Luke 18:11

Mike Sangrey msangrey at
Fri Sep 7 22:32:26 EDT 2001

On 07 Sep 2001 20:11:44 -0400, Chet Creider wrote:
> Some time ago I asked for assistance with determining the meaning of
> the preposition in the following phrase from Luke 18:11:
> There was stiff competition for attention because of a question
> concerning fonts and no one tried to help. 

Well,..ummmmm...<mumble> <mumble> it WAS about **GREEK** fonts.

Seriously, I don't have an answer, but maybe Luke 24:12 offers some

Louw & Nida state that APHLQEN PROS hEAUTON (different verb from your
question but the same PROS hEAUTON construct) as an idiom meaning "to
return to one's place" as in "place of residence." (cf L&N 15.92)

Luke 24:12 is the only other case of PROS hEAUTON I could find in the

I wonder if it is too large a step to think of this as "prayed
concerning his position in society."  We, in English, use the word
`place' to signify the two ideas of `place of residence' and `position
in society':  "I got my self a place in the city, it's not much, but
it's home."  And, "Well!, guess I know my place around here, now."

FWIW, I've taken this as idiomatic.  You, of course, need some hard
evidence and not just an opinion from someone like me, but if PROS with
the accusative generally has the sense of "direction toward" then prayer
offered with that type of focus is (at least to my way of thinking)
quite close to "This Pharisee prayed to God but was stuck on himself."

I would think if the meaning which Jesus meant to convey was a more
mundane "prayed to God concerning himself" Jesus would have used a

Anyway, if nothing else, I hope that stirs one of the Big Greeks to
answer.  Or maybe one of the lessor Greeks to offer some evidence they
have found.

Mike Sangrey
msangrey at
Landisburg, Pa.
                        "The first one last wins."
            "A net of highly cohesive details reveals the truth."

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