Mt 3:2, 4:17, & 10.7

Steven Craig Miller scmiller at
Tue Nov 30 19:00:34 EST 1999

To: Joe A. Friberg,

<< The debate about whether HGGIKEN should be translated as 'come near' or 
'arrived' is, IMHO, based more on one's overall eschatological emphasis 
(Realized--Dodd, Initiated, etc.) rather than the meaning of this one verb. 
The two meanings are both within the scope of the one word, and can at most 
merely reflect a difference of completeness or degree. >>

I have some doubts as to whether or not these two meanings are both within 
the scope of this one word. At the very least, in consulting BAGD, Louw & 
Nida, and EDNT, none of these three suggests that EGGIZW sometimes means 
"arrived" (or anything else which might substantiate Dodd's position). I 
take this to mean that they disagree with C. H. Dodd. And although BAGD 
cites Dodd, and (I assume) the debate on this issue in Expository Times, 
EDNT simply ignored Dodd (at this entry). In addition, since Dodd made his 
point based on supposed LXX usage, I will note that LEH also ignored Dodd, 
and do not suggest that EGGIZW sometimes means "arrived" (or anything 
similar). Furthermore, I will note the obvious, namely that EGGIZW 
obviously derives from EGGUS which means "near."

W. G. Kummel, in his "Promise and Fulfilment" (1957), writes:

<< J. Y. Campbell and K. Clark have shown [in ExpT 48:9f & JBL 59:367ff, 
respectively] that in the Septuagint also in the preponderating number of 
cases EGGIZEIN bears the same meaning of 'coming near' and that the few 
passages (e.g. Jonah 3:6 HGGISEN hO LOGOS PROS TON BASILEA) quoted against 
this by Dodd [at ExpT 48:140f] only prove that the translators of the 
Septuagint occasionally stretch the meaning of EGGIZEIN to the marginal 
case of 'approaching to' >> (24).

So with all due respect for C. H. Dodd, who is undoubtedly a giant among 
Johannine scholars, I suspect that on this issue, his opinion has never 
been fully accepted among most NT lexicographers.

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)
scmiller at

 From Luther's Large Catechism: "Why, do you think, is the world now so 
full of unfaithfulness, shame, misery, and murder? It is because everyone 
wishes to be his or her own master, be free from all authority, care 
nothing for anyone, and do whatever he or she pleases. So God punishes one 
knave by means of another" (BoC 386.154).

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