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

George F Somsel gfsomsel at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 25 11:30:42 EDT 2007


Of course, this raises a question.  When is a table simply a table?  Take the passage Jn 2.15

καὶ ποιήσας φραγέλλιον ἐκ σχοινίων πάντας ἐξέβαλεν ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ τά τε πρόβατα καὶ τοὺς βόας, καὶ τῶν κολλυβιστῶν ἐξέχεεν τὸ κέρμα καὶ τὰς τραπέζας ἀνέτρεψεν, 

KAI POIHSAS FRAGELLION EK SXOINIWN PANTAS ECEBALEN EK TOU hIEROU TA TE PROBATA KAI TOUS BOAS, KAI TWN KOLLUBISTWN ECEXEEN TO KERMA KAI TAS TRAPEZAS ANETREYEN

Would TO KERMA be equivalent to TAS TRAPEZAS or is TRAPEZA simply a table here?  In the previous section of the passage we have PROBATA // BOAS so there could be a certain parallelism involved.

 
george
gfsomsel
 
Therefore, O faithful Christian, search for truth, hear truth, 
learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth, 
defend the truth till death.
 
- Jan Hus
_________



----- Original Message ----
From: Carl W. Conrad <cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu>
To: frjsilver at optonline.net
Cc: B-Greek <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 10:36:47 AM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] "The lexicon is wrong!"


On Sep 25, 2007, at 10:21 AM, frjsilver at optonline.net wrote:

> 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.

Which ones do you have in mind?
Even Barclay Newman's has "TRAPEZA, HS f table; food, meal; bank (Lk  
19:23)"
NAS Greek has: "TRAPEZA trapeza; prob. from 5064 and 3979; a table,  
dining table: —bank(1), food(1), table(9), tables(4)."
L&N have: "57.215 TRAPEZA, HS f: a place where money is kept or  
managed or where credit is established — ‘bank.’ διὰ τί  
οὐκ ἔδωκάς μου τὸ ἀργύριον ἐπὶ  
τράπεζαν; (DIA TI OUK EDWKAS MOU TO ARGURION EPI  
TRAPEZAN?)‘why didn’t you put my money in the bank?’ Lk 19:23.

>
> 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
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>>>>
>>> ---
>>> B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek
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>>
>> Carl W. Conrad
>> Department of Classics, Washington University (Ret)
>>
>>
> ---
> B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek
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Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Ret)

---
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