on 'dazu' rather than an inherent part of the predication of "sind...gelangt". Thus, even your German translation is not following the same idiom as we see in the passage from Aristotle or 1 Kings. I conclude that they are a false trail and are not actually helpful for understanding what is going on in Phil. 3.16. As you know, just because an infinitive can combine with φθάνω or other verbs of motion into an idiomatic notion, it does not follow that that is the only possibility when an infinitive is near one of those verbs in a text.

If I understand you right, basically what you are arguing has nothing to do with the φθάνω + infinitive idiom. Rather, what you are arguing is that εἰς ὄ should be read as forward pointing with the infinitive phrases serving as some sort of expansion of ὄ, rather than as backward pointing. Most translations take it as backward pointing. Hence, they understand the infinitive (or, following the longer reading, the two infinitives) as being in an independent clause. Thus, they translate them as imperitival, which makes sense in the context and in that understanding of the syntax. You are arguing that εἰς ὄ is forward pointing, thus you are understanding the infinitive phrases as subordinate to the main clause in which φθάνω is the main verb (again, not the same as the idiom from the TLG passages). That is at least what seems to be going on in your translations. I do not disagree that this is a possible way to understand this passage. Whether it is correct or not is dependent on how it fits into the broader context.

Finally, obviously appealing to "all the other translations" is an argument ad populum. Given a nearly 2,000 year history of translations, it has never struck me that an argument ad populum is actually that weak of an argument when it comes to construing the New Testament :D.
Nathaniel J. Erickson
NT PhD candidate, ABD
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
ὅπου πλείων κόπος, πολὺ κέρδος
Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 2018
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Translation of Phil. 3.16

Post by Barry Hofstetter »

nathaniel j. erickson wrote: May 18th, 2020, 9:05 am
Finally, obviously appealing to "all the other translations" is an argument ad populum. Given a nearly 2,000 year history of translations, it has never struck me that an argument ad populum is actually that weak of an argument when it comes to construing the New Testament :D.
Quite. It's simply the way that competent readers of the language have been reading it for literally thousands of years.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.
Peter Streitenberger
Posts: 224
Joined: June 3rd, 2011, 10:45 am

Re: Translation of Phil. 3.16

Post by Peter Streitenberger »

I think everyone`s mind is set. I did some more search, some of them might be of interest, without comment, as I think it would be better to come to an end.

- Athanasius, Contra Arianos, 43.2,1: „εἰς τοσοῦτον γὰρ ἔφθασαν ἀπονοίας, ὡς καὶ ἐπισκόπους ἐπιχειρεῖν ἀνελεῖν, καὶ ἀνεῖλον ἄν, εἰ μὴ ἐξέφυγον τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῶν“. "For they had proceeded to such a pitch of madness, as even to attempt to destroy Bishops".

- Flavius Josephus, Ant. Jud. 7.263 ἔφθασεν ἡ Ἰούδα φυλὴ πρὸς τὸν Ἰόρδανον ποταμὸν ἀπαντῆσαι τῷ βασιλεῖ
"and the tribe of Judah arrived to meet the king at the river Jordan"

- dito, 15.153: τὸ δ᾽ ἄλλο πλῆθος ἔφθη μὲν εἰς τὸ χαράκωμα συμφυγεῖ

- See Plutarch, Emilius Paulus 8.91

- Flavius Arrianus, Alexandri Anabasis 1.8,5: ὥστε διὰ τῶν πυλῶν ὠθούμενοι ἐς τὴν πόλιν οὐκ ἔφθησαν συγκλεῖσαι
τὰς πύλας.(The Thebans were pushed inside the gates. Their flight became so much an panic that while being thrust through the gates in the city), they did not make it, to shut the gates in time.

An interesting one:
- Plotin, Enneades 4.3,12: Πλέον δὲ αὐταῖς κατελθεῖν συμβέβηκεν, ὅτι τὸ μέσον αὐταῖς ἠναγκάσθη, φροντίδος δεομένου τοῦ εἰς ὃ ἔφθασαν, φροντίσαι. (I just try the last clause, not being so good at English) " that into which they have entered, to take charge of, needed care".

All the best for your future and thanks for having responded! P.
Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3794
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC

Re: Translation of Phil. 3.16

Post by Jonathan Robie »

Peter Streitenberger wrote: May 18th, 2020, 5:07 pm I think everyone`s mind is set.
Probably. May be time to move on ...
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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