[B-Greek] LOGOS PARAKLHSEWS in Hebrews 13:22

George F Somsel gfsomsel at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 6 20:14:56 EDT 2006

Would you please supply a reference for you Chrysostom quotation?

yancywsmith <yancywsmith at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
    Is it possible that there is any warrant for translating LOGOS PARAKLHSEWS in Hebrews 13:22 as "word of consolation"?

We English speakers might tend to think of "exhortation" and "consolation" as categorically distinct, yet PARAKLHSIS, includes consolation, as Chrysostom's comment on Heb 13:22 shows:   OU LEGEI, PARAKALW hUMAS, ANECESQE TOU LOGOU THS PARAINESEWS, ALLA TOU LOGOGU THS PARAKLHSIS; TOUTESTI, THS PARAMUQIAS, THS PROTROPHS.   

  He does not say, I urge you to put up 'with my word of admonisment,' but 'with my word of encouragement,' that is, my word of consolation, of exhortation.

  It might also be observed that consolations, according to Greco-Roman rhetorical practice, include a forceful hortatory component. 

  There is an additional ancient warrant for this reading of Hebrews 13:22, coming from about the same time as Chrysostom. Jerome translates Hebrews 13:22 as rogo autem vos fratres suferatis verbum solacii. "I beg you, brothers, to put up with my word of consolation." The rejection of this ancient interpretation, e.g. Henry Alford, Alford’s Greek Testament: An Exegetical and Critical Commentary, vol. 4, Hebrews-Revelation (5th ed.;Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1875), 272 on the basis that, if Hebrews were “comfort” then no ajne/cesqe would be necessary probably stems from a failure to connect Hebrews with the ancient genre of consolation. Preocupation with the relationship of Hebrews to a Jewish audience led scholars to interpret Hebrews as a polemical-hortatory composition against Judaism, see idem, 74-76. 

  So far I have not found any monographs or articles relating Hebrews to ancient consolatory literature. One notable exception is Thomas Olbricht, “Hebrews as Amplification” in Rhetoric and the New Testament: Essays from the 1992 Heidleberg Conference (ed. Stanley Porter, T. Olbricht; JSNTSup 90; Sheffield: Sheffield University Press, 1993), 375-387, who argues on the basis of structure and thematic similarities that Hebrews resembles ancient funerary speeches, which is a subgenre of consolation literature. Olbricht’s findings concerning the epideictic device of amplification have been picked up subsequently by deSilva, Perseverence in Gratitude, 47, 53-4, and Koester, Hebrews, 82, 94, who demonstrate reserve concerning the relation of Hebrews to ancient funerary addresses. 
      Yancy Smith
  Y.W.Smith at tcu.edu
  yancywsmith at sbcglobal.net
  Brite Divinity School
  Texas Christian University


    On Jun 6, 2006, at 4:53 PM, George F Somsel wrote:

    I am concerned with an unwarranted shift from "exhortation" to "consolation" here.  You began well by saying, "Another word to consider is PARAKLHSIS. For example, Hebrews is called a LOGOS PARAKLHSEWS. What does this mean? Usually scholars and translators are content to render this 'exhortation' in a general."  Immediately, however, you continue "However, a more precise association with consolation is probable."   I see no association of the LOGOS PARAKLHSEWS which the author of Hebrews uses to reference his work with the concept of consolation though it is most definitely a "word of exhortation."  Consider the words of Heb 2.1 DIA TOUTO DEI PERISSOTEROS PROSEXEIN hHMAS TOIS AKOUSQEISIN . . . 

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