Κύριος

Semantic Range, Lexicography, and other approaches to word meaning - in general, or for particular words.
Jonathan Robie
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Re: Κύριος

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 8th, 2014, 10:34 am

Scott Lawson wrote:When we encounter LXX passages in the NT that have κύριος as a replacement for Yahweh in the MT what connotation should be given to κύριος?
If I answer that in plain language, it seems fairly obvious. The word κύριος means Lord, when it refers to God it connotes that God is our Lord. This is the same God that the MT referred to using יהוה in these passages, but κύριος does not "mean" יהוה any more than αὐτός "means" יהוה.

In all known manuscripts of the New Testament, κύριος is used when quoting these LXX passages. Most LXX manuscripts use κύριος instead of יהוה, a few use יהוה, Josephus uses δεσπότης, some use archaic Hebrew letters (see the first two variations in the image below, taken from a Wikipedia article).
137px-Tetragrammaton_scripts.svg.png
137px-Tetragrammaton_scripts.svg.png (3.78 KiB) Viewed 1127 times
Some leave an empty space, one Dead Sea Scroll manuscript uses ιαω.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Κύριος

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 8th, 2014, 10:43 am

BillMcManigal wrote:
Stephen Hughes: wrote
until "Κύριος" was used to translate it....That happened at the beginning of the Koine period
We must keep in mind that how the Tetragrammaton was read was different than how it was written.
You are implying that readers would not have read this as κύριος - if you have evidence for this claim, please provide it.
BillMcManigal wrote:There is strong textual evidence that it was not written as "Κύριος" in the LXX (contra Albert Pietersma) for many years. -NT 27-4 pp.380-382 Kilpatrick's review; JBL Kahle The Greek Bible Manuscripts Used by Origen
Again, if you have evidence for that claim, please provide it. I only have JBL going back to 1981, I cannot access that article. Also, could you please be more specific about your claim - you seem to be implying that the older LXX manuscripts do not use κύριος.
BillMcManigal wrote:In addition, in Christianized texts it appears not as "Κύριος" but in abbreviated forms as "nomina sacra." If I remember correctly Porter may have recommend that we copy the MSS as the first written record of them appears, not as "Κύριος" but as nomina sacra.
Do you think the nomina sacra have a different meaning, not just an abbreviated spelling? You may be interested in this older thread on nomina sacra: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/vie ... mina+sacra . Would you make the same argument for all of the nomina sacra, or do you treat κύριος differently from other nomina sacra?
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Κύριος

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 8th, 2014, 10:49 am

David Lim wrote:in my understanding of language, the meaning of "κυριος" as a Greek word does not have anything to do with "Yahweh". I never consider contextually implied referents to be part of the intrinsic meaning of a word. Maybe you do, but I don't see why I should, otherwise we might as well include every single entity that "κυριος" has ever been used to refer to, say in well-known writings, and not just in the LXX or NT.
Does "as a Greek word" mean something like κύριος = ὁ ἔχων τὸ κῦρος, or are you thinking of something like Plato's theory of forms?

I think that if a Koine Greek speaker - unfamiliar with the Jewish or Christian religion - heard or read the verse
Romans 10:13 (RP) wrote:Πᾶς γὰρ ὃς ἂν ἐπικαλέσηται τὸ ὄνομα κυρίου σωθήσεται .
"Whoever invokes the name of the lord will be kept from harm's way (in their daily life)."
they would have no problem in identifying this as having a religious / cult meaning, and may imagine that it referred to one of the Popular deities of the era - Serapion perhaps.

An observant Jew hearing the text would perhaps be able to recite the original Hebrew of the verse;
Joel 2:32 (MT) wrote:כֹּ֧ל אֲשֶׁר ־ יִקְרָ֛א בְּשֵׁ֥ם יְהוָ֖ה יִמָּלֵ֑ט
kōl ’ă·šer- yiq·rā bə·šêm יהוה yim·mā·lêṭ;
"All who calls on the Name of יהוה will be saved (delivered from the hand of the gentile)."


A Christian might hear this verse and understand from a verse a little before it;
Romans 10:9 (RP) wrote:ὅτι ἐὰν ὁμολογήσῃς ἐν τῷ στόματί σου κύριον Ἰησοῦν , καὶ πιστεύσῃς ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου ὅτι ὁ θεὸς αὐτὸν ἤγειρεν ἐκ νεκρῶν , σωθήσῃ ·
"because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
based on that they might logically understand that the Κύριος of Romans 10:13 was referring to Jesus.

I think there would be a range of referents that people would think of when hearing it. Those familiar with the passage in Joel (in Hebrew) might conclude that Paul was claiming that Jesus was Lord (יהוה), others might think Jesus was a figure in the religion like they had been used to in their former beliefs, and stil others might think that Jesus was an important man deserving of respect and appelation (κύριος = "sir"). I think it would be hard to say what each individual thought of when they would hear the word κύριος.

A good dictionary will cover all such possible meanings, and we should be familiar enough with all the possible meanings and alert enough when reading to be able to make a good choice about which meaning could be applied in each given case, so that we would not have to rely on the "in my understanding" meaning, but would be more capable to try to understand what was the meaning that the persons reading or hearing the passage would make of it and what were the possible understanding that the writer had, and to see whether in all likelihood they were the same or differed.

Just understanding the Greek meaning seems to predispose you to understand like the first example above. I'm not sure if that is what you wanted to imply by your "intrinsic meaning of the word" claim?
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Κύριος

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 8th, 2014, 11:04 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:Most LXX manuscripts use κύριος instead of יהוה, a few use יהוה, Josephus uses δεσπότης
About Josephus usage of δεσπότης, the Hebrew word אֲדֹנָי (’ă·ḏō·nāy) in the LXX is apparently rendered by one of 4 different Greek words; δεσπότης; θεός; κύριος; and ἡγέομαι. They are all four presumably close (interchangeable) synonyms.
Last edited by Stephen Hughes on January 8th, 2014, 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Κύριος

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 8th, 2014, 11:12 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
BillMcManigal wrote:In addition, in Christianized texts it appears not as "Κύριος" but in abbreviated forms as "nomina sacra." If I remember correctly Porter may have recommend that we copy the MSS as the first written record of them appears, not as "Κύριος" but as nomina sacra.
Do you think the nomina sacra have a different meaning, not just an abbreviated spelling? You may be interested in this older thread on nomina sacra: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=226&hilit=nomina+sacra . Would you make the same argument for all of the nomina sacra, or do you treat κύριος differently from other nomina sacra?
Is this referring to the nomina sacra that looks like ΘC, KC, ΘC or KY, or are you discussion the Tetragammaton?

I suspect that what is being discussed here is that a New Testament scholar is suggesting that ΘC, KC, ΘC and KY could reasonably be included in the text to show fidelity to the earliest manuscripts that we have readily available to us.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Κύριος

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 8th, 2014, 11:18 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:
BillMcManigal wrote:In addition, in Christianized texts it appears not as "Κύριος" but in abbreviated forms as "nomina sacra." If I remember correctly Porter may have recommend that we copy the MSS as the first written record of them appears, not as "Κύριος" but as nomina sacra.
Do you think the nomina sacra have a different meaning, not just an abbreviated spelling? You may be interested in this older thread on nomina sacra: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=226&hilit=nomina+sacra . Would you make the same argument for all of the nomina sacra, or do you treat κύριος differently from other nomina sacra?
Is this referring to the nomina sacra that looks like ΘC, KC, ΘC or KY, or are you discussion the Tetragammaton?

I suspect that what is being discussed here is that a New Testament scholar is suggesting that ΘC, KC, ΘC and KY could reasonably be included in the text to show fidelity to the earliest manuscripts that we have readily available to us.
I am not sure who you are asking. In other places, I have seen a claim that nomina sacra may have been used to indicate the Tetragammaton, and that this is the reason nomina sacra were used instead of writing out the full word. I have seen no evidence for that claim, and where I saw the claim previously, the source did not discuss the more general use of nomina sacra, which seems incompatible with the claim. I suspected that Bill may have been hinting in that direction, but Bill can best clarify what he meant.

I have also seen the claim that nomina sacra were used only for sacred names that indicate God. A quick glance at the nomina sacra that were actually used shows that this simply isn't true.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Κύριος - appeal for information about Nomina Sacra

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 8th, 2014, 11:47 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:I have also seen the claim that nomina sacra were used only for sacred names that indicate God. A quick glance at the nomina sacra that were actually used shows that this simply isn't true.
The "modern" use that I've seen for them in iconography is much wider than just God and Lord. It also includes Christ, Virgin and martyr from memory.

I've made a little appeal for information also from others who might not be following this thread.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Scott Lawson
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Re: Κύριος

Post by Scott Lawson » January 8th, 2014, 12:02 pm

David Lim wrote: I don't really get what's the difference between "substitute" and "replacement",...
David, the difference would be between something like ΙΑΩ that could stand in or substitute for יהוה and κυριος which replaces the Tetragrammaton with something different.
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Scott Lawson

BillMcManigal
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Re: Κύριος

Post by BillMcManigal » January 8th, 2014, 10:20 pm

It is my hope that these quotes from Comfort will bring comfort to all in this case. (not nominative or accusative) If this doesn't answer specific issues I would be happy to address them at a further time.
When the Jews started to translate the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, they persisted in using the Hebrew Tetragrammaton wherever the name Yahweh appeared. This means that the Jewish scribe switched from Greek to Hebrew whenever he came to the sacred name, and then he would write it in an allotted space from right to left (as is done in writing Hebrew). This can be seen, for example, in P. Oxyrhynchus 3522 (first century AD)

According to Origen (in his commentary On Psalms, 2:2), the Tetragrammaton was still written in paleo–Hebrew letters in Aquila's Greek translation of the Old Testament, produced in the first or second century AD. It is also likely that the original translators of the Septuagint used the Hebrew Tetragrammaton for YHWH, although later copies of the Septuagint show that scribes started to use kurios (Lord) as a surrogate. We know that Jews substituted Adonai (meaning “Lord”) for YHWH when they read the Tetragrammaton in the Hebrew text. It is also likely that they substituted kurios (the Greek form for “Lord”—kurios) when they were reading the Greek text to a Greek-speaking audience.
-
Encountering the Manuscripts by Philip Wesley Comfort (Chapter 4)
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David Lim
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Re: Κύριος

Post by David Lim » January 9th, 2014, 1:51 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
David Lim wrote:in my understanding of language, the meaning of "κυριος" as a Greek word does not have anything to do with "Yahweh". I never consider contextually implied referents to be part of the intrinsic meaning of a word. Maybe you do, but I don't see why I should, otherwise we might as well include every single entity that "κυριος" has ever been used to refer to, say in well-known writings, and not just in the LXX or NT.
Does "as a Greek word" mean something like κύριος = ὁ ἔχων τὸ κῦρος, or are you thinking of something like Plato's theory of forms?
I suppose my explanation doesn't come across as clearly as I would like it to, but by what you said below I think you got roughly what I meant, which is that the meaning that the vast majority of Greek speakers would understand of "κυριος" does not have further connotations than lordship. Further references would depend solely on the context, which will include the writer/speaker and intended audience and their expected worldviews.
Stephen Hughes wrote:[...]
An observant Jew hearing the text would perhaps be able to recite the original Hebrew of the verse;
Joel 2:32 (MT) wrote:כֹּ֧ל אֲשֶׁר ־ יִקְרָ֛א בְּשֵׁ֥ם יְהוָ֖ה יִמָּלֵ֑ט
kōl ’ă·šer- yiq·rā bə·šêm יהוה yim·mā·lêṭ;
"All who calls on the Name of יהוה will be saved (delivered from the hand of the gentile)."
Yes this of course applies to the LXX and quotes of it.
Stephen Hughes wrote:A Christian might hear this verse and understand from a verse a little before it;
Romans 10:9 (RP) wrote:ὅτι ἐὰν ὁμολογήσῃς ἐν τῷ στόματί σου κύριον Ἰησοῦν , καὶ πιστεύσῃς ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου ὅτι ὁ θεὸς αὐτὸν ἤγειρεν ἐκ νεκρῶν , σωθήσῃ ·
"because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
based on that they might logically understand that the Κύριος of Romans 10:13 was referring to Jesus.

I think there would be a range of referents that people would think of when hearing it. Those familiar with the passage in Joel (in Hebrew) might conclude that Paul was claiming that Jesus was Lord (יהוה), others might think Jesus was a figure in the religion like they had been used to in their former beliefs, and stil others might think that Jesus was an important man deserving of respect and appelation (κύριος = "sir"). I think it would be hard to say what each individual thought of when they would hear the word κύριος.
And I'm fully in agreement that there isn't a way to pinpoint the meaning that each individual would ascribe to "κυριος" in the NT, which is why I wanted to avoid that aspect.
Stephen Hughes wrote:A good dictionary will cover all such possible meanings, and we should be familiar enough with all the possible meanings and alert enough when reading to be able to make a good choice about which meaning could be applied in each given case, so that we would not have to rely on the "in my understanding" meaning, but would be more capable to try to understand what was the meaning that the persons reading or hearing the passage would make of it and what were the possible understanding that the writer had, and to see whether in all likelihood they were the same or differed.
Of course, but we know that even dictionaries themselves will have their own interpretation of what meanings can be applied where, especially if they are specially catered for the vocabulary of selected writings. Which dictionaries, do you know, exhaustively list "all such possible meanings", and furthermore gives indication of the relative usage frequencies? One dictionary that I like is the LSJ, but incidentally it (at least the old version at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/mor ... ek#lexicon) says "ὁ Κύριος, = Hebr. Yahweh, LXX Ge.11.5, al.; of Christ, 1 Ep.Cor.12.3, etc." which is not accurate because the "κυριος" used for "Yahweh" in the LXX doesn't have the article and behaves like a symbolic substitute rather than retaining its original grammatical function as a count noun.
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