EPIEIKEIS & the NET Bible

lakr lakr at netcom.com
Tue Jan 12 17:50:22 EST 1999


> 
>     Studying for sermon preparation in Phi 4.5 I became very sure that the
> term EPIEKEIS means (at the very least) "gentleness" (most commentators
> interpret the term by adding synonyms that basically mean "big heartedness"
> or "a forbearing spirit". Then having just found the NET Bible, I was
> surprised that they translated the same term by "steady determination" which
> contextually may even mean something contrary to what
> "gentleness/yieldingness" means. I checked the other times the term appears
> in the NT in the NET Bible, and there they consistently translated it as
> "gentleness". See 1 Tim 3.3, Tit 3.2, Jam 3.17, 1 Pet 2.18 - the term is
> translated "gentle" (as in most major English translations. Cf.. EPIEIKEIA
> in Acts 24.4 "graciousness" & 2 Cor 10.1 "gentleness").
>     Two questions (1) since I did not find any variant reading in the text,
> is "steady determination" a legit translation of the term? (2) perhaps
> someone working in the NET Bible is on-board, or someone who might know what
> they would translate the term as if found in their version, may give some
> info about it.
> 
> Thank you,
> Francisco Orozco
> Hermosillo Sonora Mexico


Francisco,

I agree that "steady determination"  seems out of place for the word EPIEIKES.
There is a section in Trenches synonyms which compares it to PRAUTHS, if I
remember correctly.

These qualities like mildness and meekness and yieldingness (reasonableness)
must be built on another outstanding quality, that of humility which is
TAPEINOFROSUNHS (lowliness of mind).

You might want to try the Perseus site. It is outstanding.  A search on this
word can be found with the url:
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/lexindex?lookup=e)pieikh/s&author=*2.0&display=Beta+code&lang=Greek&corpus=2.0

Notice the definition for a moral quality
2. of persons
b. in moral sense, reasonable, fair, good,


This may be one of thase words that changed meanings in Christian usage
like TAPEINOFROSUNHS which was actually coined by Paul.

The reason I way that is that the Perseus entry apparently has a different
meaning prior to Homer, which is , fitting, meet, suitable, but I am
really out of my element there.

Sincerely,
Larry Kruper



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