From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sun Oct 17 1999 - 00:04:54 EDT

At 9:03 PM -0600 11/16/99, David A Bielby wrote:
>I'm wondering if anyone has etymological information on SKOPOS.
>2) Idiomatic Expression data on the phrase in Phil 3:14.....KATA SKOPON
>3) historical information on a mountain near Jerusalem called Mt. Scopus.
>I heard about a teaching that said Paul had this mountain in mind when
>writing Phil.3:14...I cannot find anything in my resources (which are
>limited). I'm wondering if the mountain was named by Alexander the Great
>or some Greek Military commander who posted 'SKOPOS' on that
>mountain...or if there was some other reason for naming it that...such as
>pilgrims proclaiming they could see their final goal or destination when
>coming in to Jerusalem from the north.
>It would be interesting to know more about the history of the two
>meanings for SKOPOS.

I cannot say when the hilltop was first called SKOPOS, but I doubt
seriously that Paul had that in mind in Phil 3:14, where the sense is
pretty clearly the goal directly in view of a focused eye: the 'bull's eye"
as it were of his aim in life, which he describes as a running EIS TO
BRABEION THS ANW KLHSEWS, BRABEION here being the Greek equivalent of the
Latin META, the turning point which marked the start and finish point on
the race-track.

The root of the word is SKEP/SKOP with normal E/O vowel gradation; Steven
Miller has noted that SKEPTOMAI is related to this verb; so also is SKOPEW,
and there are other cognates. I may be mistaken, but I remember hearing at
some point that Latin verbs -SPICIO and the more common frequentative
SPECTO, "look at" is a cognate of SKEPTOMAI with reversal of the root

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

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