[B-Greek] A Question on 1 Timothy 2:6 and the meaning of, ANTILUTRON ?

Barry nebarry at verizon.net
Mon Nov 6 16:08:25 EST 2006

> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]
> On Behalf Of Awohili at aol.com
> Sent: Monday, November 06, 2006 2:41 PM
> To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] A Question on 1 Timothy 2:6 and the meaning
> Liddell-Scott-Jones (1996) gives for ANTI, in composition, "...4. in  return;
> 5. instead of; 6. equal to, like; 7. corresponding." (page 153)
> Since LUTRON by itself means "ransom," it is reasonable to conclude that  the
> apostle may have had a more significant thought in mind when he used
> ANTILUTRON.  Any of LSJ's last four glosses may be relevant: a ransom in  return
> (for); instead of; equal to or like; or corresponding.

When citing a reference such as LSJ, you normally use the last actual revision date rather than the latest printing date.

Secondly, it's normally a flawed methodology to try to build the meaning of the word from its compound elements in Greek.  They often don't "add up," and this is especially the case in Hellenistic Greek, with the tendency to use compound where in Attic the simplex form was used.  The actual usage can only be determined from seeing the word in its several contexts.

With that being said (note the Genitive Absolute construction), ANTILUTRON is rare.  It at least means ransom here, as the context in 2:6 makes clear, but whether it has any extra-added nuance cannot be determined from the form, but only from usage, which we lack.  While Solomon's and Webb's suggestions are reasonable, we can't be sure, and I would avoid using the suggestions as any exegetical foundation...

N.E. Barry Hofstetter 
Adjunct Faculty & IT Support 
The Center for Urban Theological Studies 
Classics Instructor, The American Academy 
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