Re: the unprofitable servant

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Sep 16 1999 - 06:10:14 EDT

"Bryan Rocine" <> wrote:
>Lev 25:39-46 makes the distinction between the treatment of
>a bondslave and a hired servant or sojourner (see also Deu
>15:12-18). I gather that the distinguishing condition of
>the bondslave is that he works with great rigour and without
>any reward other than sustenance. I think the bondslave is
>generally "in for life." Is Christ's reference to an
>unprofitable servant in Luke 17:7 a specific allusion to the
>type of bondslave mentioned in Lev? The Liddell-Scott does
>not make any such reference to the use of an idiom such as
>DOULOI ACREIOI, but I thought someone on one of the lists
>might know differently.

CRHSTOS is a not uncommon epithet for a slave in earlier Attic, meaning
something like "doing good service" but commonly turned into English with
DOULOS (i.e. CRHSTOS DOULOS) as "a good slave" = "a slave who is good for
something." I would think the reference in Lk 17:7 to slaves who are NOT
good for anything as ACREIOI DOULOI is reasonably in keeping with older

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

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:39 EDT