Re: The object of CARIS

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue May 23 2000 - 19:59:03 EDT

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<div>At 6:23 PM +0000 5/23/00, B.J. Williamson wrote:</div>
<div>&gt;This question is directed toward those who have<br>
&gt;an interest in etymology...<br>
&gt;I wonder if someone might shed some light on<br>
&gt;the development of CARIS as it relates<br>
&gt;to the objects or recipients.<br>
&gt;I'm not exactly sure how to phrase my question,<br>
&gt;but in my studies I have found that CARIS<br>
&gt;refers to the disposition of the subject (the one<br>
&gt;extending grace), rather than the condition<br>
&gt;of the object (the one receiving grace).<br>
&gt;Can anyone help me understand to what extent the use<br>
&gt;of CARIS implies something about the<br>
&gt;condition of the recipient? It almost seems universally<br>
&gt;accepted that the recipients of CARIS are underserving<br>
&gt;or unworthy of it.<br>
&gt;I feel comfortable stating that originally CARIS<br>
&gt;only described the disposition of the subject.<br>
&gt;Somewhere in the development of this word, it seems<br>
&gt;that the recipient's condition was added.<br>
&gt;Dr. Wallace offered this comment regarding CARIS as it relates to
&gt;recipient's unworthy condition:<br>
&gt;&quot;Perhaps the cognate, charizomai, sheds some light here, for
it normally has<br>
&gt;the force of 'forgive.'&quot;<br>
&gt;My search continues primarily because I do not yet see the<br>
&gt;connection between &quot;forgiveness&quot; and
&quot;undeserving.&quot; (For example,<br>
&gt;as a parent, I forgive my children often, but by this act I
<div>&gt;not implying that they are unworthy of it.)</div>
<div>For what it's worth, I'm enclosing an extract of a response I
gave to a question on the phrase in the Didache and in Luke's
Beatitudes (6:32ff.): POIA hUMIN CARIS ESTIN? on August 25,
<div>CARIS, like Latin GRATIA, is hard to get a handle on (I think I
dealt with this some time ago, a year or longer) because it is
essentially a reciprocal notion. Perhaps the nearest thing to it in
English in its most basic sense is &quot;gratification&quot;; it is
an expression of good will that earns a responsive expression of good
will. The older Attic phrase for &quot;express thanks&quot; is CARIN
GNWNAI--'to acknowledge a favor.' In that sense you might take POIA
CARIS hUMIN? as equivalent to &quot;what acknowledgement have
you?&quot;--i.e. what have you done to earn God's favor and what
favor do you think you have with God as a consequence of what you've
<div>Here's Louw &amp; Nida on CARIS:</div>
<div><font color="#007700">5.89 CARIS, ITOS f: a favorable attitude
toward someone or something - 'favor, good will.' ECONTES CARIN PROS
hOLON TON LAON 'having the good will of all the people' or 'all the
people were pleased with them' Ac 2:47; hEURES GAR CARIN PARA TWi
QEWi&nbsp; 'for you have found favor with God' or 'for God is pleased
with you' Lk 1:30.</font></div>
<div><font color="#007700">33.350 CARIS, ITOS f: : an expression of
thankfulness - 'thanks.' TWi DE QEWi CARIS TWi DIDONTI hHMIN TO
NIKOS&nbsp; 'thanks be to God who gives us the victory' 1 Cor
<div>I'd note particularly that usage in Acts 2:47 where ECONTES
CARIN PROS hOLON TON LAON is probably a bit more ambiguous than the
version offered; I'd make it &quot;being in favor with all the
people&quot;--it implies mutuality of good will, readiness on the
part of both sides to be kind to each other and to acknowledge the
good will of the other.</div>
<div>So &quot;credit&quot; is not at all unreasonable: it is
&quot;acknowledgement of a service rendered.&quot; To paraphrase
Rodney Dangerfield, I keep doing nice things for you, &quot;but I
don't ever get any credit.&quot;</div>
<div>At any rate I'd say the fundamental sense of CARIS is kindly
feeling and the expression of kindly feeling toward a person or
persons. But there are a lot of distinct idioms and it is really
worth studying an unabridged lexicon on them.</div>

<div>-- <br>
Carl W. Conrad<br>
Department of Classics, Washington University<br>
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243<br> OR<br>

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