1 Corinthians 3:15

1 Cor 3:15 (The force of the future indicative) Matt Eby ebymatt at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 1 00:22:13 EST 2002

 

Rev. 3:3a 1 Cor 3:15 (The force of the future indicative) Greetings again Moon…> The future statement AUTOS DE SWQHSETAI is qualified> by hOUTWS DE hWS DIA PUROS. > > If we understand DIA PUROS to mean “barely”, does it make> the future statement a possibility which may not be realized> or does not affect the validity of the future statement?> > It seems to have to do with the force of the future statement.> My question seems to come down to:> Can we understand SWQHSETAI to mean WOULD BE SAVED?Interestingly, John Crysostom (_hom. 9 in 1 Cor._) asserted this verseto mean that the man will be preserved in the fire of hell, so that hewill not experience annihilation! I would actually agree with yourconclusion concerning the meaning of this verse, albeit a bitdifferently. I don’t think the solution lies in the force of thefuture indicative alone, but rather in the force of the futureindicative *when qualified by an adverb*. Take Jesus’ statement inMatthew 19:23:AMHN LEGW hUMIN hOTI PLOUSIOS DUSKOLWS EISELEUSETAI EIS THN BASILEIANTWN OURANWN (“Truly I say to you that a rich [man] will enter into thekingdom of heaven with difficulty [lit. as an adverb, ‘hardly’–or even’difficultly’]”).Jesus here is *not* asserting that a rich man *will* in fact enter thekingdom of heaven. He is rather asserting the *manner* in which such aman will–*if* indeed he does: *with difficulty*. (Jesus goes on topronounce this to be impossible with men in fact [v. 26])! Thus theadverb DUSKOLWS is a very powerful qualifier to the future EISELEUSETAIin this passage–it functions practically as a conditional clause.Now look again at 1 Cor 3:15:AUTOS DE SWQHSETAI hOUTWS DE hWS DIA PUROS (“And he himself will besaved but thusly: as through fire”).hOUTWS here acts as a proleptic adverb, refering to the adverbialphrase hWS DIA PUROS, qualifying AUTOS DE SWQHSETAI (as you said). ButI don’t think at all that Paul is assuring that such a man (whose”work” is burnt up) will be saved. Rather, he is asserting the*manner* in which such a man will be–*if* indeed he is: he himselfmust survive the test of fire (not just his “work”). And theimplication of vv. 16-17 is that such a man *will not* pass the test.I have yet to find a commentary that deals satisfactorily with Paul’sclear allusion to the LXX of Malachi 3:2-5, 19-24 (NA27 notes theparallel in the margin of v. 13). There the prophet talks about thecoming “Day” (judgment) in terms of a refiner’s fire–wherein it is the*righteous* who are tested as gold and silver (Mal 3:3) and the wickedwho are regarded as stubble to be consumed (3:19). Paul mentions thesame elements in his metaphor (the “Day,” “fire,” etc.).What do I think Paul is saying? He is mixing the Old-Testament”temple” and “refiner’s fire” metaphors. Those involved in theministry of the gospel should be careful how they build allegedconverts onto God’s temple, the church. Jesus Christ himself is thefoundation. If Apollos (or anyone else) accepts (or presents thegospel in such a way that it allows/draws) false brothers into thechurch, they are corrupting God’s temple, which in the end will be(metaphorically) tested with fire at the final judgment. Those who arefound to have corrupted God’s temple via introducing false discipleswill find their “work” (i.e. their converts) “burnt up.” Subsequentlythey themselves will be put to the fiery test, which they willinevitably fail; since they corrupted God’s temple, God will “corrupt”them (3:17). (It is not at all unusual to refer to people as buildingmaterials in the church [cf. Matt 16:18; Gal 2:9; Eph 2:19-22; 1 Peter2:4-8; Rev 3:12; 21:14]. Elsewhere Paul refers to the Corinthians ashis “work” [1 Cor 9:1] and is quite concerned about the church’s purity[1 Cor 5:1-13; 2 Cor 11:2-3; etc.]).So what is the “wage/reward” (1 Cor 3:14)? IMO, nothing other thaneternal life–the “crown that will last forever” (1 Cor 9:25). Paulelsewhere denies his entitlement to any wage/reward other than thegrace of apostleship–which for Paul is its own reward (1 Cor9:16-18)–and also speaks of his congregations themselves as his”crown” (1 Thess 2:19-20; Phil 4:1). The man who “suffers loss” findsthe product of his earthly labors (his supposed converts) burnt up,while he himself is then tested (and ultimately judged) by the fire. This interpretation is also consistent with James’ statement that thosewho are teachers “will be judged more strictly” (James 3:1).Anyway, I could say more, but it’s getting late. I hope I have beenclear. Let me know what you think…My (fairly exhaustive) thoughts… :)Matt EbyStudent, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary__________________________________________________Do You Yahoo!?Yahoo! Greetings – send holiday greetings for Easter, Passoverhttp://greetings.yahoo.com/

 

Rev. 3:3a1 Cor 3:15 (The force of the future indicative)

1 Cor 3:15 (The force of the future indicative) Moon-Ryul Jung moon at sogang.ac.kr
Mon Apr 1 02:40:49 EST 2002

 

1 Cor 3:15 (The force of the future indicative) Participant Reference in John 18:15 Excellent!My comments below.> Greetings again Moon…> > > The future statement AUTOS DE SWQHSETAI is qualified> > by hOUTWS DE hWS DIA PUROS. > > > > If we understand DIA PUROS to mean “barely”, does it make> > the future statement a possibility which may not be realized> > or does not affect the validity of the future statement?> > > > It seems to have to do with the force of the future statement.> > My question seems to come down to:> > Can we understand SWQHSETAI to mean WOULD BE SAVED?> > Interestingly, John Crysostom (_hom. 9 in 1 Cor._) asserted this verse> to mean that the man will be preserved in the fire of hell, so that he> will not experience annihilation! I would actually agree with your> conclusion concerning the meaning of this verse, albeit a bit> differently. I don’t think the solution lies in the force of the> future indicative alone, but rather in the force of the future> indicative *when qualified by an adverb*. Take Jesus’ statement in> Matthew 19:23:> > AMHN LEGW hUMIN hOTI PLOUSIOS DUSKOLWS EISELEUSETAI EIS THN BASILEIAN> TWN OURANWN (“Truly I say to you that a rich [man] will enter into the> kingdom of heaven with difficulty [lit. as an adverb, ‘hardly’–or even> ‘difficultly’]”).> > Jesus here is *not* asserting that a rich man *will* in fact enter the> kingdom of heaven. He is rather asserting the *manner* in which such a> man will–*if* indeed he does: *with difficulty*. (Jesus goes on to> pronounce this to be impossible with men in fact [v. 26])! Thus the> adverb DUSKOLWS is a very powerful qualifier to the future EISELEUSETAI> in this passage–it functions practically as a conditional clause.> > Now look again at 1 Cor 3:15:> > AUTOS DE SWQHSETAI hOUTWS DE hWS DIA PUROS (“And he himself will be> saved but thusly: as through fire”).> > hOUTWS here acts as a proleptic adverb, refering to the adverbial> phrase hWS DIA PUROS, qualifying AUTOS DE SWQHSETAI (as you said). But> I don’t think at all that Paul is assuring that such a man (whose> “work” is burnt up) will be saved. Rather, he is asserting the> *manner* in which such a man will be–*if* indeed he is: he himself> must survive the test of fire (not just his “work”). And the> implication of vv. 16-17 is that such a man *will not* pass the test.Steve, in his reponse to my post, said that this passage talks about threetypes of leaders. The last type is talked about in vv 16-17. Only theywill be destroyed. Hmm, I simply thought that two types of peopleare described here. So, my interpretation of v 15 was influenced byvv 16-17. Are there any clues that three types of leaders are talked about in thispassage?MoonMoon R. JungSogang Univ, Seoul, Korea> > I have yet to find a commentary that deals satisfactorily with Paul’s> clear allusion to the LXX of Malachi 3:2-5, 19-24 (NA27 notes the> parallel in the margin of v. 13). There the prophet talks about the> coming “Day” (judgment) in terms of a refiner’s fire–wherein it is the> *righteous* who are tested as gold and silver (Mal 3:3) and the wicked> who are regarded as stubble to be consumed (3:19). Paul mentions the> same elements in his metaphor (the “Day,” “fire,” etc.).> > What do I think Paul is saying? He is mixing the Old-Testament> “temple” and “refiner’s fire” metaphors. Those involved in the> ministry of the gospel should be careful how they build alleged> converts onto God’s temple, the church. Jesus Christ himself is the> foundation. If Apollos (or anyone else) accepts (or presents the> gospel in such a way that it allows/draws) false brothers into the> church, they are corrupting God’s temple, which in the end will be> (metaphorically) tested with fire at the final judgment. Those who are> found to have corrupted God’s temple via introducing false disciples> will find their “work” (i.e. their converts) “burnt up.” Subsequently> they themselves will be put to the fiery test, which they will> inevitably fail; since they corrupted God’s temple, God will “corrupt”> them (3:17). (It is not at all unusual to refer to people as building> materials in the church [cf. Matt 16:18; Gal 2:9; Eph 2:19-22; 1 Peter> 2:4-8; Rev 3:12; 21:14]. Elsewhere Paul refers to the Corinthians as> his “work” [1 Cor 9:1] and is quite concerned about the church’s purity> [1 Cor 5:1-13; 2 Cor 11:2-3; etc.]).> > So what is the “wage/reward” (1 Cor 3:14)? IMO, nothing other than> eternal life–the “crown that will last forever” (1 Cor 9:25). Paul> elsewhere denies his entitlement to any wage/reward other than the> grace of apostleship–which for Paul is its own reward (1 Cor> 9:16-18)–and also speaks of his congregations themselves as his> “crown” (1 Thess 2:19-20; Phil 4:1). The man who “suffers loss” finds> the product of his earthly labors (his supposed converts) burnt up,> while he himself is then tested (and ultimately judged) by the fire. > This interpretation is also consistent with James’ statement that those> who are teachers “will be judged more strictly” (James 3:1).> > Anyway, I could say more, but it’s getting late. I hope I have been> clear. Let me know what you think…> > My (fairly exhaustive) thoughts… 🙂> > Matt Eby> Student, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary> > __________________________________________________> Do You Yahoo!?> Yahoo! Greetings – send holiday greetings for Easter, Passover> http://greetings.yahoo.com/

 

1 Cor 3:15 (The force of the future indicative)Participant Reference in John 18:15

1 Cor 3:15 (The force of the future indicative) boyd at huxcomm.net boyd at huxcomm.net
Tue Apr 2 23:30:44 EST 2002

 

Pronunciation and subjunctives Pronunciation and subjunctives 3.15: EI TINOS TO ERGON KATAKAHSETAI, ZHMIWQHSETAI,AUTOS DE SWQHSETAI, hOUTWS DE hWS DIA PUROS.I think that Steven Lo Vullo did an excellent job of explaining this passage the other day. I just want to make a few comments on Matt’s understanding of it.Matt wrote:<<I don’t think the solution lies in the force of thefuture indicative alone, but rather in the force of the futureindicative *when qualified by an adverb*. Take Jesus’ statement inMatthew 19:23:AMHN LEGW hUMIN hOTI PLOUSIOS DUSKOLWS EISELEUSETAI EIS THN BASILEIANTWN OURANWN (“Truly I say to you that a rich [man] will enter into the kingdom of heaven with difficulty [lit. as an adverb, ‘hardly’–or even ‘difficultly’]”).Jesus here is *not* asserting that a rich man *will* in fact enter thekingdom of heaven. He is rather asserting the *manner* in which such a man will–*if* indeed he does: *with difficulty*. (Jesus goes on to pronounce this to be impossible with men in fact [v. 26])! Thus the adverb DUSKOLWS is a very powerful qualifier to the future EISELEUSETAI in this passage–it functions practically as a conditional clause.>>IMO, I don’t think these two passages are similar enough to be helpful in comparison. They both have a future indicative verb and some form of adverbial modifier, but beyond that I don’t see a useful parallel. Certainly, this “parallel” should not override the context of 1 Cor. 3:15.Matt wrote:<<I have yet to find a commentary that deals satisfactorily with Paul’s clear allusion to the LXX of Malachi 3:2-5, 19-24 (NA27 notes the parallel in the margin of v. 13). There the prophet talks about the coming “Day” (judgment) in terms of a refiner’s fire–wherein it is the *righteous* who are tested as gold and silver (Mal 3:3) and the wicked who are regarded as stubble to be consumed (3:19). Paul mentions the same elements in his metaphor (the “Day,” “fire,” etc.).>>Although Paul may borrow some language from Malachi, we certainly should not force him to say the same thing, especially on 🙂 Paul doesn’t say anything in this passage about testing of people. Consistently he speaks of the testing of TO ERGON. Notice especially the last part of v. 13: hEKASTOU TO ERGON hOPOION ESTIN TO PUR [AUTO] DOKIMASEI. Jonathan BoydHuxley, IA

 

Pronunciation and subjunctivesPronunciation and subjunctives

1 Cor 3:15 (The force of the future indicative) Steven Lo Vullo slovullo at mac.com
Sun Apr 7 06:03:51 EDT 2002

 

Predicate Nominative Corrected reprint of Nestle-Aland on 3/31/02 11:22 PM, Matt Eby at ebymatt at yahoo.com wrote:> Interestingly, John Crysostom (_hom. 9 in 1 Cor._) asserted this verse> to mean that the man will be preserved in the fire of hell, so that he> will not experience annihilation! I would actually agree with your> conclusion concerning the meaning of this verse, albeit a bit> differently. I don’t think the solution lies in the force of the> future indicative alone, but rather in the force of the future> indicative *when qualified by an adverb*.This assumes a “solution” is necessary. I think most people, considering thegrammatical, syntactical, and lexical features of the sentence itself,wouldn’t perceive a problem that *needs* a solution. It seems to me the textis not really so cryptic as to require such a novel explanation as you offerbelow. Before beginning, I must say I find your wording above to be somewhatambiguous. On the one hand, the phrase “*the* future indicative” perhapsmeans “the future indicative in question.” But on the other hand, “whenqualified by *an* adverb” seems to indicate that ANY future indicativequalified by ANY adverb may gratuitously be transformed into aquasi-conditional clause. But I presume that most people, including you,would never dream of going through such contortions as those below whenevera future verb with an adverbial modifier is encountered, so I am assumingyou mean to indicate that this type of tricky grammatical maneuvering isreserved for “special” occassions.> Take Jesus’ statement in Matthew 19:23:> > AMHN LEGW hUMIN hOTI PLOUSIOS DUSKOLWS EISELEUSETAI EIS THN BASILEIAN> TWN OURANWN (“Truly I say to you that a rich [man] will enter into the> kingdom of heaven with difficulty [lit. as an adverb, ‘hardly’–or even> ‘difficultly’]”).> > Jesus here is *not* asserting that a rich man *will* in fact enter the> kingdom of heaven. He is rather asserting the *manner* in which such a> man will–*if* indeed he does: *with difficulty*. (Jesus goes on to> pronounce this to be impossible with men in fact [v. 26])! Thus the> adverb DUSKOLWS is a very powerful qualifier to the future EISELEUSETAI> in this passage–it functions practically as a conditional clause.Your above wording is again ambiguous. You don’t make clear whether DUSKOLWSalone or DUSKOLWS with EISELEUSETAI functions as a quasi-conditional clause.I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you mean both together,since an adverb, like DUSKOLWS, alone functioning as a quasi-conditionalclause seems to me slightly more incredible than the alternative.Though I have read and reread your above paragraph, I cannot even perceivethe faintest silhouette of an actual argument for the idea that an adverbmakes a future tense verb “practically a conditional clause.” I can reach noother conclusion than that we have only your bare *assertion* that DUSKOLWSin some esoteric way makes EISELEUSETAI function in this way. You offer noevidence or argumentation at all. Not one undisputed occurrence is adduced.You proffer the verse as if the meaning you attach to it is self-evident,though you have in essence manufactured a conditional sentence out of thinair.But let’s, for the sake of argument, assume what you are asserting is true,i.e., DUSKOLWS EISELEUSETAI is a quasi-conditional clause. If so, in yourabove comments you have reversed the protasis and apodosis required by yourown assertion. You stated that it is DUSKOLWS that *makes* EISELEUSETAIpractically conditional. So, under your scenario, DUSKOLWS must be construedwith the putative protasis. This being the case, the condition must be, “Ifa rich man enters the kingdom of heaven with difficulty,” rather than “ifindeed he does [enter the kingdom of heaven],” as you paraphrase above. So,contrary to your your own paraphrase, what you actually leave us with is,”If a rich man enters the kingdom of heaven with difficulty, he will indeedenter the kingdom of heaven.” I don’t think I need to point out that this issuperfluous and practically tautological.As for the text itself, of course Jesus isn’t averring that “a rich man*will* in fact enter the kingdom of heaven,” if what you mean by that isthat any *particular* rich man will in fact enter the kingdom of heaven. Thereferent isn’t any specific rich man, as the anarthrous PLOUSIOS makesclear. The saying is gnomic, i.e., it expresses an axiom. Though noparticular person is in view, the idea is that a person *such as this* canbe expected to enter the kingdom of heaven with difficulty at some time inthe future (cf. Matt 6.24 for this gnomic use of the future indicative withan indefinite subject). DUSKOLWS doesn’t negate the maxim, it only expressesthe *manner* in which a person such as this can be expected to enter thekingdom of heaven in the future. While Jesus’ main purpose here is not toassure the disciples that people from the class designated “rich” will enterthe kingdom of heaven, it is nevertheless assumed that people from thatparticular class WILL, though with difficulty.> Now look again at 1 Cor 3:15:> > AUTOS DE SWQHSETAI hOUTWS DE hWS DIA PUROS (“And he himself will be> saved but thusly: as through fire”).You invite us to “now look again” at 1 Cor 3.15 as if the bare assertionmade about Matt 19.23 has actually proven or illustrated somethingsubstantive that we can apply to the text under consideration, or as if wewill find some amazing resemblance between the two sentences, which arereally quite different. In fact, as I will show, the adverbial modifier DIAPUROS doesn’t even modify the explicit SWQHSETAI, but an elliptical form ofSWiZW, either the future SWQHSETAI understood in the compound clause withhOUTWS, or SWiZETAI, a present passive understood in the comparative clausewith hWS. Not only that, but the contexts are quite different as well.> hOUTWS here acts as a proleptic adverb, refering to the adverbial> phrase hWS DIA PUROS, qualifying AUTOS DE SWQHSETAI (as you said). But> I don’t think at all that Paul is assuring that such a man (whose> “work” is burnt up) will be saved. Rather, he is asserting the> *manner* in which such a man will be–*if* indeed he is: he himself> must survive the test of fire (not just his “work”). And the> implication of vv. 16-17 is that such a man *will not* pass the test.Well, at least you seem to ackowledge that the text doesn’t actually SAY,”If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, but he himself will besaved through fire, IF he is saved, but he won’t be, because he must survivethe test of fire, but he won’t, because his work will be burned up, so hewill be too.” These are ideas IMPORTED into the text. Now, would you mindsharing with us the alchemic technique whereby an axiomatic (gnomic)statement of a future event is transformed into a quasi-conditional clauseby an adverbial phrase in a compounded clause or its subordinate thatindicates the MANNER of the FULFILLMENT of the action of an implied verb?This is nothing more than wishful thinking and a whole lot of what I canonly describe as grammagination. As with Matt 19.23, no evidence of thiseffect of a adverbial phrase on a verb (in this case not necessarily futureanyhow) is offered. I note that the new element that was gratuitouslyslipped in here is that of denial or negation. Apparently vv. 15 and 17 werethrown into the ring and v. 17 walked away with the KO.Just a few more observations on your above comments before we move on:First, just as with Matt 19.23, you have failed to take seriously your ownassertion, i.e., that the adverbial modifier (DIA PUROS) somehow makes averb function as a quasi-conditional clause. Again: If it is the adverbialmodifier that creates the condition, it itself must be part of theconditional clause. So we would not have, “If he is saved, he will be savedthrough fire,” but, “If he is saved through fire, he will be saved.” Again,as with Matt 19.23, this is superfluous and tautological. Of course ifsomeone is save through fire he will be saved! How could it be otherwise?Second, the construction hOUTWS … hWS, as BDAG (2) recognizes, functionscorrelatively. It means “thus … as,” and hOUTWS and hWS function in theirrespective clauses here with an understood form of SWiZW. So, in ourpassage, “but he himself will be saved, but THE WAY he WILL BE saved is AS aman is saved through fire.” There is nothing in the hOUTWS … hWSconstruction to support your understanding of this passage.Third, it must be recognized that neither hOUTWS nor hWS DIA PUROS aredirect qualifiers of SWQHSETAI, as you claim above. So DIA PUROS does NOTnecessarily even qualify a *future* tense verb, as seems to be taken forgranted in your comments. I notice you left out the punctuation (comma) inyour above quote of what are, in fact, at least TWO separate clauses. That’sOK; the original didn’t have a comma. But the comma of UBS4 and NA27indicates something you have apparently overlooked: AUTOS DE SWQHSETAI is aclause all its own. It is not directly qualified by anything. It is a simplestatement of what we can expect to happen in the future to such a person asis in view here: “If anyone’s work is burned up … he himself will besaved.” DE (after hOUTWS) is an adversative conjunction joining AUTOS DESWQHSETAI to hOUTWS DE. The latter (hOUTWS DE) is not complete without animplied SWQHSETAI, understood from the previous clause. It is the *implied*SWQHSETAI that is qualified by hOUTWS. In turn, the comparative clausemarked by hWS (hWS DIA PUROS) is dependent on hOUTWS DE [SWQHSETAI]. Someform of SWiZW, ISTM, must also be be understood with this comparative clause(something like hWS [ANQRWPOS SWiZETAI] DIA PUROS). Neither of these clausesin any way serve to make AUTOS DE SWQHSETAI conditional. They only specifythe MANNER in which this event will be carried out, by way of COMPARISON.The resulting idea is: “If anyone’s work is burned up, he himself WILL BEsaved, but the WAY he will be saved is LIKE someone is saved through fire.”Far from lending assurance to careless teachers that using cheap materialsis no big deal (as you seem to indicate this understanding of the passagedoes), this text functions rhetorically as a warning that such work will bein vain, and that tragic loss of reward will ensue. When one takes seriouslythe function of reward in the NT, it is apparent that this IS a big deal.But I digress. Fourth, there is simply nothing in this sentence that makes the claim youdo, that “he himself must survive the test of fire (not just his ‘work’).”This is, in fact, exactly the opposite of what the text (without thegrammagination and the importing of the ideas of other verses) actuallyavers. Read in a straightforward way, it says that if a person’s WORK isburned up (EI TINOS TO ERGON KATAKAHSETAI), he himself WILL BE SAVED (AUTOSDE SWQHSETAI). Then an appended clause with its subordinate simply states,by means of COMPARISON, the MANNER in which he WILL BE saved. The testing ofWORKS is the clear statement of vv. 13 and 14 as well. And you have not evendealt with AUTOS, which is emphatic and functions to contrast the loss ofreward (ZHMIWQHSETAI) with the salvation of the one who loses the reward(“He will suffer loss [of reward, cf. v. 14], but HE HIMSELF will besaved”). It seems to me that the identification of the one who destroys thetemple of God and is destroyed (v. 17) with the one whose work is of lowquality and burned up, though he himself is saved (v. 15) not only lacks anyexplicit connection, but also relies on the enlistment of v. 17 in anabortive attempt at trumping the natural sense of the language of v. 15.This is not to mention the screaming contradition between AUTOS DE SWQHSETAI(v. 15) and FQEREI~ TOUTON hO QEOS (v. 17) when the two classes of workerare equated and “mere” grammar is taken seriously.Fifth, it is apparent, from your insistence that the type of *person* inview here is somehow tested by fire, that you have overlooked the functionof hWS in the comparative clause dependent on hOUTWS DE [SWQHSETAI]. This isnot a description of a literal process that the careless builder actuallywill go through. It is a *comparison* with an occurence from everyday life,i.e., a person being save from a burning house. This clause does notindicate that the carelss builder WILL go through fire, only that theexperience will be LIKE a person saved through fire. It is a simile. ASain’t IS. In context, the point of connection between the simile and thereality is that in both cases the referents are saved but lose all else. Theman escaping a burning home is safe, but everything he has worked for hasgone up in smoke. Likewise, the careless builder is saved, but all he hasworked for has come to naught, since it was not “fireproof.” IN NEITHER CASEis the referent burned up by the fire.> I have yet to find a commentary that deals satisfactorily with Paul’s> clear allusion to the LXX of Malachi 3:2-5, 19-24 (NA27 notes the> parallel in the margin of v. 13). There the prophet talks about the> coming “Day” (judgment) in terms of a refiner’s fire–wherein it is the> *righteous* who are tested as gold and silver (Mal 3:3) and the wicked> who are regarded as stubble to be consumed (3:19). Paul mentions the> same elements in his metaphor (the “Day,” “fire,” etc.).The reason it is hard to find a commentary that “deals satisfactorily” withthe “clear allusion” to Mal 3.2-5, 19-24 probably has to do with the factthat the passage is not critical in *interpreting* 1 Cor 3. Your commentsindicate that you have not simply determined there is an allusion, but thatyou have interpreted 1 Cor 3 as if it actually IS Mal 3! Noting a possibleallusion is one thing; allowing the work from which the allusion was *taken*to totally govern the interpretation of the passage in which it is *used* isquite another. After all, an allusion is “an implied or indirect reference”(Webster’s). Using a few words from another work does NOT translate intodirectly and completely incorporating the ideas of that work. Most skilledcommentators understand this, hence the terrible dearth of commentaries thatdo not deal extensively with the proposed connection.But even if we DID allow Mal 3 to influence our interpretation of 1 Cor 3,the result would be the OPPOSITE of your view of 1 Cor 3.15. The Lord comingto his temple and refining and purifying the Levites (who held the teachingoffice, Mal 2.6f.) so that pleasing offerings could be presented to the Lordwould actually parallel the testing of the work of the teachers of 1 Cor 3and the burning up of the “dross” of inferior teaching so that pleasingofferings could be made to the Lord. By your own admission, those of Mal3.2-5 (“the righteous,” as you say) are distinguished from those of vv.19-24. The former would correspond both to the careful teacher of 1 Cor 3.14(whose work is tested by fire and remains) *and* the careless teacher of 1Cor 3.15 (whose dross is burned away and who is purified, though he himselfis saved), while the latter would correspond to those in 1 Cor 3.17 who”destroy” the temple of God and are subsequently themselves destroyed.Suffice it to say there is nothing in Mal 3 that contradicts what I havesaid about 1 Cor 3.15, or that would prompt us to adopt far-out grammaticalsolutions in an attempt to somehow “square” 1 Cor 3 and Mal 3. But all thisgoes well beyond the scope of , since none of it has anything to dowith the grammar and syntax of 1 Cor 3.15 anyway.> What do I think Paul is saying? He is mixing the Old-Testament> “temple” and “refiner’s fire” metaphors. Those involved in the> ministry of the gospel should be careful how they build alleged> converts onto God’s temple, the church. Jesus Christ himself is the> foundation. If Apollos (or anyone else) accepts (or presents the> gospel in such a way that it allows/draws) false brothers into the> church, they are corrupting God’s temple, which in the end will be> (metaphorically) tested with fire at the final judgment. Those who are> found to have corrupted God’s temple via introducing false disciples> will find their “work” (i.e. their converts) “burnt up.” Subsequently> they themselves will be put to the fiery test, which they will> inevitably fail; since they corrupted God’s temple, God will “corrupt”> them (3:17). (It is not at all unusual to refer to people as building> materials in the church [cf. Matt 16:18; Gal 2:9; Eph 2:19-22; 1 Peter> 2:4-8; Rev 3:12; 21:14]. Elsewhere Paul refers to the Corinthians as> his “work” [1 Cor 9:1] and is quite concerned about the church’s purity> [1 Cor 5:1-13; 2 Cor 11:2-3; etc.]).Well, the above comments reflect exactly the problem I was talking aboutearlier–allowing one text to control another, so that the latter is notviewed at all in its own right.There is simply nothing in 1 Cor 3 about teachers building converts “onto” atemple, or accepting or introducing false converts into the congregation.The issue is TEACHING, as the whole context of 1 Cor 3 (as well as thebroader context) shows. This idea of building converts “onto” a templemisses the overall picture Paul is painting.I think a quick “tour” of this passage will easily show that the “work”(ERGON, vv. 8, 14) in view is the preaching and teaching of those *such as*Paul and Apollos (cf. 1 Cor 4.6), who will receive an eschatological “wage”(MISQON, v. 8) commensurate to the quality of the work performed. TheCorinthians are both a “field” (GEWRGION) in which the gospel was planted(EFUTEUSA) by Paul and which was later “watered” (EPOTISEN) by the teachingof Apollos, and a “building” (OIKODOMH), the foundation of which was laid byPaul’s preaching of the gospel and which is being “built up” (spirituallyedified) by others. A careful consideration of the developement of thepassage makes this clear.When Paul says he “planted” and Apollos “watered” (EFUTEUSA … EPOTISEN, v.6), he is saying the same thing he says in vv. 10ff. (that he laid the”foundation” of Jesus Christ and that others were “building” on that), butwith a different metaphor. His “planting” was the preaching of the gospel.Thus, when he says Apollos “watered” he can mean nothing else but thatApollos taught additional truth that went, at least to some degree, beyondthe “foundational” message preached by Paul. Surely Paul is not saying thathe planted the ACTUAL PERSON Jesus Christ rather than the message of JesusChrist and that Apollos sprinkled converts on top of him! That preaching andteaching is in view here in v. 6 is confirmed by what immediately precedesin v. 5: Paul and Apollos are DIAKONOI DI’ hWN EPISTEUSATE (“servantsthrough whom you believed”). What they believed was obviously what Paulplanted and what Apollos watered. So, then, when in v. 9 Paul says, QEOUGEWRGION, QEOU OIKODOMH ESTE (“you are God’s field, God’s building”) he doesNOT mean that PEOPLE are being sprinkled onto the field or that PEOPLE arebeing affixed to the building. They ARE the existent field and building.They are NOT the water and the building materials! He means that they are(or should be) the object of the growth producing “water of the word” aswell as the object of the work of “building up” (spiritual edification) ofthose, such as Apollos, who teach in the church.What follows beginning in v. 10 is nothing less than a development of the”planting” and “watering” motif, but with a different meataphor. Thetransition comes in v. 9, where the “field” (GEWRGION), i.e., *the whole ofthe Corinthian congregation itself*, is described also as a “building”(OIKODOMH), also *the whole of the Corinthian congregation itself*.Taking up the “building” metaphor, Paul says he, like a “wise masterbuilder” (SOFOS ARCITEKTWN), “layed a foundation” (QEMELION EQHKA), whichwas Jesus Christ (vv. 10-11). Following your suggestion (that the issue isnot teaching, but building people “onto” the temple), we would have toassume that what Paul is saying here is that he himself installed THE ACTUALPERSON Jesus Christ as the foundation of the church! But what Paul obviouslymeans, in context, is that he heralded the foundational truths of thegospel. This alludes to earlier declarations made by Paul, such as thefollowing:1 Cor. 2.1-2: And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come withsuperiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Himcrucified.”1 Cor 3.1-2: And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men,but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink,not solid food; for you were not yet able [to receive it].The simple message of “Jesus Christ and him crucified” was the “milk” Paulgave the Corinthians to drink and the “foundation” he laid. He did NOTinstall THE ACTUAL PERSON Jesus Christ as the foundation; rather, heheralded the basic gospel message about Christ. Thus, when he says in v. 10that he laid a foundation and ALLOS DE EPOIKODOMEI (“another is building on[it]”), he means the same thing he meant when he talked of his “planting”and Apollos’ “watering”: that he brought the foundational message, andanother is augmenting that message with additional teaching. It is TEACHINGthat is represented by the water and building materials, not PEOPLE. Just aswhen he spoke of himself “planting” and Apollos “watering” he did not meanthat he planted the ACTUAL PERSON Jesus Christ, and that Apollos was addingPEOPLE to Christ or the church as water, so, likewise, when he speaks ofhimself laying the foundation of Jesus Christ and another building on it, hedoes not mean that he installed the ACTUAL PERSON Jesus Christ as afoundation of the church and that others were adding PEOPLE to Christ or thechurch as building materials! Thus, everything that follows in vv. 12ff.must be viewed through THIS lense, and NOT through the lens of the other”proof-texts” you have garnered from far removed contexts, which, at anyrate, are similarly misunderstood. Just matching up words does not proveanything; the words themselves and their meaning and significance must beinterpreted according to the peculiar context in which they are found,rather than be forced into a preconceived grid from another context.While the primary focus at this point in the letter is the wisdom of God andits ministry as opposed to the wisdom of the world and its presence in theCorinthian community, there is, at the same time, the additional, impliedidea in the “building” metaphor that the church “grows” as a result of theexercise of a wise teaching ministry, but does not profit from foolishministry incorporating the wisdom of the world. But the idea here is NOTnumerical growth or decrease; rather, it is that the church is “underconstruction” in the sense we mean when we say something like, “Our churchisn’t perfect; we’re still under construction.” We don’t mean by that thatthere are still converts to be added to our number (though that may be trueenough), but that there is need for further spiritual growth. There is aclose connection between “planting” and “watering”/ “foundation-laying” and”building” and the spiritual growth and edification of the church (cf. v.7). The existing Corinthian assembly is viewed both as a planted field thatneeds the water of the word in order to grow spiritually and as a “workunder construction” that needs the quality building materials of the word inorder to be built up spiritually. The “building” activity in view in 1 Cor3, what we would call “edification,” comes to the fore later in the letter.Compare OIKODOMH (v. 9), EPOIKODOMEI (vv. 10 [2x], 12), and EPOIKODOMHSEN(v. 14) with the later development of Paul’s concern for “building-up” thechurch in the following passages:1 Cor 8.1: hH GNWSIS FUSIOI, hH DE AGAPH **OIKODOMEI**.Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.1 Cor 10.23: PANTA EXESTIN ALL’ OU PANTA SUMFEREI; PANTA EXESTIN ALL’ OUPANTA **OIKADOMEI**.All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable; all things arelawful, but not all things build up.1 Cor 14.3-5: hO DE PROFHTEUWN ANQRWPOIS LALEI **OIKODOMHN** KAI PARAKLHSINKAI PARAMUQIAN. hO LALWN GLWSSH hEAUTON **OIKODOMEI**; hO DE PROFHTEUWNEKKLHSIAN **OIKODOMEI**. QELW DE PANTAS hUMAS LALEIN GLWSSAIS, MALLON DEhINA PROFHTEUHTE; MEIZWN DE hO PROFHTEUWN H hO LALWN GLWSSAIS EKTOS EI MHDIERMHNEUH, hINA hH EKKLHSIA **OIKODOMHN** LABHi.But one who prophesies speaks to men for building-up and exhortation andconsolation. One who speaks in a tongue builds up himself; but one whoprophesies builds up the church. Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues,but [even] more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesiesthan one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church mayreceive building-up.1 Cor 14.12: hOUTWS KAI hUMEIS, EPEI ZHLWTAI ESTE PNEUMATWN, PROS THN*OIKODOMHN** THS EKKLHSIAS ZHTEITE hINA PERISSEUHTE.So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual [gifts], seek to abound forthe building-up of the church.1 Cor 14.17: SU MEN GAR KALWS EUCARISTEIS ALL’ hO hETEROS OUK**OIKODOMEITAI**.For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not built up.1 Cor 14.26: TI OUN ESTIN, ADELFOI? hOTAN SUNERCHSQE, hEKASTOS YALMON ECEI,DIDACHN ECEI, APOKALUYIN ECEI, GLWSSAN ECEI, hERMHNEIAN ECEI; PANTA PROS**OIKODOMHN** GINESQW.What is [the outcome] then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has apsalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has aninterpretation. Let all things be done for building-up.It becomes apparent throughout the course of the letter that the problem inthe church of Corinth was not so much “false disciples” being “introduced,”but the spiritual immaturity of those *already there*. This is the contextof 1 Cor 3. The Corinthians were “babies” (NHPIOIS, 3.1) who had not maturedbeyond the ability to drink the “milk” (GALA, 3.2) of the simple gospelmessage Paul had originally preached. The general problem was not theintroduction of “false converts,” but the stunted growth of those who hadbeen there from the beginning! One of the solutions was to “water them” and”build them up” with quality teaching. Those who “watered” to maturity theseed in the field and “built” on the “foundation” with quality teaching thatbrought about the spiritual “building-up” of the church would recieve areward; those who built on the foundation of the true gospel of Christ withinferior teaching that left the Corinthians in their immature state wouldlose their reward. It is important to note that BOTH were building on theONE foundation, Jesus Christ (vv. 12-13). The man who builds with wood, hay,and straw is not positively *destroying* the foundation or the building. Hejust isn’t building on it properly and making it strong. He is not denyingthe gospel of Christ, he just isn’t augmenting it properly to theedification of the church. This is why he will still be saved, but without awage for his work, which was defective. The person in view in v. 17,however, positively destroys the church, no doubt in an attempt to layanother foundation (vv. 10-11). This is why he will be destroyed.What is truly ironic about your interpretation is that, if true, Paulhimself is guilty of introducing “wood, hay, straw” to the Corinthiancommunity! He was the one who “planted” the seed that established thecommunity in the first place (v. 6). The “fleshly” (SARKINOS) people of theCorinthian church were none other than the people Paul himself had”introduced” to the church (vv. 1-4). They were his “work” (TO ERGON, 9.1).By your accounting, he should be destroyed, since he himself built these”fleshly” (SARKINOS, vv. 1, 3) people “onto” (as you say) God’s temple!In light of the above, it should not be surprising that the “work” (TOERGON, vv. 13 [2x], 14, 15), is clearly NOT the activity of introducing orappending converts, true or false, to the church. It is the work ofpreaching and teaching that God uses for the salvation and spiritual growthof his people. It is important, once again, to interpret according tocontext so that we are precise in our expression. According to v. 8, the”labor” (KOPON) for which a “wage” (MISQON, cf. v. 14) is “received”(LHMYETAI, cf. v. 14) is none other than “planting” (hO FUTEUWN) and”watering” (hO POTIZWN), which, as we have already seen, is paralleled by”laying a foundation” and “building” in vv. 10ff., and is none other thanthe work of preaching and teaching. There is not so much as a hint that theKOPOS/ ERGON of this section is the introduction of converts to the church,or that, if the converts somehow prove to be false, the person who thusintroduced them will be destroyed! What is tested by the fire is the qualityof the preaching or teaching. Those who do a good, quality job of preachingor teaching will receive a due wage; those who do not will not be paid.As for 1 Cor 9.1, it is hard to understand why you would think it supportsyour view. There is not a hint of any such idea as building converts “onto”a temple. The semantical force of ERGON here is clearly “result of work.” Infact, this verse is the “poster child” used by Louw-Nida for the verymeaning I propose:”ERGON, OU n: the result of someone¹s activity or work ‹ ‘workmanship,result of what has been done.’ OU TO ERGON MOU hUMEIS ESTE EN KURIWi; ‘areyou not the result of what I have done in the Lord?’ 1Cor 9:1.”The NIV well brings out the sense:”Are you not the result of my work in the Lord?”The idea is that his preaching the gospel as an apostle of Christ, his”planting” and “foundation-laying,” if you will, resulted in theirsalvation. There is nothing here to contradict the idea that the buildingmaterials in 1 Cor 3 represent teaching, and that it is this teaching thatwill be tested by fire. > So what is the “wage/reward” (1 Cor 3:14)? IMO, nothing other than> eternal life–the “crown that will last forever” (1 Cor 9:25). Paul> elsewhere denies his entitlement to any wage/reward other than the> grace of apostleship–which for Paul is its own reward (1 Cor> 9:16-18)–and also speaks of his congregations themselves as his> “crown” (1 Thess 2:19-20; Phil 4:1). The man who “suffers loss” finds> the product of his earthly labors (his supposed converts) burnt up,> while he himself is then tested (and ultimately judged) by the fire.> This interpretation is also consistent with James’ statement that those> who are teachers “will be judged more strictly” (James 3:1).Well, I think this only illustrates how trying to equate the ideas found intwo dissimilar contexts on the basis of a “word-match” only tends to destroythe ideas of both. The fact is that Paul not only DOES NOT deny hisentitlement to “any wage/reward other than the grace of apostleship” in9.16-18 (as if he were *owed* the *grace* of apostleship!), but he quiteclearly asserts his “right” (EXOUSIA, vv. 4-6, 12, 18) to get his livingfrom the preaching of the gospel. He *voluntarily* forgoes this right inorder that no hindrance be caused to the gospel of Christ (v. 12). In thecontext of ch. 9 Paul is talking about his right to monetary support in hispreaching of the gospel. It is THAT which he voluntarily forgoes, noteschatological reward. And the context makes clear that his reward forgiving up his right to monetary support, i.e., the preaching of the gospelwithout charge, is also temporal, since it is received when he preaches oroffers the gospel without charge (9.17, 18). It is a reward in this life.This in no way proves Paul had no expectation of eschatological reward forservice. In fact, he clearly states in 1 Cor 3.8 that the one who plantsWILL receive a reward. Since he himself *planted* (3.6-8), how shall we notconclude that he will receive an eschatological reward? As for the rest ofthe above proof-texts, none of them has anything to do with what is beingconsidered in 1 Cor 3. In fact, if we put them together as if they explainone another, we end up with hopeless contradictions. For example, you saythe “crown” is at the same time “eternal life” and “his congregations.”Which is it? The fact is that the metaphor is used differently in eachrespective context. Also, the idea of eternal life *owed* to evangelists iftheir converts prove true is, frankly, bizarre. As for the “imperishablewreath” (FQARTON STEFANON) of v. 25, nothing is said here about eternallife. It is the imperishability (FQARTON) of the REWARD (STEFANON, “wreath,”not “crown”) that is in view, not the imperishability of the person. Youhave simply assumed it is talking about eternal life.The hard, cold, grammatical fact is that the future tense verbs of 1 Cor3.14-15 rule out any such idea of reward in 1 Cor 3 as you have suggestedabove. The acute problem with this view is demonstrated when we closelycompare v. 14 with v. 15 and assume your idea that MISQOS means “eternallife.” When we read the verses substituting “eternal life” for “wage,” theresult is, well, convoluted. Let’s first compare the sentences in question,taking note of those words in v. 14 that are understood in v. 15:1 Cor 3.14: EI TINOS TO ERGON MENEI~ hO EPOIKODOMHSEN, MISQON LHMYETAI.If anyone’s work shall remain which he has built, he shall receive a wage.1 Cor 3.15: EI TINOS TO ERGON KATAKAHSETAI [hO EPOIKODOMHSEN], [MISQON]ZHMIWQHSETAI, AUTOS DE SWQHSETAI, hOUTWS DE [SWQHSETAI] hWS [ANQRWPOSSWiZETAI] DIA PUROS.If anyone’s work shall be burned up [which he has built], he shall sufferloss [of wage], but he himself shall be saved, but [he shall be saved] as [aman is saved] through fire.It is clear from the parallel structure and contrastive nature of these twosentences that hO EPOIKODOMHSEN and MISQON are understood in v. 15 fromtheir use in v. 14. If we take your suggestion that MISQON is “eternallife,” we end up with an intolerable contradiction: someone suffering lossof eternal life and yet he himself being saved! “If anyone’s work is burnedup, he will suffer loss of eternal life, but he himself will be saved.”This, I think, highlights the problem of equating MISQOS with eternal life.And there is simply no reason to take SWQHSETAI as conditional, as yousuggested earlier. Actually, the way MISQOS is used in 1 Cor 3 lends itself nicely to the ideaof eschatological wages for service that may vary from person to person. Inv. 8 we read: hO FUTEUWN DE KAI hO POTIZWN hEN EISIN, hEKASTOS DE TON IDIONMISQON LHMYETAI KATA TON IDION KOPON. Though the one who plants and the onewho waters are “one” (hEN), and “co-workers” (SUNERGOI, v. 9), each willreceive a wage geared personally to him that will be commensurate with thework performed, as hEKASTOS … TON IDION MISQON LHMYETAI KATA TON IDIONKOPON indicates. In relation to work performed from person to person, thewage may differ considerably (cf. Luke 19.11ff.)Now let’s, in one grand finale, using all the suggestions you have given,read v. 15:”If anyone introduces people to the church who are burned up, he shallsuffer loss of eternal life, but he himself shall be saved, if he is saved,but he won’t be, because he must pass the test of fire, which he won’tbecause those he has introduced to the church have been burned up, so hewill be burned up as well.”Now really, does this bear any resemblance to the simple and straightforwardsentence with which we have to do? When we read, “he shall suffer loss ofeternal life, but he himself shall be saved, if he is saved, but he won’tbe,” does this not make Paul sound like someone who is confused and cannotmake up his mind about what he really wants to say?I’m not sure what has driven this understanding of the passage, but I don’tthink it is much less subjective than John Chrysostom’s suggestion withwhich you began your post.============Steven Lo VulloMadison, WIslovullo at mac.com

 

Predicate NominativeCorrected reprint of Nestle-Aland

1 Cor 3:15 (The force of the future indicative) Steven Lo Vullo slovullo at mac.com
Mon Apr 8 06:03:34 EDT 2002

 

Lk 24:17-28 Lk 24:17-28 on 4/1/02 1:40 AM, Moon-Ryul Jung at moon at sogang.ac.kr wrote:> Excellent!> My comments below.> > Steve, in his reponse to my post, said that this passage talks about three> types of leaders. The last type is talked about in vv 16-17. Only they> will be destroyed. Hmm, I simply thought that two types of people> are described here. So, my interpretation of v 15 was influenced by> vv 16-17. > > Are there any clues that three types of leaders are talked about in this> passage?Aside from what I have already said in my latest post, let me add just a fewmore comments.(1) There is no explicit link between the careless BUILDER of v. 15 and theactive DESTROYER of v. 17. The grammar, syntax, and lexicology of v. 15SHOULD NOT be trampled on for the sake of some hypothetical correlationbetween the one who is DESTROYED in v. 17 and the one who is SAVED in v. 15.(2) The “builders” of vv. 14 and 15 BOTH build (cf. v. 12) on the same”foundation” (QEMELIOS, v. 10), which is the basic gospel message of Christ.The careless builder as well as the conscientious builder recognize the onefoundation. They are BOTH building on the same gospel message. The carelessbuilder DOES NOT deny the gospel! The difference between the two is that onebuilds on the foundational message with quality materials and the other withinferior materials (hOPOION, 3.13). The difference is in QUALITY.(3) The one who “destroys” does not recognize the foundation at all. Notethe correlation between 1 Cor 3.5 and 15.11, 12:1 Cor 3.5: TI OUN ESTIN APOLLOWS? TI DE ESTIN PAULOS? DIAKONOI DI’ hWN**EPISTEUSATE**.What, then, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you**believed**.1 Cor 15.11-12: EITE OUN EGW EITE EKEINOI, hOUTWS KHRUSSOMEN KAI hOUTWS**EPISTEUSATE**. EI DE CRISTOS KHRUSSETAI hOTI EK NEKRWN EGHGERTAI, PWSLEGOUSIN EN hUMIN TINES hOTI ANASTASIS NEKRWN OUK ESTIN?So whether I or they, so we preach and so you **believed**. But if Christ ispreached, that he has been raised from the dead, how is it that some of yousay that there is no resurrection?Note that in the context of 1 Cor 3 the “foundational” message of Paul wasthat which the Corinthians “believed” (1 Cor 3.5). This must have includedthe message of the resurrection, since 1 Cor 15.11 indicates that they”believed” this as a component of the “foundational” gospel message thatPaul and others preached. But Paul goes on to indicate that some rejectedthis “foundational” component of the gospel (1 Cor 15.12). So, it seems somewere building on the foundational message with “cheap” building materials,while others were denying the foundational message altogether. The formerare the careless builders of 1 Cor 3:15; the latter are the “destroyers” ofthe temple of God singled out in 3.17. It is important to note thedifference: The careless builder nevertheless builds upon the foundation;the “destroyer” denies the foundation altogether.============Steven Lo VulloMadison, WIslovullo at mac.com

 

Lk 24:17-28Lk 24:17-28

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