Translation Studies

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at
Fri Sep 7 18:29:42 EDT 2001

This thread has turned into precisely what I hoped, when I wrote my
"Caution" message about it yesterday, it wouldn't become. Nevertheless I
need to make what for me will be a last response.

At 2:49 PM +0000 9/7/01, jwest at wrote:
>> At 9:16 AM +0000 9/7/01, jwest at wrote:
>> Once again, Jim offers us a novel perspective on Greek lexicology! Vs. 17
>> tells us that Jesus unrolled the scroll and found the place where the text
>> in question stood written. Why he would do that before reciting from memory
>> might raise an eyebrow or two. There are 32 instances of the verb
>> ANAGINWSKW in the GNT. Here's a couple that will illustrate what I assume
>> is Lucan usage: In Acts 8:30ff. Philip hears an Ethiopian eunuch
>> ANAGINWSKONTOS; in this instance "reading aloud" from a text of Isaiah
>> that, if he is reciting at memory, he nevertheless doesn't understand. In
>> Acts 15:30 we are told that the letter from the Jerusalem church was given
>> to the congregation at Antioch, then in 31 ANAGNONTES DE ECARHSAN EPI THi
>> PARAKLHSEI. This is hardly a matter of reciting a memorized text.
>carl is correct regarding the last instance he cites.  he is incorrect in
>assuming that because the word means *read* here it means *read* everywhere.
>Context makes words meaningful.  as to the eunuch reciting from isaiah- it
>makes a lot more sense to say he was reciting as he bounced along in the
>chariot rather than that he was reading.  and as to him not understanding what
>he recited... lots of folk sing songs in church with latin words and they have
>no idea what they mean.  people often repeat things they dont understand.

(a) In the original passage under discussion, Lk 4:16ff., I would be
willing to understand ANAGINWSKW to mean "read aloud"--but not "recite."
And again I think that Jim has ignored the implication of vs 17, that Jesus
unrolled the scroll and found the text he was to "read/recite"--why do that
if he's simply going to recite.

(b) Is it really supposed that the Ethiopian eunuch is "reciting" from
memory a text that he makes no sense of? While I admit that's conceivable,
it sounds to me like reciting the contents of a telephone directory.

>> I suggest that those interested consult BDAG, L&N, LJS, etc.
>and also recognize that they are no more infallible in their renderings than
>the texts of scripture.

This is an interesting and mysterious comment--but the last thing we want
to have at this point is any discussion of Biblical hermeneutics. I too
would caution against taking the authority of the recognized reference
works as "infallible." I would also say that if one bucks what they have to
say on a particular item, one ought to be able to demonstrate it with some
plausibility. And I don't think any individual's authority is beyond
challenging either.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at OR cwconrad at

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