Re: Mt 3:2, 4:17, & 10.7

From: Steven Craig Miller (
Date: Tue Nov 30 1999 - 19:00:34 EST

<x-flowed>To: Joe A. Friberg,

<< The debate about whether HGGIKEN should be translated as 'come near' or
'arrived' is, IMHO, based more on one's overall eschatological emphasis
(Realized--Dodd, Initiated, etc.) rather than the meaning of this one verb.
The two meanings are both within the scope of the one word, and can at most
merely reflect a difference of completeness or degree. >>

I have some doubts as to whether or not these two meanings are both within
the scope of this one word. At the very least, in consulting BAGD, Louw &
Nida, and EDNT, none of these three suggests that EGGIZW sometimes means
"arrived" (or anything else which might substantiate Dodd's position). I
take this to mean that they disagree with C. H. Dodd. And although BAGD
cites Dodd, and (I assume) the debate on this issue in Expository Times,
EDNT simply ignored Dodd (at this entry). In addition, since Dodd made his
point based on supposed LXX usage, I will note that LEH also ignored Dodd,
and do not suggest that EGGIZW sometimes means "arrived" (or anything
similar). Furthermore, I will note the obvious, namely that EGGIZW
obviously derives from EGGUS which means "near."

W. G. Kummel, in his "Promise and Fulfilment" (1957), writes:

<< J. Y. Campbell and K. Clark have shown [in ExpT 48:9f & JBL 59:367ff,
respectively] that in the Septuagint also in the preponderating number of
cases EGGIZEIN bears the same meaning of 'coming near' and that the few
passages (e.g. Jonah 3:6 HGGISEN hO LOGOS PROS TON BASILEA) quoted against
this by Dodd [at ExpT 48:140f] only prove that the translators of the
Septuagint occasionally stretch the meaning of EGGIZEIN to the marginal
case of 'approaching to' >> (24).

So with all due respect for C. H. Dodd, who is undoubtedly a giant among
Johannine scholars, I suspect that on this issue, his opinion has never
been fully accepted among most NT lexicographers.

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)

 From Luther's Large Catechism: "Why, do you think, is the world now so
full of unfaithfulness, shame, misery, and murder? It is because everyone
wishes to be his or her own master, be free from all authority, care
nothing for anyone, and do whatever he or she pleases. So God punishes one
knave by means of another" (BoC 386.154).

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