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tc-list Philippians 2:6 and 1:1 translations

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  • Yuri Kuchinsky
    Greetings, The verse Phil 2:6 is quite interesting. It presents some problems for translators, and is often mistranslated, it seems. The original Greek is, os
    Message 1 of 14 , Mar 25, 1999
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      Greetings,

      The verse Phil 2:6 is quite interesting. It presents some problems for
      translators, and is often mistranslated, it seems.

      The original Greek is,

      "os en morphe theou iparkhon oukh arpagmon egesato to einai isa theo"

      meaning literally,

      "Who in the form of God subsisting (iparkhon), deemed (egesato) it not
      robbery (arpagmon) to be equal with God"

      KJV follows very closely,

      "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with
      God"

      And here is the standard (and somewhat problematic) "modern" translation,

      NIV: "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God
      something to be grasped"

      Also followed by NASB, RSV, WE, etc.

      The implication here is that equality can either be retained, or given up
      on orders of God. The third possibility, that equality with God can also
      be challenged, and superiority demanded (as rebellious angels did in times
      of yore) is not implied at all. But this third possibility, on the other
      hand, is clearly implied in the Greek.

      Also Darby gives an interesting variation of KJV,

      "Who, subsisting in the form of God, did not esteem it an object of rapine
      [=robbery] to be on an equality with God"

      The slight difference from KJV is that, according to Darby, the equality
      comes through a little more clearly as a potential object of robbery,
      whereas in KJV the exact meaning of "robbery" remains more vague.

      What the original Greek (and KJV and Darby) conveys, and "modern"
      translations fail to convey, is the idea that, while Christ was originally
      one of the angels who were on par with God, he did not do like they did,
      and remained faithful to God. Then, after the rebellious angels' rebellion
      brought great discord into the world, Christ was sent on a mission to
      restore the world to its original shape, and ended up suffering on the
      Cross. And thus he helped to correct all the trouble started by the
      rebellious angels. Total defeat for Satan will be the end result.

      In other words, the Greek conveys a very special gnosis and a very special
      metaphysical world view that is missed by modern translators.

      All in all, I think Darby translation is probably the best. Any opinions?

      Also, what about the "bishops and deacons" (episkopois kai diakonois) in
      v. 1:1? This does seem like a later gloss to me (also the view of some
      other scholars).

      It seems unlikely that "bishops and deacons" existed during Paul's
      lifetime. KJV/RSV translates "episkopois kai diakonois" as "bishops and
      deacons", but the more "modern" translations seem to politely mistranslate
      this verse. Perhaps trying to avoid the question of what else may have
      been added to this epistle by later editors?

      Regards,

      Yuri.

      PS:

      These items came up as a result of a more general discussion of
      Philippians on Crosstalk-L. For more context, you may look up this and
      other articles at eGroups,

      http://www.egroups.com/list/crosstalk/5934.html


      Yuri Kuchinsky || Toronto

      http://www.trends.net/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm

      The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
      equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
    • Dave Washburn
      [snip] ... *yawn* Not only is this off-topic for TC-list, but it s nothing more than the same tired old stuff that Arians have been preaching for centuries.
      Message 2 of 14 , Mar 25, 1999
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        [snip]
        > What the original Greek (and KJV and Darby) conveys, and "modern"
        > translations fail to convey, is the idea that, while Christ was originally
        > one of the angels who were on par with God, he did not do like they did,
        > and remained faithful to God. Then, after the rebellious angels' rebellion
        > brought great discord into the world, Christ was sent on a mission to
        > restore the world to its original shape, and ended up suffering on the
        > Cross. And thus he helped to correct all the trouble started by the
        > rebellious angels. Total defeat for Satan will be the end result.

        *yawn* Not only is this off-topic for TC-list, but it's nothing more
        than the same tired old stuff that Arians have been preaching for
        centuries. The NT NOWHERE gives any indication that Christ was
        ever an angel; as for the meaning of harpagmos, see Moulton-
        Milligan and BAG, to name just a couple. TDNT 1:473-474 gives a
        full exposition of the 3 possible meanings of the word and treats all
        of them grammatically, concluding that the meaning is "He did not
        regard equality with God as a gain, either in the sense of
        something not to be let slip, or in the sense of something not to be
        left unutilised." IOW, the Arian nonsense expounded above has
        been answered many, many, many times and it's high time it was
        put to bed for good.

        And since this subject has nothing at all to do with textual
        criticism, that will be my final word on this subject in this forum.

        Dave Washburn
        http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
        A Bible that's falling apart means a life that isn't.
      • lakr
        ... Oh, are you aware of any textual critical issues surrounding Galatians 4:14 which would make this doubtfull? Sincerely, Larry Kruper
        Message 3 of 14 , Mar 25, 1999
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          > The NT NOWHERE gives any indication that Christ was
          > ever an angel;
          > Dave Washburn
          > http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
          > A Bible that's falling apart means a life that isn't.

          Oh, are you aware of any textual critical issues surrounding
          Galatians 4:14 which would make this doubtfull?

          Sincerely,
          Larry Kruper
        • Frank Glenn
          ... Before you put the light out, reread the NT and many of the Church Fathers. Frank
          Message 4 of 14 , Mar 25, 1999
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            At 11:27 AM 3/25/99 -0700, Dave wrote:
            >[snip]
            >> What the original Greek (and KJV and Darby) conveys, and "modern"
            >> translations fail to convey, is the idea that, while Christ was originally
            >> one of the angels who were on par with God, he did not do like they did,
            >> and remained faithful to God. Then, after the rebellious angels' rebellion
            >> brought great discord into the world, Christ was sent on a mission to
            >> restore the world to its original shape, and ended up suffering on the
            >> Cross. And thus he helped to correct all the trouble started by the
            >> rebellious angels. Total defeat for Satan will be the end result.
            >
            >*yawn* Not only is this off-topic for TC-list, but it's nothing more
            >than the same tired old stuff that Arians have been preaching for
            >centuries. The NT NOWHERE gives any indication that Christ was
            >ever an angel; as for the meaning of harpagmos, see Moulton-
            >Milligan and BAG, to name just a couple. TDNT 1:473-474 gives a
            >full exposition of the 3 possible meanings of the word and treats all
            >of them grammatically, concluding that the meaning is "He did not
            >regard equality with God as a gain, either in the sense of
            >something not to be let slip, or in the sense of something not to be
            >left unutilised." IOW, the Arian nonsense expounded above has
            >been answered many, many, many times and it's high time it was
            >put to bed for good.

            Before you put the light out, reread the NT and many of the Church Fathers.
            Frank
          • Dave Washburn
            ... I have. Look at the creeds and see what they concluded. Again, this has nothing to do with TC. Dave Washburn http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur A Bible that s
            Message 5 of 14 , Mar 25, 1999
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              > At 11:27 AM 3/25/99 -0700, Dave wrote:
              > >[snip]
              > >> What the original Greek (and KJV and Darby) conveys, and "modern"
              > >> translations fail to convey, is the idea that, while Christ was originally
              > >> one of the angels who were on par with God, he did not do like they did,
              > >> and remained faithful to God. Then, after the rebellious angels' rebellion
              > >> brought great discord into the world, Christ was sent on a mission to
              > >> restore the world to its original shape, and ended up suffering on the
              > >> Cross. And thus he helped to correct all the trouble started by the
              > >> rebellious angels. Total defeat for Satan will be the end result.
              > >
              > >*yawn* Not only is this off-topic for TC-list, but it's nothing more
              > >than the same tired old stuff that Arians have been preaching for
              > >centuries. The NT NOWHERE gives any indication that Christ was
              > >ever an angel; as for the meaning of harpagmos, see Moulton-
              > >Milligan and BAG, to name just a couple. TDNT 1:473-474 gives a
              > >full exposition of the 3 possible meanings of the word and treats all
              > >of them grammatically, concluding that the meaning is "He did not
              > >regard equality with God as a gain, either in the sense of
              > >something not to be let slip, or in the sense of something not to be
              > >left unutilised." IOW, the Arian nonsense expounded above has
              > >been answered many, many, many times and it's high time it was
              > >put to bed for good.
              >
              > Before you put the light out, reread the NT and many of the Church Fathers.
              > Frank
              >
              I have. Look at the creeds and see what they concluded. Again,
              this has nothing to do with TC.

              Dave Washburn
              http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
              A Bible that's falling apart means a life that isn't.
            • Yuri Kuchinsky
              On Thu, 25 Mar 1999, Dave Washburn wrote: [Yuri:] ... Dave, This subject is not really off-topic for TC-list. The reason why you thought so is because you seem
              Message 6 of 14 , Mar 26, 1999
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                On Thu, 25 Mar 1999, Dave Washburn wrote:

                [Yuri:]
                > > What the original Greek (and KJV and Darby) conveys, and "modern"
                > > translations fail to convey, is the idea that, while Christ was originally
                > > one of the angels who were on par with God, he did not do like they did,
                > > and remained faithful to God. Then, after the rebellious angels' rebellion
                > > brought great discord into the world, Christ was sent on a mission to
                > > restore the world to its original shape, and ended up suffering on the
                > > Cross. And thus he helped to correct all the trouble started by the
                > > rebellious angels. Total defeat for Satan will be the end result.
                >
                > *yawn* Not only is this off-topic for TC-list, but it's nothing more
                > than the same tired old stuff that Arians have been preaching for
                > centuries.

                Dave,

                This subject is not really off-topic for TC-list. The reason why you
                thought so is because you seem to have misunderstood my post to some
                extent.

                My second question re Phil 1:1 should have given you the idea, but you
                snipped it, unfortunately.

                What all this was leading towards, as my question re Phil 1:1 should have
                indicated, was the question of interpolations in Philippians. In other
                words, textual integrity of Philippians.

                "Bishops and deacons" in Phil 1:1 seem like an obvious late interpolation.
                And the reason why I was asking about the hymn to Christ in Phil is
                because it also seems like it was not written by Paul. Therefore,
                questions arise about the history, authorship, and the dating of this
                text. (Actually, I happen to think that the hymn dates from the time after
                Paul's lifetime).

                > The NT NOWHERE gives any indication that Christ was ever an angel;

                Debatable.

                > as for the meaning of harpagmos, see Moulton- Milligan and BAG, to
                > name just a couple.

                Thanks for helping me with this.

                I've been trying to understand the meaning of this passage, along with
                great many other students of the NT. This is a very difficult passage
                indeed (and it generated huge amounts of literature, as you've pointed
                out). This is why the correct translation is important. And once this is
                clarified, the focus should logically move further to the history of this
                text.

                Now, I certainly would not like to post off-topic material to tc-list.
                If after this post some people still think this subject is irrelevant, I
                will certainly stop, and will try to move the discussion elsewhere.
                Because I consider myself a good cyber-citizen. <grin>

                > IOW, the Arian nonsense expounded above has been answered many, many,
                > many times and it's high time it was put to bed for good.

                I find it very interesting that you should have brought up Arianism. Do
                you think KJV was Arian-influenced?

                Arianist controversy was supposed to be the controversy about the nature
                of the relationship of Father to Son. I wasn't really aware of the Arian
                angle on this passage before. So I'm thankful to you for pointing me in
                that direction. Now, after some more reading, I confess that my position
                on this passage has changed already. I would like to take back and modify
                some of the things I said before.

                This is the translation that I prefer now (of course something similar has
                been proposed before by other scholars),

                "Who, while in the form of God,
                did not esteem it as his lawful prize
                to become equal to God."

                Where Arianism comes in this debate, is the question of whether the
                pre-existent Son was equal to the Father, or he was merely on the similar
                heavenly level with the Father, while not being equal.

                Here's the NIV translation again (that is similar to most "modern"
                translations).

                "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God
                something to be grasped."

                This sure seems like the equality of Father and Son is assumed in this
                translation. But I don't think the Greek really supports this, since in
                the Greek text "being in the form of God", and "being equal to God" do not
                seem to be treated as identical concepts.

                So what if my reading seems like an Arian reading? Why can't the Arians be
                right about some things sometimes? What if their theology was actually
                more reflective of earliest Christianity in some respects? Is this totally
                impossible in your view?

                The next and related question to consider is the vexing question of
                "harpagmos". Here's some useful information I've found on the Web,

                [quote]

                The word "harpagmos" stems from the word "harpazo". According to
                Zodhiates' "The Complete Wordstudy Dictionary, New Testament" the word
                differs from "klepto" (to steal) in that it is an open act of theft,
                or robbery. It is admitted that it is not exclusively used thus, but
                also in a more general sense of forcible seizure. In Chadwick's
                "Lexicographica Graeca" the word is said to mean [seizure] "executed
                rapidly", "saisir l'instant", "to be caught" or "got by chance".
                Hickie's "Greek-English Lexicon to the New Testament" has "to seize",
                "take by force" & "snatch away" for "harpazo", but for the word in
                question (harpagmos) it has "a thing to be seized; an accidental
                acquisition".

                http://www.bcca.org/srb/archive/980101-980228/0060.html

                [end quote]

                Also it is relevant to consider that, while "harpagmos" is found only once
                in the Bible, there is a very similar word, "harpagma", that is quite
                common in the Septuagint. This word is always found in the sense of
                'booty' or 'prize'. And this is how I prefer to interpret "harpagmos".

                Also, Vulgate translates "harpagmon" as "rapinam", a word which can mean
                not only the act of plundering or robbery but also the concrete noun
                'plunder' or 'booty'.

                So this is the crux of our problem, it seems. What to do with this word,
                and how to interpret it? I find these comments by Dr. Rodney J. Decker
                quite valid,

                [quote]

                The word group of which [hARPAGMOS] is a part seems to convey ideas that
                are totally out of character with the context of Phil. 2: robbery,
                plunder, greediness, swindler, rape, booty, stolen, to seize hastily, to
                be a thief, etc. It is the attempt to make these meanings suitable in a
                Christological reference that has engendered much of the confusion over
                the text.

                [end quote]

                So how do we interpret this unusual word? It implies certain amount of
                violence, and seems to allude to some past conflict in the heavenly
                spheres. This is important, it seems to me. To continue with Dr. Decker's
                comments,

                [quote]

                Two primary explanations have been offered for this word.

                1) Res rapta, equality with God was his by right and by nature and was not
                a theft, i.e., he did not steal his position unjustly. This takes
                hARPAGMOS in an active sense to mean "robbery, snatching."

                2) Res rapienda, equality with God was not viewed by Christ as something
                to be seized; i.e., he was not equal with God and did not make any
                "snatching effort" to achieve that position. (Cf. NEB, "he did not think
                to snatch at equality with God.") This is a passive sense, "something to
                be seized."

                http://faculty.bbc.edu/rdecker/rd_ken.htm

                [end quote]

                So here I prefer the solution #2. This is how I interpret this text. But
                of the seven translations available at The Bible Gateway

                http://www.gospelcom.net/bible

                only the Darby translation reflects this point of view.

                Any way you consider this problem, pre-existence of Christ is clearly
                implied in this passage. The question is, What was the exact status of the
                pre-existent Christ as reflected in our hymn?

                You continued in your post:

                > TDNT 1:473-474 gives a full exposition of the 3 possible meanings of
                > the word and treats all of them grammatically, concluding that the
                > meaning is "He did not regard equality with God as a gain, either in
                > the sense of something not to be let slip, or in the sense of
                > something not to be left unutilised."

                So you're offering yet another translation that assumes that in his
                pre-existence Christ was equal to God. I doubt that this is a valid
                interpretation for the reasons already outlined.

                Generally speaking, I don't think this hymn dates to the lifetime of Paul,
                primarily because of the rather high Christology implied in it, and
                because of its more developed gnosis. In my view, the Historical Paul
                followed low (quasi-Ebionite) Christology. Pre-existence does generally
                seem like a rather late theological concept.

                But the Christology of the hymn, while rather high, is still not quite as
                high as almost all modern translations would like it to make, in my view.

                Regards,

                Yuri.

                Yuri Kuchinsky || Toronto

                http://www.trends.net/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm

                The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
                equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
              • Dave Washburn
                ... I don t understand how a comment on the meaning of harpagmos in Phil 2:6 has anything to do with the textual integrity of Phil 1:1. ... That s form
                Message 7 of 14 , Mar 26, 1999
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                  Yuri wrote:
                  >
                  > On Thu, 25 Mar 1999, Dave Washburn wrote:
                  >
                  > [Yuri:]
                  > > > What the original Greek (and KJV and Darby) conveys, and "modern"
                  > > > translations fail to convey, is the idea that, while Christ was originally
                  > > > one of the angels who were on par with God, he did not do like they did,
                  > > > and remained faithful to God. Then, after the rebellious angels' rebellion
                  > > > brought great discord into the world, Christ was sent on a mission to
                  > > > restore the world to its original shape, and ended up suffering on the
                  > > > Cross. And thus he helped to correct all the trouble started by the
                  > > > rebellious angels. Total defeat for Satan will be the end result.
                  > >
                  > > *yawn* Not only is this off-topic for TC-list, but it's nothing more
                  > > than the same tired old stuff that Arians have been preaching for
                  > > centuries.
                  >
                  > Dave,
                  >
                  > This subject is not really off-topic for TC-list. The reason why you
                  > thought so is because you seem to have misunderstood my post to some
                  > extent.
                  >
                  > My second question re Phil 1:1 should have given you the idea, but you
                  > snipped it, unfortunately.
                  >
                  > What all this was leading towards, as my question re Phil 1:1 should have
                  > indicated, was the question of interpolations in Philippians. In other
                  > words, textual integrity of Philippians.

                  I don't understand how a comment on the meaning of harpagmos in
                  Phil 2:6 has anything to do with the textual integrity of Phil 1:1.

                  > "Bishops and deacons" in Phil 1:1 seem like an obvious late interpolation.
                  > And the reason why I was asking about the hymn to Christ in Phil is
                  > because it also seems like it was not written by Paul. Therefore,
                  > questions arise about the history, authorship, and the dating of this
                  > text. (Actually, I happen to think that the hymn dates from the time after
                  > Paul's lifetime).

                  That's form criticism, not textual criticism. So it's still off-topic.

                  > > The NT NOWHERE gives any indication that Christ was ever an angel;
                  >
                  > Debatable.
                  >
                  > > as for the meaning of harpagmos, see Moulton- Milligan and BAG, to
                  > > name just a couple.
                  >
                  > Thanks for helping me with this.
                  >
                  > I've been trying to understand the meaning of this passage, along with
                  > great many other students of the NT. This is a very difficult passage
                  > indeed (and it generated huge amounts of literature, as you've pointed
                  > out). This is why the correct translation is important. And once this is
                  > clarified, the focus should logically move further to the history of this
                  > text.
                  >
                  > Now, I certainly would not like to post off-topic material to tc-list.
                  > If after this post some people still think this subject is irrelevant, I
                  > will certainly stop, and will try to move the discussion elsewhere.
                  > Because I consider myself a good cyber-citizen. <grin>
                  >
                  > > IOW, the Arian nonsense expounded above has been answered many, many,
                  > > many times and it's high time it was put to bed for good.
                  >
                  > I find it very interesting that you should have brought up Arianism. Do
                  > you think KJV was Arian-influenced?

                  One of the most annoying things in the world is when someone
                  doesn't actually read what a person writes, but tries to answer it
                  anyway. I didn't say anything in the KJV was Arian, I said your
                  post about Christ as an angel was Arian-influenced. If you're going
                  to try and respond to me, PLEASE read what I actually write.

                  [snip again - still off-topic]

                  Dave Washburn
                  http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
                  A Bible that's falling apart means a life that isn't.
                • Yuri Kuchinsky
                  ... Clarifying the meaning of harpagmos may help to understand who wrote this hymn and when. ... Are you saying that asking about textual integrity of Phil is
                  Message 8 of 14 , Mar 28, 1999
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                    On Fri, 26 Mar 1999, Dave Washburn wrote:
                    > Yuri wrote:

                    > > This subject is not really off-topic for TC-list. The reason why you
                    > > thought so is because you seem to have misunderstood my post to some
                    > > extent.
                    > >
                    > > My second question re Phil 1:1 should have given you the idea, but you
                    > > snipped it, unfortunately.
                    > >
                    > > What all this was leading towards, as my question re Phil 1:1 should have
                    > > indicated, was the question of interpolations in Philippians. In other
                    > > words, textual integrity of Philippians.
                    >
                    > I don't understand how a comment on the meaning of harpagmos in
                    > Phil 2:6 has anything to do with the textual integrity of Phil 1:1.

                    Clarifying the meaning of harpagmos may help to understand who wrote this
                    hymn and when.

                    > > "Bishops and deacons" in Phil 1:1 seem like an obvious late interpolation.
                    > > And the reason why I was asking about the hymn to Christ in Phil is
                    > > because it also seems like it was not written by Paul. Therefore,
                    > > questions arise about the history, authorship, and the dating of this
                    > > text. (Actually, I happen to think that the hymn dates from the time after
                    > > Paul's lifetime).
                    >
                    > That's form criticism, not textual criticism. So it's still off-topic.

                    Are you saying that asking about textual integrity of Phil is not textual
                    criticism? Identifying a possible interpolation in Phil 1:1 is irrelevant
                    to textual criticism?

                    Let me ask you this, Dave. Do you feel uncomfortable when questions about
                    interpolations in Pauline epistles are raised? If so, then you're probably
                    not alone. But I'm afraid, such questions need to be asked.

                    [Dave:]
                    > > > IOW, the Arian nonsense expounded above has been answered many, many,
                    > > > many times and it's high time it was put to bed for good.

                    [Yuri:]
                    > > I find it very interesting that you should have brought up Arianism. Do
                    > > you think KJV was Arian-influenced?

                    > One of the most annoying things in the world is when someone doesn't
                    > actually read what a person writes, but tries to answer it anyway. I
                    > didn't say anything in the KJV was Arian, I said your post about
                    > Christ as an angel was Arian-influenced. If you're going to try and
                    > respond to me, PLEASE read what I actually write.

                    So this was the meaning of your complaint then? In such a case, I would
                    like to assure you that I meant no Arian subversion whatsoever by the use
                    of this word. Sorry for the misunderstanding. If you replace "angel" in my
                    original post with "spiritual being", the meaning of my post would not be
                    affected in any way. (I do hope that you have no objections to Christ
                    being described as a spiritual being.)

                    Regards,

                    Yuri.

                    Yuri Kuchinsky || Toronto

                    http://www.trends.net/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm

                    The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
                    equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
                  • Robert B. Waltz
                    ... Theological questions are not the point. Not on this list. In fact, the matter ought not to be discussed, because they interfere with our ability to work
                    Message 9 of 14 , Mar 28, 1999
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                      On 3/28/99, Yuri Kuchinsky wrote, in part:

                      >Let me ask you this, Dave. Do you feel uncomfortable when questions about
                      >interpolations in Pauline epistles are raised? If so, then you're probably
                      >not alone. But I'm afraid, such questions need to be asked.

                      Theological questions are not the point. Not on this list. In fact,
                      the matter ought not to be discussed, because they interfere with
                      our ability to work together.

                      As best I can tell, you are proposing a conjectural emendation to
                      Phil. 1:1. Now conjectural emendations are a legitimate topic for
                      discussion on this list, as some critics allow them. However, I
                      think it safe to say that, in New Testament criticism, *no*
                      scholar will allow conjectural emendation unless the passage
                      involves a crux -- some sort of difficulty in understanding.

                      You need to establish the existence of that crux. And if you
                      need this much argument to establish its existence, that proves
                      on its very face that you have *not* established it. So your
                      conjectural emendation is not allowed.

                      You may still argue that the passage has been edited. But it
                      was edited in a primitive way (presumably before the Pauline
                      corpus was assembled). This is not the field of textual criticism;
                      it is indeed a matter for form criticism or some other
                      discipline.

                      Hence I agree with the call for taking the matter off-list.

                      And note that I express no theological opinions in so
                      saying. :-)

                      -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

                      Robert B. Waltz
                      waltzmn@...

                      Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
                      Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
                      (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
                    • Yuri Kuchinsky
                      Sorry for late reply, Robert. ... I agree completely. While my original post was not intended to be concerned with theological issues, I regret that it could
                      Message 10 of 14 , Mar 31, 1999
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                        Sorry for late reply, Robert.

                        On Sun, 28 Mar 1999, Robert B. Waltz wrote:

                        > On 3/28/99, Yuri Kuchinsky wrote, in part:
                        >
                        > >Let me ask you this, Dave. Do you feel uncomfortable when questions about
                        > >interpolations in Pauline epistles are raised? If so, then you're probably
                        > >not alone. But I'm afraid, such questions need to be asked.
                        >
                        > Theological questions are not the point. Not on this list. In fact,
                        > the matter ought not to be discussed, because they interfere with
                        > our ability to work together.

                        I agree completely.

                        While my original post was not intended to be concerned with theological
                        issues, I regret that it could have been interpreted as such. My fault. I
                        should have expressed myself more clearly.

                        > As best I can tell, you are proposing a conjectural emendation to
                        > Phil. 1:1.

                        Yes.

                        > Now conjectural emendations are a legitimate topic for
                        > discussion on this list, as some critics allow them. However, I
                        > think it safe to say that, in New Testament criticism, *no*
                        > scholar will allow conjectural emendation unless the passage
                        > involves a crux -- some sort of difficulty in understanding.

                        Perhaps so.

                        > You need to establish the existence of that crux.

                        But it has already been established for a long time.

                        > And if you need this much argument to establish its existence, that
                        > proves on its very face that you have *not* established it.

                        You misunderstand. So far, I gave no argument to establish its existence.
                        Nevertheless, many scholars argued that this is an interpolation.

                        Here's this from the article on the Philippians in ANCHOR BD (1992) 5:319

                        "Critics frequently have viewed the reference to "bishops and deacons"
                        (1:1), for insance, as an ecclesiastical anachronism and dismissed it as
                        an ancient gloss (so, e.g., Riddle and Hutson 1946: 123; Schmithals 1971:
                        89-90 n. 14; Schenke and Fisher 1978: 126; Schenk 1984: 78-82, 334)."

                        Also, according to the article, the earliest ms of Phil is P46, one of the
                        three Chester Beatty papyri of the NT that dates from ca ad 200. It's only
                        missing a few insignificant verses. Generally, the article says that,
                        based only on mss, there are no significant textual problems with Phil.

                        > So your conjectural emendation is not allowed.
                        >
                        > You may still argue that the passage has been edited. But it
                        > was edited in a primitive way (presumably before the Pauline
                        > corpus was assembled).

                        I agree with you here.

                        There's actuallly very little textual mss evidence for later
                        interpolations in Pauline epistles. Existing mss of Pauline epistles are
                        remarkably consistent, and show very little variation, compared even to
                        the mss of the gospels. Two conclusions can be drawn from this.

                        Either

                        a) there are no later interpolations in Pauline epistles, or

                        b) epistles were standartised at a very early stage by some centralized
                        authority, and only "approved" versions were preserved for posterity.

                        Myself, I incline to version b).

                        While apparently textual criticism can do little to clarify this matter,
                        still the question needs to be asked. Because there's more than enough
                        evidence from other directions that the Pauline epistles had been
                        labouriously edited, collated from various much shorter epistles, and
                        heavily interpolated with later material. The scholar who has done more
                        than anyone else to analyse this subject was Alfred Loisy, but
                        unfortunately his work in this area is basically unknown the the current
                        generation of scholars.

                        > This is not the field of textual criticism; it is indeed a matter for
                        > form criticism or some other discipline.

                        Fine. But I think I was entitled to ask the question. Now it seems to be
                        answered, so I'm happy.

                        > Hence I agree with the call for taking the matter off-list.

                        Fine with me.

                        > And note that I express no theological opinions in so
                        > saying. :-)

                        Thank you. :-)

                        Yuri.

                        Yuri Kuchinsky || Toronto

                        http://www.trends.net/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm

                        The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
                        equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
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