Philippians 1:27

[bible passage=”Philippians 1:27″]

Ladies and Gentlemen: I am perplexed and perhaps a little cynical about the concept of “attraction” in Koine Greek. One example [among several] occurs in Philippians 1:27-28 where, in Mounce’s Graded Reader, he quotes Fee (NICNT) saying that the hHTIS in v28 refers back to the preceding clause refers back to the whole preceding clause (admittedly I do not have Fee’s work, I am quoting Mounce quoting Fee) and is in the feminine because it is “attracted” to the gender of ENDEIXIS hHTIS ESTIN AUTOIS ENDEIXIS Preceding clause: 1:27-28: THi PISTEI TOU EUANGGELIOU KAI MH PTUROMENOI EN MEDENI hUPO TWN ANTIKEIMENWN hHTIS… [trust the transliteration attains the minimal acceptable standard] I have consulted my grammars — I even hoped, after my recent questions whether A.T. Robertson might rise to the occasion, since there is precious little in any of my other works on this subject. Alas he sits on the table in accordance with Lightman’s suggestion, awaiting a job holding down papers in the next tornado.

So is this thing called “attraction” apparent or real? Perhaps I am uncomfortable with the terminology — it is as if the words have a mind of their own rather than a writer deliberately choosing the appropriate and grammatically correct lexical form? If attraction is real, what purpose does it serve? Or is “attraction” a catch-all when all logical, semantic, and grammatical attempts to explain the case of a word have failed? “oh it is not a,b,c,d therefore it is ‘attraction'”

Any references, comments, clues welcomed!

Rgds Steve Baldwin

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