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A NT Hapax...

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A NT Hapax...

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Wed May 23, 2018 3:54 pm

Spending some time in the Colloquia of the Hermeneumata Pseudodositheana, found another use of a NT hapax:

ἆρον, ἕψησον ἐπιμελῶς τὰ προσφάγια.

"Take this, cook the relish/food carefully."

The Latin (the language being taught in the manuscript) renders:

Tolle, coque diligenter pulmentaria.

Now compare John 21:5:

Παιδία, μή τι προσφάγιον ἔχετε;

And then Jerome's rendering of the text:

pueri numquid pulmentarium habetis?

BDAG and Moulton-Milligan have good articles on the use of this word.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Re: A NT Hapax...

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:25 am

Even though Barry's pulmentaria are now a week old, I may still be able to sit down to this thread.

Assuming the existence of a φάγιον, being a variant of φάγημα*, reading προσφάγιον as two words is also sensible. That possible use of πρὸς with ἔχειν is almost paralleled in 1 Corinthians 14:26 Τί οὖν ἐστίν, ἀδελφοί; Ὅταν συνέρχησθε, ἕκαστος ὑμῶν ψαλμὸν ἔχει, διδαχὴν ἔχει, γλῶσσαν ἔχει, ἀποκάλυψιν ἔχει, ἑρμηνείαν ἔχει. Πάντα πρὸς οἰκοδομὴν γινέσθω. The Corinthians have many things and the apostle wants what they have to be for edification.

An example of where the adverbial phrase with πρὸς has been substantivised is quoted below. The first (Indian) Dionysus, is described by Lacus Curtius in part as follows:
Lacus Curtius 3.63.3 wrote:φασι ... πρῶτον τοῦτον ... καὶ καθόλου τὰ πρὸς τὴν συγκομιδὴν καὶ παράθεσιν τούτων τῶν καρπῶν ἐπινοῆσαι.
Although that παράθεσις is translated as storage, I wonder if it is not actually talking about food preparation - getting food ready to set on the table as dishes. During the few months I spent on the sub-continent, fresh (ripe) fruit that was left around for more than a few days invariably got soft turned some shade of black. Perhaps, however, we just lacked the ancient Dionysius' know how.

Reading προσφάγιον as two words has Jesus asking if they have anything at all ready to eat. Finding out that they don't have anything, he cooks both bread and fish.

*In regard to the LSJ reference under φάγημα, PMag.Berol.1.23. is not available digitally on ddbdp, but is accessible at the Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg.
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Re: A NT Hapax...

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:54 am

φάγημα [φᾰ], ατος, τό, food, victuals, Anon.ap.Suid., Demetr.Sceps.ap.Ath.3.91d, PMag.Berol.1.23.

Liddell, H. G., Scott, R., Jones, H. S., & McKenzie, R. (1996). A Greek-English lexicon (p. 1911). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

προσφάγιον, ου, τό (fr. φαγεῖν, not to be confused w. the homograph derived fr. προσφάζω ‘sacrifice beforehand’; ‘a relish’ eaten w. bread [Proverbia Aesopi 98 P. πρ. beside ἄρτος; POxy 498, 33; 39 ἄρτον ἕνα καὶ προσφάγιον; 736, 46; 89; 739, 7; 10; 12; 14; BGU 916, 22; PGrenf II, 77, 21; OGI 484, 26. Acc. to Moeris and Hesychius it = ὄψον. But the latter word, as well as its dim. ὀψάριον (q.v.), oft. simply = ‘fish’]) fish (to eat) μή τι προσφάγιον ἔχετε; you have no fish to eat, have you? or did you catch anything to eat? J 21:5 (the narrative context contrasts the disciples’ lack of success in providing a meal with the Lord’s role as chef, vss. 9–13).—DELG s.v. φαγεῖν. M-M.

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 886). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.



προσφάγιον 4371

In the private account P Oxy IV. 73646, 89 (c. A.D. 1) a half obol and 2½ obols respectively are set down for προσφάγιον, which the editors render “relish” (similarly in ib. 73910, 12). In the same account61; 52, 62 ὄψον and ὀψάριον are translated “sauce.” But the plentiful evidence from Hellenistic writers in Wetstein Jn 6:9 would seem to show that ὄψον and ὀψάριον meant “fish” predominantly as early as Plato, and ordinarily in later times as in Athenaeus. In the same way, to judge from the papyrus evidence, προσφάγιον is best understood of some staple article of food of the genus fish, rather than of a mere “relish.” Thus in P Oxy III. 49833 (ii/A.D.) it is provided that a stone-cutter’s wages are to be so many drachmae a day along with ἄρ]τον ἕνα καὶ προσφάγιον, and in P Grenf II. 7721 (iii/iv A.D.) (= Selections, p. 121) provision is made ὑπ(ὲρ)] δαπάνης ἐν ψωμίοις καὶ προσφαγίοις (δραχμαὶ) ι̅ς̅, “for outlays in delicacies and foods 16 drachmae.” It would, therefore, be to one of the articles of an ordinary meal that Jesus’ question referred in Jn 21:5, where the RV rendering is supported by the Lewis Syriac, and by d of the Old Latin (aliquid manducare). See further Field Notes, p. 109, and Abbott Joh. Gr. p. 193f.


Moulton, J. H., & Milligan, G. (1930). The vocabulary of the Greek Testament (pp. 551–552). London: Hodder and Stoughton.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Re: A NT Hapax...

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:05 pm

In addition to those entries, that line of meaning based on the etymology of πρὸς in the sense of "in addition to" is further supported by the following entry:

προσεσθίω ,
A.eat besides, only aor. imper. “πρόσφαγε” Diog.Ep.29.5.

Henry George Liddell. Robert Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon. revised and augmented throughout by. Sir Henry Stuart Jones. with the assistance of. Roderick McKenzie. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1940.


BDAG wrote:Acc. to Moeris and Hesychius it = ὄψον. But the latter word, as well as its dim. ὀψάριον (q.v.), oft. simply = ‘fish’

The leap of faith from the etymological "food in addition to the staple" to "fish" based on Meoeris is surprising.

Moeris (pg.251 says, that "if you want to write good Attic Greek, use ὄψον, rather than the (then) current προσφάγημα" (ὄψον Ἀττικῶς προσφάγημα Ἑλληνικῶς). I say leap of faith, because the ὄψον of Attic Greek actually has a range of meaning ranging from "any cooked or prepared dish (eaten with the staples - bread and wine)", to "relish" to "especially fish (at Athens)". In addition to BADG's blinkered view in looking at just one meaning of ὄψον in Attic, when there are several, there are the issues of ὀψάριον becoming ψάρι "fish" in Modern Greek and the mention of pulmentaria in the first post here.

If Attic ὄψον was especially "fish", because that was the eating habit of the Athenians, then ψάρι is definitely "fish" in Modern Greek. The shift in meaning is complete. In other words, when the word ὄψον was in Attic, it had a range of meaning as we just saw, but by the Koine time its meaning was narrowed (or on the way to narrowing), so προσφάγημα was being used as an all encompassing word to describe what was served in addition to the staple foods. Moeris is saying then, if you are writing in Attic, remember that ὄψον had the broad meaning back then, so don't use our new word προσφάγημα, but rather the older broad sense of ὄψον. That is exactly the opposite to what BDAG makes of Moeris.

In the situation by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus may have been thinking of fish, but the meaning of fish for προσφάγημα comes only from the context or setting on that day, and is not related to the shifts in semantic domains of ὄψον and προσφάγημα over time as described by Moeris.

I only have the basic seminary Latin that I took 20 years ago, plus a little reading, but I do see that both Jerome and the Colloquia of the Hermeneumata Pseudodositheana both suggest a cooked or prepared dish that would go with the staples.
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