[B-Greek] Jam 1:13 APEIRASTOS 'unable to' or 'unable to be ~'

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Fri Jul 6 11:44:17 EDT 2007

Dear Jeffrey,

I think the paragraph that one needs to look at in Colin Brown is the
paragraphs describing how PEIRAW and PEIRAZW in Classical Greek became the
meanings given. Furthermore, the article goes into quite a bit of discussion
in the OT usage of the word-group including LXX, Qumran (without the
dualism) and Rabbinic literature before tackling the NT usages. It seems to
me that Classical Greek usage was NON-religious in the sense of "putting
someone to the test" whether that was good or bad. It is the use of the
word-group in the LXX translating primarily the Hebrew word-group, NASAH,
that it starts to take on the religious overtones of "testing, entice to do
evil, etc." I find that it is from the perspective of God that the meaning
of "testing (tempt) of God by man" is used in reference to the children of
Israel as a symptom of UNBELIEF. The idea of "testing by God for man" also
found. All of this is found in the relationship of God and Israel with
respect to the covenant and is carried on into the NT as found in Jas 1:12,
I Pet 1:6; 4:12 as examples.

The NT usage reflect the same ideas found in the OT and include secular
(non-religious) usages found in Heb 11:29, 36; Acts 9:26; 16:7; 24:6; II Cor
3:15; Rev. 2:2). There are 4 passages that contain the OT usage of testing
God, I Cor 10:9 (Ps 78[77]:18); Heb 3:8 (Ps 95[94]:8f); Acts 5:9; 15:10.
Matt 4:7 and Lk 4:12 cite Dt 6:16. The temptation narratives are treated
separately on pp 804-808. It is there that you should look. BTW, authors
quoted in this section are from the following:

B. Gerhardsson,  "The Testing of God's Son (Matt. 4:1-11 & Par.): An
Analysis of an Early Christian Midrash," Coniectanea Biblican, New Testament
Series 2:1, 1966, 26f.

J. Jeremias, "The Prayers of Jesus," SBT Second Series 6, 1967, 104.
J. Jeremias, "Unknown Sayings of Jesus," 1964, 73ff.

Tertullian, "De Baptismo 20, 2"

E. Lohmeyer, "The Lord's Prayer," 1965, 191-208.

B. Gartner, "Iscariot, Facet Books," Biblical Series 29, 1971.

M. Lohr (umlaut over 'o'), "Das Asylwesen im Alten Testament," 1930.

N. M. Nicolsky, "Das Asylrecht in Israel," ZAW 7, 1930, 146-75.

M. Greenberg, "The Biblical Conception of Asylum," JBL 78, 1959, 125-32.

D. Daube, Studies in Biblical Law, 1947, 24-39.

E. Best, The Temptation and the Passion: The Markan Soteriology, Society of
New Testament Studies Monograph Series 2, 1965, 190.

En Xristwi,

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jeffrey B. Gibson" <jgibson000 at comcast.net>
To: "Bryant J. Williams III" <bjwvmw at com-pair.net>
Cc: "Iver Larsen" <iver_larsen at sil.org>; "greek B-Greek"
<b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2007 8:44 PM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Jam 1:13 APEIRASTOS 'unable to' or 'unable to be ~'

> "Bryant J. Williams III" wrote:
> > Dear Jeff,
> >
> > NIDNTT, Vol 3, pp. 798-808, "Tempt, Test, Approve," W. Schneider, C.
> >
> >     PEIRA, attempt, trial, experiment; PEIRASMOS, test, trial, tempting,
> > temptation; PEIRAW, try, attempt, endeavor; PEIRAZW, try, test, put on
> > trial, tempt; EKPEIRAZW, put to the test, try, tempt; *APEIRASTOS*,
> > temptation, untempted. (Asterisks is my emphasis).
> >
> > CL    The noun PEIRA, attempt (Pindar), and the vb. PEIRAW, to test, try
> > (Homer, Il. 8,8), together with the intensive form (rare in cl. Gk.)
> > PEIRAZW, to tempt someone, put to the test (Homer, Od. 9, 281), come
> > the root PER (cf. Lat. per).
> First, thanks for this.
> PLease note though that if Schneider/Brown are saying that "to tempt" in
the sense of "to entice to
> do evil, to incite to do what one knows is wrong" is found in Homer,  he's
simply wrong.
> > PEIRAW, usually in mid. or passive, means to measure oneself against
someone, to try one's luck,
> > to strife for someone's favour,
> > to woo someone, to lead into temptation (especially in the sense of
> > unchastity), to venture an attack on someone; then, to get to know by
> > experience, to experience.
> I'd very much like to know where in Greek lit. PEIRAW is used to mean to
"lead into unchastity".
> And in any case, PEIRAW and PEIRAZW are not the same verbs.
> >
> >
> >     Similarly to the vbs., the noun PEIRA means attempt, trial, test,
> > attempt at, attack, risk, experience, knowledge. PEIRASMOS means a
> > test (first used by Dioscorides, De Materia Medica, Preface 5, in the
> > cent. A.D.). EKPEIRAZW, to tempt,
> Again, I'd like to know what instance of the use of EKPEIRAZW the author
has in mind when he claims
> that it means "to tempt".
> It is not (to my knowledge)) attested in "secular" Greek.  It appears in
the Septuagint version of
> the Hebrew Scriptures only in the book of Deuteronomy and in the Book of
Psalms. In these instances
> the verb is used only with reference either to God (Deut. 6:16, twice; Ps.
77[78]:18) or to men
> (8:2, 16) and it does not mean "tempt".  In the New Testament and early
Christian literature  it
> appears at Matt. 4:7; Lk. 4:12; 1 Cor. 10:9 -- where God is its object and
at Hermas, Vis. 5.3;
> Man. 12.5.4 where its object is men.  And again, it never means "tempt"
> Jeffrey
> --
> Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
> 1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
> Chicago, Illinois
> e-mail jgibson000 at comcast.net
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