[B-Greek] FOBOS in Eph 5-6

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Sun Apr 4 02:16:44 EDT 2010


Rod mentioned that I may have a different approach to exegesis and understanding 
the meaning of a Greek word in its context. Maybe, I am not sure.

My approach to exegesis is NOT to translate a word like FOBOS into English 
"fear" and then think about the semantic range of that word in English, partly 
because I don't think exclusively or even primarily in English. The semantic 
range must be established within the source language - as George is doing a bit 
below - and the semantic ranges rarely if ever overlap completely from one 
language to another. Of course, you do get a good feel for the semantic range by 
studying a dictionary, especially Louw and Nida, but sometimes you are better 
off by looking up the word in all its contexts and let those contexts lead you.

My approach to translation is NOT to say that if I were to translate FOBOS by 
another English word than "fear" in a particular context, that then I am not 
using the literal meaning nor that I am watering down the meaning. It is 
possible to talk about the most common sense or the basic sense, but that is a 
different matter. There are many reasons for a particular translation choice, 
whether linguistic, cultural or theological, but I won't go into that except 
saying that the concept of fear and its interplay with respect and obedience 
varies a lot with different cultures.

Iver Larsen

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "George F Somsel" <gfsomsel at yahoo.com>
To: "Elizabeth Kline" <kline_dekooning at earthlink.net>; "greek B-Greek" 
<b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: 4. april 2010 02:21
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] FOBOS in Eph 5-6


> While the authorship of Ephesians may be open to question, most will admit to 
> a certain likeness between it and what are considered to be genuine Pauline 
> writings. In view of this, I think a comparison with Paul's usage of the 
> concept of φόβος FOBOS and τρόμος TROMOS would be useful. Paul seems to 
> seldom use φόβος FOBOS in a literal sense as meaning "fear." In particular 
> the combination of φόβος FOBOS and τρόμος TROMOS does not seem to indicate 
> such. E.g., in 1 Cor 2.3 it seems to indicate a nervousness or hesitancy as 
> also seems to be the case in 2 Cor 7.15. It is difficult to imagine Paul as 
> actually being fearful, and the reception of Titus would hardly seem to 
> command such. I think most of the uses of φόβος FOBOS in Paul seems to carry 
> the concept of respect or reverence while τρόμος TROMOS seems to convey a 
> certain hesitancy or nervousness.
> george
> gfsomsel
>
>
> … search for truth, hear truth,
> learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
> defend the truth till death.
>
>
> - Jan Hus
> _________
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: Elizabeth Kline <kline_dekooning at earthlink.net>
> To: greek B-Greek <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Sat, April 3, 2010 1:50:04 PM
> Subject: [B-Greek] FOBOS in Eph 5-6
>
> Eph. 6:5 Οἱ δοῦλοι, ὑπακούετε τοῖς κατὰ σάρκα κυρίοις μετὰ φόβου καὶ τρόμου ἐν 
> ἁπλότητι τῆς καρδίας ὑμῶν ὡς τῷ Χριστῷ, 6 μὴ κατ᾿ ὀφθαλμοδουλίαν ὡς 
> ἀνθρωπάρεσκοι ἀλλ᾿ ὡς δοῦλοι Χριστοῦ ποιοῦντες τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ ἐκ ψυχῆς, 7 
> μετ᾿ εὐνοίας δουλεύοντες ὡς τῷ κυρίῳ καὶ οὐκ ἀνθρώποις,
>
> Eph. 6:5 hOI DOULOI, hUPAKOUETE TOIS KATA SARKA KURIOIS META FOBOU KAI TROMOU 
> EN hAPLOTHTI THS KARDIAS hUMWN hWS TWi CRISTWi, 6 MH KAT᾿ OFQALMODOULIAN hWS 
> ANQRWPARESKOI ALL᾿ hWS DOULOI CRISTOU POIOUNTES TO QELHMA TOU QEOU EK YUCHS, 7 
> MET᾿ EUNOIAS DOULEUONTES hWS TWi KURIWi KAI OUK ANQRWPOIS,
>
> Eph. 5:21 Ὑποτασσόμενοι ἀλλήλοις ἐν φόβῳ Χριστοῦ,
>
> Eph. 5:21 hUPOTASSOMENOI ALLHLOIS EN FOBWi CRISTOU,
>
> FOBOS is used several times in this context, I am wondering why we should 
> water down the force of it in one place and not in the others. In other words, 
> why should EN FOBWi CRISTOU be watered down to "reverential respect" when we 
> have META FOBOU KAI TROMOU ... hWS TWi CRISTWi. This assumes that hWS TWi 
> CRISTWi looks backwards, someone might argue that it looks forwards.
>
>
>
> Elizabeth Kline




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