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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

ἐπιτιμάω - Part IV

As we work our way through the words that are synonyms or near synonyms of πιτιμάω, we have seen that there are many words in the NT for telling people what to do or what not to do. The common translations of all these words as “order” and “command” wipe out the subtleties of meaning that are in the Greek. Even Louw and Nida don’t do well in explaining the senses. Some of the words are fairly neutral in their implications, παραγγέλλω “tell someone to do something”, διαστέλλομαι “tell someone not to do something”. Some words are focused on the action or result more than on the speech act: διατάσσω “instruct someone”, τάσσω “arrange something with someone”. And some words carry implications about the person issuing the order as in the case of κελεύω “give/issue orders” which implies that the speaker is a person of authority.

Now we turn to a word that is like κελεύω in that it implies something about the speaker. The word is ντέλλομαι. The similarity with κελεύω is that it implies that the speaker has authority, but it differs from κελεύω, in that the authority is in the religious/spiritual realm. Thus it deserves its own post.

ντέλλομαι is used fifteen times in the NT. Thirteen times it is predicated of figures of religious authority, God (five times), e.g.,

Luke 4:10

10 γεγραπται γαρ οτι τοις αγγελοις αυτου εντελειται περι σου του διαφυλαξαι σε

10 For the scripture says, ‘God will order his angels to take good care of you.’[1]

Moses (four times), e.g.,

Mark 10:3

3 ο δε αποκριθεις ειπεν αυτοις τι υμιν ενετειλατο μωυσης

3 Jesus answered with a question, “What law did Moses give you?”

or Jesus (six times), e.g.,

Matt. 17:9

9 και καταβαινοντων αυτων εκ του ορους ενετειλατο αυτοις ο ιησους λεγων μηδενι ειπητε το οραμα εως ου ο υιος του ανθρωπου εκ νεκρων εγερθη

9 As they came down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Don’t tell anyone about this vision you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from death.”

Twice Jesus uses it of himself, both times in the same passage in John 15:

John 15:14

14 υμεις φιλοι μου εστε εαν ποιητε α εγω εντελλομαι υμιν

14 And you are my friends if you do what I command you.

John 15:17

17 ταυτα εντελλομαι υμιν ινα αγαπατε αλληλους

17 This, then, is what I command you: love one another.

Of the remaining two occurrences it is once predicated of the partiarch Joseph,

Heb. 11:22

22 πιστει ιωσηφ τελευτων περι της εξοδου των υιων ισραηλ εμνημονευσεν και περι των οστεων αυτου ενετειλατο

22 It was faith that made Joseph, when he was about to die, speak of the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, and leave instructions about what should be done with his body.

and once it is predicated of a rich man in a parable:

Mark 13:34

34 ως ανθρωπος αποδημος αφεις την οικιαν αυτου και δους τοις δουλοις αυτου την εξουσιαν εκαστω το εργον αυτου και τω θυρωρω ενετειλατο ινα γρηγορη

34 It will be like a man who goes away from home on a trip and leaves his servants in charge, after giving to each one his own work to do and after telling the doorkeeper to keep watch.

So how should we translate κελεύω and ντέλλομαι? Are there English expressions which bear implications of the authority of the the speaker?

The answer is yes there are.

Consider the two expressions, give an orderand the very churchy expression give a commandment. Only military personnel and officials can give orders. Only religious authorities of times past can give commandments. These expressions are pretty close to the senses of the Greek with the exception that English give a commandment is restricted to something that happened in the past. It’s hard to imagine even the Pope giving a commandment. The Greek doesn’t have that constraint, so in a few places such translations may sound awkward, but mostly they work, as in the following examples.

κελεύω – give orders

Matt. 27:58

58 ουτος προσελθων τω πιλατω ητησατο το σωμα του ιησου τοτε ο πιλατος εκελευσεν αποδοθηναι

58 He went into the presence of Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate gave orders for the body to be given to Joseph.

ντέλλομαι – give a commandment

Matt. 19:7

7 λεγουσιν αυτω τι ουν μωυσης ενετειλατο δουναι βιβλιον αποστασιου και απολυσαι αυτην

7 The Pharisees asked him, “Why, then, did Moses give the law for a man to hand his wife a divorce notice and send her away?”

better: 7 The Pharisees asked him, “Why, then, did Moses give a commandment for a man to hand his wife a divorce notice and send her away?”

But once we start talking about orders and commandments, the line of inquiry brings us into the realm of words for laws and rules, which include: νόμος, δόγμα, and κανών, as well as some of the nouns derived from the verbs we have been looking at, παραγγελία, διαταγή and διάταγμα, πιταγή, κέλευσμα, and ντολή and νταλμα. But working out the distinctions in meaning for all these words is too far afield for a study of πιτιμάω. We now know enough about NT Greek verbs for telling people what to do or not do.

Having exhausted this side of πιτιμάω, we need to turn to the question of how speak sharply to people, i.e., the side of rebuke that English emphasizes. That will come in the next installment.

[1] All translations are GNB, unless I've proposed a revision. All the revisions are based on the GNB as well.

Appendix I

Since I promised to say something more about διατάσσω referring to laws and orders, I’m adding this appendix.

There are two places in the NT where διατάσσω, a legitimate near synonym of πιτιμάω, refers to something we would call law rather than what we would call instructions. First in Acts 18:2 διατάσσω is used to mean ‘issue a decree’.

Acts 18:2

2 και ευρων τινα ιουδαιον ονοματι ακυλαν ποντικον τω γενει προσφατως εληλυθοτα απο της ιταλιας και πρισκιλλαν γυναικα αυτου δια το διατεταχεναι κλαυδιον χωριζεσθαι παντας τους ιουδαιους απο της ρωμης προσηλθεν αυτοις

2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, for Emperor Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, [better: Claudius decreed that all the Jews had to leave Rome]

Of course, when the Emporer gives instructions, they have the force of law.

The second place is in Luke.

Luke 3:13

13 ο δε ειπεν προς αυτους μηδεν πλεον παρα το διατεταγμενον υμιν πρασσετε

13 “Don’t collect more than is legal,” he told them.

It's awkward to gloss παρα το διατεταγμενον υμιν as ‘according what was instructed to you’. The phrase means ‘according to what you have been instructed [to collect]’. Of course, what tax collectors are asked to collect is the law, so the GNB translation isn't really wrong. But perhaps it would be better to render it in terms of instructions.

Luke 3:13

13 ο δε ειπεν προς αυτους μηδεν πλεον παρα το διατεταγμενον υμιν πρασσετε

Better: 13 “Don’t collect more than you have been instructed to,” he told them.

The syntactically parallel usages of participles (once middle and twice passive) more clearly mean ‘instructions’ or, because instructions given to soldiers are called orders, ‘orders’.

Luke 17:9-10

9 μη εχει χαριν τω δουλω οτι εποιησεν τα διαταχθεντα 10 ουτως και υμεις οταν ποιησητε παντα τα διαταχθεντα υμιν λεγετε οτι δουλοι αχρειοι εσμεν ο ωφειλομεν ποιησαι πεποιηκαμεν

9 The servant does not deserve thanks for obeying orders, does he? 10 It is the same with you; when you have done all you have been told to do, say, ‘We are ordinary servants; we have only done our duty.’

Better: 9 The servant does not deserve thanks for following instructions, does he? 10 It is the same with you; when you have done all you have been instructed to do, say, ‘We are ordinary servants; we have only done our duty.’

Acts 23:31

31 οι μεν ουν στρατιωται κατα το διατεταγμενον αυτοις αναλαβοντες τον παυλον ηγαγον δια νυκτος εις την αντιπατριδα

31 The soldiers carried out their orders. They got Paul and took him that night as far as Antipatris.

Better: 31 Following their orders the soldiers took Paul that night and went as far as Antipatris.

Appendix II

The following are the verses containing the words ντέλλομαι and διατάσσω. In addition to the GNB translations, I have added suggested translations based on the GNB that more accurately reflect the sense of the words in question as we have worked it out in this series of posts.

ντέλλομαι – command, give a commandment (of a religious authority: of God, Moses, or Jesus 13/15 times)

Matt. 4:6

6 και λεγει αυτω ει υιος ει του θεου βαλε σεαυτον κατω γεγραπται γαρ οτι τοις αγγελοις αυτου εντελειται περι σου και επι χειρων αρουσιν σε μηποτε προσκοψης προς λιθον τον ποδα σου

6 and said to him, “If you are God’s Son, throw yourself down, for the scripture says, ‘God will give orders to his angels about you; they will hold you up with their hands, so that not even your feet will be hurt on the stones.’

Better: 6 and said to him, “If you are God’s Son, throw yourself down, for the scripture says, ‘God will command his angels about you; they will hold you up with their hands, so that not even your feet will be hurt on the stones.’

Matt. 17:9

9 και καταβαινοντων αυτων εκ του ορους ενετειλατο αυτοις ο ιησους λεγων μηδενι ειπητε το οραμα εως ου ο υιος του ανθρωπου εκ νεκρων εγερθη

9 As they came down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Don’t tell anyone about this vision you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from death.”

Better: 9 As they came down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anyone about this vision you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from death.”

Matt. 19:7

7 λεγουσιν αυτω τι ουν μωυσης ενετειλατο δουναι βιβλιον αποστασιου και απολυσαι αυτην

7 The Pharisees asked him, “Why, then, did Moses give the law for a man to hand his wife a divorce notice and send her away?”

Better: 7 The Pharisees asked him, “Why, then, did Moses give a commandment allowing a man to hand his wife a divorce notice and send her away?”

Matt. 28:20

20 διδασκοντες αυτους τηρειν παντα οσα ενετειλαμην υμιν και ιδου εγω μεθ υμων ειμι πασας τας ημερας εως της συντελειας του αιωνος

20 and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.”

Mark 10:3

3 ο δε αποκριθεις ειπεν αυτοις τι υμιν ενετειλατο μωυσης

3 Jesus answered with a question, “What law did Moses give you?”

Better: 3 Jesus answered with a question, “What commandment did Moses give you?”

Mark 13:34

34 ως ανθρωπος αποδημος αφεις την οικιαν αυτου και δους τοις δουλοις αυτου την εξουσιαν εκαστω το εργον αυτου και τω θυρωρω ενετειλατο ινα γρηγορη

34 It will be like a man who goes away from home on a trip and leaves his servants in charge, after giving to each one his own work to do and after telling the doorkeeper to keep watch.

Better: 34 It will be like a man who goes away from home on a trip and leaves his servants in charge, after giving to each one his own work to do and after commanding the doorkeeper to keep watch.

Luke 4:10

10 γεγραπται γαρ οτι τοις αγγελοις αυτου εντελειται περι σου του διαφυλαξαι σε

10 For the scripture says, ‘God will order his angels to take good care of you.’

Better: 10 For the scripture says, ‘God will command his angels to take good care of you.’

John 8:5

5 εν δε τω νομω ημιν μωυσης ενετειλατο τας τοιαυτας λιθαζειν συ ουν τι λεγεις

5 In our Law Moses commanded that such a woman must be stoned to death. Now, what do you say?”

Better: 5 In our Law Moses gave a commandment that such a woman must be stoned to death. Now, what do you say?”

John 14:31

31 αλλ ινα γνω ο κοσμος οτι αγαπω τον πατερα και καθως ενετειλατο μοι ο πατηρ ουτως ποιω εγειρεσθε αγωμεν εντευθεν

31 but the world must know that I love the Father; that is why I do everything as he commands me. Come, let us go from this place.

John 15:14

14 υμεις φιλοι μου εστε εαν ποιητε α εγω εντελλομαι υμιν

14 And you are my friends if you do what I command you.

John 15:17

17 ταυτα εντελλομαι υμιν ινα αγαπατε αλληλους

17 This, then, is what I command you: love one another.

Better: 17 This, then, is the commandment I give you: love one another.

Acts 1:2

2 αχρι ης ημερας εντειλαμενος τοις αποστολοις δια πνευματος αγιου ους εξελεξατο ανελημφθη

2 until the day he was taken up to heaven. Before he was taken up, he gave instructions by the power of the Holy Spirit to the men he had chosen as his apostles.

Better: 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven. Before he was taken up, he gave commandments by the power of the Holy Spirit to the men he had chosen as his apostles.

Acts 13:47

47 ουτως γαρ εντεταλται ημιν ο κυριος τεθεικα σε εις φως εθνων του ειναι σε εις σωτηριαν εως εσχατου της γης

47 For this is the commandment that the Lord has given us: ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, so that all the world may be saved.’

Heb. 9:20

20 λεγων τουτο το αιμα της διαθηκης ης ενετειλατο προς υμας ο θεος

20 He said, “This is the blood which seals the covenant that God has commanded you to obey.”

Heb. 11:22

22 πιστει ιωσηφ τελευτων περι της εξοδου των υιων ισραηλ εμνημονευσεν και περι των οστεων αυτου ενετειλατο

22 It was faith that made Joseph, when he was about to die, speak of the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, and leave instructions about what should be done with his body.

Better: 22 It was faith that made Joseph, when he was about to die, speak of the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, and gave a commandment about what should be done with his body.

διατάσσω

Matt. 11:1

1 και εγενετο οτε ετελεσεν ο ιησους διατασσων τοις δωδεκα μαθηταις αυτου μετεβη εκειθεν του διδασκειν και κηρυσσειν εν ταις πολεσιν αυτων

1 When Jesus finished giving these instructions to his twelve disciples, he left that place and went off to teach and preach in the towns near there.

Luke 3:13

13 ο δε ειπεν προς αυτους μηδεν πλεον παρα το διατεταγμενον υμιν πρασσετε

13 “Don’t collect more than is legal,” he told them.

Better: 13 “Don’t collect more than you have been instructed to,” he told them.

Luke 8:55

55 και επεστρεψεν το πνευμα αυτης και ανεστη παραχρημα και διεταξεν αυτη δοθηναι φαγειν

55 Her life returned, and she got up at once, and Jesus ordered them to give her something to eat.

Better: 55 Her life returned, and she got up at once, and Jesus instructed them to give her something to eat.

Luke 17:9-10

9 μη εχει χαριν τω δουλω οτι εποιησεν τα διαταχθεντα 10 ουτως και υμεις οταν ποιησητε παντα τα διαταχθεντα υμιν λεγετε οτι δουλοι αχρειοι εσμεν ο ωφειλομεν ποιησαι πεποιηκαμεν

9 The servant does not deserve thanks for obeying orders, does he? 10 It is the same with you; when you have done all you have been told to do, say, ‘We are ordinary servants; we have only done our duty.’

Better: 9 The servant does not deserve thanks for following instructions, does he? 10 It is the same with you; when you have done all you have been instructed to do, say, ‘We are ordinary servants; we have only done our duty.’

Acts 7:44

44 η σκηνη του μαρτυριου ην τοις πατρασιν ημων εν τη ερημω καθως διεταξατο ο λαλων τω μωυση ποιησαι αυτην κατα τον τυπον ον εωρακει

44 “Our ancestors had the Tent of God’s presence with them in the desert. It had been made as God had told Moses to make it, according to the pattern that Moses had been shown.

Better:44 “Our ancestors had the Tent of God’s presence with them in the desert. It had been made as God instructed Moses to make it, according to the pattern that Moses had been shown.

Acts 18:2

2 και ευρων τινα ιουδαιον ονοματι ακυλαν ποντικον τω γενει προσφατως εληλυθοτα απο της ιταλιας και πρισκιλλαν γυναικα αυτου δια το διατεταχεναι κλαυδιον χωριζεσθαι παντας τους ιουδαιους απο της ρωμης προσηλθεν αυτοις

2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, for Emperor Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them,

Better:2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, for the Emperor Claudius had decreed that all the Jews had to leave Rome. Paul went to see them,

Acts 20:13

13 ημεις δε προελθοντες επι το πλοιον ανηχθημεν επι την ασσον εκειθεν μελλοντες αναλαμβανειν τον παυλον ουτως γαρ διατεταγμενος ην μελλων αυτος πεζευειν

13 We went on ahead to the ship and sailed off to Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had told us to do this, because he was going there by land.

Better:13 We went on ahead to the ship and sailed off to Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had instructed us to do this, because he was going there by land.

Acts 23:31

31 οι μεν ουν στρατιωται κατα το διατεταγμενον αυτοις αναλαβοντες τον παυλον ηγαγον δια νυκτος εις την αντιπατριδα

31 The soldiers carried out their orders. They got Paul and took him that night as far as Antipatris.

Better: 31 Following their orders the soldiers took Paul that night and went as far as Antipatris.

Acts 24:23

23 διαταξαμενος τω εκατονταρχη τηρεισθαι αυτον εχειν τε ανεσιν και μηδενα κωλυειν των ιδιων αυτου υπηρετειν αυτω

23 He ordered the officer in charge of Paul to keep him under guard, but to give him some freedom and allow his friends to provide for his needs.

Better: 23 He instructed the officer in charge of Paul to keep him under guard, but to give him some freedom and allow his friends to provide for his needs.

1Cor. 7:17

17 ει μη εκαστω ως εμερισεν ο κυριος εκαστον ως κεκληκεν ο θεος ουτως περιπατειτω και ουτως εν ταις εκκλησιαις πασαις διατασσομαι

17 Each of you should go on living according to the Lord’s gift to you, and as you were when God called you. This is the rule I teach in all the churches.

Better: 17 Each of you should go on living according to the Lord’s gift to you, and as you were when God called you. This is what I teach in all the churches.

1Cor. 9:14

14 ουτως και ο κυριος διεταξεν τοις το ευαγγελιον καταγγελλουσιν εκ του ευαγγελιου ζην

14 In the same way, the Lord has ordered that those who preach the gospel should get their living from it.

Better: 14 In the same way, the Lord has given instructions that those who preach the gospel should get their living from it.

1Cor. 11:34

34 ει τις πεινα εν οικω εσθιετω ινα μη εις κριμα συνερχησθε τα δε λοιπα ως αν ελθω διαταξομαι

34 And if any of you are hungry, you should eat at home, so that you will not come under God’s judgment as you meet together. As for the other matters, I will settle them when I come.

1Cor. 16:1

1 περι δε της λογειας της εις τους αγιους ωσπερ διεταξα ταις εκκλησιαις της γαλατιας ουτως και υμεις ποιησατε

1 Now, concerning what you wrote about the money to be raised to help God’s people in Judea. You must do what I told the churches in Galatia to do.

Better: 1 Now, concerning what you wrote about the money to be raised to help God’s people in Judea. You must do what I instructed the churches in Galatia to do.

Gal. 3:19

19 τι ουν ο νομος των παραβασεων χαριν προσετεθη αχρις ου ελθη το σπερμα ω επηγγελται διαταγεις δι αγγελων εν χειρι μεσιτου

19 What, then, was the purpose of the Law? It was added in order to show what wrongdoing is, and it was meant to last until the coming of Abraham’s descendant, to whom the promise was made. The Law was handed down by angels, with a man acting as a go-between.

Tit. 1:5

5 τουτου χαριν απελιπον σε εν κρητη ινα τα λειποντα επιδιορθωση και καταστησης κατα πολιν πρεσβυτερους ως εγω σοι διεταξαμην 6 ει τις εστιν ανεγκλητος μιας γυναικος ανηρ τεκνα εχων πιστα μη εν κατηγορια ασωτιας η ανυποτακτα

5 I left you in Crete, so that you could put in order the things that still needed doing and appoint church elders in every town. Remember my instructions: 6 an elder must be without fault; he must have only one wife, and his children must be believers and not have the reputation of being wild or disobedient.

35 Comments:

At Tue Jun 27, 08:19:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Rich,

better: 7 The Pharisees asked him, “Why, then, did Moses give a commandment for a man to hand his wife a divorce notice and send her away?”

'Command' is indeed by far the most common way to translate ενετειλατο in this verse. But I think I like 'give the law', as in 'provide the law' better.

Did the Pharisees really think that Moses 'commanded' people to do this? Couldn't this also mean "Didn't Moses write about this as an εντολη. Or why did Moses provide a law, an εντολη, for this?

The German has 'bieten' and the French has 'prescrire' - all weaker words than 'command.'

 
At Tue Jun 27, 08:33:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

I guess I am thinking of how this must be handled in different languages. For example, in English, we can say, 'Paul writes', if we want to quote Paul in an essy. But in French you really shouldn't say that. You should say 'Paul teaches'. It is more idiomatic. So in the gospels surely the tradition is to say μωυσης ενετειλατο That is, because it is Moses, it must be a 'command' with the understanding that it is something that Moses said, r even, it is written in the book of Moses.

I have to find the more nuanced translations of the GNB, give a 'law', 'order' or 'instruction' to be much better.

It looks very much as if you are trying to create a 'concordant' translation.

 
At Wed Jun 28, 03:45:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Suzanne, your suggestion that Rich is "trying to create a 'concordant' translation" seems to come out of some confusion between exegesis and translation. I'm not sure where the confusion is, because I am not sure whether Rich is really suggesting that the GNB would be better if corrected according to his "better" translations, in other words whether he is really making a translational point at all. But his main point is surely an exegetical one, that we need to understand properly the subtle differences in meaning between all these "command" words, before we consider how to translate them. I agree with him, although I am a little concerned that he is taking New Testament usage out of its context in the wider Koine.

To go back to the translation issues, the GNB translators understood these subtle differences and chosen not to reflect them consistently in their translations for various stylistic reasons. Or they may have done a similar analysis to Rich's but disagreed in their conclusions. Or they may have relied too much on traditional understandings of these words, based on classical Greek usage, and failed to properly consider the special connotations in Koine. But these are legitimate areas for translational disagreement.

 
At Wed Jun 28, 07:44:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

I agree that it is a very interesting and useful anasysis as a basis for understanding the differences between the words but Rich writes,

In addition to the GNB translations, I have added suggested translations based on the GNB that more accurately reflect the sense of the words in question as we have worked it out in this series of posts.

I do see that 'instructed' is better than 'told' in Acts 7:44, but probably 'decreed' was considered too archaic by Bratcher for Acts 18:2.

Luke 8:55 is better as 'instructed' but Hebrews 11:22 also sounds better to me as 'instructed'.

Or they may have relied too much on traditional understandings of these words, based on classical Greek usage,

In general the GNB does not seem to reflect the traditional understanding of these words.

Well, there are a lot of examples here, so I can't generalize. It is certainly all very interesting!

Thank you, Rich, for all this work.

 
At Wed Jun 28, 03:15:00 PM, Blogger Richard A. Rhodes said...

I have been thinking more exegetically and leaning towards being concordant. If I were doing a translation, this would be a first pass. On later passes I'd decide, for example, whether commandment or law was the right way to talk about what Moses wrote about divorce. I haven't thought a lot about it, but I'd probably stick with commandment and phrase the whole thing a little differently.

"Why, then, did Moses give a commandment allowing a man to hand his wife divorce papers and send her away?"

Because I've been so focused on particular Greek words, I haven't worked on cleaning up the rest of the sentences which would be what I would do if I were translating the whole passage and not just exegeting specific words.

The real point of this series is that not even the GNB folks know most of what I am saying (to the extent that Louw and Nida reflects the lexical understanding behind the GNB).

And I don't think we should limit our English vocabulary (banning decree, e.g.). I'd rather have something that reads more like The Message but is exegetically accurate, less theologically loaded, and not so monotonically colloquial (as if there weren't other speech styles in the NT).

 
At Wed Jun 28, 03:38:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

I have been thinking more exegetically and leaning towards being concordant

Thanks Rich, that certainly makes sense as a first pass. It is very interesting, in any case. I don't have Louw and Nida, so I can't compare, unfortunately.

 
At Wed Jun 28, 04:10:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Well, I would say that Bratcher had to know that εντολη was either the OT law or a religious command. It is used a least 50 times in the NT exactly in that way. It is a very common word. I don't know why this info is not in the L & N.

However, the great interest here is that in the KJV, the three words that you mention, εντελλομαι, διατασσω and κελευω are all translated as 'command' in English, so the difference is not at all acknowledged, or this difference between 'order' and 'command' was not recognized then.

In any case, yes it is good to point this out, but maybe still the outcome might be not so homogenous.

Certainly 'law' and 'command' are both religious. But an 'order' is not.

 
At Wed Jun 28, 06:17:00 PM, Blogger Richard A. Rhodes said...

Suzanne,
While it is the normal practice of exegesis to assume that verbs and their nominalizations mean the same thing, it ain't necessarily so. That was the controversy between Chomsky and his first class of grad students, who thought that the Romans' destruction of the city should be derived from (that) the Romans destroyed the city.

So

(that) he received the package

doesn't nominalize to

*his reception of the package.

Or

(that) they committed themselves to the project

has to be

their commitment to the project
not

*their commission to the project,

but

(that) he committed the crime

has to be

his commission of the crime,

not

*his commitment of the crime.

I'm doing this in English because we have the intuitions, but the point is the same in Greek. You can't count on the verb semantics to tell you what you need to know about the noun, nor vice versa.

So just because the GNB folks knew about εντολη doesn't mean they understood εντελλομαι.

 
At Wed Jun 28, 06:29:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Good point, Rich,

But in this case, don't you think that the nominalization is related, that εντολη and εντελλομαι do both have the semantic component of a religious agent?

Anyway, I am now curious about L & N.

 
At Wed Jun 28, 10:56:00 PM, Blogger Richard A. Rhodes said...

Yes, I think in the case of εντολη and εντελλομαι the religious component is there, but L&N say:

εντελλομαι: to give definite orders, implying authority or official sanction -- 'to command'.

εντολη, ενταλμα (derivatives of εντελλομαι): that which is authoritatively commanded -- 'commandment, order'.

Cf. their definition of κελευω: to state with force or authority what others must do -- 'to order, command'

Interestingly enough, they treat κελευω and διαστελλομαι as simple synonyms. The entry actually reads (minus all the apparatus):

κελευω, διαστελλομαι: to state with force or authority what others must do -- 'to order, command'

Missing is any indication that κελευω entails civil or military authority, that εντελλομαι entails religious authority, and that διαστελλομαι is close to the English verb 'forbid'.

When I say they don't really know what these words mean, I mean they don't really know what these words mean.

 
At Thu Jun 29, 04:48:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Rich, I agree that not all nominalisations have the same semantics as the verbs that they are derived from, at least in English. But many do, and when they don't the differences are often subtle - or else we have a case like "commit", "commitment" and "commission" where two nominalisations are semantically linked to two distinct senses of the verb. So this would seem to be sufficient prima facie evidence that the case needs to be investigated further. In other words, if Bratcher and L&N knew that εντολη was a religious word, they ought to have realised that the same might very well be true of εντελλομαι, and so they should have investigated the issue in more depth.

As for the KJV evidence, don't forget that English has changed significantly since then. I suspect that in 16th-17th century English "commandment" was a normal secular word, which has acquired religious connotations since then only because it has become obsolete except for its continued use in the Bible and in religious settings. I note for example "commandment" in KJV in non-religious contexts in Genesis 45:21, 2 Kings 18:36, 23:35, 1 Chronicles 12:32, 14:12, 2 Chronicles 8:15, 24:8,21, 30:6, 31:5,13, 35:10,15,16 etc etc (there seem to be many other cases, I don't have time to go further through Strong's) (and I exclude "commandments" of Moses etc which were specifically instructions they received from God). I note from the cases I have looked at that all these commandments are given by kings and other top rulers of the people, which suggests the semantic restrictions of the word "commandment" in KJV English.

 
At Thu Jun 29, 05:10:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Peter,

I note for example "commandment" in KJV in non-religious contexts

This is exactly what I noticed working from Wigram's Greek Concordance.

Rich,

Thanks for giving the L&N references. I have never used L&N. Only Nida's handbook series, which is a large set of books. However, I don't have any idea how this topic was handled there. It's been a while!

Really, we are diealing with the two issues, the Greek semantics and the the English ones.

 
At Thu Jun 29, 05:34:00 PM, Blogger Richard A. Rhodes said...

Peter wrote:
In other words, if Bratcher and L&N knew that εντολη was a religious word, they ought to have realised that the same might very well be true of εντελλομαι, and so they should have investigated the issue in more depth.

My claim is that they did not know this about Greek from the evidence of N&L.

I suspect they GNB gets as much right as it does is because he/they were doing something analogous to what I'm doing only on the Engish side. By this I mean, they looked at the context, figured out what must be going on and then worked out a good way to say that in English.

My argument is that you should be doing that on the Greek side first. Figure out what the distinctions are in Greek, and then attack the problem of expressing that in a natural way in English. (BTW Suzanne is absolutely right. You have to know as much about English semantics as you do about Greek to get it fully right. That's part of the point I'll make when I wrap this series up.)

The problem about nominalizations is a difficult one. Of course most nominalizations mean more or less the same thing as the corresponding verb. The issue is that not all do, which means you have to do your homework. All I'm claiming is that you can't know that you know all you need to know about the semantics of the noun by knowing the semantics of the verb, and vice versa.

In the commit, commitment, commission case you have to know which sense of the verb is connected to which noun. In the receive, reception case you have to know that there are senses of receive which have no nominalization (other than -ing) and that there are senses of reception for which it's at least odd or archaic to express the thought with the verb (We never got good reception in the living room until we got cable.)

 
At Thu Jun 29, 09:20:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Rich,

My Greek primer, lesson 12 out of 60 lessons, has κελευω, you cannot read the Anabasis without that word.

εντολη is all the religious commandments of the OT Law, and the Sermon on the Mount.

If I really thought that people were translating the NT from Greek without that much Greek knowledge I would be very upset. You have to know these words if you read Greek!

The only reason that I can think of that L&N do not reflect this is that they don't think that this is going to have much effect on the choice of word used in English.

However, LSJ, has
κελευω - command, order
εντελλομαι - command, enjoin

You can 'order' an army but you do not 'enjoin' your soldiers, do you? This difference must have always been known to readers of Greek, but not made explicit.

You have rightly pointed out a deficientcy in the L&N. Whether this proves that Bratcher did not have primer level Greek, I don't know. What does it mean to teach Greek in a seminary?

 
At Thu Jun 29, 09:27:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

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At Thu Jun 29, 10:14:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Peter wrote,

I suspect that in 16th-17th century English "commandment" was a normal secular word, which has acquired religious connotations since then only because it has become obsolete except for its continued use in the Bible and in religious settings.

This makes sense.

So the difference in Greek between the two must be obvious to a beginner, but the difference in English is more difficult to articulate clearly.

Nida did have a degree in Greek (the language not just NT), so he must have known, and for some reason did not make this explicit in English.

I suppose we should try to track down his translator handbooks.

 
At Thu Jun 29, 10:46:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Maybe Bratcher didn't use 'give a commandment' for the very reason that it sounded archaic.

Anyway this study certainly shows that L&N should not be depended on as a replacement for learning Greek.

 
At Fri Jun 30, 10:16:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

I have a complete (or almost so) set of the UBS Handbooks, as well as L&N, as part of a software package for translators - in fact both are in two separate packages. If you need to know any specifics from these books, ask me. You don't have to pay Logos' excessive price for them.

 
At Fri Jun 30, 12:45:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Thanks,

I wasn't thinking of buying them, but I had thought of the library. However, no need...

Do you in general find that this series adds any info germaine to Greek semantics or mostly English semantics?

If you look at any of the references in Appendix II of this post is there any mention of the fact that εντελλομαι refers to a religious command and κελευω to s secular, military command?

Somehow, I doubt there would be, maybe Nida just assumed this was obvious in Greek, but was not necessary for English.

Here is a quote from Nida on classical Greek,

For the ancient philosopher and priest of esoteric cults, steeped in the tradition of Classical Greek, the grammatical forms in the Lord's Prayer would seem almost rude. One does not find the optative forms of polite petition so characteristic of elaborate requests made to earthly and heavenly potentates. Rather than employing such august forms, the Christians made their requests to God in what seem to be blunt imperatives. This does not mean that Christians lacked respect for their heavenly father, but it does mean that they were consistent with a new understanding of Him. In the tens of thousands of papyri fragments which have been rescued from the rubbish heaps of the ancient Greek world, one finds the imperative forms used constantly between members of a family. When the Christians addressed God as "Father," it was perfectly natural therefore for them to talk to Him as intimately as they would to their own father. Unfortunately, the history of our own English language has almost reversed this process. Originally, men used "thou" and "thee" in prayer because it was the appropriate familiar form of address; but now these words have become relegated to prayer alone.

 
At Fri Jun 30, 01:35:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Nida had an A.B. in Greek from UCLA, and an MA in Greek and Patristics from USC, and a Ph. D. in Linguistics and Anthropology from U of Mich. SO I think his knowledge of the language would stand up.

You make a good case for showing that a lexicon does not pass on a knowledge of a language that is in any way comparable to reading lit in that language or speaking it.

Here is what someone else is saying about Nida. I cannot agree. but would argue that Nida has sufficient qualifications in Greek and Linguistics to be expected to make accurate decisions on lexicography. However, it appears that the L&N lexicon is considered too incomplete to be used by those who do not have a strong background in Greek already.

(1) The more recent lexicon by Louw-Nida gives three entries for aner, one with the meaning "husband," one with the meaning "man" ("an adult male person of marriageable age"), and one with the meaning "human being." (12) Translators may have looked at this last entry and simply followed it. They used "person" or "human being," thus eliminating the male semantic component in aner from dozens of passages. However, this procedure was not justified in light of the actual entry in Louw-Nida, because (a) they give no information as to what contexts the supposed gender-neutral meaning is found; (b) they also acknowledge that aner can mean "man, male human being"; (c) they give no new information that would lead us to overthrow established meanings for aner, and (d) more significantly, they make no distinction at all between the meanings of aner and anthropos, but treat both words under the same two entries (9.1 for "human beings" and 9.24 for "males"). (13)

With no new lexical evidence given to support this entry, and with the entire history of Greek lexicography clearly recognizing that aner and anthropos are not exact synonyms, but that aner is the male marked term, we may conclude that the Louw-Nida lexicon at this point is insufficiently careful, and that following Louw-Nida in this case is simply a mistake.


I would generally find that others misunderstand Nida, because he tried possibly to summaraize his understanding of Greek without giving sufficient background or examples.

Sorry, for being so long-winded, but I am entering into the spirit of your post, Rich!

 
At Fri Jun 30, 04:10:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

In general I find the UBS Handbooks rather frustrating because they say so little about Greek semantics, and when they do they explain the issues in such an unscholarly way. Also in some places they read like an apology for TEV. But then these handbooks are intended not for scholars but for mother tongue translators who know not very much English and even less Greek, perhaps none at all.

I don't have time now to look up any specific verses, maybe tomorrow.

I rather agree with your quote, that Louw and Nida is too quick to treat words as synonymous (generally something rare in language) and not good at bringing out individual nuances. I don't think any lexicons are good at the latter. L&N does not attempt to provide the kind of full evidence for its definitions provided for example by LSJ or BDAG, it just gives a biblical example or two for each word. But it is useful for its classification by semantic domains. It also attempts to link nominalisations with their verbs, trying to avoid the kinds of pitfalls which Rich has illustrated with "commit", "commitment" and "commission".

 
At Fri Jun 30, 04:54:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Thanks Peter,

I would still assume that Nida must have had more knowledge of Greek than is reflected in his lexicon and handbook series. But I won't disagree with the consensus which seems to be building, that these works simply don't represent the necessary nuances. I have never used either for a translation task.

No need to look these words up, there is probably nothing further than what is in the lexicon.

κελευω is a very common classical Greek word but εντελλομαι is much less so. I think that in classical Greek εντελλομαι did not have a specifically religious domain. However, because of the use of εντολη for the commandments, this difference in use between the two verbs developed in NT Greek.

I would still say that this would be common knowledge to a reader, but it may not have been written about before explicitly.

 
At Fri Jun 30, 07:26:00 PM, Blogger Richard A. Rhodes said...

Suzanne,

I'm not saying that the GNB folks translated without knowing Greek. I'm saying that the underlying understanding of Greek semantics has been and remains seriously deficient. It doesn't matter that all these folks have degrees in Greek. The kinds of semantic subtleties I'm working with just aren't anywhere to be found in the literature.

45 years ago, when I was studying Latin in high school, I noticed that I produced different translations when I used the glossary at the end of the book and when I used the dictionary I had at home -- precisely because the full blown dictionary made distinctions that the glossary didn't.

The point is we're dependent on the lexical materials in ways that we do not recognize. I don't believe L&N left anything out that they knew. The evidence is in the nouns. They have a pretty good handle on the semantics of the concrete nouns. It's the verbs, adjectives, and abstract nouns where the nuances are washed out in a sea of synonymy.

What I'm trying to say is that we have the tools to rediscover many of those nuances. (Actually, I should say discover them. Contemporary lexicography in general is TERRIBLE when it comes to semantics. To see what you need to take into account if you want to see real semantic accuracy check out FrameNet)

Part of my general position is that we've had our linguistic sensitivity so dulled by inaccurate translation that we can't tell anymore. In particular, what one learns in Greek classes is how particular passages read, not what they really mean. That's why there are classics departments, because we're still trying to figure out what the passages really mean.

For NT Greek, where everyone taking it already knows how the passages read in English, the problem is doubly bad. We read Greek and hear King James. If you get really good, you read Greek and hear Greek, but it's a Greek whose semantics are filtered through something more like 17th century English.

That's what I'm trying to break down. I'm using techniques and a theoretical approach that weren't available even as recently as 10 years ago. So just because someone has studied Greek for 30 years doesn't mean (s)he knows the kinds of things I'm bringing to light.

 
At Fri Jun 30, 08:06:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Well Rich,

This is quite interesting and I really see what you are talking about. I agree that we read the Greek and hear the KJV. But at least, some of us studied Greek for many years before we read the NT in Greek.

However, I am quite appreciative of what you have done.

But I cannot agree that Nida and Bratcher were not aware of information that would be obvious by October of Greek 101. How can you prove that?

In general your principle is relevant. But you are showing me something that you are proving by a theory, but I say, I remember how and when I learned each semantic domain, that of κελευω and that of εντελλομαι. I remember each context as very separate. I have a theory about how the semantics shifted both in Greek and in English. You have prompted me to articulate that. But you simply don't believe me when I say the awareness of the difference between these two words is intrinsic in reading classical and Hellenistic Greek, something I always knew.

You are discovering by a method what I learned by reading. You cannot prove that you are discovering something I did not know, aomething that a person who reads Greek would not know. You are tryng to say that a person who reads Greek is bound by only knowing what is in the lexicons, not that they know things about words from context.

You can certainly prove that the lexicography was very deficient. I have never seen L&N and I haven't seen the handbook series in 30 years.

So, yes, I agree that current lexicography does not give adequate support for translation.

 
At Fri Jun 30, 10:50:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

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At Sat Jul 01, 06:03:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel

και γνωσθησομαι σοι εκειθεν και λαλησω σοι ανωθεν του ιλαστηριου ανα μεσον των δυο χερουβιμ των οντων επι της κιβωτου του μαρτυριου και κατα παντα οσα αν εντειλωμαι σοι προς τους υιους Ισραελ,

That is Exodus 25:22. What is interesting here is that in Zhubert, the definition is wrong for εντειλομαι so yes in general Bible students may not be aware of the meaning of this word. But I would say that someone who knows classical and Hellenistic Greek would not use a lexicon to read a verse like this!

You cannot say that people who read this are not aware of what they are reading. You can say not enough people read the Septuagint, if you like, I have no idea.

As for κελευω, it is near the beginning of Xenophon's Anabasis, but it is in general a fairly common word in Greek military history. One of the first 100 words you would learn in Greek.

 
At Sat Jul 01, 12:05:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Suzanne, it is clear that someone who has mother tongue fluency in a language is instinctively aware of all kinds of distinctions which are never made in dictionaries, although they may not be able to formulate these distinctions. And someone who has read widely in a language, as you have in classical Greek, may approach mother tongue fluency. Although I am far from mother tongue proficient in the language for which I am working on a Bible translation, I know that I am aware of many distinctions which are not made by the best dictionaries of the language - and that is not only because those dictionaries are not very good. So you may be instinctively aware of some of the distinctions which Rich is making, even if they are not made in dictionaries. Perhaps better lexicographers could make these distinctions more carefully. But they would need to combine their instincts with the kinds of methods which Rich is describing.

But we do need one caution here. Greek changed significantly from classical to New Testament times. Would it be in the right ballpark to compare the difference to that between KJV and Shakespeare and current English? So, if most of your reading has been in classical Greek, your instincts may be unreliable when it comes to the New Testament. On the other hand, if you have also read widely in Koine, your instincts will be better.

You and Rich may be interested in two linked projects which are attempting to follow a method rather similar to Rich's for biblical Hebrew. The SDBH project was originally envisaged as a Hebrew equivalent of Louw and Nida, but has taken a more careful linguistic approach. The KTBH project, of which I was a member for a time, is intended as a study in greater depth of a smaller number of key terms, aimed at a less scholarly audience than SDBH. Sample entries are available on both sites; I wrote the KTBH sample entries for כהן, כֹּהֵן, כְּהֻנָּה (KHN, kohen, kehunna).

 
At Sat Jul 01, 04:39:00 PM, Blogger Richard A. Rhodes said...

Suzanne,
You are absolutely right that anyone who has read extensively in language X picks up some of the kinds of things I'm making explicit. But the distance between reading a language and living a language is huge. When you read a language, you have to supply the context. How you supply that context depends as much on how you were taught as it does on how much you read after you leave the classroom. When we read the classics we never fully come out from under the shadow of the English public school tradition (and the neo-grammarian "revolution") which is the historical line of transmission of the texts. This colors how we think about the texts.

Furthermore, we are fooling ourselves if we believe anyone can come anywhere near native competency in a dead language--especially one with as small a corpus as first century Koine. Our knowledge will always be merely approximate.

I would bet the farm that there are distinctions in the NT that we are absolutely clueless about -- things at the level of the following English examples:

(1) (a) He was charged with giving us instruction.
(b) He was charged with giving us instructions.

or as in the following exchange I had with a conductor in a Swedish train (I managed not to laugh):

"Is this your first time in Sweden?"
"Yes."
"Well, you're welcome to it."

What I'm claiming is that we can now achieve a much closer approximation than was previously possible. We're so used to our level of approximation that we think we know what the texts say and read right past distinctions that are there if we know how to uncover them.

The reason I don't believe people know the things I'm talking about is because their translations don't show it. In fact, they get some things dead wrong. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, no translation that I know of makes it clear that Koine διαστελλομαι is very close in sense to English forbid. Many translations are tainted by the Classical sense which means something like 'give specific orders' (LSJ 'give express orders'), clearly an extension of the original meaning of its active counterpart 'separate' hence 'distinguish (between)' hence 'define precisely' hence 'give express orders' leading ultimately to Koine 'forbid'. There is no indication in Koine documents that this refers to a strong speech act as L&N say and the GNB translates.

 
At Sat Jul 01, 05:24:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

we are fooling ourselves if we believe anyone can come anywhere near native competency in a dead language

Hey, I didn't say that - Peter did!

I said - this is Greek 101! I am not a fluent reader of Greek, just dabbler, a broad spectrum dabbler.

IMO, κελευω and εντελλομαι originally were both used in classical Greek in the military and civil domain, with κελευω being more poular. Then in Septuagint Greek, εντελλομαι was used for God giving a commandment and that is how it came to be used that way in the NT.

Then in English, the same thing happened with the KJV. So the religious domain was created by associaton with use in religious text in both Greek and English. But L&N did not want to use religious connotation words so they disregarded this difference.

Altogether I agree with this. I think you have set up a false dichotomy, that was created by association.

Rich,

The principle may be perfectly sound, but you have to chose an example that is a little less obvious, that's all. I haven't thought about διαστελλομαι yet.

I would bet the farm that there are distinctions in the NT that we are absolutely clueless about

How are you going to prove that people who know Greek well, (not me) but someone with current professional involvement, do not know these things.

I would say that among some groups, people who only study the NT text, really don't demonstrate much knowledge, but I don't think that applies to Greek scholarship as a whole.

 
At Sat Jul 01, 08:39:00 PM, Blogger Richard A. Rhodes said...

Suzanne,
I'll take the question to my colleague, the Greek composition professor (if he's still in Berkeley and not in the Middle East reading papyri, otherwise it'll have to wait until I get back from Austria in the winter).

But, part of why I'm saying what I'm saying -- even about Greek 101 words -- is that one of my colleagues got a MacArthur "genius" award because she figured out how to build better contexts for working out what Pindar really means.

An analogous problem exists for Latin. There are Dutch scholars who are doing the kind of thing I'm talking about for Latin and discovering new things.

I don't think you'll have any trouble convincing the people doing cutting edge research in classics that there is a lot of really basic knowledge that we don't have.

On the Septuagint matter, two hundred years is a long time. We read right past words that 200 years ago meant something different from what they mean today. (I had an earlier comment in a different thread about sensibility which meant something different to Jane Austen than it means to us.) And there are lots of words like that, indefinite(ly), for example. But when we read material from the early 1800's we read right past them and don't even notice that we are misreading the text.

So I'll stick by my distinction between κελευω and εντελλομαι for NT Koine. It matters not why the words line up the way they do. The point is they do, and they occur in the NT enough to be able to say that this is not likely to be an accident.

 
At Sun Jul 02, 06:52:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

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At Sun Jul 02, 03:01:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

I didn't mean to suggest that anyone today had near mother tongue speaker fluency in ancient Greek. That would be an overstatement, I agree. My point was more that those who immerse themselves sufficiently in whatever documents are available in a language (or a particular variety of a language) may well over a long time internalise the kinds of distinctions which can also be discovered by Rich's analytical techniques. I say this by no means to disparage the analytical techniques, but to suggest that it would not be strange if sometimes their results are considered unsurprising or even obvious by those who know the corpus well, even if those results have never before been expressed in a formal way.

 
At Wed Jul 05, 10:46:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Rich,

Is this the kind of thing you might be looking for.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Here is the entry for commandment. It covers the differences between the following.
diatagma, entole, entalma, epitagma

Example

entole akin to entello_(COMMANDS), above, denotes, in general, "an injunction, charge, precept, commandment." It is the most frequent term, and is used of moral and religious precepts, e.g., Matt_5:19

diatagma signifies "that which is imposed by decree or law

Is this the kind of info you were looking for?

 
At Fri Jul 07, 11:18:00 AM, Blogger Richard A. Rhodes said...

Suzanne,
Yes.
And BTW Vine's often does a pretty good job. Here, especially, it captures much of what I've been saying. The value added is that I can tell you why Vine's is right (or not quite right). So it stops being just a matter of accepting their authority. You can have the intellectual experience of evaluating the underlying insight yourself. (It's what Polanyi refers to as "personal knowledge". I regularly make the argument that this is the essence of science, but that's getting a little too far afield.)

Part of the problem may also be that what passes muster for a semantic argument in linguistic circles nowadays has the bar set higher than it has been in Biblical scholarship. For example, semanticists make clearer distinctions between language and metalanguage, recognize the implications of categorization and fuzzy logic, and have a clearer understanding of how to evaluate evidence from a corpus.

It isn't always easy for someone who isn't practiced in recognizing what's crucial in these areas, e.g., radial categories (i.e., categories defined by a series of partially overlapping prototypes), but I'm trying to lay the logic out enough, so that readers can come to their own conclusions without having to master some of the very technical theory that leads to my analyses.

The saving grace is that all roads lead to Rome. Most of what I'm doing is almost lily-guilding. At some level none of this is new. I haven't come across much of real theological significance. (I've come across a lot of significance to church culture, but that's a different story.) The biggest thing is that I'm working to make the understanding of the text more explicit.

 
At Fri Jul 07, 02:33:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Richard,

In this case I think you were not to know that I was bringing a lot of tacit knowledge and personal imagination to the dialogue on κελευω and εντελλομαι. Not only was Xenophon's Anabasis the first book that I read from in Greek, but my husband read much of it aloud to me last summer (in English). So I must listen to and discuss models of Greek military command over the centuries. (I am a submissive wife afterall!) Last night I asked my son what book he was taking to read on the plane, "Persian Expeditions" I have been made to think about Xenophon's circumstances in the most vivid way. If someone says WWJD, then I would also think (don't take this over seriously) WWXD!

The point is, that the contrast between the Greek models of command and the OT and NT models of religious authority are areas of active interest and debate for us, not a dictionary matter, but always around what was necessary for mobilization and survival and ultimate extraction.

Of course, by NT times it is the Roman model of command, but you get the drift, I am not talking about some dictionary derived concepts.

So when Polanyi mentions informed hunches and the imagination, I depend a lot on that, as well as passion. I would say I am more familiar with Kuhn than Polanyi, but much the same, calling on the presence of an imaginary and emotional commitment that I have towards this vocabulary, more from cultural associations than from lexicon derived knowledge.

I have strongly depended on Kuhn and Freire for concepts of personal hunches and dialogue to create new paradigms in another discipline, but I have not consciously brought these ideas to Greek, at least not recently.

So dialogue is what I am looking for, but it is easier if the model building is explicit, so the focus is on where one can take the model, rather than on whether the definition of any particular word is already known or not.

It is much better, in any case, to start away from the core of theological debate and move towards the more controversial or significant vocabulary later.

I am sure you must be aware by now that Biblical scholarship is not something I have too much of, both for better and worse.

 

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