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Humanities Libertexts

Lesson Two: Galatians 1:10-17

  • Page ID
    11499
  • Instructions: Translate the Greek text with help from the reader notes. Complete the MYON (Make Your Own Note) and Discussion Questions if you desire.

    10 Ἄρτι γὰρ ἀνθρώπους πείθω ἢ τὸν θεόν; ἢ ζητῶ ἀνθρώποις ἀρέσκειν; ⸀εἰ ἔτι ἀνθρώποις ἤρεσκον, Χριστοῦ δοῦλος οὐκ ἂν ἤμην.

    11 Γνωρίζω ⸀γὰρ ὑμῖν, ἀδελφοί, τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τὸ εὐαγγελισθὲν ὑπ’ ἐμοῦ ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν κατὰ ἄνθρωπον· 12 οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐγὼ παρὰ ἀνθρώπου παρέλαβον αὐτό, ⸀οὔτε ἐδιδάχθην, ἀλλὰ δι’ ἀποκαλύψεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.

    13 Ἠκούσατε γὰρ τὴν ἐμὴν ἀναστροφήν ποτε ἐν τῷ Ἰουδαϊσμῷ, ὅτι καθ’ ὑπερβολὴν ἐδίωκον τὴν ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ ἐπόρθουν αὐτήν, 14 καὶ προέκοπτον ἐν τῷ Ἰουδαϊσμῷ ὑπὲρ πολλοὺς συνηλικιώτας ἐν τῷ γένει μου, περισσοτέρως ζηλωτὴς ὑπάρχων τῶν πατρικῶν μου παραδόσεων. 15 ὅτε δὲ ⸀εὐδόκησεν ὁ ἀφορίσας με ἐκ κοιλίας μητρός μου καὶ καλέσας διὰ τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ 16 ἀποκαλύψαι τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ ἐν ἐμοὶ ἵνα εὐαγγελίζωμαι αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, εὐθέως οὐ προσανεθέμην σαρκὶ καὶ αἵματι, 17 οὐδὲ ἀνῆλθον εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα πρὸς τοὺς πρὸ ἐμοῦ ἀποστόλους, ἀλλὰ ἀπῆλθον εἰς Ἀραβίαν, καὶ πάλιν ὑπέστρεψα εἰς Δαμασκόν. SBLGNT

    1:10

    [SN] The particle is a conjunction meaning “or” (separating the two direct objects of πείθω).

    [GMN]Ζητῶ (PAI1S LF: ζητέω) is a #contract verb. The circumflex over the ω helps to identify that a contraction has occurred.

    MYON [SN]ρέσκειν: Parse and describe this word’s syntactical function.

    [SN]Εἰ introduces the #protasis of a #second-class conditional statement, and ἂν indicates its #apodosis. “If . . . then . . .”

    [GMN] The verb ἤρεσκον (IAI1S LF: ἀρέσκω) takes a dative direct object (ἀνθρώποις).

    [GMN] The verb ἤμην is II1S (LF: εἰμί).

    1:11

    [SN] The conjunction γὰρ is #explanatory and refers back to 1:10.

    [GMN] In this instance, the #vocative case ἀδελφοί (MPV) is identical in form to MPN. The vocative is often distinguished from the nominative on the basis of context.

    [GMN] The participle εὐαγγελισθὲν (APPNSA LF: εὐαγγελίζω) is adjectival defining or clarifying τὸ εὐαγγέλιον.

    1:12

    [LN] Οὐδὲ . . . ούτε forms a common construction meaning “neither . . . nor.”

    [SN] In the construction παρὰ ἀνθρώπου, the use of the preposition παρὰ indicates #source.

    [SN, GMN] In the phrase δι’ ἀποκαλύψεως, the preposition δι’ refers to the #means by which Paul received the gospel (“by a revelation”). Because διά precedes a word that starts with a vowel (ἀποκαλύψεως), it drops the α as a result of #elision.

    [GMN] The noun ἀποκαλύψεως (FSG LF: ἀποκαλύψις) is feminine third declension.

    [SN]Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ could be a #genitive of apposition relating to δι’ ἀποκαλύψεως (“a revelation, namely, Jesus Christ”); a #genitive of source (“from”) or #subjective genitive (“what Jesus Christ revealed”); or even #content (“a revelation about Jesus Christ”).

    1:13

    [SN] Ἠκούσατε . . . τὴν ἐμὴν ἀναστροφήν: The verb ἀκούω typically expects an object in the genitive case. The accusative object in this clause (τὴν ἐμὴν ἀναστροφήν) thus functions as an #accusative of reference and should be translated, “You heard about/with reference to my former way of life.” The accusative of reference serves to qualify the statement, “You heard . . . that I was persecuting the church of God.”

    [LN, TN]Ἰουδαϊσμῷ (MSD LF: Ἰουδαϊσμός), “Judaism,” occurs only twice in the NT, both times in Galatians (cf. 1:14). Ἰουδαϊσμός does not refer to a set of religious beliefs, but more a community lifestyle and ethos, especially in contradistinction to Ἑλληνισμός (“Hellenism,” i.e., the Greek way of life).

    [LN] Ἀναστροφήν (FSA LF: ἀναστροφή) refers to behavior or a way of life (having to do with one’s comportment).

    [LN, SN] The phrase καθ᾽ ὑπερβολὴν (FSA LF: ὑπερβολή) is an idiom meaning exceedingly or excessively (lit. “according to excess”).

    [SN, TN] Ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ θεοῦ is a #genitive of possession, or perhaps a #genitive of relationship because of the familial language in ch. 1 (cf. 1:1−4, 11). It is also interesting to note that while Paul usually speaks of local churches, here he speaks in terms of the church/assembly.

    1:14

    [GMN, LN] Συνηλικιώτας (MPA LF: συνηλικιώτης) is a masculine first declension. It is a #hapax legomenon that should be translated “contemporaries.”

    [SN] Περισσοτέρως is an adverb that modifies ὑπάρχων.


    [SN]
    The verb ὑπάρχων (PAPMSN LF: ὑπάρχω) is a #causal participle that modifies the προέκοπτον.

    [LN] The adjective πατρικῶν (FPG LF: πατρικός, -ή, -όν) is a #hapax legomenon meaning “ancestral.”

    [SN] Τῶν πατρικῶν μου παραδόσεων: Although uncommon, this is a #genitive of reference that locates Paul’s zeal in his ancestral traditions (“zealous with reference to/for my ancestral traditions”).

    1:15

    [SN, GMN]Δὲ is a #postpositive particle and here functions as a contrastive conjunction.

    [GMN] Εὐδόκησεν (AAI3S LF: εὐδοκέω) is a #contract verb, hence the lengthening of the contract vowel (ε→η).

    [SN] Ὁ ἀφορίσας (AAPMSN LF: ἀφορίζω) . . . καὶ καλέσας (AAPMSN LF: καλέω): these are both #substantival participles that refer to the same person and are subjects of εὐδόκησεν. The καί links the participles and suggests that the definite article applies to both.

    [SN]Μητρός (FSG LF: μητήρ) functions as a #genitive of possession in relation to κοιλίας (“my mother’s womb”).

    1:16

    [SN, GMN] Ἀποκαλύψαι (AAN LF: ἀποκαλύπτω) is a #complementary infinitive corresponding to the main verb εὐδόκησεν (v. 15). When the AAN ending -σαι is added, the τ is dropped from the stem forming a #labial stop (π), yielding the -ψαι ending.

    [SN] The prepositional phrase ἐν ἐμοί could either be expressing #means (“by means of me”) or #sphere (“in me”).

    [SN] Here ἵναεὐαγγελίζωμαι (PMS1S LF: εὐαγγελίζω) forms a #purpose clause corresponding to ἀποκαλύψαι. Paul states that the reason τὸν υἱὸν is revealed in/by him is so that he would proclaim good news to the Gentiles.

    [SN, LN] Paul frequently uses τοῖς ἔθνεσιν to refer to “the Gentiles.” Here the construction is a #dative of sphere and denotes his presence “among” them.

    [GMS] Προσανεθέμην (AMI1S LF: προσανατίθημι):This #compound verb has a double prepositional prefix(πρόσ + ἀνά), which results in the augment occurring in the second of the two (ἀνα→ἀνε). The verb then follows the morphology of the root verb τίθημι.

    [TN] Paul uses the phrase σαρκὶ καὶ αἵματι idiomatically to refer to mortals, in contrast to God as referred to in the construction ὁ ἀφορίσας με ἐκ κοιλίας μητρός μου (v. 15).

    1:17

    [GMN, LN] Ἀνλθον (AAI1S LF: ἀνέρχομαι) comes from the preposition ἀνά + ἕρχομαι (second aorist form: ἦλθον), which yields the gloss “to go up.” Ἔρχομαι and its various compound forms, though highly irregular, are also very common and appear throughout the letter.

    [SN] In the phrase πρὸς τοὺς πρὸ ἐμοῦ ἀποστόλους, the article τοὺς does not appear next to the noun it is modifying, ἀποστόλους. The prepositional phrase προ ἐμοῦ is acting adjectivally, also modifying the noun ἀποστόλους.

    [GMN, LN] Ἀπῆλθον (AAI1S LF: ἀπέρχομαι) comes from the preposition ἀπό + ἕρχομαι. As with the previous verb ἀνῆλθον, this compound yields the gloss “to go away/depart.”

    [GMN] ῾Υπέστρεψα (AAI1S LF: ὑποστρέφω): Because φ is a #labial letter, when it combines with the -σα formative for the AAI, the result is -ψα.

    Discussion Questions (1:10–17)

    [1:12]Ἀποκαλύψεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ can be understood in a variety of ways, from “a revelation from Jesus Christ” to “a revelation, which is Jesus Christ” (cf. SN for more options). How do these choices affect the meaning of the text?

    [1:13] The genitive in the construction τὴν ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ θεοῦ can be understood in multiple ways. What types of genitive syntax options are possible here, and how does one decide which is most likely?

    [1:16] The prepositional phrase ἐν ἐμοί can be understood as either “in me” (locative) or “by (means of) me” (means). Which one seems to fit the context best and why?

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