Re: How to find the meaning of words

From: Perry L. Stepp (
Date: Wed Apr 07 1999 - 09:55:45 EDT

From: Bill Ross <>

First, this is the Biblical Greek list--not the Biblical King James Version

>Perry Stepp wrote:

>>===> My conclusion: to imply that hUPHRETHS in 1 Cor 4.1 carries
>>implications of special subservience or meniality is folly, based on
>>etymological wishfulness. In fact, our survey of the contexts suggests a
>>different possible avenue: the facts that
>>1. Paul uses the word,
>>2. Paul at times favors military metaphors,
>>3. hUPHRETHS could be used in military contexts both in and out of the NT

>>are far more suggestive of what Paul might have meant and how that verse
>>should be preached than anything etymology could generate.

[Bill responded]
>So, I will never read 1 Cor 4:1 without picturing a rower, because it is as
>providential as all of the other gifts in languange. It is a part of the
>richness of words. It lends "color."

"Color" is fine, but the "color" in question has nothing to do with the
images Paul wanted to communicate to the Corinthian readers (nor with the
images the Corinthian readers would have had in mind when they heard/read
Paul's letter.)

If you want to look to the Greek to supply "color" for preaching or praying
the text, don't you think you should attempt to find the "color" Paul
intended his readers to see (or that Paul's readers were likely to see,
according to the best historical reconstruction)?

I've supplied you with a more historically likely image. Exactly how
appropriate the military image is is open to debate, of course--might make a
good thread, might not. But I think it's more likely that in 1 Cor 4.1,
Paul was referring to himself, Apollos, and Peter as "soldiers under
command, all alike serving the same Commanding Officer," than that he was
referring to them as "rowers together in the bottom of the ship."


Pastor, DeSoto Christian Church, DeSoto TX
DCC's webpage:
Ph.D. Candidate in Religion, Baylor University
#1 Cowboy Fan

Some ideas are so absurd that only an intellectual could
believe them
                          --attributed to George Orwell


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