Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Mon Oct 1 08:05:44 EDT 2001
At 10:50 AM +0000 10/1/01, jwest at highland.net wrote:
At 6:17 AM -0400 10/1/01, Rbsads at aol.com wrote:
>> In Luke 17.5, PROSQES is translated generally as increase. Might it not
>> better be translated as "unite or put" faith near to us, with an
>> on increasing existing faith, but rather on gaining access and intimacy to
>> that faith which the disciples have seen in Christ.
>literally- *set before us* faith. or perhaps *place before us, place to us*.
>> Anyway, not getting into interpretation, is there a reason to translate
>> PROSTIQNMI as "increase" rather than as "bring or put near?"
>no. there isnt.
[Note: I've changed the spelling so that the Eta is "H" rather than "N" to
reflect our more normal transliteration scheme, although I doubt not that
the intention was clear even with the "N".]
I'm not sure whether Jim meant to second Richard Smith's original
suggestion or to approve it as an alternative--Jim seems to take delight in
being crisply laconic and short on explanation in his responses to
My own view is that there's something to be said for either of the two
(1) A request, "Show us what faith is", evokes the mustard-seed parable;
(2) On the other hand, the prefix PROS- quite commonly bears the sense of
"in addition" or "over and beyond"; and that's why the lexica (it's worth
checking LSJ on this) show this verb as so frequently meaning, "add to" or
"increase." And it seems to me that the disciples might well be asking
Jesus, who often (more in Mt than in Lk) rebukes them for OLIGOPISTIA, to
help them intensify their faith; in that case the parable could be another
comment upon the relationship between quantity and quality/efficacy of
In sum, therefore, I guess I'd respond to Richard's final question: "Yes,
there IS a reason to translate PROSTIQHMI as "increase" rather than as
"bring or put near"--BUT I think "Show us faith" is also a legitimate
Text: (5) KAI EIPAN hOI APOSTOLOI TWi KURIWi: PROSQES hHMIN PISTIN. (6)
EIPEN DE hO KURIOS: EI EICETE PISTIN hWS KOKKON SINAPEWS, ELEGETE AN THi
SUKAMINWi [TAUTHi]: EKRIZWQHTI KAI FUTEUQHTI EN THi QALASSHi; KAI
hUPHKOUSEN AN hUMIN.
Louw & Nida offer (among some that are clearly not applicable) the
following two entries to be considered here:
57.78 PROSTIQHMI, EPITIQEMAI: to place something at the disposal of someone
else - 'to give, to provide, to grant.'
PROSTIQHMI Ú PLHN ZHTEITE THN BASILEIAN AUTOU, KAI TAUTA PROSTEQHSETAI
hUMIN 'instead, be concerned with his kingdom, and all these things will be
given to you' or ' and he will provide you with these things' Lk 12:31.
59.72 PROSTIQHMI, EPITIQHMI; PROSANATIQHMI: to add something to an existing
quantity - 'to add.'
PROSTIQHMI: PROSEQHKEN KAI TOUTO EPI PASIN 'he added this also to all (his
other misdeeds)' Lk 3:20.
EPITIQHMI: EAN TIS EPIQHi EP' AUTA¿ 'if anyone adds anything to them' Re 22:18.
PROSANATIQHMI: EMOI GAR hOI DOKOUNTES OUDEN PROSANEQENTO 'for those who
were of repute added nothing to me' or ' made no new suggestions' Ga 2:6.
In a number of languages it is not at all difficult to speak of
'adding things,' but to add events may provide some special difficulties in
restructuring. For example, in Lk 3:20 it may be important to translate as
'he had done many other bad things, but he also did this,' and in Ga 2:6 it
may be helpful to translate 'for those who were of repute did not say that
I should do anything more than I was doing.'
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
More information about the B-Greek