From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sat Aug 22 1998 - 16:16:11 EDT

At 2:26 PM -0500 8/22/98, Edgar Foster wrote:
>---"Carl W. Conrad" wrote:
>> At 11:20 AM -0500 8/22/98, Edgar Foster wrote:
>> >Greetings!
>> >Acts 1:3 reads (in part):
>> >Is the following paraphrase too strong?
>> >"To his apostles he presented himself alive after suffering, by
>demonstrating many irrefutable proofs."
>> >The primary part of the paraphrase I am concerned about is the
>rendering of TEKMHRIOIS. Does the word indicate that prima facie
>evidence is under discussion?
>> Well, I don't quite see the point of "demonstrating" or
>"irrefutable." I would think "convincing items of evidence" is strong
>enough. Are you getting "demonstrating" out of TEKMHRIA also, or is
>that a supplementary reading from PARESTHSEN hEAUTON?<
>Yes, "demonstrating" comes from "a supplementary reading from
>PARESTHSEN hEAUTON." This wording is only for paraphrastic purposes. I
>am simply trying to capture HOW Jesus provided the apostles with
>As for my paraphrase of TEKMHRIOIS, I base this rendering upon the
>semantics of TEKMHRION and what Louw-Nida note in their work. Based on
>my research, I really wonder if "convincing proofs" is an adequate
>treatment of Luke's words. Of course, I could be wrong. At any rate,
>here is what L-N says:
>" 'by many convincing proofs he showed himself alive after his death'
>Ac. 1:3. In a number of languages 'convincing proof' is rendered as
>'that which causes one to know for sure' or 'with certainty' " (28.45).
>The last statement makes me wonder if something isn't lost in the
>English translation "convincing proofs." These words seem to imply
>that the proof given is compelling, but not indisputable. Conversely,
>TEKMHRIA seems to denote indubitable evidence. Maybe you could help me
>out here.
>>I think it's the primary point of PARESTHSEN hEAUTON ZWNTA with the
>dative. I'd see the key elements here as
>(1) META TO PAQEIN AUTON = after he had undisputably died; (2)
>PARESTHSEN hEAUTON ZWNTA hOIS = he demonstrated to them that he was
>alive; (3) EN POLLOIS TEKMHRIOIS = by means of numerous indications.<
>The only part of this outline I would question would be (3). Is
>"numerous indications" strong enough?

I'm thinking of the way TEKMHRION and TEKMAIROMAI are used in forensic
Greek, which seems to me most likely the background of Luke's use here.
TEKMHRION is something that permits you to draw a conclusion, and
TEKMAIROMAI normally means judge something to be so on the basis of the
TEKMHRIA, or indications. My own impression of what Luke means by TEKMHRIA,
to judge by the way he speaks of Jesus' resurrection epiphanies (and I
wouldn't try to judge Luke's usage from any other gospel), is tangible and
sensible evidence that shows he is not a PNEUMA: Lk 24:37-43. The disciples
are incredulous and Jesus asks why they are so. He shows them his hands and
feet and insists on his identity. He urges them to touch him and be sure
that he's not a ghost, that he has flesh and bones, and finally, he eats
some cooked fish to prove that he's alive. I'd say this constitutes POLLA
TEKMHRIA. I still don't know that I'd want to say 'irrefutable' because
that seems to me to suggest persuasive arguments, whereas it seems to me
that Luke's notion is rather that these are sufficient proofs to satisfy
any reasonable man that Jesus actually was alive after his death. I think
Luke depends upon the forensic notion of EIKOS, probability. So I guess my
point is simply that "irrefutable" seems more appropriate to rhetorical
persuasion whereas the TEKMHRIA here have more the character of indicators
that will convince any reasonable person: tangible evidence.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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