Page 1 of 1

2 Cor 5:21 anarthrous nouns

Posted: August 14th, 2020, 10:45 am
by John Rowse
Please ignore this, if it takes the discussion too far to the side, but would anyone have any thoughts on Paul's use of anarthrous abstract nouns, ἁμαρτίαν (the 2nd one) and δικαιοσύνη in 2 Cor. 5:21, where we might expect adjectives? If the two clauses are seen as parallel, the two nouns are symmetrically placed counter to each other. Is this perhaps a device to reinforce the thesis-antithesis relationship, or the absoluteness of each? Could the absence of the article have any significance here? Has anyone come across anything similar, esp. in Paul?

Re: 2 Cor 5:21 anarthrous nouns

Posted: August 14th, 2020, 3:41 pm
by Barry Hofstetter
I separated your post from the old thread and moved it here in the hopes that it would get better attention. I'll let someone else talk about why they may be anarthrous, but it makes the point rhetorically stronger to use the nouns instead of adjectives. The adjectives would, I think, also mean something quite different. He didn't become sinful, he became sin. I hesitate to say more because I want to avoid theologizing, as tempting as it is to do so here.

Re: 2 Cor 5:21 anarthrous nouns

Posted: August 14th, 2020, 6:03 pm
by Jonathan Robie
2 Cor 5:21 wrote:τὸν μὴ γνόντα ἁμαρτίαν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἁμαρτίαν ἐποίησεν,
ἵνα ἡμεῖς γενώμεθα δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ.
τὸν μὴ γνόντα ἁμαρτίαν is very marked and introduces a topical frame for the whole verse. In the second line, ἡμεῖς is the topical frame for the purpose clause.

I would like to avoid theology here, people whose theology of the cross is about substitution, identification, or sacrifice can each read what they want into this passage. It's worth mentioning one other possibility: ἁμαρτίαν ἐποίησεν might possibly mean "he made a sin offering", as in Leviticus 5:12:
Leviticus 5:12 wrote:καὶ οἴσει αὐτὸ πρὸς τὸν ἱερέα. καὶ δραξάμενος ὁ ἱερεὺς ἀπ᾽ αὐτῆς πλήρη τὴν δράκα, τὸ μνημόσυνον αὐτῆς ἐπιθήσει ἐπὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον τῶν ὁλοκαυτωμάτων κυρίῳ· ἁμαρτία ἐστίν.