Re: katapticmos.eph.4

From: James H. Vellenga (
Date: Wed May 21 1997 - 08:35:19 EDT

> Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 07:29:13 -0400 (EDT)
> From:
> jonathan asks: <<Can we assume that the saints that are being discussed here
> need to be changed, restored, set like a broken arm, furnished like an empty
> house?>>
> not really.
> to demonstrate a thought map one should find as many contemporary settings
> wherein a word occurs as possible, and note the sense in each setting that
> necessitates a sense. from all the senses discoverable, a generic signification
> will have been generated. one then must fix upon an import suitable to the
> locus in question.
> one must always guard against transferring to the locus in question a specific
> sense warranted by another setting into the setting at hand that does not
> require it.
> e.g.
> analogous situation: someone found a text where a commander on concluding a
> campaign said tetelectai 'it is finished' and forthwith concluded that our Lord
> was using 'a military figure' --
> this had no more basis than to assert that He had finished weaving a garment or
> filling an irrigation ditch. dumb stuff, nt greek.
> shalom,
> bearded bill of asheville <>
> unca not having approved either whom or thereof.
> p.s. not that it's really dumb stuff, but that some high % of assertions
> partake of much the same character.
I find myself somewhere between Jonathan and bearded bill on this
one. I do like to look at a wide variety of contexts to try to
find (if possible) a single root sense to the sign. In this
case, the root sense seems to be that of fixing up something
which is basically OK to begin with. And I think that says
a lot about what God gave the apostles, evangelists, prophets,
shepherds and teachers for -- namely, not to create the saints,
but to help them to be better at what they're designed for --
an activity of service, etc. (taking the clauses as non-parallel).

My observation of real saints so far is that none of us are
beyond the need for further tinkering.

But given the root sense, I think it's also normal to look back
at the context, as Jonathan has done, and see what connotations
the root sense takes on in the context. In each case, Jonathan
has supplied evidence from context for just such speculation --
and in each case the speculation is worth trying to imagine yourself
as a Greek-speaking auditor and trying to guess what associations
might come to mind. No proof in that, mind you, but a fun
imaginative exercise.

I would even add one more, based on the connection of the LSJ
IV. meaning of "training, discipline" with "SOMATOS" -- one
could think of the apostles, etc., as being physical trainers
of the kind a top athlete uses to hone his bodily skills for
top performance. (That actually is not original with me, but
one I heard in a sermon years ago.)


James H. Vellenga |
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"We all work with partial information."

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