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We speak in a mystery: neglected Greek evidence for the syntax and sense of 1 Corinthians 2:7

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Abstract

Modern interpreters have long noted the syntactical ambiguity of έν μνστηρίῳ in 1 Cor 2:7. What are yet to be considered are the uses of the rare expression of έν μνστηρίῳ in other ancient Greek authors and the implications of such usage for our understanding of the syntax and sense of 1 Cor 2:7. In this article, I demonstrate, first, that the dative phrase of έν μνστηρίῳ appears almost exclusively in Christian sources and, second, that in the earliest data and majority of instances it modifies verbs related to communication, particularly verbs for speaking. We should, therefore, consider what these ancient Greek authors meant when they wrote about speaking or otherwise communicating of έν μνστηρίῳ and then consider how we might adjust translations and interpretations of 1 Cor 2:7 accordingly.
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-89
Number of pages22
JournalCatholic Biblical Quarterly
Volume78
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

    Research areas

  • 1 Corinthians 2:7, Mystery, Wisdom, Greek grammar, Reception history

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