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Galatians 3, 28

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Galatians 3, 28

Postby muminustrollus » Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:43 am

In Galatians 3, 28 Paul says

ouk eni arshn kai thelu

I have two questions:
1) Is there a continual aspect in the verb eni ?
2) more importantly why did Paul not use anthropos and gunh instead of arshn and thelu ? What shade of meaning is added by the use of these terms?

Gratias ago vobis propter responsiones vestras futuras.
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Re: Galatians 3, 28

Postby Skylax » Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:08 pm

muminustrollus wrote:In Galatians 3, 28 Paul says

ouk eni arshn kai thelu



1) Yes. ENI = ENESTI

2) It is "arsen", singular neuter nominative, not "arshn" that would be masculine.

Paul uses two adjectives in the neuter, meaning "there is nothing male and (nothing) female", i.e. the distinction between male and female is no more valid. The four preceding adjectives are in the masculine because you can find Jewish, Greek, bond and free "men". But what common gender for the adjectives meaning "male" and "female", if not neuter ?

The whole sentence reads :

(Greek Unicode deleted)

"3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

The use of KAI instead of OUDE is interesting.
I think it is because IOUDAIOS and ELLHN can exist separately, and slavery can wholly disappear, leaving only "free people", but if there is no woman anymore, so neither is any man (artificial parthenogenesis was out of reach). Both have to disappear simultaneously.
Last edited by Skylax on Sat Feb 28, 2004 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Wow!

Postby muminustrollus » Sat Feb 28, 2004 8:45 am

Your post is really enlightening. But there is still a point that is obscure: why did he not say anthropoi kai gunaikes or anthropos kai gunh. is it because he had used adjectives before? Or is it because he is not concerned with individuals but with qualities as such?

Apparently in this sentence arsen kai thhlu is a compact block something like yin/yang.

Does the use of the masculine for the adjectives nevertheless have a neuter meaning?

What do you think of the following translation?

In Him there is continually no being-a-Jew nor being-a-Greek
In Him there is continually no being-a-slave nor being-a-master
In Him there is continually no maleness/ femaleness:
You all are continually One in God's Anointed One Jesus

The contrast between pantes and the neuter adjectives is also interesting. What do you think of it ?

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Re: Wow!

Postby Skylax » Sat Feb 28, 2004 7:07 pm

muminustrollus wrote:Or is it because he is not concerned with individuals but with qualities as such?


Yes, it is what I wanted to say, but I didn't succeed to say it in English !

Does the use of the masculine for the adjectives nevertheless have a neuter meaning?


No, but those adjectives refer to "someone", and Paul sees "someone" here as a man. It is not neuter, it is sort of "general" (or "unmarked" ?) gender used to denote all persons (though having a "man" in mind, as the person "par excellence" (I love English when it speaks French...) is a man).
What do you think of the following translation?

In Him there is continually no being-a-Jew nor being-a-Greek
In Him there is continually no being-a-slave nor being-a-master
In Him there is continually no maleness/ femaleness:
You all are continually One in God's Anointed One Jesus


I am sorry but I am completely unable to comment efficiently on English...
In this translation, one feels poetic inspiration, but...
Maybe the "continually" is too strong an expression to translate a mere present. Maybe this translation is more of an explanation of the used terms ?
Once again, I am no poet, no literary critic, no Anglophone (I wonder whether I exist).

The contrast between pantes and the neuter adjectives is also interesting. What do you think of it ?

This contrast shows that using the neuter he had in mind qualities of individuals.

[face=SPIonic]Xai=re[/face]
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Postby muminustrollus » Sun Feb 29, 2004 8:00 am

Bonjour I wish I had paid attention to your location, I would have written a bilingual post. I'm also Belgian and from the French-speaking area.

J'ai une question importante à vous poser:

Peut-on à la seule vue de ce texte (j'insiste sur cette précision!) trancher entre une interprétation légaliste et une interprétation mystique ou ontologique des négations successives "pas de ceci, pas de cela" ?
En d'autres termes, comment savoir si ce que Paul a en vue sont les barrières légales, rituelles et sociales qui divisent entre eux les individus ou plutôt les obstacles biologiques.

How do we choose between a legalistic and an ontological interpretation of this verse?

No Jews and no Greeks: end of race or end of legal and religious distinctions?
No man and woman: end of gender and sexuality or mere equality?

Le problème c'est évidemment la deuxième négation
pas d'esclave pas d'homme libre
The trouble is the second negation: no slave nor freeman
This doesn't look like a biological category at all.

There is an interesting problem related to arsen and thelu:
In English "male and female" apply both to animals and human beings and you can refer to a man as a "male" without implying anything primitive or animalistic. In French "mâle" is only used for animals.
If we translate arsen kai thelu as no male and female, then we lose in part the biological flavor. In French if we say pas d'homme et de femme we also mislead the reader into thinking that Paul has in minding the abolition of the legal or social obstacles between the two. If we say pas de mâle et de femelle, we sound barbarous.

En lui il n'y a ni Juifs ni Grecs
En lui il n'y a ni esclaves ni hommes libres
En lui il n'y a ... ???
Vous tous êtes un seul être dans le Christ Jésus.

The latin Vulgate has a nice solution it says: masculus et femina.

Je n'arrive toujours pas à comprendre pouquoi Paul n'a pas utilisé des pluriels comme on le ferait en français pour exprimer la même idée. Ou est-ce plutôt que le grec est plus subtil, étant capable de créer des notions abstraites avec n'importe quel adjectif alors qu'en français on est obligé d'inventer des mot impossibles en -ité ou -itude pour s'en sortir (négritude, francité) ?
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Postby Skylax » Tue Nov 01, 2005 9:36 pm

Bonjour (et bonne année, dirait-on...) !

Believe it or not, I saw your post only today, 20 months after it was posted ! :oops:

Regarding the translation :
could we say "ni masculin ni féminin" (we could add "sexe" as well but would it not be to long ?), or "ni virilité, ni féminité" ?

Regarding the interpretation :
In my mind, Paul mentions before all what should be very vivid for the reader. On the other hand, the "gaps" he mentions are increasingly deep.

Edit : :!: Warning : distorted memories :!:
It reminds me a text where a Greek (Xenophanes ?) says that he thanks the gods because 1) he is a man and no woman 2) he is a freeman, not a slave and 3) he is a Greek, not a Barbarian.
:arrow: The text I was thinking about is really the following (from Diogenes Laertius, I, 33-34 [Life of Thales]) :
"But Hermippus, in his Lives, refers to Thales what has been by some people reported of Socrates; for he recites that he used to say that he thanked fortune for three things: first of all, that he had been born a man and not a beast; secondly, that he was a man and not a woman; and thirdly, that he was a Greek and not a barbarian."
(Translated by C.D. Yonge, see here)
Greek text :
[face=SPIonic](/Ermippoj d’ e)n toi=j Bi/oij ei)j tou=ton a)nafe/rei to\ lego/menon u(po/ tinwn peri\ Swkra/touj. e)/faske ga/r, fasi, triw=n tou/twn e(/neka xa/rin e)/xein th=| Tu/xh| : Prw=ton me\n o(/ti a)/nqrwpoj e)geno/mhn kai\ ou) qhri/on, ei)=ta o(/ti a)nh\r kai\ ou) gunh/, tri/ton o(/ti (/Ellhn kai\ ou) ba/rbaroj. [/face]

This is not exactly parallel to Paul's text :oops:


Now, legalistic or ontological ? I don't believe Paul had this distinction in mind, but I would say rather ontological. You know, slaves were seen as "inferior" beings, with a bad, weak nature. Of course, this completely illusory opinion helped the people to legitimate slavery.

Hoping you are still around...
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Re: Galatians 3, 28

Postby muminustrollus » Sat Mar 21, 2009 3:55 am

Believe it or not I read your post today 5 years after the initial post...
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