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

Carl W.Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Wed Sep 26 06:48:03 EDT 2007


Just to complete the survey, I note this morning that even's Strong's
dictionary has the sense "bank" listed:

5132
τράπεζα (TRAPEZA)
Definition: a table or stool (as being four-legged), usually for food  
(figuratively, a meal); also a counter for money (figuratively, a  
broker's office for loans at interest)

On Sep 25, 2007, at 10:36 AM, Carl W. Conrad wrote:

>
> 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
>>>>> 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)
>>>
>>>
>> ---
>> 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)
>
> ---
> 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