Re: Unto All Pleasing

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Jun 29 1998 - 06:26:20 EDT

At 11:40 PM -0400 6/28/98, Kenneth Litwak wrote:
>In Col 1:10, Paul wrote:
>I had a professor in college tell us that this statement, according to a
>love letter found among the various Greek papyri which have been found,
>may mean something like "do everything for the sake of the one you
>love." I know it sounds like I'm being awfully devotional, but I'm
>actually trying to determine if this statement about the papyri is
>correct. I recently had easy access to a copy of Moulton and Milligan
>and I didn't see anything like that at all for ARESKEIAN, and I have no
>idea where this prof got this from. Can anyone confirm or deny, from
>some other source, whether this is
>a)a correct report about a papyrus letter containing this word that
>might mean that in its context,

I would think that one might very well run a quick search of the Duke
Database of Papyri (it's on the Packard Humanities Institute second CD-ROM)
for ARESKEIA, but unless it appears in a fragment sizable enough to discern
the context, I doubt it would be very helpful. The story sounds to me like
a purely apocryphal one, like the story I was told as an undergraduate
about the employee at a hotel in Delphi being told to polish a pair of
shoes using a present Greek imperative.

>b) and if so, where I can find the text of the love letter.

See above: simply do a word-search for ARESKEIA in the papyrus database.

> While I'm posting this, I have a separate question. In the Old Greek
>version of the Scriptures of Israel, and in the NT, narratives are often
>carried along by some form of GINOMAI DE. Can someone tell me what the
>most characteristic equivalent in most "secular" Greek historical works
>is? Thanks.

I suppose you mean the LXX phrase EGENETO DE ... KAI for the Hebrew Wa'YeHI
... Wa. I don't know that there's a simple formula that's comparable in
Greek historical prose that is regularly used like that LXX translation
phrase. One not uncommon usage is TUGCANW + participle, e.g.: KAI ETUCEN WN
EKEINOS hO ANHR TOTE EN AQHNAIS ... "And that man happened to be in Athens
at that time ..."
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243

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