Re PROLAMBANW in Gal. 6:1 (again)

To David Moore

       The first question to ask is not whether "pro-" means "already", 
"in advance" etc. The first question is whether we read correctly the 
meaning of the verb.
       There is a methodological problem You did not realize. The 
phrase we have to explain in Gal. 6:1 is "prolambanein *tina* (in 
something, as doing something, as being something etc.)". You claim 
this means "to catch up (involve) someone already...". But all the 
evidence You gathered is perfectly irrelevant to our subject. To make 
out Your case, You must retrieve a text where "prolambanein *tina*... 
(i.e. prolambanein *someone*...)" means "to catch up (involve) 
*someone*...". There is no one I know of. Did You meet any? Show 
me it, please. If You cannot, then Your view has a much weaker basis. 
If You cannot, then You must restate Your argument in a very 
different way. You must claim that this "prolambanein *tina*" is a 
semantic hapax and as such means "to catch up already someone (in 
something)". Not quite an impressive argument.
       The same objection one can (and has to) raise against Bauer or 
Liddell-Scott. If we claim that here "prolambanein" means "to 
surprise" or "to detect", then we must be aware that so we admit a 
semantic hapax: to wit, that we have no evidence at all (outside this 
text) to support our exegesis. No doubt, that interpretation originally 
arose as a "faute de mieux": one saw no better solution than thinking 
of a new, unattested, meaning for the verb. We find it already in the 
Vulgata. Hieronymus translates "ean kai prolemfte" as "si 
praeoccupatus fuerit" and so provides some meager basis for the 
Liddell-Scott & Bauer exegesis. But it is no evidence. It is nothing but 
an interpretation, a wrong interpretation.Who reads today Liddell-
Scott or Bauer should not feel so sure that this view is a well-founded 
one. But not stronger is Your interpretation, because You have no 
evidence either.
       What can we do to get a sound reading of the phrase? Is there 
no relevant evidence at all? No. Quite the opposite: there is. This is a 
not too common but clearly attested usage of "prolambano", the one 
that is connected with "prolepsis" as mainly philosophical term. 
Actually, "prolambano tina (being something, or doing something, 
ecc.)" means - roughly speaking - "I assume someone (being 
something, or doing something, ecc.)". Any evidence? A lot. I'll just 
quote a couple of passages from Plut. Moralia. 1) De Stoic. rep. 1051 
E: chrestous ou pantas eikos tous theous prolambanein. 2) De comm. 
not. 1075 E: ou gar (scil. the Stoics think) athanaton kai makarion 
monon alla kai filanthropon kai kedemonikon kai ofelimon 
prolambanesthai kai noeisthai ton theon, ktl.
       Is it enough to reach a solid conclusion? Or do we need Paul to 
bear his own witness? What we read in Gal. 6:1 is: "ean kai prolemfte 
anthropos (scil. on/ os on) en tini paraptomati". What it means is 
something like this: "Whenever someone is assumed to be at (some) 
fault..." If You keep on holding Your view against these arguments, 
well, I cannot do anything more. As You like...

                     Domenico Lembo