[B-Greek] "The lexicon is wrong!"

frjsilver at optonline.net frjsilver at optonline.net
Tue Sep 25 10:21:58 EDT 2007


I'm not asserting that identical MG and KG forms are always identical in meaning -- far from it!

But occasionally they are, and this is one of the situations where the correspondence is very helpful to comprehension.

And while it's true that *some* lexikons illustrate the meaning of TRAPEZA as 'bank', there are many which don't, seemingly unaware of the metonym.

Father James

----- Original Message -----
From: "Carl W. Conrad" 
Date: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 10:07 am
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] "The lexicon is wrong!"
To: frjsilver at optonline.net
Cc: Jonathan Robie , B-Greek 

> 
> On Sep 25, 2007, at 9:00 AM, frjsilver at optonline.net wrote:
> 
> > Dear Friends --
> >
> > Oh, my! YES! There are many outstanding examples of this 
> problem 
> > and I consistently stumble across new ones.
> >
> > The situation is exacerbated because (in my experience, 
> although 
> > I'm far from alone in this) 'mainstream scholarship' is often 
> stuck 
> > in first gear and on the whole exhibits the same liabilities 
> as the 
> > lexikons. It's those of us outside that 'mainstream' who 
> often 
> > have a better handle on the text.
> >
> > Consider TRAPEZA in Acts 6. Traditionally, it was thought 
> that the 
> > apostles were 'waiting tables' at the expense of their time 
> and 
> > energy which should have been devoted to preaching and 
> teaching, so 
> > they asked the Church to select seven deacons to take over the 
> 
> > menial work.
> >
> > It's true that some commentaries barely allow the possibility 
> that 
> > there might be a resonance of financial administration here, 
> but 
> > most completely miss the point.
> >
> > Guess what H EQNIKH TRAPEZA THS hELLADOS is? No fair peeking, 
> but 
> > I'll give you a hint: It's The National Bank of Greece!
> >
> > People who speak Greek get the meaning of Acts 6 right off the 
> bat, 
> > but the experts and scholars who don't speak the language are 
> too 
> > unconsciously comfortable in their dead lexikons to understand 
> what 
> > was going on.
> 
> I think there's a logical short-circuit here; one might just as 
> well 
> say that one who speaks (Modern) Greek may be all too 
> unconsciously 
> comfortable about understanding the usage of a modern Greek word 
> to 
> be the same as that of the ancient word so-spelled. It is not 
> quite 
> the case that those who speak Greek today speak NT Koine Greek.
> 
> > The apostles weren't waiting tables; they were administering 
> the 
> > common fund, and being overwhelmed by that task to the point 
> that 
> > their preaching suffered. And they weren't doling out the 
> money 
> > too efficiently either, hence the complaint of the Greek-
> speaking 
> > Protochristians that theirwidows were getting short-changed 
> while 
> > the Aramaic-speaking community were apparently better served.
> >
> > Does anyone appreciate the significance of the fact that all 
> seven 
> > of the first deacons have Greek names?!
> 
> Or that the only work that Acts tells us of the seven actually 
> doing 
> is proclamation of the gospel to Greek-speaking audiences rather 
> than 
> EITHER waiting tables OR financial administration of 
> ecclesiastical 
> funds?
> 
> > They don't tell us that sort of thing in those lexikons!
> 
> Actually they do, if you use the right lexicons -- the ones that 
> 
> should be consulted for ancient Greek and NT usage:
> 
> BDAG s.v. TRAPEZA:
> c. the table on which the money changers display their coins 
> (Pla., 
> Ap. 17c; cp. PEleph 10, 2 [223/222 BC] the τραπεζῖται 
> ἐν τοῖς ἱεροῖς TRAPEZITAI EN TOIS hIEROIS) Mt 21:12; 
> Mk 11:15; J 2:15. Hence simply bank (Lysias, Isocr., Demosth. et 
> al.; 
> EpArist; Jos., Ant. 12, 28; ins; PEleph 27, 23; POxy 98 al. in 
> pap. 
> The Engl. ‘bank’ is the money-lender’s ‘bench’; s. OED s.v. 
> bank sb.3) διδόναι τὸ ἀργύριον ἐπὶ 
> τράπεζαν (DIDONAI TO ARGURION EPI TRAPEZAN) put the money in 
> the bank to bear interest Lk 19:23.—Ac 6:2 may contain humorous 
> wordplay, which mingles the idea of table service and accounting 
> 
> procedures: serve as accountants (on the banking terminology s. 
> Field, Notes 113, referring to Plut., Caesar 721 [28, 4]; 739 
> [67, 
> 1], but w. discount of meal service as a referent. In addition 
> to 
> Field’s observations note the prob. wordplay relating to λόγος 
> (LOGOS)[for its commercial nuance s. LOGOS 2a on the same verse; 
> s. 
> also Goodsp., Probs. 126f, w. reff. to pap]. For epigraphs s. 
> RBogaert, Epigraphica III ’76 index).—B. 352 (meal); 483; 778 
> (bank).
> 
> LSJ s.v. TRAPEZA):
> II. money-changer's counter, ἐν ἀγορᾷ ἐπὶ τῶν τ. 
> (EN AGORAi EPI TWN TRAPEZWN) Pl.Ap.17c, cf. Plu.2.70f; αἱ τ. 
> τῶν κολλυβιστῶν (hAI TRAPEZAI TWN KOLLUBISTWN) Ev.Matt. 
> 21.12; most freq. bank, Lys 9.5, etc.; ἡ ἐργασία ἡ 
> τῆς τ. (hH ERGASIA hH THS TRAPEZHS) the right to operate the 
> bank, D.36.6; ἡ ἐγγύη ἡ ἐπὶ τὴν τ. (hH ENGGH hH 
> EPI THN TRAPEZAN) security given to the bank, Id.33.10; 
> δοῦναι ἀργύριον ἐπὶ τ. (DOUNAI ARGURION EPI THN 
> TRAPEZAN) Ev.Luc.19.23; τὸ ἐπὶ τὴν τ. χρέως (TO EPI 
> THN TRAPEZAN CREWS) D.33.24; οἱ ἐπὶ ταῖς τ. (hOI EPI 
> TAIS TRAPEZAIS) bankers, Isoc.17.2; κατασκευάζεσθαι 
> τράπεζαν (KATASKEUAZESQAI TRAPEZAN) set up a bank, Is.Fr.66; 
> τῆς τ. ἀνασκευασθείσης (THS TRAPEZHS 
> ANAKEUASQEISHS) the bank having been broken, D.33.9; δημοσία 
> τ. (DHMOSIA TRAPEZA) public bank at Delos, IG22.2336.180 (i B. 
> C.); 
> in Egypt, POxy. 835 (Aug.), etc.; βασιλικὴ τ. in Egypt, 
> PEleph.27.22 (iii B. C.), PTeb.27.70 (ii B. C.), etc.; 
> χειριστὴς τῆς ἐν τῇ Πολέμωνος 
> μερίδι τ. (CEIRISTHS THS EN THi POLEMWNOS MERIDI TRAPEZHS) 
> PEnteux.38.1 (iii B. C.); opp. ἰδιωτικὴ τ. (IDIWTIKH 
> TRAPEZA) POxy.305 (i A. D.), etc.; κολλυβιστικαὶ τ. 
> (KOLLUBISTIKAI TRAPEZAI) ib.1411.4 (iii A. D.).
> 
> > Do we want to go into 'Our Father"? Maybe some other time....
> 
> Preferably some other time ...
> 
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Jonathan Robie
> > Date: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 8:37 am
> > Subject: [B-Greek] "The lexicon is wrong!"
> > To: B-Greek
> >
> >> I'm involved in a discussion that revolves around the meaning of
> >> a few
> >> Greek words, and some of the participants in the discussion (who
> >> actually don't speak Greek) are claiming that a particular word
> >> doesn'tmean what it says the lexicon says, but means something
> >> significantlydifferent. I doubt that they are right, and none of
> >> is is a
> >> lexicographer, but this makes me wonder ...
> >>
> >> Can you think of examples where the meaning of a New 
> Testament 
> >> passage
> >> has changed in the eyes of mainstream scholarship because we
> >> came to
> >> realize that our earlier understanding of a Greek word was
> >> wrong? Are
> >> there recent examples, say, in the last 20-30 years? Are 
> there major
> >> changes in the meaning of some words between BADG and BDAG?
> >>
> >> Jonathan
> >>
> >> ---
> >> B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek
> >> B-Greek mailing list
> >> B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> >> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek
> >>
> > ---
> > B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek
> > B-Greek mailing list
> > B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek
> 
> Carl W. Conrad
> Department of Classics, Washington University (Ret)
> 
> 



More information about the B-Greek mailing list