Phil. 2:12, SWTHRIA KATERGAZOMAI / classical-Homeric Greek

Mr. Timothy T. Dickens (
Mon, 06 May 1996 00:31:45

>David L. Moore wrote:

>> I found a Greek copy of Euripides' _Heraclidae_ at the
Perseus Project web site (really excellently done). In the context,
the chorus and the characters are talking about a way of assuring
the well-being of their city, and SWTHRIAN KATERGASASQAI is used in
that sense. Whether this usage might be of significance in exegesis
of a passage of NT Koine' is another question. The fairly exact
match in the language of this phrase in the two sources makes me
tend to accept the validity of the comparison despite the 500 years
that separates their writing.

>The 500 years of separation may not be such an obstacle if
Euripides as studied as part of the normal Greek education. In the
same way, Shakespeare continues to exert an influence upon English
>Stephen Carlson


I agree with Stephen Carlson on this point. There are
passages in Plato's Apology, Crito and Euthyphro that have
constructions that parallel the Greek of the NT 'despite the 500
years' gap. Some of these parallel passages in Plato regarding
'following the will of God' can even be paralleled to Homer.

It is interesting that not only do such Greek syntactical
construction and appear as early as Homer, but Justin Martyr later
in the 2nd. century CE said the stories regarding Plato and the Gods
mentioned in Homer were a foreshadowing of the 'truths' we find in

The Homeric and, in particular, the Classical Greek that gives
rise to Hellenistic/Koine Greek is an indispensable tool for
understanding obscure constructions, at least.

Timothy T. Dickens