[B-Greek] Jos. Ant. 20:20 under MONOGENHS in BDAG

Leonard Jayawardena leonardj at live.com
Sun Jul 11 05:48:12 EDT 2010


Please look again at the relevant part of the BGAG article on MONOGENHS:
 

"Of an only son (Plut. Lycurgus 31,8; Jos. Ant. 20,20) Lk. 7:12; 9:38..."
 
 
BDAG cites the above verses as illustrating the sense "an only son." Are you aware of any instance where a favourite son is called "the only son" in the English language? Have you come across a sentence like "Jack is the only son of Mr. Thompson" in the sense that Jack is Mr. Thompson's favourite son? I am not a native speaker of English but I am quite certain that the expression "only son" is never used in English in that way.
 
I have not been able to check Plut. Lycurgus 31:8, but in both Lk. 7:12 and 9:38 a literally only son is meant. In Jos. Ant. 20:20, the word is used of a favourite son, as explained in my post.

 
Leonard Jayawardena
 

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> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Jos. Ant. 20:20 under MONOGENHS in BDAG
> From: cwconrad2 at mac.com
> Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2010 07:24:46 -0400
> CC: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> To: leonardj at live.com
>
>
> On Jul 10, 2010, at 6:02 AM, Leonard Jayawardena wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> The 1957 and 1979 editions of "A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature' (BDAG) has the following as part of its entry on MONOGENHS:
>>
>>
>> "Of an only son (Plut. Lycurgus 31,8; Jos. Ant. 20,20) Lk. 7:12; 9:38..."
>>
>>
>> Actually, as I mentioned in my (recent) post on MONOGENHs in the Fourth Gospel, Josephus uses MONOGENHS in Ant. 20:20 in the sense of "best-beloved," not "only." Josephus calls Izates, a son of Monobazus (king of Adiabene) by Helena his MONOGENH, though Monobazus had an elder son by the same wife and other children by other wives. Clearly, Josephus calls Izates MONOGENHS in the sense of "best-beloved," or "favourite." The rest of the narrative also makes this very clear.
>>
>> I wonder whether this error is corrected in later edition(s) of BDAG.
>
> BDAG has:
> 1. pert. to being the only one of its kind within a specific relationship, one and only, only (so mostly, incl. Judg 11:34; Tob 3:15; 8:17) of children: of Isaac, Abraham’s only son (Jos., Ant. 1, 222) Hb 11:17. Of an only son (PsSol 18:4; TestSol 20:2; ParJer 7:26; Plut., Lycurgus 59 [31, 8]; Jos., Ant. 20, 20) Lk 7:12; 9:38. Of a daughter (Diod. S. 4, 73, 2) of Jairus 8:42. (On the motif of a child’s death before that of a parent s. EpigrAnat 13, ’89, 128f, no. 2; 18, ’91, 94 no. 4 [244/45 AD]; GVI nos. 1663–69.)
>
> In English usage the adjective "unique" and the adjectival phrase "one and only" are commonly used to indicate the only real object of one's affection, regardless of how many individuals -- children, lovers, etc. -- might actually fall into a category. My system dictionary gives for "one and only": "only unique; single (used for emphasis or as a designation of a celebrity) : the title of his one and only book | the one and only Muhammad Ali." One of Sinatra's great hits was "My One and Only Love."
>
> Carl W. Conrad
> Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
>
>
> 		 	   		  
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