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Galatians read-through

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Galatians read-through

Postby jeidsath » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:44 pm

I read Galatians last night and have some questions:

1:10 Ἄρτι γὰρ ἀνθρώπους πείθω ἢ τὸν θεόν;

πείθω is an interesting word for a Christian to use about God, isn't it? It especially surprised me in light of the "win the approval of" or "seeking the favor of" translations of this verse that I hear in church. I would think that the KJV's rendering "persuade" captures this better.

2:3 ἀλλ' οὐδὲ Τίτος ὁ σὺν ἐμοί, Ἕλλην ὤν, ἠναγκάσθη περιτμηθῆναι·

"But neither Titus who was with me, being a Greek, did I require to be circumcised." (That Paul was the one not requiring him to be circumcised seems implied).

2:21 εἰ γὰρ διὰ νόμου δικαιοσύνη, ἄρα Χριστὸς δωρεὰν ἀπέθανεν.

"For if righteousness is through the law, then Christ has died freely." Are there other uses of δωρεὰν to mean "to no point" as it appears to here? The LSJ only cites this verse. (Also Attic wouldn't put ἄρα there, I believe.)

3:19-20 Τί οὖν ὁ νόμος; τῶν παραβάσεων χάριν προσετέθη, ἄχρις ἂν ἔλθῃ τὸ σπέρμα ᾧ ἐπήγγελται, διαταγεὶς δι' ἀγγέλων ἐν χειρὶ μεσίτου· ὁ δὲ μεσίτης ἑνὸς οὐκ ἔστιν, ὁ δὲ θεὸς εἷς ἐστίν.

These came up in the other thread on Acts.

4:3 ὑπὸ τὰ στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου ἤμεθα δεδουλωμένοι

My little dictionary at the back of my Bible has a note about "στοιχεῖα" possibly meaning intelligent spirits here ("τοῖς φύσει μὴ οὖσι θεοῖς"). The word and allied words seem to show up throughout the rest of the letter.

4:13-14 οἴδατε δὲ ὅτι δι' ἀσθένειαν τῆς σαρκὸς εὐηγγελισάμην ὑμῖν τὸ πρότερον, καὶ τὸν πειρασμὸν ὑμῶν ἐν τῇ σαρκί μου οὐκ ἐξουθενήσατε οὐδὲ ἐξεπτύσατε, ἀλλὰ ὡς ἄγγελον θεοῦ ἐδέξασθέ με

"And you know that it was because of fleshly weakness that I first brought you the gospel, and your trial in my flesh you did not ignore nor reject, but you received me like an angel."

My first thought at ἀσθένειαν τῆς σαρκὸς was that he was hungry, and preached to them so that they would provide for him (ie., what Paul probably did at every city). I see that most translators render this as "illness" though. For some reason this also made me think of Galatians 2:9,10, which make early Christianity sound somewhat like a franchise opportunity.
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Re: Galatians read-through

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:21 pm

jeidsath wrote:I read Galatians last night and have some questions:

1:10 Ἄρτι γὰρ ἀνθρώπους πείθω ἢ τὸν θεόν;

πείθω is an interesting word for a Christian to use about God, isn't it? It especially surprised me in light of the "win the approval of" or "seeking the favor of" translations of this verse that I hear in church. I would think that the KJV's rendering "persuade" captures this better.


I've sometimes wondered if this is an instance of zeugma. The word, of course, has quite a semantic range, and people in the history of interpretation have worried about it for a variety of reasons. However, "persuade" of God is not unprecedented:

νῦν δέ, χαρίζεσθαί τε γὰρ αὐτῷ σοὶ διὰ σπουδῆς ἐστί μοι καὶ Μαδιηνίταις, ὧν ἀπώσασθαί μοι τὴν ἀξίωσιν οὐκ εὐπρεπές, φέρε βωμούς τε ἑτέρους αὖθις ἐγείρωμεν καὶ θυσίας ταῖς πρὶν παραπλησίας ἐπιτελέσωμεν, εἰ πεῖσαι τὸν θεὸν δυνηθείην ἐπιτρέψαι μοι τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἀραῖς ἐνδῆσαι...

Jos.Ant. 4.123

The context is Balaam telling Balak that he will try again to persuade God to curse the Israelites.

2:3 ἀλλ' οὐδὲ Τίτος ὁ σὺν ἐμοί, Ἕλλην ὤν, ἠναγκάσθη περιτμηθῆναι·

"But neither Titus who was with me, being a Greek, did I require to be circumcised." (That Paul was the one not requiring him to be circumcised seems implied).


There are other references to this in the NT:

Acts 16:3 τοῦτον ἠθέλησεν ὁ Παῦλος σὺν αὐτῷ ἐξελθεῖν, καὶ λαβὼν περιέτεμεν αὐτὸν διὰ τοὺς Ἰουδαίους τοὺς ὄντας ἐν τοῖς τόποις ἐκείνοις· ᾔδεισαν γὰρ ἅπαντες ὅτι Ἕλλην ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ ὑπῆρχεν


2:21 εἰ γὰρ διὰ νόμου δικαιοσύνη, ἄρα Χριστὸς δωρεὰν ἀπέθανεν.

"For if righteousness is through the law, then Christ has died freely." Are there other uses of δωρεὰν to mean "to no point" as it appears to here? The LSJ only cites this verse. (Also Attic wouldn't put ἄρα there, I believe.)


δωρεάν...
② pert. to being without contributory fault, undeservedly, without reason/cause ἐμίσησάν με δ. they hated me without reason J 15:25 (Ps 34:19; 68:5; PsSol 7:1; cp. Ps 118:161; 1 Km 19:5).
③ pert. to being without purpose, in vain, to no purpose (Job 1:9; Ps 34:7) δ. ἀποθνῄσκειν Gal 2:21; ITr 10.—DELG s.v. δίδωμι. M-M. s.v. δωρεά. TW.

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 266). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


The slightly developed meaning of δωρεάν “for nothing,” “in vain,” which Grimm notes as unparalleled in Greek writers, seems to be regarded by Nägeli, p. 35f., as sufficiently accounted for by the instances where it means “gratis”: Grimm’s own parallel with uses of gratuitus in Latin shows how easily it would arise. For the form, see Mayser Gr. p. 68: the older δωρειά (Meisterhans Gr. p. 40) does not occur in our documents.

Moulton, J. H., & Milligan, G. (1930). The vocabulary of the Greek Testament (p. 174). London: Hodder and Stoughton.

As for ἄρα, yes, Hellenistic Greek does do some things different from Attic.

3:19-20 Τί οὖν ὁ νόμος; τῶν παραβάσεων χάριν προσετέθη, ἄχρις ἂν ἔλθῃ τὸ σπέρμα ᾧ ἐπήγγελται, διαταγεὶς δι' ἀγγέλων ἐν χειρὶ μεσίτου· ὁ δὲ μεσίτης ἑνὸς οὐκ ἔστιν, ὁ δὲ θεὸς εἷς ἐστίν.


This verse seems to be hanging about with no questions or comment attached?

These came up in the other thread on Acts.

4:3 ὑπὸ τὰ στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου ἤμεθα δεδουλωμένοι

My little dictionary at the back of my Bible has a note about "στοιχεῖα" possibly meaning intelligent spirits here ("τοῖς φύσει μὴ οὖσι θεοῖς"). The word and allied words seem to show up throughout the rest of the letter.


You instincts again are good:

② transcendent powers that are in control over events in this world, elements, elemental spirits. The mng. of στ. in τὰ στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου Gal 4:3; Col 2:8, 20 (for the expr. στοιχ. τ. κόσμου cp. SibOr 2, 206; 3, 80f; 8, 337) and τὰ ἀσθενῆ καὶ πτωχὰ στοιχεῖα Gal 4:9 is much disputed. For a survey s. EBurton, ICC Gal 1921, 510–18. Some (e.g. Burton, Goodsp.) prefer to take it in sense 1c above, as referring to the elementary forms of religion, Jewish and polytheistic, which have been superseded by the new revelation in Christ (so also WKnox, St. Paul and the Church of the Gentiles ’39, 108f; RGrant, HTR 39, ’46, 71–3; ACramer, Stoicheia Tou Kosmou, ’61 [the unregenerate tendencies within humans]).—Others (e.g. WBauer, Mft., NRSV) hold that the ref. is to the elemental spirits which the syncretistic religious tendencies of later antiquity associated w. the physical elements (Herm. Wr. Κόρη κόσμου in Stob. I 409 W.=Sc. 486ff, esp. 486, 23; 25; 490, 14: the στοιχεῖα, fire, air, water, earth, complain to the deity who is over all; Orph. Hymn. 5, 4; 66, 4 Qu.; Ps.-Callisth. 1, 3 [s. below Pfister p. 416f]; Simplicius In Aristot. De Caelo 1, 3 p. 107, 15 Heiberg.—MDibelius, Geisterwelt 78ff; 228ff, Hdb. z. NT2 exc. on Col 2:8; ELohmeyer, Col 1930, 4–8; 103–5; FPfister, Die στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου in den Briefen des Ap. Pls: Philol. 69, 1910, 411–27; GMacgregor: ACPurdy Festschr. ’60, 88–104); they were somet. worshiped as divinities (Vett. Val. 293, 27; Philo, Vita Cont. 3 τοὺς τὰ στοιχεῖα τιμῶντας, γῆν, ὕδωρ, ἀέρα, πῦρ. Cp. Diels [s. below] 45ff; Schweizer 1a above). It is not always easy to differentiate betw. this sense and that of 1b above, since heavenly bodies were also regarded as personal beings and given divine honors.—HDiels, Elementum 1899; ABonhöffer, Epiktet u. das NT 1911, 130ff; OLagercrantz, Elementum 1911 (p. 41 στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου=θεμέλια τοῦ κόσμου); BEaston, The Pauline Theol. and Hellenism: AJT 21, 1917, 358–82; KDieterich, Hellenist. Volksreligion u. byz.-neugriech. Volksglaube: Αγγελος I 1925, 2–23; on Gal 4 and Col 2, GKurze, D. στοιχεῖα τ. κόσμου: BZ 15, 1927, 335; WHatch, Τὰ στοιχεῖα in Paul and Bardaisân: JTS 28, 1927, 181f; JHuby, Στοιχεῖα dans Bardesane et dans St. Paul: Biblica 15, ’34, 365–68; on Gal 4:3, 9 and Col 2:8, 20, LScheu, Die ‘Weltelemente’ beim Ap. Pls: diss. Cath. Univ., Washington ’34; BReicke, JBL 70, ’51, 259–76 (Gal 4:1–11); WBrownlee, Messianic Motifs of Qumran and the NT, NTS 3, ’56/57, 195–210; MKiley, SBLSP 25, ’86, 236–45.—RAC IV 1073–1100; B. 1501. DELG s.v. στείχω. M-M. EDNT. TW. Sv.

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 946). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

4:13-14 οἴδατε δὲ ὅτι δι' ἀσθένειαν τῆς σαρκὸς εὐηγγελισάμην ὑμῖν τὸ πρότερον, καὶ τὸν πειρασμὸν ὑμῶν ἐν τῇ σαρκί μου οὐκ ἐξουθενήσατε οὐδὲ ἐξεπτύσατε, ἀλλὰ ὡς ἄγγελον θεοῦ ἐδέξασθέ με

"And you know that it was because of fleshly weakness that I first brought you the gospel, and your trial in my flesh you did not ignore nor reject, but you received me like an angel."

My first thought at ἀσθένειαν τῆς σαρκὸς was that he was hungry, and preached to them so that they would provide for him (ie., what Paul probably did at every city). I see that most translators render this as "illness" though. For some reason this also made me think of Galatians 2:9,10, which make early Christianity sound somewhat like a franchise opportunity.


Paul and the NT in general take pains to avoid being confused with wandering sophists, e.g.

1 Cor 9:13 οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι οἱ τὰ ἱερὰ ἐργαζόμενοι [τὰ] ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ ἐσθίουσιν, οἱ τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ παρεδρεύοντες τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ συμμερίζονται; 14 οὕτως καὶ ὁ κύριος διέταξεν τοῖς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον καταγγέλλουσιν ἐκ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου ζῆν. 15 ἐγὼ δὲ οὐ κέχρημαι οὐδενὶ τούτων.

Acts picks up on this tradition:

Acts 20:33 ἀργυρίου ἢ χρυσίου ἢ ἱματισμοῦ οὐδενὸς ἐπεθύμησα 34 αὐτοὶ γινώσκετε ὅτι ταῖς χρείαις μου καὶ τοῖς οὖσιν μετʼ ἐμοῦ ὑπηρέτησαν αἱ χεῖρες αὗται.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Galatians read-through

Postby jeidsath » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:23 pm

Thank you for the comments!

***

νῦν δέ, χαρίζεσθαί τε γὰρ αὐτῷ σοὶ διὰ σπουδῆς ἐστί μοι καὶ Μαδιηνίταις, ὧν ἀπώσασθαί μοι τὴν ἀξίωσιν οὐκ εὐπρεπές, φέρε βωμούς τε ἑτέρους αὖθις ἐγείρωμεν καὶ θυσίας ταῖς πρὶν παραπλησίας ἐπιτελέσωμεν, εἰ πεῖσαι τὸν θεὸν δυνηθείην ἐπιτρέψαι μοι τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἀραῖς ἐνδῆσαι...

Jos.Ant. 4.123


This is very difficult for me, and I had to read it several times. So I'll attempt to translate it. I'm probably getting something wrong.

"But now, since to oblige you and the Madienitai earnestly is my task, from which the opinion that it was not proper thrust me back, again bring altars and the rest and let us rouse ourselves and sacrifice about as many victims as before, if I am to be made able to persuade God to turn [with favor] on me and bind the [referenced] men with curses."

Assuming that I have the main thrust of it, this is in fact precisely what startles me about the use of πείθω on Paul's lips. This quid-pro-quo transactional relationship with God (see Euthyphro), where you sacrifice to God to get what you want from him, is against Paul's general sentiment and the entire argument in the rest of this letter.

***

Acts 16:3 τοῦτον ἠθέλησεν ὁ Παῦλος σὺν αὐτῷ ἐξελθεῖν, καὶ λαβὼν περιέτεμεν αὐτὸν διὰ τοὺς Ἰουδαίους τοὺς ὄντας ἐν τοῖς τόποις ἐκείνοις· ᾔδεισαν γὰρ ἅπαντες ὅτι Ἕλλην ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ ὑπῆρχεν


How strange. I wonder if the author of the Acts account had this Galatians account in mind? The vagueness of "διὰ τοὺς Ἰουδαίους τοὺς ὄντας ἐν τοῖς τόποις ἐκείνοις," and its similarity to Galatians 2:4, makes me wonder. The story seems very similar, but completely flipped about. This Acts account would be very problematic for the Paul of Galatians who claimed to reject these Jews/Judiaizers "οἷς οὐδὲ πρὸς ὥραν εἴξαμεν τῇ ὑποταγῇ," and who later writes "Ἴδε ἐγὼ Παῦλος λέγω ὅτι ἐὰν περιτέμνησθε Χριστὸς ὑμᾶς οὐδὲν ὠφελήσει."

***

Job 1:9 feels subtly different:

ἀπεκρίθη δὲ ὁ διάβολος καὶ εἶπεν ἐναντίον τοῦ κυρίου Μὴ δωρεὰν σέβεται Ιωβ τὸν θεόν;

The thrust of the question here seems to be, hasn't it been pretty easy for Job to worship God?

But Ps 34(35):7 seems to take δωρεὰν and μάτην as equivalent. Is there a Hebrew term here that accounts for this (and maybe Galatians 2:21 as well)?

***

This verse seems to be hanging about with no questions or comment attached?


The comment was just after. I was pointing out that it had come up in our commandments of angels discussion regarding Acts.
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Re: Galatians read-through

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:43 pm

jeidsath wrote:Thank you for the comments!

***

νῦν δέ, χαρίζεσθαί τε γὰρ αὐτῷ σοὶ διὰ σπουδῆς ἐστί μοι καὶ Μαδιηνίταις, ὧν ἀπώσασθαί μοι τὴν ἀξίωσιν οὐκ εὐπρεπές, φέρε βωμούς τε ἑτέρους αὖθις ἐγείρωμεν καὶ θυσίας ταῖς πρὶν παραπλησίας ἐπιτελέσωμεν, εἰ πεῖσαι τὸν θεὸν δυνηθείην ἐπιτρέψαι μοι τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἀραῖς ἐνδῆσαι...

Jos.Ant. 4.123


This is very difficult for me, and I had to read it several times. So I'll attempt to translate it. I'm probably getting something wrong.

"But now, since to oblige you and the Madienitai earnestly is my task, from which the opinion that it was not proper thrust me back, again bring altars and the rest and let us rouse ourselves and sacrifice about as many victims as before, if I am to be made able to persuade God to turn [with favor] on me and bind the [referenced] men with curses."

Assuming that I have the main thrust of it, this is in fact precisely what startles me about the use of πείθω on Paul's lips. This quid-pro-quo transactional relationship with God (see Euthyphro), where you sacrifice to God to get what you want from him, is against Paul's general sentiment and the entire argument in the rest of this letter.


Here's from a published translation, albeit one using archaic language:

but now, because it is my desire to oblige thee thyself, as well as the Midianites whose entreaties it is not decent for me to reject, go to, let us again rear other altars, and offer the like sacrifices that we did before, that I may see whether I can persuade God to permit me to bind these men with curses.

Josephus, F., & Whiston, W. (1987). The works of Josephus: complete and unabridged (p. 110). Peabody: Hendrickson.

With regard to Paul's usage, look at the overall context. Why is he even bothering to make the statement? Do you really think he has a transactional view in mind? Or is he asking the question rhetorically, implying that of course he does not do these things nor does he have any intention to do so.

***

Acts 16:3 τοῦτον ἠθέλησεν ὁ Παῦλος σὺν αὐτῷ ἐξελθεῖν, καὶ λαβὼν περιέτεμεν αὐτὸν διὰ τοὺς Ἰουδαίους τοὺς ὄντας ἐν τοῖς τόποις ἐκείνοις· ᾔδεισαν γὰρ ἅπαντες ὅτι Ἕλλην ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ ὑπῆρχεν


How strange. I wonder if the author of the Acts account had this Galatians account in mind? The vagueness of "διὰ τοὺς Ἰουδαίους τοὺς ὄντας ἐν τοῖς τόποις ἐκείνοις," and its similarity to Galatians 2:4, makes me wonder. The story seems very similar, but completely flipped about. This Acts account would be very problematic for the Paul of Galatians who claimed to reject these Jews/Judiaizers "οἷς οὐδὲ πρὸς ὥραν εἴξαμεν τῇ ὑποταγῇ," and who later writes "Ἴδε ἐγὼ Παῦλος λέγω ὅτι ἐὰν περιτέμνησθε Χριστὸς ὑμᾶς οὐδὲν ὠφελήσει."


Context again. That's one of the reasons too to examine 1 Cor 9 in this regard. Paul is not having Timothy circumcised as a requirement of salvation; he is doing so to appease certain factions with whom he must contend as he performs what he sees as his apostolic mandate.

***

Job 1:9 feels subtly different:

ἀπεκρίθη δὲ ὁ διάβολος καὶ εἶπεν ἐναντίον τοῦ κυρίου Μὴ δωρεὰν σέβεται Ιωβ τὸν θεόν;

The thrust of the question here seems to be, hasn't it been pretty easy for Job to worship God?

But Ps 34(35):7 seems to take δωρεὰν and μάτην as equivalent. Is there a Hebrew term here that accounts for this (and maybe Galatians 2:21 as well)?


The same Hebrew word is translated in both clauses, חִנָּם, chinam, 1. without compensation Gn 29:15, without paying for it 2 S 24:24;—2. for nothing = in vain Ez 6:10;—3. without cause, undeservedly 1 S 19:5; demê ḥinnām guiltless blood 1 K 2:31, qillat ḥinnām undeserved curse Pr 26:2.

Holladay, W. L., & Köhler, L. (2000). A concise Hebrew and Aramaic lexicon of the Old Testament (p. 110). Leiden: Brill.

As for Job, the same Hebrew word is so used, so in this case your interpretation, as plausible as it might be from context, seems unlikely.

***

This verse seems to be hanging about with no questions or comment attached?


The comment was just after. I was pointing out that it had come up in our commandments of angels discussion regarding Acts.


Okay, got it, thanks.
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