Sunday, January 31, 2021

 


                                                    1 Timothy 3:16 in Codex Sinaiticus

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Word Study On φιλόστοργος

φιλόστοργος appears once in the GNT (Romans 12:10) and occurs at 4 Maccabees 15:13 (LXX). William Mounce provides the definition, "tenderly affectionate." In the Testament of Abraham, Jehovah describes his patriarchal "friend" this way: φιλόξενος καὶ φιλόστοργος ἕως τέλους τῆς ζωῆς αὐτοῦ·

See https://pseudepigrapha.org/docs/text/TAbr

Xenophon, Cyropedia 1.3.2:
Ὡς δὲ ἀφίκετο τάχιστα καὶ ἔγνω ὁ Κῦρος τὸν Ἀστυάγην τῆς μητρὸς πατέρα ὄντα, εὐθὺς οἷα δὴ παῖς φύσει φιλόστοργος ὢν ἠσπάζετό τε αὐτὸν ὥσπερ ἂν εἴ τις πάλαι συντεθραμμένος καὶ πάλαι φιλῶν ἀσπάζοιτο, καὶ ὁρῶν δὴ αὐτὸν κεκοσμημένον καὶ ὀφθαλμῶν ὑπογραφῇ καὶ χρώματος ἐντρίψει καὶ κόμαις προσθέτοις, ἃ δὴ νόμιμα ἦν ἐν Μήδοις

4 Maccabees 15:13:
ὦ φύσις ἱερὰ καὶ φίλτρα γονέων καὶ γένεσι φιλόστοργε καὶ τροφεία καὶ μητέρων ἀδάμαστα πάθη

Josephus, AJ 7.250-252:
φύσει γὰρ ὢν φιλόστοργος πρὸς ἐκεῖνον μᾶλλον συμπαθῶς εἶχεν.

BDAG:
φιλόστοργος, ον (X.+; inscr.; PMich. 148 II, 9 [I AD]; 4 Macc 15:13; Philo; Jos., Ant. 7, 252al.) loving dearly τῇ φιλαδελφίᾳ εἰς ἀλλήλους φιλόστοργοι devoted to one another in brotherly love Ro 12:10.—CSpicq, Φιλόστοργος: RB 62, ’55, 497-510. M-M.*

Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint, page 1246:
φιλόστοργος,-ος,-ον+ A 0-0-0-0-1=1
4 Mc 15,13 loving dearly, yearning
Cf. SPICQ 1978a, 944-948; NIDNTT

Ernst Kasemann, Commentary on Romans, page 345: The adjective φιλόστοργος, which is used only here in the NT, means first tenderness toward family and friends (Sanday and Headlam; H. W. Schmidt). Extended in the koine to the political and religious sphere, it then denotes respectful and sacrificial conduct (Spicq, "Φιλόστοργος," 507ff.).

See LSJ: https://lsj.gr/wiki/%CF%86%CE%B9%CE%BB%CF%8C%CF%83%CF%84%CE%BF%CF%81%CE%B3%CE%BF%CF%82

Thursday, January 21, 2021

1 Timothy 3:16 Again: Come On Now!

Despite all of the evidence against rendering 1 Timothy 3:16 as the KJV does, some Trinitarians still want to insist that the verse should be translated "God was manifest in the flesh"; however, there is so much evidence to controvert this translation that it's tiresome to tread the same ground. But here we go:

Ben Witherington (Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians): "In all likelihood we have here a quotation or paraphrase begun abruptly from a Christian hymn or creedal statement.²⁶⁸ It is not perfectly clear how it should be divided up into verses (three sets of two? six different lines?).²⁶⁹ It has assonance as well as a certain rhythm, and each of the six verbs is in the aorist passive voice with the same final ending (-thē), all but once followed by an en phrase, and it is introduced by hos (not ho or theos, which are later textual modifications arising perhaps from a misunderstanding that the subject of these clauses is the abstract concept 'the mystery of faith').²⁷⁰ The subject matter here is the career of Christ."

William Mounce (Word Biblical Commentary): ὅς, “who,” has the best attestation, being read by * A* C* F G 33 365 442 2127 sy hmg pal got aethpp and some church fathers (Orlat Epiph Jerome Theodore Eutherius [according to Theodoret] Cyr Liberatus), and refers to Jesus. It is a typical way to introduce a hymn (cf. Phil 2: 6 and Col 1: 15), and it is not necessary to locate an antecedent in the text. The neuter ὅ, “which,” in the Western text probably arose as an attempted correction of the ὅς, making μυστήριον, “mystery,” the subject of the hymn. It therefore supports ὅς as the original reading. It is read by D* and almost all of the Latin tradition. θεός, which makes God the subject of the hymn, is read by the Byzantine text and correctors (c Ac C2 D2 Ψ). In majuscule script, ὅς is OC, and the abbreviation for θεός is , so one could be mistaken for the other. More likely, ὅς was changed to θεός in an attempt to glorify Christ as God. It is almost inconceivable that a scribe would change θεός to a pronoun. The pronoun is also more difficult because there is no antecedent.

William Mounce. Pastoral Epistles, Volume 46 (Word Biblical Commentary) (Kindle Location 11632-11643). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Bruce Metzger (Textual Commentary, page 641): 

NET Bible: The Byzantine text along with a few other witnesses (א A C D Ψ [88] 1241 1505 1739 1881 M al vg) read θεός (theos, “God”) for ὅς (hos, “who”). Most significant among these witnesses is 1739; the second correctors of some of the other mss tend to conform to the medieval standard, the Byzantine text, and add no independent voice to the textual problem. At least two mss have ὁ θεός (69 88), a reading that is a correction on the anarthrous θεός. On the other side, the masculine relative pronoun ὅς is strongly supported by א* A* C* F G 33 365 1175 Did Epiph. Significantly, D* and virtually the entire Latin tradition read the neuter relative pronoun, (ho, “which”), a reading that indirectly supports ὅς since it could not easily have been generated if θεός had been in the text. Thus, externally, there is no question as to what should be considered the Ausgangstext: The Alexandrian and Western traditions are decidedly in favor of ὅς. Internally, the evidence is even stronger. What scribe would change θεός to ὅς intentionally? “Who” is not only a theologically pale reading by comparison; it also is much harder (since the relative pronoun has no obvious antecedent, probably the reason for the neuter pronoun of the Western tradition).

"Et manifeste magnum est pietatis sacramentum, quod manifestatum est in carne, justificatum est in spiritu, apparuit angelis, praedicatum est gentibus, creditum est in mundo, assumptum est in gloria" (Vulgate).

Notice the use of the Latin "quod" in the Vulgate.

Gordon D. Fee reports: "This reading ["God"] came to predominate in the Greek church (never in the West, since the translation into Latin happened before the variant arose)."

See Fee's NIB Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles, Page 95.

NA28 Greek Text:
καὶ ὁμολογουμένως μέγα ἐστὶν τὸ τῆς εὐσεβείας μυστήριον·

       ὃς ἐφανερώθη ἐν σαρκί,

ἐδικαιώθη ἐν πνεύματι,
ὤφθη ἀγγέλοις,
ἐκηρύχθη ἐν ἔθνεσιν,
ἐπιστεύθη ἐν κόσμῳ,
ἀνελήμφθη ἐν δόξῃ.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Anthony Thiselton Remarks on 1 Corinthians 8:5 (Page 632)

The “weak” at Corinth still perceive these [gods] as real powers, or at least as genuine sources of corruption, pollution, or compromise, and Paul insists that “the strong” take account of this. Indeed, in 10:14-22 he seems to endorse the view of the weak that sharing in a cultic meal devoted to an idol is tantamount to a return to idolatry involving “sacrifice to demonic powers” and “co-partnership with demonic forces” (10:20). Thus Barrett, Fee, NIV, and JB place “gods” and  “lords” in quotation marks within the clause. Paul states that certainly existentially, but probably also in terms of actual ontological structural forces of evil, there are genuine powers that still shape certain people’s lives, although they are certainly not “gods” (for there is no God but one), and no “lords” in any rightful sense.120

Sunday, January 17, 2021

1 Timothy 6:9-10 (Analysis)

1 Timothy 6:9-10 (Greek): οἱ δὲ βουλόμενοι πλουτεῖν ἐμπίπτουσιν εἰς πειρασμὸν καὶ παγίδα καὶ ἐπιθυμίας πολλὰς ἀνοήτους καὶ βλαβεράς, αἵτινες βυθίζουσι τοὺς ἀνθρώπους εἰς ὄλεθρον καὶ ἀπώλειαν· ῥίζα γὰρ πάντων τῶν κακῶν ἐστιν ἡ φιλαργυρία, ἧς τινες ὀρεγόμενοι ἀπεπλανήθησαν ἀπὸ τῆς πίστεως καὶ ἑαυτοὺς περιέπειραν ὀδύναις πολλαῖς.

NET: "Those who long to be rich, however, stumble into temptation and a trap and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root[l] of all evils.[m] Some people in reaching for it have strayed from the faith and stabbed themselves with many pains."

ESV:  But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

HCSB: "But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains."

οἱ δὲ βουλόμενοι πλουτεῖν-δὲ is probably adversative ("but") and βουλόμενοι is a present participle MP that Paul uses substantivally. Dillon T. Thornton submits that πλουτεῖν (an infinitive) specifies the desire of Pauls opponents. The referents of 1 Timothy 6:9-10 are contrated with the counsel/spirit of 1 Tim. 6:6-8.

βουλόμενοι might also signify the aim or intent to acquire something, and πλουτεῖν might be an infinitive of purpose. This would affect the thrust of Paul's counsel and to whom it is addressed.

For ἐμπίπτουσιν and
βυθίζουσι, cf. 1 Tim. 3:6-7.

Regarding the word φιλαργυρία in the LXX, see 4 Macc. 1:26:

κατὰ μὲν τὴν ψυχὴν ἀλαζονεία, καὶ φιλαργυρία καὶ φιλοδοξία καὶ φιλονικία, ἀπιστία καὶ βασκανία

Cf. 4 Macc. 2:15:
καὶ τῶν βιαιοτέρων δὲ παθῶν κρατεῖν ὁ λογισμὸς φαίνεται φιλαρχίας καὶ κενοδοξίας καὶ ἀλαζονείας καὶ μεγαλαυχίας καὶ βασκανίας

A number of commentators take
ῥίζα γὰρ πάντων τῶν κακῶν ἐστιν ἡ φιλαργυρία to be a notable proverb, and the saying also has roots in Jewish writings.

Linda Belleville (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary):
“Root” comes first in Greek for emphasis. It denotes the origin or source of evil deeds. The Greek emphasizes “each and every kind of” evil. “Evil” has an article, thereby making the abstract noun concrete. It is “evil acts” or “wrong choices,” rather than evil as an idea or force that is in view. The love of money is, lit., “the love of silver.” Next to gold, silver was the most highly valued metal in the ancient world.

I would add that the "love of money" is a form of greed, and it had already led some first-century Christians astray from the faith.

Sources: Dillon T. Thornton,
Hostility in the House of God: An Investigation of the Opponents in 1 and 2 Timothy. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbraun, 2016.

Nathan Nzyoka Joshua, Benefaction and Patronage in Leadership: A Socio-Historical Exegesis of the Pastoral Epistles. Carlisle: Langham Publishing, 2018.


See also https://www.jstor.org/stable/25750745?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Acts 28:30-31 (How Should It Be Translated?)

Greek: Ἐνέμεινεν δὲ διετίαν ὅλην ἐν ἰδίῳ μισθώματι, καὶ ἀπεδέχετο πάντας τοὺς εἰσπορευομένους πρὸς αὐτόν, κηρύσσων τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ διδάσκων τὰ περὶ τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ μετὰ πάσης παρρησίας ἀκωλύτως.

NET Bible: Paul[a] lived[b] there two whole years in his own rented quarters[c] and welcomed[d] all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God[e] and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ[f] with complete boldness[g] and without restriction.[h]

ESV: He lived there two whole years at his own expense,[a] and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.

NWT 2013:
So he remained there for an entire two years in his own rented house, and he would kindly receive all those who came to him, preaching the Kingdom of God to them and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with the greatest freeness of speech, without hindrance.

Latin Vulgate:
mansit autem biennio toto in suo conducto et suscipiebat omnes qui ingrediebantur ad eum praedicans regnum Dei et docens quae sunt de Domino Iesu Christo cum omni fiducia sine prohibitione

Craig Keener suggests that the Apostle Paul lived in an apartment:

"Perhaps Paul had a third-story or higher apartment to control the cost,150 but if his friends also stayed with him and they had any means of income, he may have had better accommodations closer to the ground floor. Because Paul already had friends in Rome, they could have located the accommodations for him or perhaps even allowed him (and his guard) to stay with them for a portion of rent" (Acts Commentary, Volume 4: Page 715 of the electronic edition).

Darrell Bock (Baker Exegetical Commentary): "The book of Acts ends on a note of triumph. It is a final summary like the closing of earlier units (6:7; 9:31; 12:24; 16:5; 19:20). Paul, even though imprisoned, lives at his own expense and receives any who would visit him. The aorist verb ἐνέμεινεν (enemeinen, he remained,  lived) is a constative aorist, viewing the two years as a summarized and completed whole (BDF §332.1). Mealand (1990) discusses the reference to μισθώματι (misthōmati, rent, expense) here; its force is much debated. On the one hand, the term is an NT hapax, and its etymology suggests something earned, not a reference to a locale. The preposition ἐν (en), however, can suggest a locale, as does the verb ἐμμένω (emmenō,  dwell). The debate yields two possible meanings: Paul stays where he does  either 'at his own expense' (i.e., with his own payment) or 'in his own rented quarters' (so NET; key inscriptions: SIG 1024, 1200; P.Mich. 9.563.19).  The implication is that Paul has his own quarters, which means that he likely pays for it or, if not, his support by Christians does, as a letter such as Philippians might suggest. The verse points to a locale, but one for which  expenses are paid rather than a prison cell."

F.F. Bruce, The Book of the Acts: "For two years, then, Paul stayed in Rome. The conditions of his custody did not permit him to go anywhere he wished, but anyone who wished might come and see him, as the leaders of the Jewish community had  done.⁷² He lived, says Luke, 'on his own earnings' or 'at his own expense';⁷³ this means that the place where he stayed would indeed have been 'his own hired house' (as KJV has it) or at least his own hired apartment (possibly three floors up in a tenement building).⁷⁴ Perhaps he was able to carry on his 'tent-making,' although this would have been awkward if he was continually chained by the wrist to a soldier."

Sunday, January 10, 2021

So-Called Gods or Real Gods? Michael Heiser and 1 Corinthians 8:5

Greek: καὶ γὰρ εἴπερ εἰσὶν λεγόμενοι θεοὶ εἴτε ἐν οὐρανῷ εἴτε ἐπὶ γῆς, ὥσπερ εἰσὶν θεοὶ πολλοὶ καὶ κύριοι πολλοί

1 Corinthians 8:5 (ESV): "For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”—"

NASB:
"For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords,"

NWT 2013: For even though there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many “gods” and many “lords,”

NET Bible:
If after all there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords),

Should the translations above be faulted for referring to gods as "so-called"? Michael Heiser thinks such renderings are wrong. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyPrO3KuPao&list=WL&index=41

As with all matters of translation or biblical interpretation, the views are many and diverse. However, I want to present some observations that suggest Heiser could be wrong or he might need to attenuate his remarks:

1) 
καὶ γὰρ εἴπερ could be understood in a hypothetical sense. William Mounce translates "For even if . . ." like NASB does. Zerwick and Grosvenor supply two possible renderings, "for granted that, for although"

The point is that Paul's words might be concessive rather than stating a point about reality (i.e., the way things actually are pertaining to gods and lords).

2) Another issue is how we should understand
λεγόμενοι θεοὶ. In the dissertation, "The Shema in John’s Gospel Against its Backgrounds in Second Temple Judaism," Lori A.R. Baron writes:

"In 1 Cor 8:5-6, Paul qualifies the first slogan which denies the existence of idols to say that there are many 'so-called' (
λεγόμενοι) gods and lords; Paul does not deny that these powers exist in the world, only that they are not gods 'for us' (ἡμῖν; cf. 1 Cor 10:20-21)"

See page 237.

In my opinion, we should not conflate demons with "gods" per se. Granted, the demons are elohim/theoi (they belong to this category/class), but was Paul thinking about demons in 1 Corinthians 8:4-6? It's possible, but his use of "gods" and lords" suggest that he was thinking about gods/lords represented by idols. For instance, Zeus or Artemis: these gods do not have any extramental existence. They are so-called deities (
soi-disant powers), but the Father is God "for us" just as Christ is Lord for true Christians.

Loren Stuckenbruck takes this approach to 1 Corinthians 8:5-6:

"Paul's admission of the existence of these λεγόμενοι θεοί probably refers to function. Their existence holds 'to the extent that they are being worshipped'; so BETZ, Galatians, p. 215 and see n. 22."

See Stuckenbruck, Angel Veneration and Christology, page 108.


3) We must consider how writers sometimes use
λεγόμενοι:

2 Thessalonians 2:4-
ὁ ἀντικείμενος καὶ ὑπεραιρόμενος ἐπὶ πάντα λεγόμενον θεὸν ἢ σέβασμα, ὥστε αὐτὸν εἰς τὸν ναὸν τοῦ θεοῦ καθίσαι, ἀποδεικνύντα ἑαυτὸν ὅτι ἔστιν θεός

Ephesians 2:11-"
Therefore recall that you, formerly fleshly Gentiles, the so-called uncircumcision by the so-called circumcision, which is in the flesh, made by hands" (Translation by S.M. Baugh)

Baugh comments:

The expression “so-called” (for λεγόμενοὶ, legomenoi; here) is not necessarily pejorative; it can simply mean “who are called” (as the major versions here), “who are known as,” or “who are designated as.” For example, “Jesus, who is known as ‘Justus’ ” (Col 4:11; Ἰησοῦς ὁ λεγόμενος Ἰοῦστος, Iēsous ho legomenos Ioustos; cf. Matt 1:16; 4:18; 10:2; John 11:16; 21:2). However, there are two places in Paul with this expression where “so-called” is found in some versions: “there may be so-called gods” (1 Cor 8:5; ESV, NASB, NIV, NRSV) and “every so-called god” (2 Thess 2:4; ESV, NASB, NRSV). In these cases Paul is distancing himself from labels other people use. That seems to be the case here in Eph 2:11, because Paul does not use derogatory labels for his audience; he calls them “saints” (e.g., 1:1; 5:3).

3) Speaking of 1 Corinthians 8:4-6, Craig Keener likewise observes:

"The particular knowledge to which the intellectually elite Christians here appeal is the claim that idols are really nothing (8:4). Whatever the status of their images,151 Paul is less convinced that the 'many gods' of Greeks and Romans (for statues in Corinth’s marketplace, see Pausanias 2.2.6, 8; 2.3.1) are
nothing (
8:5); in fact, he follows common Jewish tradition in recognizing spiritual forces behind them (10:20). Paul does concede that these 'so-called gods' are nothing in the sense that Christians recognized that only one God was true (8:6)."

I agree that the many "gods" and lords" have spiritual forces behind them. Nevertheless, they are "nothing" by virtue of their non-existence in reality and insofar as they're false whereas God the Father is the only true God. Keener still refers to the deities as "so-called gods."


4) Galatians 4:8 seems to justify the translation of 1 Corinthians 8:5 as "so-called gods" or the translator could use quotation marks, "gods" and "lords."

The verse states:
Ἀλλὰ τότε μὲν οὐκ εἰδότες θεὸν ἐδουλεύσατε τοῖς φύσει μὴ οὖσι θεοῖς·

See the discussion in A. Tim Span's Ph.D. dissertation,
"The Divine Name in the New Testament: Tetragrammaton or Surrogate?" Pages 67-68.

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

How Do Scholars Understand ἀπάντησις These Days? (Part III)

Kiwoon Lee ("Identity and Moral Formation in Early Christian Communities," page 75, Ph.D. Dissertation):

The word ἀπάντησις (1 Thess 4:17) refers to the civic reception of a ruler’s triumphant entry into the capital of the Empire (i.e. Rome) (LSJ; Harrison 2011:60).
However, one must be careful in determining whether these terms had merely political connotations, since the literary context itself does not clarify whether Paul intended to react to or oppose the Roman emperor. For example, the term παρουσία also occurs in Jewish literature, indicating the coming or presence of God, the last day, and the messianic figure (NIDNTTE 3:647-657). Moreover, with regard to the usage of ἀπάντησις elsewhere in the New Testament, the term refers to “action of going out to meet an arrival” rather than having a specific political meaning (LSJ; cf. Matt 27:32; Acts 28:15). Nevertheless, while one should not easily conclude that Paul simply conveys political overtones in using these words, the city officials and citizens might have been aware that Paul used this term in his message about Christ’s coming. Oakes (2005:317) does not rule out the possibility that the politarchs and fellow-citizens in Thessalonica could have construed Paul’s message in a political sense. But he explains that “[i]t is probably given to them by the unexpectedly weighty apocalyptic of v. 16 [1 Thess 4:16] … [t]he two terms may become political translations of apocalyptic into a form understandable to a Greek audience: political hook on which the audience can hang the apocalyptic imagery.”


See also Dean Kenneth Spalding, "Escorting Paul and the Other Emissaries of Jesus in Acts: The Significance of the Motif of Escort, Seen through the Lens of a Late First- (Early Second-) Century Mediterranean Cultural Script for Hospitality Conventions," Ph.D. Dissertation.