[b-greek] Re: Matt 15:23

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (c.s.bartholomew@worldnet.att.net)
Date: Fri Jul 07 2000 - 01:24:41 EDT

on 07/06/00 7:26 PM, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:

> Contrary to what is usually given as the translation of the disciple's
> APOLUSON AUTHN, hOTI KRAZEI OPISQEN hHMWN), the JB and several Matthean
> scholars (Allen, Hill, Hagner) render the text along the lines of "Give
> her what she wants".
> In defense of this latter rendering I note that data from Homer through
> Thucidides, Plato.
> Herodotus, Aristotle, Xenophon, Josephus, the Maccabean literature,
> the papyri and other sources that the primary meaning of APOLUW is
> "release" and that, as the data in Hellenistic literature contemporary
> with the Gospels shows, when used where healing is at issue, means "to
> heal"?
> It also sets up nicely the response of Jesus that he will not do what
> the disciples ask since he has come only those of Israel. If the
> disciples are saying "send he away", Jesus' response makes no sense.
> So despite the tendency to translate the command as "send her away", it
> seems to me that the JB rendering is on the money/ Any comments


H.A.W Meyer, A. Plummer and L. Morris (Pillar, 1992) all agree that the
disciples were asking Jesus to "Give her what she wants" and then send her
away. A. Plummer states that this is the only way we can make sense out of
Jesus' response.

However I don't think that any of these guys are reading APOLUSON as
"release" from possession. The object of APOLUSON is the mother not the
daughter. You might try and read AUTHN as a reference to the daughter but I
think that would be some what of a stretch.

So the request from the disciples is to grant the woman her request and have
rid of her (APOLUSON) where the end of the process, being rid of the woman
is the foremost in the minds of the disciples.

My objection to APOLUW being used in the sense "release" from demon
possession is not a matter of lexical semantics since Louw & Nida give the

37.127 APOLUW to release from control, to set free (highly generic meaning
applicable to a wide variety of circumstances, including confinement,
political domination, sin, sickness) to release, to set free.

My objection is that it cannot be made to fit in this context. If the
disciples are asking that the girl be released from her possession then they
are not making any request at all in reference to the woman and the woman is
the source of their grievance not the girl.

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

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