New Testament • Re: Gal. 3:3b … ἐναρξάμενοι Πνεύματι νῦν σαρκὶ ἐπιτελεῖσθε

I've been pondering Gal 3:3 in connection with all the other flesh phrases of Galatians for two years since the above conversation. I'm still exploring this possibility:

νῦν σαρκὶ in 3:3 (ἐναρξάμενοι Πνεύματι νῦν σαρκὶ ἐπιτελεῖσθε)
has the same positive connotation as
νῦν... σαρκὶ in 2:20 (ὃ δὲ νῦν ζῶ ἐν σαρκί, ἐν πίστει ζῶ)

Both presume the Ἐν σαρκὶ vs κατὰ σάρκα antithesis found in 2 Cor 10:3
Ἐν σαρκὶ γὰρ περιπατοῦντες οὐ κατὰ σάρκα στρατευόμεθα

Also, the present tense of the verb, ἐπιτελεῖσθε (or the textual variant found in א‎ 33 ×1175, ἐπιτελεῖσθαι)
is in harmony with the present tense of the verbs in 3:5
(ὁ οὖν ἐπιχορηγῶν ὑμῖν τὸ Πνεῦμα καὶ ἐνεργῶν δυνάμεις ἐν ὑμῖν...)

Currently, I'm beginning to "hear" how the textual variant, ἐπιτελεῖσθαι, might work in the immediate context as I understand it. In The Text of Galatians and its History, Carlson makes this very interesting observation: "Though these variants were pronounced identically after the second century, they have different meanings and interact with the clause in different ways."

ἐναρξάμενοι Πνεύματι νῦν σαρκὶ ἐπιτελεῖσθαι τοσαῦτα ἐπάθετε εἰκῇ εἴ γε καὶ εἰκῇ.

Tr: "Having begun in the Spirit, now, in order to be made perfect (completed) in the flesh, you have suffered a lot for nothing, if it is for nothing."

Through participation in Christ's faith, the power of the Spirit "now" working in the Galatians is completing them "in the flesh, in the faith." Through suffering with Christ, they are being perfected. When they believed that this is happening through works of the law, instead of hearing of faith, they had become "unperceptive" under the spell of the circumcision party.
Similar usages of a cluster of key terms (πνεύματι, σαρκὶ, πίστει and ἐπιτελεῖσθαι) may be discernible in 1 Peter in relation to what it means to suffer, πάσχω, like Christ suffered.

1 Peter 3:18b
θανατωθεὶς μὲν σαρκὶ ζωοποιηθεὶς δὲ πνεύματι·

Having been put to death in the flesh, having been made alive in the Spirit.

1 Peter 4:1-2
Χριστοῦ οὖν παθόντος σαρκὶ
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὴν αὐτὴν ἔννοιαν ὁπλίσασθε,
ὅτι ὁ παθὼν σαρκὶ πέπαυται ἁμαρτίας,
εἰς τὸ μηκέτι ἀνθρώπων ἐπιθυμίαις ἀλλὰ θελήματι Θεοῦ τὸν ἐπίλοιπον ἐν σαρκὶ βιῶσαι χρόνον.

Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh,
arm yourselves with the same way of thinking,
for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh
no longer for human passions but for the will of God (ESV).

1 Peter 5:9
ᾧ ἀντίστητε στερεοὶ τῇ πίστει,
εἰδότες τὰ αὐτὰ τῶν παθημάτων
τῇ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ ὑμῶν ἀδελφότητι

Resist him [the devil], firm in the faith,
of sufferings, knowing the same
in the world, in your brotherhood
in order to be made perfect (completed).

Statistics: Posted by Gregory Hartzler-Miller — February 15th, 2023, 5:38 am

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