[b-greek] EUTRAPELIA

From: D. Storm (dstorm@infostations.com)
Date: Sun Mar 03 2002 - 13:31:05 EST

In Ephesians 5.4 EUTRAPELIA is translated generally as "coarse joking
(jesting)". I maintain that this is an incorrect translation in that it
seems to imply dirty jokes or lewd comments. I looked it up in LSJ9 a few
months ago--my copy is currently in storage--and it defines the word as
"witticism", or a clever turn of phrase, as I recall. It further says that
the term is always used positively in the Classical period, and only
negatively in the Ephesians passage.

BDAG says that in the Classical period it meant "wittiness, facetiousness",
but in Ephesians it means "coarse jesting, risque wit".

It seems to me that translators are letting their puritanical biases intrude
(though maybe I am biased). But it seems to me that if the word meant
witticism in the Classical period, then it probably means a "harmful
witticism" in Eph. So it is hardly "coarse" jesting or lewd. It would seem
to mean the use of a clever and refined witticism at the expense of charity.

Any thoughts?

D. Anthony Storm

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