[B-Greek] Caragounis and vine/vineyard and branches/vines - AMPELOS and KLHMA
papaweiss1 at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 19 12:12:02 EDT 2007
Chrys Caragounis in his book "The Development of Greek and the New Testament:
Morphology, Syntax, Phonology, and Textual Transmission" argues or posits that by
Jesus's time AMPELOS meant "vineyard" and KLHMA meant "vine" - as opposed to their
earlier meanings of "vine" and "branch," respectively. See John 15:1ff. Caragounis says this
fits viticulture better (e.g., vines, not branches, are pruned) as well as the OT typology of
Israel being a vineyard and Jesus being the New vineyard in which the vines are planted.
Caragounis then states that the Early Church Fathers who used the analogy of vine/branch
from John 15 for, e.g., saying that Christ was homoousios with our nature, etc., were thus
mistaken in their analogy (and perhaps also in their theology?).
My question is: If AMPELOS and KLHMA had indeed shifted their meanings by NT times (I
think Caragounis even uses the word "seismological" to describe it - my book is at home),
would the Early Church Fathers who spoke and wrote Koinê/Byzantine Greek not have been
aware of this? I.e., unless AMPELOS and KLHMA had anachronistically reverted back to
their earlier meanings of "vine" and "branch," why would the ECFs have imposed a pre-1st
century meaning on those words if they themselves didn't use the terms that way?
(It's in the chapter on the impact of Caragounis's thesis on the interpretation of NT texts -
chapter 5 perhaps?)
Eric S. Weiss
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