help with prayer text, please

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help with prayer text, please

Post by timothy_p_mcmahon » February 8th, 2018, 11:36 pm

Am reading a Byzantine-era prayer sent to me recently and am stumped over a little word in the text:

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Couldn't find anything that made sense in BDAG or LSJ. Can anyone decode this for me?

Robert Emil Berge
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Re: help with prayer text, please

Post by Robert Emil Berge » February 9th, 2018, 6:29 am

It's probably supposed to be a crasis of καί + ἄν or καί + ἐν, but then it should have been written κἂν or κἀν, so the last option is most likely I guess, since then you just have an accent instead of a breathing mark, which is a likely error. But it seems very strange there, I think. I googled your text and found another edition of it which is different, but even stranger: ... οὐ μόνον οὐδὲ κἂν διὰ λόγου προσέφερον αὐτῷ ... Anyway, the text seems to be uncertain here.

A LSJ search gave only one example of "διά καὶ ἐν", but that's really funny: "ὅταν τὴν αὐτὴν εὑρήσῃ διὰ καὶ
ἐν τῷ διὰ τοῦ Λόγου τὸ Πνεῦμα συνάπτεσθαι τῷ Πατρί."

What is strange is that λόγου takes the case from διά and not from ἐν, but it is a strange construction anyway, so it should probably not matter. I'm not used to reading this late Greek, so there might be something I don't see at all.

Seumas Macdonald
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Re: help with prayer text, please

Post by Seumas Macdonald » February 9th, 2018, 7:18 am

The text does seem odd, I just thought I should add that κἄν is generally crasis for καὶ + ἄν or καὶ + εἰ + ἄν, and the addition of the εἰ might make this more intelligible.

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: help with prayer text, please

Post by Barry Hofstetter » February 9th, 2018, 12:55 pm

I think most likely it's simply printer's error for:

κἂν (καὶ ἄν), at least, even, but. Marc. 5:28; 6:56; Luc. Act. 5:15. Just. Apol. 1, 26. 2, 8.—Κἂν εἷς, κἂν μία, κἂν ἕν, even one, at least one. Philon II, 29, 13 Κἂν ἕν τι τῶν πάντων. Lucian. I, 618. II, 72 Κἂν ἓν γὰρ δὴ τοῦτο ἀληθεύων λέγω, this one at least. Clementin. 13, 9. Theophil. 1041 C. Galen. VI, 349 D Κἂν μιᾶς ἡμέρας, for at least one day. Sext. 102, 16. Clem. A. I, 748 A. II, 645 C. Philostr. Epist. 38. Apophth. 261 B. Abuc. 1548 D.—Polyb. 3, 9, 2 Οὐδὲ χωρίζεσθαι κἂν ἅπαξ, not even once.
2. About, before a numeral, = περί, ἀμφὶ τούς. Gregent. 612 A Κἂν εἷς, some one. Leont. Cypr. 1709 B. Chron. 723, 20, ἑβδομήκοντα κάραβοι, some seventy boats. 733, ἑξήκοντα ἄλογα, about sixty horses.

Sophocles, E. A. (1900). Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods (From B. C. 146 to A. D. 1100) (Memorial Edition, p. 626). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

The sense is that the confessor has not even successfully offered thanks in word, much less in deed.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

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Re: help with prayer text, please

Post by timothy_p_mcmahon » February 10th, 2018, 3:32 am

Thanks so much for the helpful responses.

I had dismissed the possibility of crasis due to the absence of the breathing mark. The position still puzzles me, but overall it seems to make sense.

James Ernest
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Re: help with prayer text, please

Post by James Ernest » February 17th, 2018, 7:59 am

I keep wanting to read καν as German keine. :D Seems it should say ου μόνον ου δια λόγου προσέφερον (pardon the random diacritics).
James D. Ernest, PhD
VP, Editor-in-Chief
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Grand Rapids, MI

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