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1 Ti 4:3 κωλυόντων γαμεῖν, ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτων

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1 Ti 4:3 κωλυόντων γαμεῖν, ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτων

Postby jeidsath » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:12 pm

κωλυόντων γαμεῖν, ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτων ἃ ὁ θεὸς ἔκτισεν εἰς μετάλημψιν μετὰ εὐχαριστίας τοῖς πιστοῖς καὶ ἐπεγνωκόσι τὴν ἀλήθειαν.

Isn't "κωλυόντων γαμεῖν, ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτων" bizarre? Did a line drop out?
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Re: 1 Ti 4:3 κωλυόντων γαμεῖν, ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτων

Postby mwh » Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:06 pm

Loss of κελευοντων would be explicable.
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Re: 1 Ti 4:3 κωλυόντων γαμεῖν, ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτων

Postby jeidsath » Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:52 pm

I suppose it’s extraordinarily unlikely that this is a dirty scribal joke. As it reads now, the only way that I can parse it is with ἀπέχεσθαι as a explanatory infinitive and ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτα as a metaphor for κωλυόντων γαμεῖν.

...forbidding men to marry, to stay away from the food which God created for the shared taking of the faithful ones knowing the truth.

It strikes me that this would be an extremely good place to print a conjectural emendation.
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Re: 1 Ti 4:3 κωλυόντων γαμεῖν, ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτων

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:47 am

mwh wrote:Loss of κελευοντων would be explicable.


Nice explanation here (which saves me a bit of time):

The construction ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτων following κωλυόντων is a zeugma, “a special type of ellipsis requiring a different verb to be supplied …, i.e., one verb is used with two objects (subjects) but suits only one …” (BDF §479.2)


Knight, G. W. (1992). The Pastoral Epistles: a commentary on the Greek text (p. 190). Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press.

And directly supportive of mwh's suggestion:

To abstain from meats (ἀπεχεσθαι βρωματων [apechesthai brōmatōn]). Infinitive dependent, not on κωλυοντων [kōluontōn], but on the positive idea κελευοντων [keleuontōn] (implied, not expressed).


Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (1 Ti 4:3). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.

jeidsath wrote:
I suppose it’s extraordinarily unlikely that this is a dirty scribal joke. As it reads now, the only way that I can parse it is with ἀπέχεσθαι as a explanatory infinitive and ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτα as a metaphor for κωλυόντων γαμεῖν.

...forbidding men to marry, to stay away from the food which God created for the shared taking of the faithful ones knowing the truth.

It strikes me that this would be an extremely good place to print a conjectural emendation.


There is no manuscript evidence which would support the need for a CE, and needless to say, nobody in the history of interpretation has ever read it this way.
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Re: 1 Ti 4:3 κωλυόντων γαμεῖν, ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτων

Postby mwh » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:33 am

I think the text is sound as it stands. απεχεσθαι has no connexion with γαμεῖν. With κωλυοντων it seems to say the opposite of what it means, in fact it does, but I think that’s ok, since απεχεσθαι is detached from the participle and we instinctively apply the appropriate opposite sense. κωλυειν and απεχεσθαι are both effectively negative concepts, and we want only one of them to function as such here (“preventing from abstaining” ~ “preventing from partaking” or “enjoining to abstain”, as it were). It’s sloppy and ill-educated, but I’ve come across things like this before.

—Cf. Fowler’s Modern English Usage under “negative mishandling, 2.” on writers who “put down the opposite of what they mean.”

Edit. Above post written before seeing Barry’s. I’m glad to find myself in such close agreement with Robertson.
(But Barry, a point of principle: you can’t go dismissing a conjecture on the ground that it has no manuscript support. That’s what makes it a conjecture!)
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Re: 1 Ti 4:3 κωλυόντων γαμεῖν, ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτων

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:06 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:There is no manuscript evidence which would support the need for a CE, and needless to say, nobody in the history of interpretation has ever read it this way.


Right. NT conjectural emendations are Area 51.
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Re: 1 Ti 4:3 κωλυόντων γαμεῖν, ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτων

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:04 pm

mwh wrote:Edit. Above post written before seeing Barry’s. I’m glad to find myself in such close agreement with Robertson.
(But Barry, a point of principle: you can’t go dismissing a conjecture on the ground that it has no manuscript support. That’s what makes it a conjecture!)


Reading that made me smile. I will note, however, that with the embarras de richesses of NT manuscripts, the possibility that some ancient or medieval scribe will have so corrected the text is not small at all. We see difficult texts being corrected in various ways all the time, and the fact that no such correction is available for this text, either in manuscripts or other sources, suggests that it was not seen as a difficulty. Conjectural emendation is quite a bit more important for ancient texts without a great deal of manuscript support, where there are difficult or impossible readings. No editor has ever supplied the crux frustrationis here...
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Re: 1 Ti 4:3 κωλυόντων γαμεῖν, ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτων

Postby jeidsath » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:21 pm

Here are Westcott and Hort. I searched through the TLG for the different quotations of this verse, but after reading them all, I wasn't able to find the "several indications that the difficulty was felt in ancient times." However, I suspect that's on me.

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Re: 1 Ti 4:3 κωλυόντων γαμεῖν, ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτων

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:35 pm

jeidsath wrote:Here are Westcott and Hort. I searched through the TLG for the different quotations of this verse, but after reading them all, I wasn't able to find the "several indications that the difficulty was felt in ancient times." However, I suspect that's on me.


There are still no variant readings for the text since W&H's time, and their speculation reveals something of the subjectivity that plagues text critics. Their comment about difficulty in ancient times amounts to simple assertion without any citations to prove it. I know, they were really smart guys and we give them the benefit of the doubt, but still... I don't have access to the TLG (jealousy), but I did check one of my favorite go to authors on such issues, Chrysostom (St. John, not Dio!) whose Greek was fairly decent, and he doesn't comment on the language of the text one way or another. He simply quotes it and makes his point (asking why the apostle mentions no other heresies). He understands the text, and he assumes his readers can do so as well.
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