DEXIA and DECOMAI
mike at sojurn.lns.pa.us
Fri Jan 21 14:02:17 EST 2000
1. Are DEXIA and DECOMAI etymologically related?
2. Is there substance to my thoughts related below?
First, you can assume I understand the trappings of etymology.
That is: it is easy from etymology to read more meaning into a
word than what is actually there; and words ultimately derive their
meaning from context which is both intra- and extra-textual.
DEXIA is different than CEIR. Where CEIR speaks of the body part,
DEXIA is frequently positively used in idiomatic expressions
(unlike ARISTERA, which has negative connotations.)
Louw and Nida, regarding the DECOMAI family (34:53), speak about
"the spacial [perhaps the British spelling-MJS] relationships
involved in the welcoming of a guest can be reflected in the
What I'm wondering is: if DEXIA and DECOMAI are related, then
the prepositional prefixes may not be referring to the spatial
relationship of the people, but to the placement of the 'right hand',
that is, the placement of that special hand. The prefixes then bring
some rather vivid pictures into view.
For example, in Luke 15:2 "hOUTOS hAMARTWLOUS PROSDECETAI KAI
SUNESQIEI AUTOIS." Jesus' welcoming of sinners may be viewed as
a mutual, almost reflexive, welcoming. The picture, to a western
mind, is of two friends clasping hands in a hearty handshake.
APODECOMAI: Luke 8:40 "EN DE TWi hUPOSTEREFEIN TON IHSOUN APEDEXATO
AUTON hO OCLOS" The crowd didn't all run up to Jesus and shake
His hand. They welcomed him from a slight distance, but it was,
nevertheless, a DEXIA type of welcoming. The picture strikes a
nice balance between physical distance and emotional closeness.
PARADECOMAI: Acts 15:4--"PAREDECQHSAN APO THS EKKLHSIAS." Paul and
Barnabas were welcomed by the church. Unlike APODECOMAI, the crowd
in this case had to get close. In simple terms, the picture is
that of a group hug.
EPIDECOMAI: 3 John 1:10--"KAI MH APKOUMENOS EPI TOUTOIS OUTE
AUTOS EPIDECETAI TOUS ADELFOUS." I wonder if EPIDECOMAI has the
sense of 'recommending' here. The picture is of one who places his
(or her) hand upon the back of the shoulder and recommends the
individual to the group. In a sense pushing the person forward.
Diotrephes was *not* this type of person.
I eagerly await the 'common mind of the experts.'
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