Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Proverbs 8:22-QANAH Possibly Means "Created"

I think that most, if not all, commentators are aware
of the Hebrew word that appears in Prov. 8:22. When they talk about
QANAH (QNH) being used, they are evidently referring
to the lexical form and not to what strictly appears
in Proverbs. Let us consider what Whybray's commentary
states:

"Created me (QANANI): the meaning of this word has
been disputed since very early times. LXX, Targ.,
Pesh. have 'created'; Vulg. 'possessed'. The verb
QANAH, which occurs frequently, together with its
cognates, in the Old Testament, almost always means
'acquire' or, more specifically, 'purchase' (and so
also 'possess'). In Proverbs, apart from this verse,
it occurs thirteen times" (Proverbs, 129).

Whybray then discusses the semantic range of
QANAH. He subsequently concludes:

"The meaning of QANANI here remains uncertain. Of the
three possibilities, 'begot, procreated' has less
evidence to support it than the other two. 'Acquired,
possessed' is perhaps more likely than 'created' in
view of the overwhelming number of passages in which
this verb has this meaning. But scholars who argue
that QANAH in the sense of 'acquired' must imply that
Wisdom is here seen as having pre-existed before
Yahweh acquired her (Vawter, 1980, pp. 205-16; de
Boer, 1961) are reading too much into the text. This
conclusion, however, is subject to the interpretation
of 8:22-31 as a whole" (Proverbs, 130).

C.H. Toy (ICC on Proverbs), who
definitely knows how the text reads (as shown on page
181 of his work) observes:

"The rendering formed (=created) is supported by the
parallel expressions in v. 23, 24, 25 (made or
ordained and brought into being); the translation
possessed (RV.) is possible, but does not accord with
the context, in which the point is the time of
Wisdom's creation" (Toy, 173).

Admittedly, the exact sense of QANAH in Prov. 8:22 is
highly contested, but there appear to be good reasons
for understanding QANAH as "created" in this verse:

"Some scholars question whether the first verb
mentioned in v. 22a (QANAH) means anything more than
'to acquire, possess,' but the evidence from Ugaritic,
Phoenician, and Hebrew is clear that 'to create' is
one of its meanings. In Ugaritic, the fivefold
repeated epithet of Asherah, QNYT 'LM, can only mean
'creator of the gods.' In Phoenician, 'L QN 'RS (KAI
26.iii.18) can only mean 'El, creator of the earth.' A
similar epithet appears in Gen 14:19, 22, where El
Elyon is called 'creator of heaven and earth.' In Deut
32:6 QANAH is parallel to 'to make' and 'to
establish.' Thus, the Hebrew verb QANAH, in addition
to the meaning 'to acquire, possess,' can also mean
'to create'" (Richard J. Clifford,Proverbs: A Commentary, p. 96).

Additionally, Clifford offers this explanation:

"In Biblical Hebrew, QANAH had two distinct
senses--'to possess (by far the most common meaning)
and 'to create, beget'" (Clifford, 96). Clifford
himself seems to prefer the latter sense for QANAH in
Prov. 8:22. See Clifford, 94-96.

Finally, this observation comes from Michael Fox:

"The word's [QANAH] lexical meaning, the semantic content it brings to context, is 'acquire,' no more than that. But one way something can be acquired is by creation. English 'acquire' implies that the object was already in existence, but this is not the case with QANAH. To avoid misunderstanding, the better translation in context is 'created.'

While both 'created' and acquired' are legitimate contextual translations of this verb, 'possessed' (Vul, KJV) is not. Though this mutes the theologically difficult implication that prior to creation God did not have wisdom, it does not really fit the context. The verbs in vv 22-25 relating to Wisdom's genesis describe a one-time action, whereas possession is continuous. Subsequent possession may be assumed, though prior possession is indeed excluded. God acquired/created wisdom as the first of his deeds. Wisdom was 'born' (vv 24, 25) at that time. She did not exist from eternity. Wisdom is therefore an accidental attribute of godhead, not an essential or inherent one" (Michael V. Fox, Proverbs 1-9: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. The Anchor Bible. New York and London: Doubleday, page 279).



58 comments:

Duncan said...

Psalms 104:24

Duncan said...

https://www.academia.edu/1307031/A_Reassessment_of_Asherah_With_Further_Considerations_of_the_Goddess?auto=download

pg173 may be of interest.

Duncan said...

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=-xF8jqHEp_oC&pg=PA75&lpg=PA75&dq=Asherah,+QNYT+%27LM&source=bl&ots=02Hb2UVLQH&sig=PZlwFlO3nsOLYNhzs4HaP0BVfRQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiCmbmPwNHUAhXLAcAKHd41AdIQ6AEIKjAA#v=onepage&q=Asherah%2C%20QNYT%20'LM&f=false

Duncan said...

"can only mean":-

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=WsFdSPBCLx4C&pg=PA102&dq=QNYT+%27LM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjM38ChwdHUAhVDC8AKHUw6CsMQ6AEIKjAA#v=onepage&q=QNYT%20'LM&f=false

Edgar Foster said...

Here is an article that everyone seems to cite in the discussions regarding Asherah: https://www.academia.edu/3375091/The_Elkunir%C5%A1a_Myth_Reconsidered

See also http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/yahweh-and-the-gods-and-goddesses-of-canaan-9780826468307/

That is a book written by John Day. He insists there is no doubt that Elkunirsa should be understood as a creator god in view of the etymological connections he discusses.

Furthermore, Day shows places where qanah appears to clearly mean "create."

Duncan said...

Ugarit had close connections to the Hittite Empire but was not Hittite.

Duncan said...

http://prophetess.lstc.edu/~rklein/Documents/johnday.pdf

Edgar Foster said...

Day does not claim that Ugarit and Hittite are one and the same, but his book has a comparative discussion that connects Phoenician, Ugarit and Hittite philologically.

Alethinon61 said...

Hi Edgar,

Is there other Wisdom literature that can inform this topic by virtue of the term(s) and or context(s) used? In other words, the correct meaning of QANAH in a given context may be open to question, but if Wisdom is referred to as "created" using terminology that is reasonably certain in other Jewish literature, then this may bear on the use in Psalms.

~Kas

Edgar Foster said...

Hi Kas,

Like any other term, context will determine/shape how the word is to be defined or understood. I checked the occurrences of QANAH in the canonical Wisdom texts, and it usually has the meaning, "acquire." See Proverbs 1:5; 4:5, 7. However, the verb does not seem to have that meaning in Ps. 139:13, although Psalms is not Wisdom literature but poetry/song text. Cf. Ecclesiastes 2:7.

I am not sure we must limit comparisons with Prov 8:22 to Wisdom literature, but either way, our resources might be limited. See Sirach 1:4, 9.

This website marshals loads of data when discussing QANAH, but it is not the easiest study to read and according to the author, his work exists in draft form. Nevertheless, see http://www.religionofancientpalestine.com/?page_id=544

All the best,

Edgar



Edgar Foster said...

Check out Sirach 24:8.

Duncan said...

http://www.embarl.force9.co.uk/Apocrypha/Sirach/Sir_24.pdf

Duncan said...

https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Wisdom_and_Torah.html?id=bjQBngEACAAJ&redir_esc=y

Duncan said...

http://biblicalanthropology.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/the-wisdom-of-yeshua-ben-sirach.html

Alethinon61 said...

Hi Edgar,

Sorry, I meant to say:

"...but if Wisdom is referred to as 'created' using terminology that is reasonably certain in other Jewish literature, then this may bear on the use in Proverbs."

I've heard that Wisdom is referred to as "created" in other Wisdom literature, and I guess my question is: What term was used in that/those context(s)? Is QANAH used, which wouldn't help settle the question, or is some other term or terms used that are less open to dispute and which definitely convey that Wisdom was thought of as a created entity in some sense?

~Sean

Edgar Foster said...

Hi Sean,

The only places I know where creation language is applied to Wisdom are Sirach 1:4, 9; 24:8-9. Compare Wisdom 7:21-27. Prov 8:22 in the LXX also says Wisdom is created.

One problem is that Sirach was originally written in Hebrew, but preserved in Greek. Parts of a Hebrew Sirach were discovered among the Qumram materials, but I don't believe they are mush help with this issue.

I have not finished undertaking research on this subject, so there could be a Hebrew text I've not yet come across that states Wisdom is created. However, for now, these are the only passages I know that relate to this issue. And almost every time I read literature on Prov. 8:22, the writers will say the meaning of qanah 8:22 is contested. See the NET note on the verse.

Duncan said...

http://www.brill.com/hebrew-dead-sea-scrolls-and-ben-sira

Duncan said...

http://www.bensira.org/navigator.php?Manuscript=Qumran&PageNum=1

Duncan said...

Bensira 24 referring to Torah:-

Then the Creator of all things gave me a commandment, (wisdom 18:16)
and the One who created me assigned a place for my tent. (John 1:14)
And He said, “Make your dwelling in Jacob,
and in Israel receive your inheritance.”
From eternity in the beginning He created me, (gen 1:1 John 1:1)
and for eternity I shall not cease to exist ….
So I took root in an honored people,
in the portion of the Lord Who is their inheritance.

Edgar Foster said...

Thanks, Duncan. The Brill volume looks excellent for scholarly work although, as usual, it is expensive. Maybe I could obtain the book through interlibrary loan. This whole project is a side project for me--so it's not a big deal if I don't read the book, but might be nice to page through the tome.

As I mentioned earlier, we're disadvantaged because of not having the relevant Sirach (Ben Sira) texts in Hebrew. The DSS Sirach is important, but fragmentary. And I do not think it sheds light on QANAH. To be clear, I am not disparaging your efforts: they are appreciated. I am only pointing out why we're still left with questions about QANAH.

Sirach 24 is also dealing with Wisdom:

1 Wisdom will praise herself,
and will glory in the midst of her people.[a]
2 In the assembly of the Most High she will open her mouth,
and in the presence of his host she will glory:
(RSV)

Yet I admit Torah is at play here too.

Kas, I would consult K-D's long note on Prov 8:22 in their OT Commentary. An old source, but still informative.

Duncan said...

http://www.davidchristopher.net/2013/01/the-johannine-logos-3-logos-and-logic/

There are a number of scholars that seem to be moving in this direction but if wisdom was "created" then was there a time when Jehovah did not have it? Or is this all about when Jehovah's wisdom became apparent to man? I still think there is more to be found regarding chokmah and Torah (the word, not the books) in its true sense - teaching.

Edgar Foster said...

I don't believe the "Jehovah didn't have wisdom" objection works (I have heard it before) because we're talking about divine Wisdom personified--not an attribute. As you know, Trinitarians and non-Trinitarians have applied Prov 8:22 to the Lord Jesus Christ. Either way, I just do not see the objection as pertinent to the whole discussion.

I have no objection to understanding chokmah or Torah as teaching. However, as we've hashed out before, words usually change their meanings over time. The whole diachronic-synchronic discussion. Putting that issue aside, I do not believe the teaching idea for chokmah/Torah is problematic.

Concerning the link: one could make criticisms of the author's desire to flatten distinctions between Logos and sophia/logikos. The Romans generally understood the Greek Logos to mean ratio et ratio (reason and speech). In other words, they considered Logos to be internal and external speech. It is also interesting how Eastern Orthodoxy (particularly Greek Orthodoxy) has construed the Johannine Logos. There is probably a connection between Logos and sophia, but meaningful distinctions as well. Context again rears its head.

Duncan said...

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=6TwiY96cunQC&pg=PA58&lpg=PA58&dq=%27L+QN+%27RS+cilicia&source=bl&ots=FDEiXkOpTj&sig=17QaCRV_XK0iWtOc7Q7Nj7UL2B8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjTudulxNfUAhXLa1AKHZ3uCxQQ6AEIJzAD#v=onepage&q='L%20QN%20'RS%20cilicia&f=false

Duncan said...

divine Wisdom personified is the display of the attribute. When the attribute became apparent and the Hebrew term for beginning can also mean summit or pinnacle.

The author of the piece feels as I do, that the Roman understanding is not the only one and I have to come back to the point that the Hebrew language was still in use at least to Simon bar kokhba. There are multiple equally valid approaches to this as Alexandrian usage is not necessarily the same as Israeli as later comparisons of different Talmud demonstrate in principle. We know where the gospel was found but we do not know it's origin and more importantly it's target audience.

Edgar Foster said...

I'm aware that Prov 8:22 can be understood in different ways, so not trying to be dogmatic here, but God apparently possessed and displayed the attribute before his Wisdom was personified. In this case, I believe Wisdom became a person (a hypostasis) as the first creative act of Jehovah, but debating that point isn't necessary. I am only claiming for now that God showed wisdom (ironically) when he "personified" or hypostatized Wisdom.

Furthermore, I do not believe that the Roman understanding of Logos is the only viable one: I mentioned the Romans to illustrate how some have construed Logos. Notice that I talked about the Orthodox in the East, who use Greek in their liturgy. And to clarify my earlier remarks, I particularly had John 1:1 in mind and how we understand Logos in the Johannine Prologue since the author of the blog was discussing John 1:1.

Should anyone be dogmatic when it comes to translating Logos in the Johannine Prologue? IMO, no they should not be. But "wisdom" seems less probable as "reason" or word.

Edgar Foster said...

An article worth reading is A. N. Jannaris, "St. John's Gospel and the Logos," ZNW, 2 (1901), 13-25.

I have already shared the journal article dealing with Jn 1:1 by Caragounis and Van der Watt. See https://www.bsw.org/filologia-neotestamentaria/vol-21-2008/a-grammatical-analysis-of-john-1-1/525/article-p97.html

Edgar Foster said...

Here is a shorter and more pointed study by Caragounis: http://chrys-caragounis.com/My_New_WEBSITE/PDF_Folders/Research.New/Studies.New/The_Concept_of_Logos.pdf

Duncan said...

You last paper hinges its argument on 1:14 which is an ecco of the verse quoted from Ben sira 24. Is it johns own logos?

Edgar Foster said...

That is a vexed question in the literature. What is the origin of John's Logos concept? However one explains the Johannine Logos, I believe it is somehow rooted in Judaism--Hellenistic or otherwise.

Duncan said...

An interesting point has come up related to John 1:1 b.

Deuteronomy 31:26.

MT Hebrew translates as "in you" or "with you". LXX translates as "there to you" - "against" appears to be an insertion/interpretation which has been carries forward in this DSS "translation" (also used in Vulgate):-

http://dssenglishbible.com/deuteronomy%2031.htm

Also Exodus 25:11 use of צפה. IMO this term can mean more than overlay - something about observing. Does this mean like a mirror?

Βασίλειος said...

Hi to everybody!

Allow me, please, to your interesting interchange to add the thoughts below:

1) The Hebrew context uses a series of synonyms to denote the Wisdom's
beginning of existence (i use NWT because it is the most literal here):

produced me / the beginning of his way / The earliest of his achievements of long ago / I was installed / I was brought forth

so that the meanning qanah shouldn't be seriously debated.

2) Wisdom literature, as Edgar told, accepted the understanding of LXX. (To date, I have not searched other Hebrew exegetical sources - that would be an interesting task)

3) Early Christian literature re-produced the LXX translation (εκτίσατο) again and again in the case of Christ (I have once counted 150 times in TLG, but I not totally sure about this figure) during 2nd-4th centuries, and the meaning εκτίσατο was not even debated in the 1st Ecumenical Council. On the contrary, Athanasius accepted εκτίσατο but applied it to the human nature of Christ.

4) The well-known debate on created/procreated is out of topic in the Hebrew context.

Βασίλειος said...

A second thought on Caragounis:

I feel that Caragounis in exegesis is not as good as in linguistics. His statement: "From the above it must have become obvious that the rich and variegated characteristics and meanings of the concept of logos" in Greek thought constitutes the background to John’s logos" calls to my mind this 1900 scholarship which was so overly excited to explain everything in the NT according to the Greco-Roman context. Caragounis' thought on Johannine Logos is mostly a result of his Orthodox background (this is a general problem in his theological exegesis) and does not represent the latest scholarship, according to which the writer of John's Gospel is a humble Semite with no Greek paideia who uses Greek as a second language as bad as I use English, or ever worse than me.

Duncan said...

1Co 13:12 is also of interest in this respect.

Alethinon61 said...

"That is a vexed question in the literature. What is the origin of John's Logos concept? However one explains the Johannine Logos, I believe it is somehow rooted in Judaism--Hellenistic or otherwise."

Some have apparently tried to tie John's LOGOS to Wisdom, but I'm not sure how strong the connections are there. It seems more likely to me that the Evangelist was either (a) familiar with Philo, or with the same LOGOS traditions that Philo used to develop his own LOGOS concepts, and so borrowed from those traditions albeit in new ways, or (b) that he used LOGOS because it fit the implied context, i.e. Genesis 1, where God "spoke" creation into existence, which would tie in nicely with the MEMRA traditions.

It may be the case that the Evangelist used LOGOS precisely because of the multi-faceted potential connections to a variety philosophical speculations, hoping to thereby make the biblical LOGOS attractive to all.

~Kas

Duncan said...

Pro 8:9 παντα ενωπια τοις συνιουσι και ορθα τοις ευρισκουσι γνωσιν

This also has to be taken into account for context.

Duncan said...

ABP translates Pro 8:22 The lord created me the head of his ways for his works.

ראשׁית can mean beginning, first fruits, but also best, pinnacle (summit). All Hebrew words used temporally can also be used specially.

Edgar Foster said...

I will try to comment briefly on some of the points in this thread since other tasks await my presence today.

Duncan, on Deut 31:26, the Hebrew preposition will have to be read in context. For example, see Deut 28:21; 1 Sam 19:3; Isa 26:13; 49:3; Hosea 14:3.

Why see much more than overlay or possibly "gild" (LXX) in Exod 25:11?

Compare 1 Kings 6:20; 2 Chron 3:4.

From Rashi:

from inside and from outside you shall overlay it: Bezalel made three arks, two of gold and one of wood. Each one had four walls and a bottom, and they were open on the top. He placed the wooden one inside the golden one and the [other] golden one inside the wooden one. He covered the upper rim with gold, thus it is found that [the wooden one] was overlaid from inside and from outside [with gold]. — [from Yoma 72b, Shek. 16b]

מבית ומחוץ תצפנו: שלשה ארונות עשה בצלאל, שתים של זהב ואחד של עץ, וארבע כתלים ושולים לכל אחד ופתוחים מלמעלה, נתן של עץ בתוך של זהב ושל זהב בתוך של עץ, וחפה שפתו העליונה בזהב, נמצא מצופה מבית ומחוץ:

Not that I agree with his mythic account of Exodus, but he appears to understand the verb to mean "overlay."

Edgar Foster said...

Greetings Βασίλειος,

Funny that you mention Caragounis being more adept at linguistics than exegesis since I will never forget Randall Buth saying that Caragounis is a philologist, but not a linguist. In any event, I do like his exegesis of Matthew 16:18 and some other things he has done, including his work on Greek diachronics and aspect theory. One other thing: if I am not mistaken, GJohn's Greek is pretty good, but scholars often complain about Revelation. I could possibly dig up information later regarding GJohn.

Thanks,

Edgar

Edgar Foster said...

Kas,

Hellenistic Judaism would encompass Philo. I know some, who lean toward Philonic influence on John, and maybe that is true. However, questions remain about John's access to Philo, and how well he would have understood a Platonic/Stoic Jewish philosopher, steeped in Greek learning. I am still inclined to agree with John Burnet, who suggested that John's Logos is firmly planed in Hebrew Bible soil. Gerald Borchert (another Johannine scholar) presents similar evidence for this position. Often overlooked in this discussion, IMO, is William Barclay's John commentary. He thoroughly reviews potential antecedents for the Johannine Logos. Maybe I will post his comments one day, at least, in part.

The Memra tradition is also a good possibility. I just think that John was no philosopher: nor did he possibly know the works of Philo, the Jewish philosopher of Alexandria.

Edgar Foster said...

Duncan, also compare Job 40:19 and Numbers 24:20.

Edgar Foster said...

Proverbs 8:23 also lends itself to the temporal understanding of Prov 8:22. Wisdom is established in the beginning.

Duncan said...

Edgar, context cannot insert a word that is not in the text. It can only be an interpretation.

As for the gild issue first see rev 21:21. Now for the science.

http://ww2.odu.edu/~lmusselm/plant/bible/acacia.php a dark red wood in finish.

http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/gold/eureka/gold-fun-facts/ beaten "pure" gold can be hammered so thin as to become translucent.

https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AldrinLEVA1.jpg

Now see Psalms 66:7 "observe" is the same word in paleo Hebrew.

I have no problem with all the gold in the tabernacle acting as mirror.

Rashi is clearly referring to the construction method - overlaid inside and out. But why put the tablets at the side - what does it signify for the ark and for the tablets?

Duncan said...

Just a small point here . Rashi translated into English in this case is a little like the interpretation of the dimensions and details of Noah's ark translated into English.

When reading the description in Hebrew it is so loose that finkel's Assyrian description does not actually contradict the possible shape and arrangement in any major way.

Duncan said...

http://www.qbible.com/hebrew-old-testament/deuteronomy/31.html clearly an insertion/interpretation.

Duncan said...

Your comment regarding the Hebrew prep. does not answer the LXX interpretation:-

http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/septuagint/chapter.asp?book=5&page=31

Edgar Foster said...

My comment was intended to address the Hebrew, not the LXX take on the verse. But, with all due respect, I did not/do not see a major issue with the LXX translation of 31:26. Sometimes the LXX is being interpretive, but at other times, there are good lexical reasons why we have a particular lectio in the LXX--whether it is right or wrong. Furthermore, the LXX/OG itself has numerous variants.

Looking at the LXX use of ἐν in Deut 31:26, I still do not see a problem. The Greek ἐν can sometimes mean "in," whereas other times it can mean "among" like the Latin "in." The link you supplied has "among" in 31:26: it does not say "there to you."

I am sorry, but LXX is not clearly an insertion or translation: the wording accords well with one understanding of the Hebrew preposition. Now the KJV/DSS handling of the Hebrew is a separate question, but I do not think the LXX can be faulted in this case. The fact of the matter, having done further research, is that ἐν could mean "among" or "against." See Jeremiah 42:5; Micah 1:2 (LXX/OG).

I prefer the original languages, but the point is that Rashi possibly understands the verb to mean "overlay." I quoted both English and Hebrew for Rashi.

If you don't mind, please explain how Rev 21:21 fits into this discussion. Is it the fact that John mentions a street made of gold?

Sorry for my mental slowness, but I'm also lost about this whole mirror suggestion. Who is arguing/suggesting that tabernacle/temple materials functioned like a mirror? Additionally, the idea seems a bit hasty.

That expression in Deut 31:26 is far from being clear. Where did Israel place the tablets? At one side, both sides or somewhere else? Answers to these questions don't appear to be all that lucid. Finally, the OP was about Prov 8:22 and we segued to Jn 1:1. I don't mind meaningful digressions, but time and my wife place constraints on how far I can allow these discussions to go afield. :)


Βασίλειος said...

Dear Edgar,

Thank you very much for your informative and interesting comment on Caragounis. Paradoxically or not, in Greece the department of Linguistics is under the umbrella of the Philology faculty. Theology, of course, is a separate faculty. Whatever is the case, I feel that Caragounis is mostly known for his contribution in the understanding of the development of Greek, which is a linguistic subject, rather than for his expertise in NT theology. Interestingly, at his web-page Caragounis himself puts his linguistic interstates above his theological.
http://chrys-caragounis.com/My_New_WEBSITE/PDF_Folders/About.New/Research_Interests.pdf

Of course, I do not mention all this having the intention to undermine his entire theological work, of which I am not adequately familiar. Still, Orthodox NT commentators usually (but, happily, not always) are excited in connecting the NT Logos with the Greek philosophical Logos, in order to ‘biblically’ justify the Fathers who had the bad habit of reading the Greek biblical text under the lens of Greek philosophy, mostly Platonic and Stoic.

It is easy to prove the absence of philosophical language in John or even of trends of vulgarized “popular Platonism”. The fact is that Johannine Logos does not even mean Reason; but Word. Ancient translators of John never understood Logos as Reason. Generally, Logos never carries the meaning of Reason in NT because, I suppose, of the Hebrew linguistic background of the NT writers: davar can not mean reason.

As for the Greek of John’s Gospel, the Semitic background is so evident, that once Charles Torrey claimed that the Greek text is a translation of an Aramaic original. A typical example Torrey evoked was the bad structure of 13:1.

However, as you mentioned, Revelation and the Gospel of Mark are considered to have worse Greek.

Duncan said...

ABP translates as "to you." which is a polyglot & there must take some account of variants.

χρυσιον καθαρον ως υελος διαυγης. IMO this is referring to something mirror like as the description is not just gold.

http://www.mirrorhistory.com/mirror-history/first-mirrors/ - note - gold.

Where I said " insertion/interpretation", I was referring to the Hebrew (see associated link).

My comments are coming too thick and fast. I will stick to one point at a time in future.

I also made an error - the tablets were in the ark. It is the book of the law that was next to the ark & it is this point that I find fascinating in relation to John 1:1 - "προς".

You may see this as a stretch but I see some striking possibilities - Like the description of the ark itself - was it a throne with the stones in the base? Is this the model for the "Moses seat", a later interpretation of it.

I just have difficulty with the logos of Philo - IMO it does not fit the Hebrew speaking culture of Isreal. If the apostle John is the author, regardless of where he wrote this work, we have to look at where he was from, his upbringing and culture.

ABP:- Jer 42:5 And they said to Jeremiah, Let the lord be to us for a [witness just and trustworthy]! if we do not according to every word which ever [should send you the lord your God] to us thus we will do.

Mic 1:2 Hear, O peoples, all the words! and take heed, O earth, and all the ones in it! Even [will be the lord God] among you for a testimony the lord from out of [house his holy].

On can interpret as against.

Duncan said...

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=znB4gOMlb3AC&pg=PA368&lpg=PA368&dq=canaanite+empty+throne&source=bl&ots=Tq1y5UlW9s&sig=oeHLnQ2pxtbw-SXWLBQaeK5n5Dg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjO9K3J2t3UAhXJKMAKHQ23AnoQ6AEIJDAA#v=onepage&q=canaanite%20empty%20throne&f=false

I will leave it at that - quite a bit of supposition but I believe it has some foundation.

Βασίλειος said...

As regards the issue Duncan raised,

My Hebrew knowledge is poor, however I think that the Hebrew text of Pr 8:22 shows that the phrase “beginning of his ways” is not adverbial (as it is falsely translated in KJV) but an object to qanah. LXX also render it as such using simple accusative: Kύριος εκτισέ με αρχήν οδών αυτού “The Lord created me as the beginning of his ways”. Since in Hebrew the next phrase has exactly the same meaning, instead of making a repetition that would seem to be a tautology to them, they merged the two last phrases into one: “the beginning of his ways as regards his works”.

PS: I mistakenly wrote εκτίσατο in my previous messages influenced by εκτήσατο. Interestingly, it was not such a tragic mistake:
ὁ γὰρ Ἑβραῖος, εἴ γε βούλοιτο τὴν ἑαυτοῦ λέξιν Ἑλληνικώτερον ἐπ[…]εῖν, ‘ἐκτίσατο’ ἂν εἴπῃ ἢ ‘ἔκτισεν’· οὕτως γὰρ οἱ μεταγενέστεροι τὴν λέξιν μετωνομάκασι· ‘κύριος γὰρ [ἐκτί]σατό με ἀρχὴν ὁδῶν αὐτοῦ’ Michael Psellos Opusculum 10, 113

Duncan said...

Regarding:- davar

http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/emagazine/002.html

Duncan said...

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Sy8DBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA163&lpg=PA163&dq=tautology+in+hebrew&source=bl&ots=yZYSxdsDJb&sig=czaQMw2xuNzmHmJjya3MhrzoEVw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwijmaLwst7UAhUiJMAKHc-ZCuoQ6AEIZzAI#v=onepage&q=tautology%20in%20hebrew&f=false

Edgar Foster said...

Greetings Βασίλειος,

Thanks for letting me know how disciplines are classified in Greece. The word "philology" can be nebulous, and I have noticed that North America even uses the term differently from the British, it seems. We distinguish between linguists and philologists, but that point aside, I agree that Caragounis' specialty appears to be how Greek developed historically (diachronics). However, I have also benefited from some of his exegetical work like the book on Peter and his "Son of Man" work. Nevertheless, I concur with your overall statements about Caragounis. I think his name was brought into this discussion because of his recent journal article on Jn 1:1. Whether I agree with his theology or not, I did find the article to be informative at certain points.

I also agree when you state that John was not philosophical. That is what causes me to look for the source of his Logos somewhere besides Philo or the Middle Platonists. I tend to accept the "Word" understanding of Logos, but when discussing the matter with Duncan, I was trying to show the manifold ways that people (Romans and Greek Orthodox) have understood the term historically. Clement of Alexandria could be another interesting writer to examine along these lines along with Origen. Your input is appreciated, and I do not want to sound argumentative, but one other point I tried to make was that "wisdom" is not the best translation for Logos in John 1:1 either.

I will just make two brief points regarding Prov 8:22:

Not defending KJV, since it has lots of mistaken renderings, but it translates 8:22 this way: "The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old."

Of course, NWT has "Jehovah produced me as the beginning of his way,
The earliest of his achievements of long ago."

However we describe the Hebrew grammar, I believe רֵאשִׁית may be used to denote someone or something first in time or first in rank.

All the best,

Edgar

Edgar Foster said...

Duncan,

We have plenty to learn about scripture and God. Paul wrote that we behold things in a hazy outline by means of a metal mirror, but one day, it will be face to face: I will know even as I am known--presumably by God.

For προς, I will just encourage you to read the Caragounis article I referenced earlier, and BDAG has an entry for προς like other lexicons do.

I have researched Philo before. He possibly did not know Hebrew or knew very little. Additionally, he was a Platonic/Stoic philosopher steeped in Greek learning. Very different background from John.

We may not extensively know John's background, but I am almost certain he was not reared like Philo, and he certainly was no philosopher. Moreover, almost every proposed scenario I've read for the origin and background of John's Gospel has been shot down. I will post a link that explains what I mean.

Best regards,

Edgar

Edgar Foster said...

More on davar: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?t=kjv&strongs=h1697

To see how some have approached a study of the 4th Gospel, see Paul Anderson's _Foreword_to_The_Gospel_of_John_A_Commentary_by_Rudolf_Bultmann_Johannine_Monograph_Series_1_Eugene_Wipf_and_Stock_2014_i

Duncan said...

Deut 5:4 has always stuck in my mind when thinking of pros and what it might mean when applied to communications with jehovah and the principle of agency. A subject for another time.

Βασίλειος said...

Dear Edgar,

Thank you again for sharing your fruits of your copious study with us.

Some last thoughts on the connection of Pr 8:22 and Logos.
Similarly to what you and others have already said above, commentators usually mention the connection of ‘word’ and ‘wisdom’ in the context of divine creation:

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made (Psalm 33:6, NIV)

By wisdom the LORD laid the earth's foundations (Proverbs 3:19, NIV)

Before all things wisdom has been created […]. Wisdom’s spring is God’s word in the highest (Wisdom of Sirach 1:4, 5, NETS, Palestine c. 180 BCE)

Who made all things by your word and by your wisdom formed human beings (Wisdom of Solomon
9:1, NETS, Alexandria, c. 1st cent. C.E.)

I personally feel that the last two citations indicate that there was a Jewish speculation on the true meaning of Proverbs 8:22 and its connection with the creative word of God (in Genesis and elsewhere). Word does not mean wisdom, but divine word is an expression of divine wisdom. Of course, contrary to Proverbs 8, the other verses in Psalms and Proverbs seem primarily to speak about something impersonal, and thus such expressions cannot give definite answers per se.

I think that the most crucial question is why John used the name Logos in his prologue. Was it just a device for kerygmatic purposes, to draw the attention of his audience? I don’t think so, because Logos is also a part of a vision in Revelation (again in a purely biblical context).

Edgar Foster said...

Dear Βασίλειος,

Thank you for contributing to this thread and sharing thoughts, which connect Logos with Wisdom. Discussing the background or motivation for John's Logos would make for an interesting future exploration. As usual, there is a wealth of information on that subject too. In this regard, Barclay, Raymond E. Brown and A.N. Jannaris have some interesting thoughts.

All the best,

Edgar