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Col 2:23 what goes with what?

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Col 2:23 what goes with what?

Postby Markos » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:57 pm

Col 2:23:
ἅτινά ἐστιν λόγον μὲν ἔχοντα σοφίας ἐν ἐθελοθρησκίᾳ καὶ ταπεινοφροσύνῃ καὶ ἀφειδίᾳ σώματος, οὐκ ἐν τιμῇ τινι πρὸς πλησμονὴν τῆς σαρκός.

This is one of the most difficult verses in the Greek New Testament. Some have argued that the text as it stands is corrupt.

Should ἐστιν be construed with ἔχοντα as a periphrastic present ("which things have a word of wisdom...") or is ἔχοντα a separate participle clause and does ἐστιν goes with something else? If so, does ἐστιν go with the whole οὐκ ἐν τιμῇ τινι πρὸς πλησμονὴν τῆς σαρκός ("which things, having a word of wisdom...are not in any certain value against the fulfilling of the flesh.") or does it go only with πρὸς πλησμονὴν τῆς σαρκός? ("which things, having a word of wisdom...are for the fulfilling of the flesh." Does οὐκ ἐν τιμῇ τινι refer back to σώματος instead of ahead to πρὸς πλησμονὴν τῆς σαρκός?

The syntax as it stands, without an answer to the μὲν, strikes me as awkward Greek at best. If you put a gun to my head, I would render the verse:

"Which things are--though having a reputation for wisdom, in officious worship and abasement and an unsparing treatment of the body--not {holding the body} in a certain honour--for the boosting up of the flesh {that is, outward status."}

But I am more than open for other ways to construe it.
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