Re: HELP: Paul and the greek word musterion

Date: Thu Sep 24 1998 - 11:59:46 EDT

Carl W. Conrad wrote:

> Well, I don't know whether I can head off this posse at the bridge, but I
> shall try. The word you're referring to in John 11 is in verse 19, which
> tells us that many 'of the Jews' had come to Martha and Mary hINA
> PARAMUQHSWNTAI AUTAS PERI TOU ADELFOU: it's an aorist subjunctive in a
> purpose clause, and the verb, which basically means "talk away," certainly
> does mean "console" here. PARAMUQEOMAI is indeed a compound of PARA and the
> noun base MUQOS, "talk," "speech." But there is no association,
> etymological or otherwise, between this verb and the word MUSTHRION.

Thank-you Carl ~ Perhaps they are not related.

The roots of derivation are PARA and MUQOS, and MUQOS [tale/fable] in
turn seems to derive from MUEW, [to initiate/teach/instruct] which in
turn comes from the base of MUSTHRION [a secret or 'mystery' ~ Through
the idea of silence imposed by initiation into religious rites] whose
base is MUW [to shut the mouth]. All this just comes from Sodhiates
"The Complete Word Study New Testament With Greek Parallel",
dictionary section in the back of the book.

MUW seems to be at the root of it all, which I suspect is a VERY
ancient root like hOR, and is used [rarely] today in the word mum, as
in 'Mum's the word,' eg 'keep it a secret'. [Might also connect to
mud?] Which is how I came up with the Jews coming to Mary and Martha
to be in attendance [para] of a secret religious initiatory rite, in
which the Lazarus died.
> The root from which MUSTHRION derives is MUW, "wink," or "close and open
> the eyes." We are told that the initiates at the Eleusinia entered the hall
> for the final stage of their initiation, the EPOPTEIA ('looking upon') in
> darkness and sat down, and at the right moment a torch or lamp was lit to
> reveal whatever it was that the initiates saw (while there's much
> speculation about what this was, it's all speculation as this is the
> best-kept secret of antiquity, one which it was forbidden to reveal). The
> theme then, is "light out of darkness," or the sudden coming of a beatific
> vision. The initiate is called a MUSTHS (1st decl m.noun) and MUSTHRION is
> a place for this consummation of initiation or applied, esp. in the plural
> MUSTHRIA, to the rites of initiation. There came to be other initiatory
> rites in the Greek-speaking world, of course, but this is the oldest and
> most venerable one, and it is generally thought to be the ultimate source
> for the language associated with initiation. Of course the Pauline usage is
> distinct in the sense of a secret truth that is made known at the right
> KAIROS to those to whom it is granted the privilege of its revelation.

This all accords, with allowance for different times, places and
> In this instance, even if one is properly warned against reading too much
> out of etymology in general, etymology seems to be genuinely helpful; my
> primary intent here is to scotch the notion that there's any relationship
> between the word MUSTHRION and the verb PARAMUQEOMAI.

Well, you did Dutch it some, and blocked thet thar bridge ~ Yet they
do seem to connect yonder at the Muw!!


Lisa Messmer..................ICQ# 5666415
George Blaisdell

Have you seen Dulcie? Look for her Heart!

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