Meaning of a Greek Text Attributed to Basilius

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Bernd Strauss
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Meaning of a Greek Text Attributed to Basilius

Post by Bernd Strauss » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:15 pm

The following is an excerpt from Sermones, attributed to Basilius (who is listed in TLG as a writer different from Basil of Caesarea):

“Καὶ τὸν Παῦλον πρὸ τοῦ Παύλου μιμούμενος, μᾶλλον δὲ αὐτοῦ τοῦ Παύλου διδάσκαλος γενόμενος· ὁ μὲν γὰρ πρῶτος, ὁ δὲ δεύτερος τὴν περὶ Χριστοῦ ἤκμαζεν φιλοσοφίαν· ὁ μὲν γὰρ μετὰ τὸν Στέφανον ἐδημηγόρει τὰ τῆς εὐσεβείας κηρύγματα· ὁ δέ γε Στέφανος, μετ' οὐ πολὺ τῆς Χριστοῦ παρουσίας ἤνθει τὰ τῆς εὐσεβείας γνωρίσματα.”

Since I cannot translate the text, I need to know whether it alludes to Stephen’s statement at Acts 7:52 about Christ’s first coming (where the word ἔλευσις is used): “Which one of the prophets did your forefathers not persecute? Yes, they killed those who announced in advance the coming [ἐλεύσεως] of the righteous one, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become.”

If the text does not allude to Acts 7:52, does it at least refer to Christ's first coming?

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Re: Meaning of a Greek Text Attributed to Basilius

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:35 pm

More later perhaps, but here is a slightly different version of the same text:

https://books.google.com/books?id=4gk4A ... g=PA76&dq=

In work so attributed...

του εν αγιοις πατρος ημων
ΦΛΩΡΕΝΤΙΟΥ ΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΥ ΦΩΤΙΚΗΣ
ἐγκώμιον είς τὸν άγιον Στέφανον τὸν πρωτομάρτυρα. (p. 74).
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Meaning of a Greek Text Attributed to Basilius

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:17 pm

Okay, I think the key to answer your question is:

ὁ μὲν γὰρ μετὰ τὸν Στέφανον ἐδημηγόρει τὰ τῆς εὐσεβείας κηρύγματα· ὁ δέ γε Στέφανος, μετ' οὐ πολὺ τῆς Χριστοῦ παρουσίας ἤνθει τὰ τῆς εὐσεβείας γνωρίσματα.”

I would render this something like "He [Paul] proclaimed the preaching of godliness after Stephen, but Stephen not long after the coming of Christ was strong [blossomed] in the marks of godliness."

This can only be a reference to the first coming, not the second.
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καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

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Re: Meaning of a Greek Text Attributed to Basilius

Post by Bernd Strauss » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:28 pm

Thank you for the translation. I can see now that although the text mentions Stephen, it does not directly refer to his words at Ac 7:52 about Christ’s first coming.

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Re: Meaning of a Greek Text Attributed to Basilius

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:56 am

ἔλευσις is rather a rare word. It's coinage apparently dates to the Koine period. It is used on into Modern Greek in the reference to Christ's coming.

Your idea, Bernd, that it might be talking about the future ("second") coming of Christ is not unreasonable. Considering the similarity between this word and the future of ἔρχεσθαι "go / come", which is ἐλεύσεσθαι "be going to come / go" ("be going to bring / convey oneself"), it could be that the noun was derived from the future of the verb and also retained a future meaning. The tense of the other verbs in the passages that we are discussing is past tense, and Stephen had already been martyred at the time Luke recorded the Acts, it is true. That could suggest that the coming was in the past too, but not necessariy. Reading Acts as, "You betrayers and murders ought to be afraid of what you have done (or who you have become), because he is going to come back (in judgement) is not a completely implausible reading. The Jews respected the prophets, and Stephen could be saying that the prophets prophesied about the return of Christ in judgement (Zechariah 14:4 for example).

In both instances of the use of ἔλευσις in John of Damascus' Vita Barlaam et Joasaph, it is collocated with προσδοκᾶν "expect" (a bridegroom's return) / προσδοκία "expectation" (a living person expecting the arrival of death) - necessarily future events.

Despite the scarcity of this particular word ἔλευσις, the existence of a range of forms for the word, (viz. ἀπέλευσις, διεξέλευσις, ἐξέλευσις, εἰσέλευσις, ἔλευσις, ἐπέλευσις, μετέλευσις, παρέλευσις, περιέλευσις, προέλευσις, προσέλευσις, συνέλευσις, ὑπεξέλευσις, ὑπεισέλευσις in LSJ) suggest that these nouns of the ἔρχεσθαι family of words were drawing on speakers understanding of the corresponding verbal forms.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
(Keats, Ode to a nightingale, 1819).

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Re: Meaning of a Greek Text Attributed to Basilius

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:53 pm

The word simply means "coming" and the temporal framework is determined by context. Cf.:

μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα ὁ Ἄβγαρος ‘σὺ Θαδδαῖε,’ ἔφη, ‘σὺν δυνάμει τοῦ θεοῦ ταῦτα ποιεῖς καὶ ἡμεῖς αὐτοὶ ἐθαυμάσαμεν· ἀλλʼ ἐπὶ τούτοις δέομαί σου, διήγησαί μοι περὶ τῆς ἐλεύσεως τοῦ Ἰησοῦ πῶς ἐγένετο... Eus. E.H. 1.13.19

Where it obviously refers the first coming.
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Re: Meaning of a Greek Text Attributed to Basilius

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:14 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:temporal framework
That sounds a whole lot more involved than simply whether something is past, present or future of a given reference point. From the way παρουσία means both "arrive" and "be there", it seems that it has the capacity to carry quite a broad range within a 'temporal framework' - beginning and duration. Because it is part of the ἔρχεσθαι family of word, which can cover journeying and arriving, but doesn't talk about what happens after arrival, perhaps ἔλευσις has its meaning on the other 'side' of "arrive" - duration and ending. The place of these two nouns within a temporal framework (relative to a narrative or other reference point) seems like an interesting thing to consider.
Barry Hofstetter wrote:The word simply means "coming"
Barry Hofstetter wrote:Where it obviously refers the first coming.
Confident assertions there. I find it unsatisfying to just find a one-word gloss, rather than grapple with the conceptualisation of meaning.

Perhaps looking back in time on an ἔλευσις, it would more likely mean "arrival", while looking forward to one, it might mean "coming" followed by an "arrival". Cf. looking at a cup from the bottom, one just sees the bottom of the cup, but looking at it from the top one sees both the top and the bottom - the sides if the cup lead to the bottom. If this understanding is right, then for ἔλευσις the mouth of the cup faces to the past.
Last edited by ἑκηβόλος on Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
(Keats, Ode to a nightingale, 1819).

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Re: Meaning of a Greek Text Attributed to Basilius

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:33 pm

ἑκηβόλος wrote:
Confident assertions there. I find it unsatisfying to just find a onw-word gloss, rather than grapple with the conceptualisation of meaning.
I may be confident, but you are confusing. I often read something you write and wonder what the gehenna you've actually said. You make stuff way too complicated. Tell me how ἔλευσις can have a future sense in the Eusebius citation I gave, particularly in the light of πῶς ἐγένετο?

In the "for what it's worth" category:
BDAG wrote: ἔλευσις, εως, ἡ (fr. ἐλεύσομαι, s. ἔρχομαι; Dionys. Hal. 3, 59, 1 ed. JReiske 1774 [ed. CJacoby 1885ff has ἔλασις]; Cornutus 28 p. 54, 11; Cass. Dio 8, 10, 7; Syntipas p. 23, 28; Cat. Cod. Astr. XII 157, 1; Hesych.; Etym. Gud. 454, 9; TestSol; TestAbr A 16 p. 97, 15 [Stone p. 42]) the act of reaching a point with implication of determined objective, coming, arrival (Lat.: adventus) of the first coming of Christ: ἔ. τοῦ δικαίου Ac 7:52; ἔ. τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Pol 6:3; ἡ ἔ. τοῦ Χριστοῦ 1 Cl 17:1.—Of Christ’s second coming (AcThom 28 [Aa II/2 p. 145, 7]) Lk 21:7 D; 23:42 D (in Irenaeus 1, 10 of both). ὁ κύριος … εἰς ταχεῖαν ποιήσεται τὴν ἔ. the Lord … will soon make his appearance or advent AcPlCor 2:3.—GKilpatrick, JTS 46, ’45, 136–45. DELG s.v. ἐλεύσομαι. TW.
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. 317). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
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Re: Meaning of a Greek Text Attributed to Basilius

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:48 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:I may be confident, but you are confusing. I often read something you write and wonder what the gehenna you've actually said. You make stuff way too complicated.
Conceptually, you should not be confused by this. You are familiar with some nouns leading up to an event, and others following it. Even though we don't see the carbon-paper documents around now like they used to be, perhaps it might help your understanding of what I'm saying, if you to reason analogously to "order" and "invoice" (both documents containing a list of the items with their prices) on either side of "delivery" - both are steps in the purchase process, or alternatively you could reason analogously to "foetus" and "neonate" (both stages of life) on either side of "birth" - of the same baby.
Barry Hofstetter wrote:Tell me how ἔλευσις can have a future sense in the Eusebius citation I gave, particularly in the light of πῶς ἐγένετο?
How can you not be expecting that the answer to such a question will not be a little involved - you must be going to say that I'm making this too too complicated!

Did he go on to narrate the series of events or steps leading up to the arrival of Christ, or did he begin with Christ's arrival and say what happened next? If what I'm saying is at all valid, then the ἔλευσις will be in the future from the events narrated. Perhaps you could say it is sequentially (rather than temporally) a future - that is that it is posterior to a sequence of events. In a temporally significant context, posteriority to the present is what is commonly called "future". I was toying with including some of the idea that temporal is a subset of sequential, and that time can be measured by the sequence of events, but considering that the original poster came looking for answers rather than explanations, there didn't seem to be much point.
Barry Hofstetter wrote:"for what it's worth" category:
I find it puzzling that intelligent and educated persons like yourself find the most straightforward things puzzling. The Calvinist and the teacher in me often have a debate as to what to do or not do about that.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
(Keats, Ode to a nightingale, 1819).

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Re: Meaning of a Greek Text Attributed to Basilius

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:48 am

ἑκηβόλος wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:Tell me how ἔλευσις can have a future sense in the Eusebius citation I gave, particularly in the light of πῶς ἐγένετο?
How can you not be expecting that the answer to such a question will not be a little involved - you must be going to say that I'm making this too too complicated!

Did he go on to narrate the series of events or steps leading up to the arrival of Christ, or did he begin with Christ's arrival and say what happened next? If what I'm saying is at all valid, then the ἔλευσις will be in the future from the events narrated. Perhaps you could say it is sequentially (rather than temporally) a future - that is that it is posterior to a sequence of events. In a temporally significant context, posteriority to the present is what is commonly called "future". I was toying with including some of the idea that temporal is a subset of sequential, and that time can be measured by the sequence of events, but considering that the original poster came looking for answers rather than explanations, there didn't seem to be much point.
The reason citations are provided is to prove the point. Look at the citation. Look it up in context. It proves that it doesn't have a future sense. Compare, BTW, this quotation of Acts 7:52:

Encomium in sanctum Polycarpum (attributed to John Chrysostom, but almost certainly not he), lines 34-37: “Στέφανος δὲ πρὸς αὐτοὺς διαλεγόμενος Τίνα, φησίν, τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἀπέκτειναν οἱ πατέρες ὑμῶν; τοὺς προκαταγγείλαντας περὶ τῆς παρουσίας τοῦ Χριστοῦ.”

Note that παρουσία is substituted for ἔλευσις.

Barry Hofstetter wrote:"for what it's worth" category:
I find it puzzling that intelligent and educated persons like yourself find the most straightforward things puzzling. The Calvinist and the teacher in me often have a debate as to what to do or not do about that.
You were predestined to write that.
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Re: Meaning of a Greek Text Attributed to Basilius

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:30 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:Tell me how ἔλευσις can have a future sense in the Eusebius citation I gave, particularly in the light of πῶς ἐγένετο?
ἑκηβόλος wrote:How can you not be expecting that the answer to such a question will not be a little involved - you must be going to say that I'm making this too too complicated!
The reason citations are provided is to prove the point. Look at the citation. Look it up in context. It proves that it doesn't have a future sense.
Oh. I see. Rather than actually asking a question, you felt that you had proved something by quoting that text. Within the rules of discourse that you were following, you saying "tell me how", meant that you believed such a thing couldn't be told, and the question mark meant that I should be left wondering, not that you were wondering about it.

What is it exactly that you believe this little logical circle supported by a quotation has trapped me into accepting? What other people accept this as a culturally valid way to "prove" things?
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
(Keats, Ode to a nightingale, 1819).

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Re: Meaning of a Greek Text Attributed to Basilius

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:47 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:Compare, BTW, this quotation of Acts 7:52:

Encomium in sanctum Polycarpum (attributed to John Chrysostom, but almost certainly not he), lines 34-37: “Στέφανος δὲ πρὸς αὐτοὺς διαλεγόμενος Τίνα, φησίν, τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἀπέκτειναν οἱ πατέρες ὑμῶν; τοὺς προκαταγγείλαντας περὶ τῆς παρουσίας τοῦ Χριστοῦ.”

Note that παρουσία is substituted for ἔλευσις.
The two terms are quite interchangeable - perhaps ἔλευσις coming with the idea of arrival implied, παρουσία arriving with pomp and purpose (and ἄφιξις arriving at or to a place). Have a look even just at the first few lines of the Modern Greek Wikipedia article on Δευτέρα Παρουσία.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
(Keats, Ode to a nightingale, 1819).

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