Re: Concepts and Words

From: David L. Moore (
Date: Sat Jun 27 1998 - 17:20:06 EDT

At 08:57 AM 6/27/98 -0700, Edgar Foster wrote:
> wrote:
>>Thanks David.
>>26:39 does indeed have Jesus prostrate in supplication to hO QEOS,
>asking for something for himself. An inferior asking His Superior. He
>is not, apparently, PROSKUNEWing hO QEOS in this action, and if I
>understand this right, he never does. Men do PROSKUNEW Him, and hO
>QEOS, but not He hO QEOS. I have no idea where all this leads, but it
>sure has my attention for the meaning of this term.<
>> It just feels outrageous to me that Jesus does not once, in the
>entire GNT, worship His Father. I just don't get it. Jesus Christ
>does not worship God??? Why??? What relationship between them would
>Dear George,
>I feel that the research conducted in linguistics concerning discourse
>structure would help out immensely here. The Scholastics commonly
>signifies [the thing] by means of mediating concepts."
>The problem I see with this model, however, is that it limits a word's
>signifying properties via mediating concepts, to only one "thing." In
>the case of "worship" or "homage," it seems that the action of worship
>or homage is not limited to "the word" (PROSKUNEW). I.e., many words
>can be used to communicate one concept.
>One example that has been given (by Parunak) is a cow grazing in the
>field. When I see a cow ruminating, various morphemes and graphemes
>may come to mind and be used to delineate what is taking place. While
>the NT may not say that Jesus bowed before hO QEOS, if he prays to
>Him; says only YHWH is to worshiped; and proclaims His committment to
>the Father's will--the concept of worship going to the Father from the
>Son seems present.
>Another example pertinent to our discussion is Rev. 5:14.
>The question is, are EPESAN and PROSEKUNHSAN synonymous in this
>context? Maybe. If so, it demonstrates once again that it is quite
>likely that the signification of a thing is not limited to "the word,"
>but many words.

        When I mentioned that the passages (see a Gospel synopsis) on Jesus
prostrating Himself in prayer to the Father do not include the word
PROSKUNEW, I did not mean to imply that His action was not an expression of
- in this case - worshipful supplication. I see no reason - either textual
or theological - why many of Jesus' actions in relation to the Father which
we find in the NT should not be categorized as worship. Edgar's post,
quoted above, is helpful in calling us to focus on the reality that is
expressed in the text, not just the words.

David Moore

David L. Moore
Miami, Florida, USA
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