Re: PEIRASMOS - the meaning of the word

From: Maurice A. O'Sullivan (
Date: Thu Jun 17 1999 - 19:10:43 EDT

, At 15:03 17/06/99 -0500, you wrote:

>Personally I find that Nigel Turner's exegesis of the meaning of PEIRASMOS as
>"temptation to sin" begs the question. He sees that meaning there because
he wants to
>see that "temptation" in our sense of the word is part of the noun's
semantic range.

I'm puzzled --- where does the LXX , and its " semantic range " come in
your scheme of things?

To quote Spicq:

"In preference to the denominative PEIRAOMAI the Koine uses PEIRAZW which
is rare in secular Greek. but to which biblical language gave an altogether
singular density, with the basic meaning "trial" and always translating
the Piel of the Hebrew n-s-h. Its secular meanings are rare but always it
is a question of trial and exploration. Hence the religious and moral
meaning .'temptation'. which is a trial of virtue by means of affliction or
adversity or even by Satan's intervention."

And, as he later points out,
" the suhstantive PEIRASMOS dlid not appear in secular Grcek hefore the
first century, but it remained unknown in the payyri. The LXX gave it the
meaning "temptation" --"they called the place Massah ( PEIRASMOS ) because
there they tempted God "...............NT theology and _language_ [ my
emphasis ] inherit these conceptions of PEIRASMOS "

Spicq, Ceslas. Theological Lexicon of the New Testament. 3 vols. Peabody,
Mass: Hendrickson, 1996.

>And I note that my judgement on this matter is supported by C.F.D. Moule
in his
>seminal "An Unsolved Problem in the "Temptation" Clause of the Lord's
Prayer". I
>also draw attention to the fact, to be noted and documented in my article
on the use
>of PEIRASMOS in non Biblical literature in the forthcoming _Dictionary of
>Christian Backgrounds_ (IVP) that there is not a single instance in the
secular Greek
>of the period in which the NT was written in which PEIRASMOS means
>i.e, seduction/enticement to evil.
>Jeffrey B. Gibson
>7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
>Chicago, Illinois 60626

Maurice A. O'Sullivan [ Bray, Ireland ]

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