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

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Fri Jul 6 14:39:38 EDT 2007

Dear Jeffrey,

The LXX uses PEIRAZW and PEIRAW exclusively for NASAH in the Piel form of
the verb.

Gen 22:1; Exod 15:25; 16:4; 17:2, 7; 20:20; Num 14;22; Deut 4;34; 8:2;
13:4[3]; 33:8; Jdg 2:22; 3:1, 4; 6:39; I Sam 17:39; I Ki 19:1; 2 Chr 9:1;
32:31; Pss26 [25]:2; 78 [77]:41, 56; 95[94]:9; 106[105]:14; Eccl 2:1;
7:23[24]; Isa 7:12; Dan 1:12, 14.

Without Hebrew Equivalent:
Jud 8:12, 25f.; Ps 35[34]:16; Prov 26:18; Dan 12:10.

Tob 12:14; Wis 1:2; 2:17, 24; 3:5; 11:9; 12:26; 19:5 Sir 18:23; 34[31]:19;
37:27; 39:4; I Macc 1:15; 12:10; 2 Macc 2:23; 10:12; 11:19; 3 Macc 1:25;
2:32; 4 Macc 9:7; 12:3; 15:16.

EKPEIRAZW stands exclusively in Piel for NASAH in Deut 6:16 (quoted in Mt
4:7and Lk 4:12; alluded to in I Cor 10:9), 8:2, 16; Ps 78[77]:18.

PEIRASMOS stands for the noun MASSAH in Exod 17:7; Deut 4:34; 6:16; 7:19;
9:22; 29:2[3]; Ps 95[94]:8.

PEIRASMOS stand for `INYAN (occupation, task) in Eccl 3:10; 4:8; 5:2, 13;

PEIRASMOS without equivalent in Apocrypha:
Sir 2:1; 27:5, 7; 33[36]:1; I Macc 2:52.

Secular Sense:
to try to do something, Deut 4:34; 28:56; Jdg 6:39; I Sam 17:39;
to make a test of, try something out, Eccl 2:1; 7:23; Dan 1:12;
to test, put to the proof, I Ki 10:1; 2 Chr 9:1; Apocrypha: Wis 2:17.

Deut 7:19; 29:2[3].

Again, it seems that as Gerhardsson as pointed out that "the vb. NASAH seems
to imply primarily 'a testing of the partner in the covenant to see whether
he is keeping his side of the agreement....'" Examples are Abraham with
Isaac in Genesis 22; Manna from heaven in Exodus 20:20. The tempting of the
people of the covenant against God is found in Ps 78[77]:40f; Num 14:22; Ps
106[105]:14; Isa 7:12; Mal 3:15. At Massah and Meribah Deut 6:16; 9:22;
33:8; Ps 95[94]:8; Exod 17:2, 7.

It seems that, again, a disctinction is being made as to the who is doing
the testing/temptation, whether it be God (testing for covenantal
faithfulness, Abraham, Israel) or man (temptation or testing in negative
sense, Massah and Meribah, where Israel is testing God in unbelief, in
effect saying that God is not keeping is covenant).

I sense that the Temptation of Christ in Matthew and Luke, though part of
the NT, are still under the Law (cf Gal 4:4). This historical fact sometimes
skews things since the Mosaic Covenant is still in effect. Thus, the NT uses
must be looked at from the idea of covenant and who is doing the
testing/tempting, even in James 2:12-13. BTW, we all do this with our
children when we allow them to do something that up to that time we would
have said, "NO!" It then is a matter of testing to see if the child will
keep the covenant (behave properly, keep his/her promise [which is a
covenant])to be home on time, etc. This usually comes about in the teen
years especially when they start dating, driving, etc. Acting in God's
stead, we are testing our children to know if they will do good. Their peers
will do either test for good or evil depending on the peer group that they
hang out with. So also with God and man, God and Israel, God and the
Christian, etc.

Whoops! I'll get off the "soapbox."

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: Friday, July 06, 2007 9:14 AM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Jam 1:13 APEIRASTOS 'unable to' or 'unable to be ~'

> "Bryant J. Williams III" wrote:
> > 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
> > meanings given. Furthermore, the article goes into quite a bit of
> > in the OT usage of the word-group including LXX, Qumran (without the
> > dualism) and Rabbinic literature before tackling the NT usages. It seems
> > 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,
> > that it starts to take on the religious overtones of "testing, entice to
> > evil, etc."
> FWIW,  I find the distinction between a "secular" and a "religious" sense
of PEIRAZW wholly
> unfounded. The so called "religious" understanding of PEIRAZW as a
covenantal term =  "to test
> faithfulness" is not exclusive to Biblical writings. It is attested in
"secular" Greek literature.
> More importantly, I. along with S.R. Driver (see his commentary on
Deuteronomy) and the TDOT entry
> on NSH,  do not find NASAH ever being used in the HB with the sense of "to
entice someone to do
> something", let alone "to do evil".  Nor do I see it being used with this
sense in the DSS or in
> Rabbinic literature.  But I may be missing something.  Can you point me to
instances where it is
> used in this way?
> Jeffrey
> --
> Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
> 1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
> Chicago, Illinois
> e-mail jgibson000 at comcast.net
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