Origen on Luke 1:1

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (c.s.bartholomew@worldnet.att.net)
Date: Thu Feb 03 2000 - 15:01:25 EST

David L Dungan* resurrects Origen's reading of EPECEIRHSAN in Luke1:1.
According to Dungan, Origen saw here not just a mild allusion to the
insufficiency of the attempts being made to compose accounts but active
evil intent on the part of those doing the composition.

This understanding of EPECEIREW is rejected by most other commentators
such as F. Godet and A.B. Bruce who admit that some light notion of
insufficiency my be implied in the context but if so Luke includes
himself in the group who's work is considered insufficient (cf KAMOI Lk

Several others appear to reject the idea that EPECEIREW even implies
insufficiency, saying that this coloring is supplied always by the
context and is never a part of the meaning of EPECEIREW (Mult. & Mill.
p250f, also H.A.W. Meyer, H. Alford, A. Plummer, I.H. Marshall.

The only reason I bring this up is that this illustrates a common
problem in lexical semantics. The problem is this:

Assuming that EPECEIREW appears regularly in contexts where failure,
insufficiency or evil intent are also present. Does this give us any
justification to conclude that EPECEIREW in these contexts includes a
semantic component that includes failure, insufficiency or evil intent?
The solution to this question, if it can be obtained and clearly stated
would put an end to a lot of seemingly pointless argument about the
meaning of words.

What is the solution and how can it clearly be stated?

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

*Dungan, David L. A history of the synoptic problem: the canon, the text, the composition and the interpretation of the Gospels. Doubleday, 1999, page 14)

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