From: Carl W. Conrad (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Feb 14 2002 - 13:08:39 EST
At 9:13 AM -0600 2/14/02, Paul O. Wendland wrote:
>Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>> 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."
>I would agree that there are no exact synomyms, and that despite overlap in
>semantic domains we must attend to those differences, especially as the
>context and the collocates of the word lead us to do so.
>> Nor, I think, would one really want to talk about BLOOD having
>> the power to
>Perhaps, but perhaps the above statement is too general. Witness:
>Eph 1:7 EN hWi ECOMEN THN APOLUTRWSIN DIA TOU AIMATOS AUTOU, THN AFESIN TWN
But even here the first item is EN hWi, with clear reference to Christ.
>>forgiveness is something that depends upon a person's will or
>> God's will; REMOVAL might be a matter of the instrument.
>However in this context the issue is not: person vs. instrument. Does not,
>in fact, an instrument have to be wielded by someone? Doesn't it express
>the personal will of the wielder? Is it not rather the *inadequacy* of the
>instrument which is in the foreground here, that is: not a question of
>blood/death per se being able/unable to effect such a removal, but a
>question of *what kind of* blood/death can effect such a removal
>permanently. The killing of beasts could not. But the blood/death of the
>one spoken of in the following verse could.
>9.12 OUDE DI' AIMATOS TRAGWN KAI MOSCWN DIA DE TOU IDIOU hAIMATOS EISHLQEN
>EFAPAX EIS TA hAGIA AIWNIAN LUTRWSIN EURAMENOS.
>So I guess in this case I don't quite see the viability of drawing too sharp
>a distinction between the force of AFIHMI and AFAIREW. I also don't really
>understand what distinction is being drawn between physical removal
>(=AFAIREW) and AFIHMI. After all, weren't missles "physically" let
>go/launched and wasn't this thought expressed by AFIHMI? I'm thinking in
>other words, that in some contexts AFIHMI often denotes a physical
>dislocation. What makes it something "spiritual" is its collocation with an
>abstraction like "sins." So also with AFAIREW: how can someone physically
>remove an abstraction like sins, or guilt? Doesn't it have to be read in a
>In this passage, then, I'd just read AFAIREW to mean something like
>"nullification" and while it doesn't mean exactly the same as forgiveness,
>when one moves up the ladder of generalization, it comes out to the same
Even so, one of the original questions was:
>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."
I can't conceive of any circumstances in which one would want to translate
ADUNATON GAR hAIMA TAURWN KAI TRAGWN AFAIREIN hAMARTIAS as "For it's
impossible for blood of bulls or goats to FORGIVE sins."
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months:: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
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