Luke 6:1

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at
Fri Jan 29 11:45:22 EST 1999

At 10:40 AM +0000 1/29/99, Jim West wrote:
>At 08:50 AM 1/29/99 -0600, you wrote:
>>At 8:37 AM +0000 1/29/99, Jim West wrote:
>>A "second sabbath" may be all well and good, Jim, but what's a
>>"second-first" sabbath? The word is not DEUTERWi but DEUTEROPRWTWi.
>>Or are you arguing that for DEUTEROPRWTWi we should substitute DEUTERWi? If
>>I understand what the apparatus criticus in UBS4 is saying, it is only VERY
>>LATE MSS that even display DEUTERWi here.
>>Carl W. Conrad
>Lemme just transcribe what S/B say.
>"Der 'zweit-erste' Sabbat (Gegensatz: 'zweit-letzter' Sabbat) bedeutet einen
>Sabbat, der der zweite ist in einer Reihe von Sabbaten, deren Zaehlung vom
>ersten Sabbat an beginnt.  Schon diese Wortbedeutung von 'deuteroprwtos'
>verbietet, in Lk 6,1 an den 1. Sabbat nach dem 2. Passahtag... zu denken."
>The quote continues with some technical details and then suggests...
>"In Uebereinstimmung mit Vorstehenden uebersetzt Delitzsch,... 'en sabbatw
>deuteroprwtw' mit : 'beshabath hashinith lesiphiroth ha'amar'"
>Sure enough it is an unusual Greek word--- but it makes perfect sense in a
>Semitic context.  Perfect sense.

I take your meaning more clearly now, Jim, although I'm still rather
dubious that this is what Luke actually wrote (this may be a matter of
reluctance to think of Luke thinking in Semitic terms and not deriving his
tradition from Mark, but that's a question that doesn't really belong
here). But from what you're saying/citing, it's a little bit like our very
awkward but idiomatic English "in the second-from-the-last
paragraph"--except that what you're pointing to is an idiomatic "second
from the first."

But now, upon looking back at the Lucan text, I'm intrigued by the
following pericope: we read at Lk 6:6 EGENETO DE EN hETERWi SABBATWi
EISELQEIN AUTON EIS THN SUNAGWGHN; again one might raise questions about
the relationship of these sequential controversy narratives in Mark
2:23-28/3:1-6 and in Luke 6:1-5/6-11. One distinct difference is that Mk
3:1 shows Jesus going BACK into the synagogue--no mention as such of its
being a sabbath although it obviously is, but Luke has EN hETERWi SABBATWi.
I'd like to continue to believe that Luke's Greek is a bit more literary
and genteel, in which case hETERWi would not be equivalent to ALLWi
("another") but would specifically mean "a second (of two)." Now in a
sequence from the immediately preceding pericope where we have (at least
theoretically) a Sabbath described as "second after the first," this EN
hETERWi looks strange. And to me it raises further questions, not so much
against the MEANINGFULNESS of DEUTEROPRWTWi, but about the likelihood that
DEUTEROPRWTWi is what he wrote. Any way you look at it, it's a more complex
problem than it appeared to be at first glance.

I'm going to piggy back into one post here a message that Maurice
O'Sullivan sent me privately a little while ago with permission to forward
it to B-Greek:

>Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 14:52:52 +0000
>To: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad at>
>From: "Maurice A. O'Sullivan" <mauros at>
>Subject: Re: Luke 6:1
>At 07:21 29/01/99 -0600, you wrote:
>>I don't believe there's an instance of DEUTEROPRWTOS anywhere in extant
>>Greek literature,
>You might like to have a look at Lampe 340a
>Usually L's citations are quite brief, but have a look at the _nine_ line
>citation from the very late Chron. Pasch.
>As Lk.6:1, Fitzmyer regards the 'best solution'  is to regard it as the
>result of a scribal gloss
>He bases this on the Lukan use of Sabbath three times -- 4:31, 6:1, 6:6 In
>the last he had added HETERO.+
>So, he surmises, some scribe may have added PRWTO in 6:1, only to have a
>later scribe note the occrrence at 4:31, and so added DEUTRW ( as in the
>Freer family of miniscule mss).; in time, the two words became the one
>which aroused our interest.
>[feel free to repost to list if you think it is merited ]

Maurice indicates that Fitzmyer also notes the appearance of hETERWi
SABBATWi in Lk 6:6; I suppose that hETERWi here could, in fact, mean simply
"different" from the occasion in 6:1; certainly Luke is being careful to
link his narrative units sequentially to each other (although one may
seriously question whether it's more successful than the sequence in Mk
2:1-3:6 as a whole!). I just have to say again, however, that I sort of
expect a "higher" quality of literary Greek in Luke. Maybe that's just my
own hang-up. "Curiouser and curiouser," Alice might say.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
cwconrad at OR cconrad at

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