[B-Greek] ORQOTOMEW in 2 Tim 2:15

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Mon Apr 10 06:49:17 EDT 2006

I would commend to fellow B-Greekers the sequence of blog entries by  
Suzanne McCarthy and Richard Rhodes extending over the course of  
several days from an original post on March 26 and extending,  
somewhat sporadically, through today (April 10). We've had threads on  
this verse and this word before (see the archives, if you're  
interested), but this has been a fascinating exploration of word- 
usage and contexts, an illuminating exposition of perils of  
etymologizing and the importance of contextual and historical probing  
of word-usage history. One central problem has been understanding the  
significance of the TOM- root (verb TEMNW and its cognates) in this  
compound and taking it back to what is evidently the original  
metaphor involved, namely that of roadbuilding. Certainly the old  
traditional "rightly dividing the word of truth" is clearly wrong,  
while "getting to the point ..." is more apt. Jaspers says of myths  
that they can't be replaced by philosophical or scientific  
formulations but only by more suitable myths, and I think that one  
great difficulty in translation is dealing with metaphors in the  
source language that can't be converted into the same metaphors in  
the target language. I wonder, however, whether "cut" can't survive  
in another metaphor that might fit the context of 2 Tim 2:15,  
"cutting to the core ..."

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/

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