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Sunday, March 26, 2006

2 Tim.2:15: Orthotomeo II

I will be breaking down this discussion of orthotomeo into smaller posts in order to look closely at some of the tools available on the internet, as well as the few that I have at home. (This also means that we may still be tossing this one around when Rich Rhodes gets back from his conference.) The different lexicons and texts that I use are by no means exhaustive and they are not what would be available on a college campus but they are extensive nonetheless.

The entry for orthotomeo in some lexicons is broken down into its component parts immediately. For example, I have a small Greek-English Lexicon to the New Testament by T.S. Green, Bagster, London, 1972. The entry for orthotomeo is

    (orthos & temno) to cut straight, to direct aright, to set forth truthfully, without perversion or distortion
For Liddell Scott Jones(LSJ in Perseus) the entry is
So, in fact, it does not give the etymology, although that is basic to understanding the word. This is perplexing to me because my own Liddell Scott, 1869, has

    (orthos, temno) to cut straight, handle aright
    BADG does not supply the etymology either. So I don't know what the best route is to find the etymological information online. Any suggestions would be welcome here. While Zhubert has a fascinating site and I have been using it for a text of the Setpuagint, the definitions there seem to be no more than a reminder, or a hint at a possible basic meaning.

    In any case, after turning up such a short entry for orthotomeo, I went directly to the LSJ entry for temno.

    But I want to stop for a minute and talk a little about the Perseus LSJ. Here is Ian's take on this,
      LSJ in "Liddell-Scott-Jones," the standard, but cryptic, abbreviation for the Oxford University Press "A Greek-English Lexicon." This is a massive work compiled by Henry George Liddell (1811–1898, Dean of Christ Church, and father of, inter alia, Alice Pleasance Liddell, the friend of "Lewis Carroll") and Robert Scott (1811–1887) -- as "Revised and Augmented throughout" by Sir Henry Stuart Jones (1867–1939) and others, 1925-1940, and since supplemented.

      Perseus has a digital version as "Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon," which can be found by either scrolling down the screen or doing a "Find" for "Liddell" after clicking "Classics" in the left hand column.

      Note that Perseus is usually slow, and sometimes glacial; and navigation can be frustrating.If you are familiar with the Oxford English Dictionary, the apparently "historical" arrangement of meanings in the entries should look familiar.

      In fact, as in the OED, the arrangement is often "logical," and not based on dated developments, the surviving information not being adequate for such a reconstruction. However, it remains the first place to look; and is an absolutely esssential tool.
    This is the Tools & Lexica page that I posted yesterday. Scroll down that page till you see Dictionary entry lookup. The page called dictionary headwords looks like this. However, you have to set the display the way you want. I have often chosen the UTF-8 for Unicode Greek. The only problem is that you must remember to input your word using the popup online character display, follow 'enter Greek here'. To avoid this, leave the display as Latin, enter with an intuitive Latin transliteration scheme and read the text in Latin letters. I often use the Latin transliteration since it is the default form of the text and seems to work faster.

    I left the display on Latin transliteration and entered orthotomew in the search window. Here is the page. Choose the link for LSJ and then scroll down for the definition. If there is a problem working this dictionary, it is most likely because the display and the text that one is entering are not in the same mode. Trial and error seem to be the only answer. There is the option of using the symbol font transliteration as well if that is any help.

    I still have trouble finding my way around Perseus but I hope that this will be a beginning. Try putting in temnw in this page and see what happens. You must also select the LSJ link and then the entry will display. I still have trouble navigating and can only say that it seems to take some getting used to.

    While 'temno' could possibly mean to divide into portions or share, it also means to cut off your head, or hack down a tree. It expresses both strength and sharpness. In that sense, I agree with Peter's recent comments associating temno with a sword, if I am guessing correctly. The association is there but the Old Testament use of this expression is leading me in a slighly different direction, one that is still full of masculine imagery, which I have no trouble with, and presents a more vivid picture than 'handle' or 'treat'.

    Next time, I will talk more about the meaning of orthotomeo in Proverbs and how this is translated into English.


    At Mon Mar 27, 05:03:00 PM, Blogger Sungkhum said...

    This is a very interesting topic - I look forward to reading your next post about it.



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