Λιθοβολεω and λιθαζω

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Jean Putmans
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Λιθοβολεω and λιθαζω

Post by Jean Putmans »

Is there some difference between the two words λιθοβολεω and λιθαζω?

Both are described in dictionaries with “throwing stones” “to stone”. Kittel Theological Dictionary states the terminus technicus (law) for “to stone” was λιθαζω.
In the Jerome-VG both are mostly rendered with “lapidare”.
In the Gothic translation λιθαζω is rendered with “stainjan” (to stone); according to germanic law that was a deathpenalty. There is - alas - in the Gothic NT-part just one instance with λιθοβολεω (Mk 12:4), where the translator seems to struggle with the translation: he chose a quite complex expression: they mutilated/uglified him by throwing stones at him.

Could it be that
Λαθιζω = stone till death
Λιθοβολεω = stone to mutilate/wound/uglify

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jeidsath
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Re: Λιθοβολεω and λιθαζω

Post by jeidsath »

You probably want to look at both words in their LXX usage. I can't see a difference, myself, just from formation.

As for your Gothic translator, he's looking at more than the one word:

Mk 12:4 (majority text) κἀκεῖνον λιθοβολήσαντες ἐκεφαλαίωσαν, καὶ ἀπέστειλαν ἠτιμωμένον

They struck his head with thrown rocks and sent him away dishonored. The context, not the word, appears to imply stoning to disfigure here. I don't know enough about rural justice, but I wonder if stoning for disfigurement was a specific practice that both the Lord and the Gothic translator might have seen in person.
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Jean Putmans
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Re: Λιθοβολεω and λιθαζω

Post by Jean Putmans »

The Gothic translator rendered here ἐκεφαλαίωσαν with “caused him head wounds”; should he have understood λιθοβολεω simply as "throwing stones” he could have used just "wairpan stainans", but he adds to that “gaaiwiskon”, which in other instances renders αισχυνω (active and passive) and in this context probably means “mutilate” ("uglify, deform” , see Montanari).

Most Gothic-Scholars think this “gaaiwiskon” to be added into the text from some marginal note in an other manuscript.
Jülicher stated rightfully in has advice to Gothic-scholars to take the Gothic text as it is, so without speculations what could have happened: we simply will never know. I take the text as it is and have to try to find an explanation for this rendering.

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