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kata loukan 19, 47

Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2004 9:47 am
by muminustrollus

"Kai en didaskon to kath' emeran..."

Can anybody tell me what the "to" is doing here? My linear translation gives "daily" as the meaning of "to kath' emeran" but I somehow feel skeptical.

Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2004 5:53 pm
by klewlis
hm... I'm not sure about the [face=SPIonic]to[/face] but [face=SPIonic]kata[/face] with a time-based accusative does usually indicate "every...". For example, [face=SPIonic]kat' etoj[/face] in luke 2:41 means "every year". Bauer also affirms [face=SPIonic]to kaq' hmera[/face] as "daily".

my own findings...

Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 7:35 am
by muminustrollus

In Phil 1,29 you have:

umin exaristhe to uper xristou

According to Wallace (Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics) this could be translated :

" the on-behalf-of-Christ thing"

In this case to kath hmeran should mean:

"the for-each-day thing"

It would function as a direct object of the verb hn didaskon

I venture the following translation:

And he was teaching (the people) in the Temple the daily thing

Of course, this is a most inelegant translation and maybe it is not necessary to be so literal since translating to kath hmeran by "daily" is basically accurate but the other translation has one major merit, to wit that it reminds us of the Lord's Prayer:

ton arton ton epiousion dos hmin shmeron

I love to think of the Gospel as a harmonious whole where all words are interrelated and where one passage is echoed in another. If we translate to kath hmeran by something like "the teaching needed for each day" we see the Lord Himself fulfilling the prayer He put in the apostles' mouth.

More importantly, it also shows us that Jesus, who was supremely sensitive to kairos, the opportune timing, including the hora of His own exaltation, did not teach routinely, from a dead corpus that He would impart to His listeners mechanically. He gave His audience exactly what was fit for that precise day. It was the living Word...

Re: my own findings...

Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 8:53 am
by klewlis
muminustrollus wrote: According to Wallace (Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics) this could be translated :

" the on-behalf-of-Christ thing"

In this case to kath hmeran should mean:

"the for-each-day thing"

It would function as a direct object of the verb hn didaskon
While this is technically possible, we have to remember that idiomatic phrases are not necessarily logical or literal--at least not in their present form. to kath hmeran appears to be an idiomatic construction which is used in several places besides this verse (including in the LXX), so be careful about importing meaning into it that is not necessarily there.

Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 9:07 pm
by Skylax
Some other adverbs are used with the article without change in the meaning :[face=SPIonic]to\ nu=n, ta\ nu=n,[/face], "now" [face=SPIonic]to\ pa/lai[/face] "long ago".

the real matter at isssue: the wisdom of words

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 8:01 am
by muminustrollus
I see your point and I don't insist on the accuracy of my translation although I still think that it makes sense.(I have just discovered in my Greek-French dictionary that to kath emeran means "daily needs" and the example comes from Thucydides)

The point at issue is a very interesting one. How far should we go in interpreting the words of the Gospel?

The word "kosmos" means "universe" but if you look at it very closely you see that it means "order" and "ornament". While most of the time it would not be necessary to dig up the etymological meaning to make sense of a given passage I can imagine that there could be situations when it would be helpful to meditate on the original meaning of the word.
Another example is the name Jesus.

Finally we are dealing with scripture not with ordinary prose. If God's spirit has been instrumental in writing the Gospel I think we need to be much more attentive to the possible meanings of words that usage has somehow overshadowed through mechanical, unthinking habits and that the writer himself may have been unaware of.

Greeks say to nun instead of now but why did they express themselves like that? Why not just use an adverb? This question concerns the wisdom inherent in a language.

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:08 pm
by klewlis
Given the tendency of humans to read whatever they like into scripture, especially based on a certain amount of knowledge about the "original greek", I think it's very important that we take great care to be honest and responsible scholars, so that we do not abuse scripture through our overzealousness. There are many facets of this, including recognizing that we cannot so simply say "the word originally meant thus", countering all previous scholarship, without examining the cultural, historic, and linguistic context of the word. While it may be true that a given word was "originally" used by the Greeks to mean one thing, we all know that word meanings can change dramatically from time to time, place to place, and author to author. So it is important to take into consideration the usage at the time of writing, plus the usage of that particular author, and then possibly the historical usage previous. We have many tools like BGAD and Louw-Nida to assist us in this process.

I highly recommend the book "exegetical fallacies", by DA Carson. It talks about a lot of these issues and offers sound advice.