From: Jim West (jwest@Highland.Net)
Date: Mon Aug 03 1998 - 16:13:53 EDT
At 03:08 PM 8/3/98 -0400, you wrote:
>Well, it is a novel way of looking at it. For my part, I'll side with Phil
>Long on this one. Here's the sum total of instances of EKPLHSSOMAI in the
>GNT (from Accordance)--not really all that many, but fairly clearly nuanced
>toward a positive sort of amazement:
>Matt. 7:28 KAI EGENETO hOTE ETELESEN hO IHSOUS TOUS LOGOUS TOUTOUS,
>EXEPLHSSONTO hOI OCLOI EPI THi DIDACHI AUTOU.
the verse under question- at least for me, for now.
>Matt. 13:54 KAI ELQWN EIS THN PATRIDA AUTOU EDIDASKEN AUTOUS EN THi
>SUNAGWGHi AUTWN, hWSTE EKPLHSSESQAI AUTOUS KAI LEGEIN: POQEN TOUTWi hH
>SOFIA hAUTH KAI hAI DUNAMEIS?
But he was not weel received in his home town. The gospels as a whole show
that he was rejected there.
>Matt. 19:25 AKOUSANTES DE hOI MAQHTAI EXEPLHSSONTO SFODRA LEGONTES, 'TIS
>ARA DUNATAI SWQHNAI?'
A question of disbelief- no?
>Matt. 22:33 KAI AKOUSANTES hOI OCLOI EXEPLHSSONTO EPI THi DIDACHi AUTOU.
And then they kill him a few days later.... hum- what kind of amazement in
a positive sense swayed them?
>Mark 1:22 KAI EXEPLHSSONTO EPI THi DIDACHi AUTOU: HN GAR DIDAASKWN AUTOUS
>hWS EXOUSIAN ECWN KAI OUC hWS hOI GRAMMATEIS.
He taught "non- traditionally"- would that have been a positive assesment in
1st century Judaism? I dont really think it would have been. We moderns
love novelty- but did 1st c. Jews? Again, the implication seems rather
>Mark 6:2 KAI GENOMENOU SABBATOU HRXATO DIDASKEIN EN THi SUNAGWGHi, KAI
>POLLOI AKOUONTES EXEPLHSSONTO LEGONTES: POQEN TOUTWi TAUTA, KAI TIS hH
>SOFIA hH DOQEISA TOUTWi, KAI hAI DUNAMEIS TOIAUTAI DIA TWN CEIRWN AUTOU
He's unlearned! I take this to mean that they are not favorably impressed
with a village carpenter presuming to tell them about God!
>Mark 7:37 KAI hUPERPERISSWS EXEPLHSSONTO LEGONTES: KALWS PANTA PEPOIHKEN,
>KAI TOUS KWFOUS POIEI AKOUEIN KAI TOUS ALALOUS LALEIN.
This one is a muddy wheel!
>Mark 10:26 hOI DE PERISSWS EXEPLHSSONTO LEGONTES PROS hEAUTOUS: 'KAI TIS
Another question implying disbelief, no?
>Mark 11:18 KAI HKOUSAN hOI ARCIEREIS KAI hOI GRAMMATEIS KAI EZHTOUN PWS
>AUTON APOLESWSIN; EFOBOUNTO GAR AUTON, PAS GAR hO OCLOS EXEPLHSSETO EPI THi
Another difficulty. The crowd is offended- so the priests dont want to
arrest him. This weighs against my thesis- but, so far, is the only place
>Luke 2:48 KAI IDONTES AUTON EXEPLAQHSAN, KAI EIPEN PROS AUTON hH MHTHR
>AUTOU: 'TEKNON, TI EPOIHSAS hHMIN hOUTWS? IDOU hO PATHR SOU KAGW ODUNWMENOI
The Doctors in the temple arguing with a boy- really, this is dishonorable
behavior- the behavior of an arrogant little chap- no?
>Luke 4:32 KAI EXEPLHSSONTO EPI THi DIDACHi AUTOU, hOTI EN EXOUSIAi HN hO
An ambiguous context at best, I think.
>Luke 9:43 EXEPLHSSONTO DE PANTES EPI THi MEGALEIOTHTI TOU QEOU. PANTWN DE
>QUAMAZONTWN EPI PASIN hOIS EPOIEI, EIPEN PROS TOUS MAQHTOUS AUTOU:
Another gremlin in the works- thats two now! :)
>Acts 13:12 TOTE IDWN hO ANQUPATOS TO GEGONOS EPISTEUSEN, EKPLHSSOMENOS EPI
>THi DIDACHi TOU KURIOU.
I dunno about this Acts stuff. Its kinda removed from my primary interest
>The only instances of these that I would think might conceivably be a
>negative sort of astonishment is the parallel passage Mt 19.25/Mk 10:26
>(Rich Young Ruler pericope), and perhaps also Lk 2:48 (Mary shocked at the
>12-year old Jesus in the Temple). The other instances all pretty clearly
>indicate astonishment at something extraordinarily admirable: wisdom,
>authoritative teaching, miracles.
I dunno- really. It seems to me that the things he says and does may be
honorable to moderns, but how would they have been viewed by Jesus'
>Perhaps the difficulty may lie with the ambiguity of shock as an emotional
>phenomenon in Greek which may indeed indicate horror just as well as
>amazement. What needs to be considered, however, is that what exceeds the
>natural or the ordinary tends to be deemed by the ancients as a mark of
>the supernatural, whether of the demonic or of the divine.
Ah, now this is certainly true.
>connection, one might well consider the Attic idiomatic adjective phrase
>for a powerful speaker: he is said to be DEINOS LEGEIN, "awesome at
>speaking." DEINOS/-H/-ON actually means "fearsome," but more commonly than
>not it has the sense of "wonderful." This adjective is sufficiently
>ambiguous that the famous Sophoclean "Ode on Man" from the middle of the
>Antigone begins with the sentence: POLLA TA DEINA, K(AI) OUDEN ANQRWPOU
>DEINOTERON (ESTIN). One finds this sentence normally translated, "Many are
>the wondrous things, and nothing is more wondrous than Man"; however, in
>Martin Heidegger's fascinating essay on the poem there is a different spin:
>Heidegger makes it: "Many are the strange/terrifying things, and none is
>more strange/terrifying than Man."
I didn't know I was a Heideggerian (though I am by confession an unabashed
>Carl W. Conrad
Jim West, ThD
Adjunct Professor of Bible
Quartz Hill School of Theology
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