Looking for examples of "arche' as "origin"
Polycarp66 at aol.com
Polycarp66 at aol.com
Tue Jan 29 12:08:54 EST 2002
In a message dated 1/29/2002 7:42:47 AM Eastern Standard Time,
edotte at optonline.net writes:
>Based on this subject of 'arch' as "source" I have done some reading,
>mostly in the Apostolic Fathers, and found what I feel is a good example.
>I was looking for an example that was similar to Revelation 3:14 where
>'arch' leads the genitive phrase. In the Epistle of Polycarp to the
>Philippians paragraph four first sentence: "But the love of money is the
>beginning of all troubles." The Greek here is "'arch de pantwn calepwn
>philargria." My edition of the Apostolic Fathers cites 1 Tim. 6:10 as a
>cross reference here. My question is if this citation is with "beginning"
>leading a genitive phrase like Rev. 3:14. Also is this a good example of
>'arch' as "source" or origin"?
The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians reads at this point
IV. 1. ARXH DE PANTWN XALEPWN FILARGURIA.
I Tim 6.10 reads
hRIZA GAR PANTWN TWN KAKWN ESTIN hH FILARGURIA.
Polycarp has thus transformed "root of all evil" to "beginning [or in keeping
with your interest, 'origin'] of all difficulties/evil." As such it is a
somewhat loose to be considered a quotation though I would say it is a
correct understanding as a derivation from I Tim 6.10.
>Also I found four other examples of 'arch' in the LXX which may also be
>applicable. They are Proverbs 8:22, 23, 9:10 and 1:7. Do any of these
>carry the same notion of source and or agency? Thanks
Prov 8.22 in the LXX reads
KURIOS EKTISEN ME ARXH hODWN AUTOU EIS ERGA AUTOU
This translates the Hebrew
YHWH QfNfNiY R:)$iYT D.aR:K.oW QeDeM MiF:(fLfYW M")fZ
Thus ARXH in the LXX represents R:)$iYT in the MT. R:)$iYT is the word used
in Gen 1.1 in conjunction with the preposition "B" as B.R")$iYt "In the
beginning." R:)$iYT comes from the root Ro)$ meaning "head." This may or
may not indicate an absolute origin. There is some difference of opinion on
this. While the theological implications have no place in the b-greek
discussion, I feel you should BE AWARE of the fact that there are differences
of opinion. E. A. Speiser in his Anchor Bible Commentary (I'm doing this
from memory and with perhaps a twenty year gap since I last read it)
translates as "When God began to . . ."
Similarly in the following verse (Prov 8.23) EN ARXHi translates M"Ro)$ which
is likewise a form derived from Ro)$ with the prepostion M ("from").
In Prov 9.10 ARXH translates a different Hebrew word - T.:XiL.aT. This is
in the construct state and therefore would be "the beginning of." This word
appears in the Abraham cycle where it specifies that Abraham returned to
where his tent had been "at the beginning/first/formerly". You will note
that I have boldened "formerly" since I think that is a more proper
understanding of the term here. It also appears in the Joseph cycle. There
it is used in the narration of his dreams regarding the fat cattle and the
lean cattle. Here too I consider the better understanding of the term to be
"formerly" or "before." Similarly with the money found in the sacks of
Joseph's brothers the meaning "formerly/before/previously" seems appropriate.
The situation seems somewhat different with regard to it usage in Jdg. 1.1.
Here the meaning "first" would be appropriate. "Who will go up first . . ."
It is interesting, however, that the LXX does not translate this with the
word ARXH. Here it reads
TIS ANABHSETAI hHMIN PROS TON XANANAION AFHGOUMENOS TOU POLEMHSAI EN AUTWi
Thus ARXH is represented by AFHGOUMENOS > AFHGEOMAI "to be in the van, to
lead the way."
There are 22 apprearances of T.:XiL.aT in the MT. I will not discuss each
(nor is each translated by the LXX as ARXH).
Perhaps I'm misreading you, however, I get the impression that you are
attempting to read some philosophical concept of origin into this. I would
discourage your doing so.
More information about the B-Greek