[B-Greek] DIGNWMWN in Didache 2:4

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Mon Feb 23 23:03:56 EST 2004


Dear James,

>The text is Didache 2:4
>OUK ESHi DIGNWMWN OUDE DIGLOWSSOS. PAGIS GAR THANATOU hH DIGLOSSIA.
>
>Can one translate DIGNWMWN as double faced, or poker faced. I'm trying to
>find out whether an idiom in my own language (having a double face) can be
>used to translate this word?

HH: The idea given in Liddell & Scott is "of two minds, vacillating." The
Loeb Classical Library translation at this verse is "double-minded." That
is the idea in BAGD, along with "fickle."

"Double-minded," according to the dictionary, implies "wavering or
undecided in mind." Another dictionary has for "double-minded: "a. Having
different minds at different times; unsettled; wavering; unstable;
undetermined."

HH: In English we would use the phrase "two-faced" rather than "double
faced." "Two-faced" would imply intentionality and deceptive behavior. One
alters one's demeanor with an agenda, acting one way in a person's
presence, but another way behind their back. The dictionary says it means
"double-dealing, false." Double-dealing is acting contradictory to a
professed attitude and involves duplicity or deception.

So the lexicons do not really suggest that DIGNWMOS means "two-faced." Now
"poker-faced" merely means that one's face does not reveal one's thoughts
or emotions. The face is sort of blank. So "poker-faced" seems somewhat
removed in meaning from the idea of DIGNWMOS.

				Yours,
				Harold Holmyard








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