[B-Greek] The use of πρός in John

Kevin Riley klriley at alphalink.com.au
Wed Jun 1 23:32:50 EDT 2011

Sihler says 'pró' developed from 'pro (or preH3)' meant 'in front of and 
facing away from' in Indo-European.  Words do chage meanings over time, 
especially if they are given a long time.  The similar form 'antí' from 
H2enti means 'in front of and facing'.  I am not sure we could 
convincingly argue that the direction someone/something is facing is 
inherent in the historical Greek prepositions.

Kevin Riley

BTW, for those who like Sihler, or suspect they might, the book is on 
special in OUP's Spring sale.  I tried to resist, I really did, but it 
has everything I enjoy in a language book.

On 2/06/2011 12:44 PM, =) wrote:
> (I am really not used to mailing lists.. sorry, Carl, for the double email.)
> On 2 June 2011 10:37, =)<p1234567891 at gmail.com>  wrote:
>> Dear Carl,
>> On 2 June 2011 02:19, Carl Conrad<cwconrad2 at mac.com>  wrote:
>>>> πρός                The information I found on this seems to indicate
>>> that the location meaning in this word is “in front of and facing away
>>> from”, the root being προ-.
>>>> I was wondering why John chose πρός as the word describing the
>>> relationship between the Father and the Son.  I can speculate that John is
>>> trying to show Jesus and the Logos in sort of a Greek way, the Logos
>>> projecting forth, continuously being generated by the Father from before all
>>> time and creation.  I think Philo, the Alexandrian Jew, whose view of the
>>> Logos was almost Christian, might agree with this. I checked the Latin
>>> translation of John’s gospel and found that it had an equally hard to figure
>>> out word, apud.  I have been unable to find a root word for the Latin
>>> preposition apud.  The closest I could come was ap- which means away from
>>> (Greek áπό)  and that seems to make little sense in this context.
>>> πρὸς PROS is a form of πρὸ PRO with the directional suffix -σ -S appended,
>>> just as εἰς EIS is a form of ἐν EN with the directional suffix -σ -S
>>> appended. PROS means "forward to" or "facing toward"
>>> These are all approximations; one really needs to do a word study of the
>>> examples for different usages cited in an unabridged lexicon. The upshot of
>>> this all, in my thinking (I can't promise that my thinking is the same as
>>> that of John the evangelist), is that I would have chosen PROS because it
>>> means "facing" or "face to face with."
>> Hmm didn't Joe say that Sihler said that "PROS" means "in front of and
>> facing away from" rather than "facing towards"? But can it here mean "with
>> (close to)" without connotation of direction, as also in [Matt 26:18] "PROS
>> SE POIW TO PASCA" = "with you I do/keep the passover", [Mark 6:3] "OUK EISIN
>> AI ADELFAI AUTOU WDE PROS HMAS" = "are not his sisters here with us?", [Luke
>> 9:41] "EWS POTE ESOMAI PROS UMAS" = "until when will I be with you?"
>> David Lim
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