[B-Greek] Father & Family Relationship

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at ioa.com
Sat Jul 30 09:01:48 EDT 2005


On Jul 30, 2005, at 4:04 AM, gjp at barwonwater.vic.gov.au wrote:

> Family & Father Relationship
>
> G'day all - I'm new to this list so please forgive me if this has been
> considered in earlier posts.
>
> Can anyone shed light on the relationship between PATERA and PATRIA  
> as seen
> in say, Eph 3:14-15.  If they are of the same root, is it therefore
> expected that a family needs a father, or is this too simplistic?

Text (it's usually wise to put up a transliterated text for the  
convenience of readers and respondents): PATRIAI TWN EQNWN

Eph 3:14 TOUTOU CARIN KAMPTW TA GONATA MOU PROS TON PATERA, EX hOU  
PASA PATRIA EN OURANOIS KAI EPI GHS ONOMAZETAI.

There's no question that the writer intends to like PATHR and PATRIA  
etymologically here, but it's perhaps questionable whether PATRIA  
here means what in English we refer to as a "nuclear family" of  
father, mother, and children of that father and mother. I think your  
suggested implication is indeed too simplistic. I think rather that  
the writer intends more broadly and simply to point to God "the  
Father" as the ultimate source of all manner of kinship groups. I  
doubt he has in mind the Homeric phrase PATHR ANDRWN TE QEWN TE  
(Zeus) -- where ANDRWN clearly means ANQRWPWN -- but I think his  
phraseology is meant to express essentially the same idea as the  
Homeric phrase.

BDAG offers the following entry for PATRIA;
-------
     1. people linked over a relatively long period of time by line  
of descent to a common progenitor, family, clan, relationship (so, as  
subdivision of the FULH ή Tob 5:12; Jdth 8:2, 18 al. LXX; Jos., Ant.  
6, 51) EX OIKOU KAI PATRIAS DAUID from the house and family of David  
Lk 2:4.
     2. a relatively large body of people existing as a totality at a  
given moment and linked through ancestry and sociopolitical  
interests, people, nation (αἱ PATRIAI TWN EQNWNν Ps 21:28; 1 Ch  
16:28)  PASAI hAI PATRIAI THS GHS Ac 3:25.
     3. a division of a total people entity existing at a given  
moment, family (SIG2 438, 26; 61f; in ref. to ‘clans’ of the  
Babylonian empire [Hdt. 1, 200 al.]) in wordplay ἐEX hOU (i.e. TOU  
PATROS) PASA PATRIA EN OURANOIS KAI EPI GHS ONOMAZETAI from whom  
every family in heaven and on earth receives its name Eph 3:15 (on  
the idea of families of angels cp. En 69:4; 71:1; 106:5).—On this  
and the following entry see JWackernagel, Kl. Schr. 468–93: Über  
einige lat. u. griech. Ableitungen aus den Verwandschaftswörtern.— 
DELG s.v. PATHR. M-M. TW.
-------

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/




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