[B-Greek] Acts 4:33b CARIS and AUTOUS

George F Somsel gfsomsel at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 22 20:46:14 EST 2006

I note that BDAG places XARIS as found in this passage among the passive usages in the sense of "a beneficent good will."  On the other hand it notes prior to giving any definitions that "It seems that XARIS is not always clearly differentiated in mng. fr. XARA; Apollodorus [II b.c.] . . . Charites are so called from XARA [joy], for poets freq. equate XARIS with XARA. Cp. the wordplay AcPl Ha 8, 7 XARAS KAI XARITOS the house was filled with gaiety and gratitude.)."  Perhaps it would simply indicate that everyone was happy ("great joy was among all of them").


----- Original Message ----
From: Carl W. Conrad <cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu>
To: Oun Kwon <kwonbbl at gmail.com>
Cc: B Greek <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2006 8:01:27 PM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Acts 4:33b CARIS and AUTOUS

On Nov 22, 2006, at 7:50 PM, Oun Kwon wrote:

> What is sense of CARIS?  What is referred to by PANTAS AUTOUS - the
> apostles in the same verse or the whole group of the believers in the
> preceding verse?
> Cf. CEV:  God greatly blessed them all.
> Cf.  Zerwick & Grosvenor: '"great favor was on them" meaning they were
> held in high esteem. [It looks like they = the apostles here in the
> note in "A Grammatical analysis of the Geek New Testament"]

CARIS, so commonly Englished as "grace," is a difficult word to pin  
down in the Greek because we don't really have an adequate English  
equivalent of it. It refers to the reciprocal presentation and  
reciprocation of gestures of good will by parties in relationship to  
each other: a "favor" done by one to another, the "good will" or  
"gratitude" or "thanks" evoked by such a gesture in the recipient.

That being the case, one might ask whether the sense of CARIS in the  
text in question has more to do with the way that the believing  
community acted toward outsiders or with the way that the receiving  
community was reacted to by outsiders. I would guess that the latter  
is what's underscored here: the believing community was very well  
thought of by outsiders. But there's the reciprocal aspect of the  
word CARIS: it is the behavior of the believing community that wins  
the reciprocal good will of outsiders in relationship to them.

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

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