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The Greek definite article and 2 Cor 5:1-10
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TOPIC: The Greek definite article and 2 Cor 5:1-10

The Greek definite article and 2 Cor 5:1-10 3 weeks, 5 days ago #5240

  • timsimmk
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I'm not a Greek expert but I'm interested in how the Greek definite article is used in 2 Cor 5.

The traditional view is that Paul was speaking about the immortal soul being "absent from the body" and being "present with the Lord", and us all being judged for deeds done "in the body". But Thayer's Lexicon says that the article ό, or του in the genitive in this case is sometimes rendered "this".

So my question for people more versed in Greek is, is there any reason why Paul's words cannot be understood in context of resurrection as to be "absent from THIS body" and "to be present with the Lord [in the resurrection body]" and being judged for the deeds done "in THIS body"? Such would seem to agree better with the context and Paul's conviction that the hope of the Christian is resurrection not disembodiment.

Re: The Greek definite article and 2 Cor 5:1-10 1 week, 6 days ago #5244

  • John Haak
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I am not the most skilled here in Greek either but since no one has commented let me offer this.

The definite article is used when the author wants to point to a specific person, place, thing or idea represented in that noun. When the definite article is left off the author is pointing to the quality and nature of the thing in a more general way.

Example is in 5:1 ... "...a building of God we have..." no articles on either so it is fair to look at it as "a building-type-of-place of a-God-type we have..." You are meant to focus on the concepts here rather than the thing itself. Like, "we have a place to be at home that is God's kind of place".

Therefore I think the "this" idea you ask about does reflect that each of the other places has the definite article and is meant to point us to a specific body, namely our present one.

Re: The Greek definite article and 2 Cor 5:1-10 1 week, 3 days ago #5245

  • timsimmk
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Thanks, that makes sense. A number of translations actually use the word "this", but they are generally more paraphrastic translations, but I think the grammar and the context does support the idea that Paul is referring to being "absent from THIS body" and present with the Lord in the resurrection body, not to being "absent from THE body" generally as in being a disembodied soul.

Re: The Greek definite article and 2 Cor 5:1-10 1 week, 2 days ago #5247

  • Singalphile
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As a disinterested observer (I'm a dualist, if that's the right word, but I don't don't care, and it has no bearing on any view of helll, as far as I can tell), I think that suggestion is possible. But I think you're not really going to get anywhere with it. Translating it as the normal definite article ("the") works just as well, I think.
"Singalphile" - Name chosen (hastily) to indicate being on a narrow path, pursuing the love of God. Male, upper-30's, USA.
Last Edit: 1 week, 2 days ago by Singalphile. Reason: missing word
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