[b-greek] Re: AFIHMI/AFAIREW (was AFIHMI and APAIRW)

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Thu Feb 14 2002 - 08:41:45 EST

At 1:32 AM -0600 2/12/02, Kevin Cauley wrote:
>What is the connotative difference between AFIHMI and AFAIREW? Can they be
>used synonymously?

[When I originally re-formatted Kevin's message I mistakenly supposed he
was asking about APAIRW rather than AFAIREW; they are different verbs, as
APAIRW is compounded of APO and AIRW, while AFAIREW is compounded of APO
and hAIREW --and both can mean "take away" or "remove." I've tried to make
amends in changing the subject-header here. cwc]

>Specifically, could one translate Hebrews 10:4 as follows: "for (there is)
>no power in the blood of bulls and goats to forgive sin?" Please focus
>primarily upon the word AFAIREW and if it could be translated, "forgive."

The simple answer is, NO, these are not really synonyms; AFAIREW means
"remove" (physically), while AFIHMI (or AFIW in it later omega-verb form)
means "let go" or "dismiss."

Nor, I think, would one really want to talk about BLOOD having the power to
forgive; forgiveness is something that depends upon a person's will or
God's will; REMOVAL might be a matter of the instrument.

Here's Louw & Nida on AFAIREW:

13.38 AFAIREWc; PERIAIREWc; KAQAREWc; LUWg: to cause a state to cease -
'to do away with, to remove, to eliminate.'
AFAIREWc hOTAN AFELWMAI TAS hAMAARTIAS AUTWN 'when I take away their sins'
Ro 11:27.
ever able to take away sins' He 10:11.
done away with' Ac 19:27.
LUWg: LUSAS TAS WDUNAS TOU QANATOU 'having removed the pains of death' Ac 2:24.

A more thorough answer would require an examination of all the usages of
AFIHMI/AFIW and AFAIREW; while there are only 10 instances of the latter,
there are 143 instances of the former, and of course, these are not all in
the senses in which we are interested, since AFIHMI means essentially "let
go/dismiss" while AFAIREW means essentially "take away (from)."

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months:: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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