New Testament • Adverbial element with multiple verbs in Rom 16:1-2

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Rom 16:1-2 Συνίστημι δὲ ὑμῖν Φοίβην τὴν ἀδελφὴν ἡμῶν, οὖσαν [καὶ] διάκονον τῆς ἐκκλησίας τῆς ἐν Κεγχρεαῖς, ἵνα αὐτὴν προσδέξησθε ἐν κυρίῳ ἀξίως τῶν ἁγίων καὶ παραστῆτε αὐτῇ ἐν ᾧ ἂν ὑμῶν χρῄζῃ πράγματι· καὶ γὰρ αὐτὴ προστάτις πολλῶν ἐγενήθη καὶ ἐμοῦ αὐτοῦ. (United Bible Societies, 4th edition, copyright Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft)

Translation/exegetical decision for v.2:
(a) Whether the adverbial element (ἐν κυρίῳ ἀξίως τῶν ἁγίων) applies to BOTH 2nd person plural subjunctive verbs (προσδέξησθε and παραστῆτε), or solely to προσδέξησθε.
(b) Hence also, whether the καὶ (καὶ παραστῆτε) functions to connect the subjunctives that both apply to the readers (ὑμῖν in v.1), or functions to connect clauses in a way that severs the adverbial element from the second subjunctive (παραστῆτε).

Some notes:
1. I have tried to find guidance among numerous Grammar sources, but have found nothing that comes close to resolving this matter.
2. I appreciate this is questioning the norm: all published English translations (I have found) separate the clauses, and apply the adverbial element solely to the first subjunctive (eg, NASB-95: "that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well.")
3. As in (b) above, both subjunctives in question pertain grammatically to the readers, even if across clauses.
4. Paul is exhorting the readers to receive (προσδέξησθε) and present to / support (παραστῆτε) Phoebe as a complete outcome of his commending (Συνίστημι) her to them. All three verbs share semantic nuances of relationship to form a cohesion. Again, these are directions for the readers to consider and (hopefully) follow.
5. The adverbial element (in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints) makes reasonable sense for both προσδέξησθε AND παραστῆτε, especially in the light of Romans 12 (esp vv.1-6), where Paul urged the readers to present (παρίστημι again) themselves in holiness (again) to use their gifts for the sake of the members of the Christian community. This included generosity and hospitality ("contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality" (12:13, NASB-95).
6. The final clause in 16:2 (... καὶ γὰρ αὐτὴ προστάτις πολλῶν ἐγενήθη καὶ ἐμοῦ αὐτοῦ) also makes sense as a basis for both receiving and supporting Phoebe. It speaks further to her service "τῆς ἐκκλησίας" in her community-oriented character, as well as to her specific activity as benefactor.
7. I currently favour the notion that Paul intended the adverbial element to apply to both προσδέξησθε and παραστῆτε. A possible resultant translation: "... in order that you - in the Lord, in a manner worthy of the holy ones - might both include her among you and present yourselves to her in whatever way she might need of you ...".

I would value learning any grammatical (or other) reasons and arguments that render this translation either acceptable or unacceptable.

I hope this makes sense, and I welcome inputs and discussion. Thank you in advance, Grant.

Statistics: Posted by Grant Nichols — May 8th, 2023, 9:56 pm

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