Thursday, September 20, 2007

Chiasm in Col.1:9-12?

In this passage, many understand the four participles in 1:10b-12a to modify the infinitive in 1:10a (i.e., "bearing fruit," "increasing in the knowledge of God," "being strengthened," and "giving thanks" all relate to "walking worthy of the Lord."). Thus 'walking worthy' entails the actions of the four participles (which Harris takes as circumstantial).

But if the participles modify the infinitive, would they not appear in the accusative case (cf. 1 Tim 2:8; Titus 3:2)? How do adverbial participles usually modify infinitives. [I'm not sure . . . I'm asking].

The prepositional phrases (en/eis pas) boxed above seem to indicate a few points about the structure of these clauses:
  1. Each prepositional phrase is connected to a verbal (infinitive or participle).
  2. The order 'eis' - 'en' - 'en' - 'eis' may suggest chiasm. If this is the case, it is possible that the phrase 'increasing in the knowledge of God' is emphatic.
  3. The clause containing the participle 'giving thanks' actually begins with the eis pasan of v11b (i.e., 'giving thanks to the Father in all endurance and patience with joy').
  4. If chiasm is present, it may suggest that all the verbals (infinitive and participles) modify the finite verb "be filled" (as suggested above). In this case, the clauses would likely indicate the result of being filled with the knowledge of God's will.

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