συνεχύθη in Acts 2.6

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Robert S. Daniel
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Joined: May 27th, 2020, 6:20 pm

Re: συνεχύθη in Acts 2.6

Post by Robert S. Daniel » June 8th, 2020, 6:48 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
June 6th, 2020, 5:01 pm

Another point I'd like to make with both of you guys, that also might be considered off-topic, so I'll just mention it. It is that authors aren't necessarily constrained by established usage of a word. They can bring new meanings into words (or resurrect dead meanings, I would think). I've been thinking about some examples of that. Sometimes those new meanings enter the language as permanent fixtures and sometimes not. Is there any way we can talk about that a little without violating BGreek policy?
Yes, I think so. We can certainly discuss how words are used in any given passage or in a given period (by looking at specific passages). We can look at the way meaning of a word evolves over time. Reading an entire passage as a passage to get its context is always in scope. Metaphorical extensions and cognitive linguistics are in scope.

In general, we want to avoid letting doctrine or theory impose themselves on the text, we would rather let the text tell us what it says. B-Greek policy is meant to encourage that. But there are times to bring other things in to inform the meaning of a text. I dodged your question of literary analysis earlier in this thread. Phenomenological analysis or other text-centric literary analysis would be fine, but there are also forms of literary analysis that are driven by one "ism" or another, we try to avoid those here. If you use text-centric approaches to get at the meaning of the text, you don't normally need to tell us the mechanics of the approach you used or use fancy words, just tell us the details you notice in the text.

Does that make sense?

The main goal is to:

1. Focus on the text and the language
2. Avoid useless debates and read carefully together
3. Focus on learning together and not on status or impressing each other
[/quote]
I spent a couple of hours writing a response to this, but in the meantime my login timed out, and after logging in what I wrote is gone. Maybe I'll try again later.
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Robert S. Daniel
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Joined: May 27th, 2020, 6:20 pm

Re: συνεχύθη in Acts 2.6

Post by Robert S. Daniel » June 8th, 2020, 6:51 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
June 6th, 2020, 5:01 pm

Yes, I think so. We can certainly discuss how words are used in any given passage or in a given period (by looking at specific passages). We can look at the way meaning of a word evolves over time. Reading an entire passage as a passage to get its context is always in scope. Metaphorical extensions and cognitive linguistics are in scope.

In general, we want to avoid letting doctrine or theory impose themselves on the text, we would rather let the text tell us what it says. B-Greek policy is meant to encourage that. But there are times to bring other things in to inform the meaning of a text. I dodged your question of literary analysis earlier in this thread. Phenomenological analysis or other text-centric literary analysis would be fine, but there are also forms of literary analysis that are driven by one "ism" or another, we try to avoid those here. If you use text-centric approaches to get at the meaning of the text, you don't normally need to tell us the mechanics of the approach you used or use fancy words, just tell us the details you notice in the text.

Does that make sense?

The main goal is to:

1. Focus on the text and the language
2. Avoid useless debates and read carefully together
3. Focus on learning together and not on status or impressing each other
One more try. This is what I intended to reply to in my previous submission. If I can muster the energy I'll try to reconstruct my original reply later.
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Robert S. Daniel
Posts: 27
Joined: May 27th, 2020, 6:20 pm

Re: συνεχύθη in Acts 2.6

Post by Robert S. Daniel » June 8th, 2020, 8:22 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
June 7th, 2020, 10:05 am

I can't speak to any alleged "blunder" in Exodus 34 unless I know what it is. I will note that the NT was written in Greek, not Hebrew (spoiler!) and that Jerome had both a rhetorical education which would have included a massive amount of Greek and likely was conversant also in the λογὸς καθημερινός. No, ancient translations are not above criticism, but individuals such as Jerome had high fluency in the languages and need to be taken seriously when they give us clues as to how they read the text. Jerome also was one of the few scholars in ancient times who actually wrote on translation theory, so to a certain extent he had a meta-perspective on the subject.
Hi Barry, first, full disclosure: the closest I ever got to Latin was French. But here is a verse from the Vulgate, Exodus 34:35:
qui videbant faciem egredientis Mosi esse cornutam sed operiebat rursus ille faciem suam si quando loquebatur ad eos

And here is the Septuagint rendering of the same passage:
καὶ εἶδον οἱ υἱοὶ Ισραηλ τὸ πρόσωπον Μωυσῆ ὅτι δεδόξασται καὶ περιέθηκεν Μωυσῆς κάλυμμα ἐπὶ τὸ πρόσωπον ἑαυτοῦ ἕως ἂν εἰσέλθῃ συλλαλεῗν αὐτῷ

I won't bother with the Hebrew because I have learned a little of it but not to the point where I can read it even close to fluently. But hasn't Jerome gotten Moses to grow horns in this passage? I understand this to be the basis for the horns on the head of Michaelangelo's stature of Moses, as well as some folklore about Jews having horns. I realize that Jerome was translating from the Hebrew, but it was a language that he acquired rather than having been born into, so I would think that he might have checked his work against the LXX. Also there are some NT passages that allude to this passage in Exodus, such as 2 Cor 3:13-16.

Thanks for filling me in on some of Jerome's background. I had been wondering for some time how conversant he might have been in Greek, so what you are saying helps to fill in some of my gaps.
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Robert S. Daniel
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Re: συνεχύθη in Acts 2.6

Post by Robert S. Daniel » June 8th, 2020, 9:18 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
June 7th, 2020, 10:05 am

Of course, but these sorts of things are almost always determinable by context. "New meanings" are what our linguists usually call pragmatic extension, and resurrecting "dead meanings" are most often found in literary contexts, so when reading Apollonius' Argonautica, whose writing is in the epic style, expect words to be used as Homer or Hesiod might have used them (with some interesting anachronisms for further entertainment). In the meantime, we have only documentary sources for positive evidence since we don't have the linguaculture into which those documents were written.
Well, Luke obviously wasn't writing in epic style, but especially Acts 17 suggests that he had some familiarity with classical literature. He quotes some Greek poets, but I've been thinking there are also echoes of Plato's Apology of Socrates in the Areopagus speech, as well as echoes of Aeschylus's Oresteia. Maybe you can comment on whether this has ever been explored in Bible scholarship.

Here are a few observations of my own about the Paul-in-Athens story. I'm supposing that Paul arrived in Athens by sea, based on 17:14, so he would have been making his way from the Piraeus up to the city, perhaps suggesting the opening scene of the Republic, and on the way Paul got into discussions with some Athenian philosophers, as Socrates often did. He was brought up to the Areopagus to answer a question they had about Paul's mention of a god that wasn't known to the Athenians. This was one of the charges brought against Socrates, and for which he was condemned to death. Paul dealt cleverly with this charge: he wasn't introducing a previously unknown god, just telling them what his name was. Socrates wasn't tried at the Areopagus, but there was a well-known trial of myth that took place there: the trial of Orestes for the murder of his mother. Aeschylus's trilogy the Oresteia was transparently about the introduction of a new system of justice, trial by jury superseding vengeance by family members. Paul's speech was about a new system of justice that would supersede all previous human systems of justice.

There's no proof here, but isn't this highly suggestive that Luke had some knowledge of classical literature, and if so would have known something about Attic word usage? So I'm thinking that such usages would have been available to Luke as an author, and he might have supposed that the original meaning of συγχέω wouldn't be too difficult for his readers to recover, given that words like χέω and εκχέω were current with their meaning of pouring liquid. I'm just saying that linguistic boundaries can be kind of fluid.

Another word whose usage in the NT seems to possibly carry some ancient baggage with it is κηρύσσω /κῆρυξ / κήρυγμα. In Ancient Athens, a κῆρυξ might be deputized to go into the agora and call the ἐκκλησία to assembly. Paul was the first NT author to use these words, with the exception of κῆρυξ. He was a highly educated person in full command of Greek, so its very tempting to think that he would have known of some of the histories of the words he used.

These NT authors strike me as being brilliant thinkers and writers and communicators, so it doesn't seem far-fetched to me to think that they might have had a deep understanding of the Greek language, including its history. I guess this is all speculation on my part, but maybe as I go along I'll find some hard evidence to support these thoughts. At least I plan to keep my eyes and ears open in case I do come across such a thing one of these days.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: συνεχύθη in Acts 2.6

Post by Barry Hofstetter » June 8th, 2020, 12:56 pm

Robert S. Daniel wrote:
June 8th, 2020, 8:22 am

Hi Barry, first, full disclosure: the closest I ever got to Latin was French. But here is a verse from the Vulgate, Exodus 34:35:
qui videbant faciem egredientis Mosi esse cornutam sed operiebat rursus ille faciem suam si quando loquebatur ad eos

And here is the Septuagint rendering of the same passage:
καὶ εἶδον οἱ υἱοὶ Ισραηλ τὸ πρόσωπον Μωυσῆ ὅτι δεδόξασται καὶ περιέθηκεν Μωυσῆς κάλυμμα ἐπὶ τὸ πρόσωπον ἑαυτοῦ ἕως ἂν εἰσέλθῃ συλλαλεῗν αὐτῷ

I won't bother with the Hebrew because I have learned a little of it but not to the point where I can read it even close to fluently. But hasn't Jerome gotten Moses to grow horns in this passage? I understand this to be the basis for the horns on the head of Michaelangelo's stature of Moses, as well as some folklore about Jews having horns. I realize that Jerome was translating from the Hebrew, but it was a language that he acquired rather than having been born into, so I would think that he might have checked his work against the LXX. Also there are some NT passages that allude to this passage in Exodus, such as 2 Cor 3:13-16.

Thanks for filling me in on some of Jerome's background. I had been wondering for some time how conversant he might have been in Greek, so what you are saying helps to fill in some of my gaps.
Yes, now I remember that discussion, and it has do with how קָרַ֔ן is understood. However, to call it a mistranslation is a bit simplistic. Here's what HALOT has to say:
: denominative vb. from קֶרֶן; MHeb. hif. to produce a horn; Sam. Ex 34:29, 35 according to the J manuscript קרן, others read יקר etc.
qal: pf. קָרַן: with עוֹר פָּנָיו and מֹשֶׁה עוֹר פְּנֵי Ex 34:29f, 35: traditionally with Sept., Pesh., Tg. to shine :: Aquila κερατώδης, Vulg. cornutus from which 1. to wear horns, show horns (as in the statue of Moses by Michelangelo), so Jirku ZDPV 67 (1944/5) 43-45; Sasson VT 18 (1968) 385f; K. Jaroš Die Stellung des Elohisten zur kanaanäischen Religion 132f, and see also ZAW 88 (1976) 275-280: wearing a horned face mask; :: 2. e.g. Noth ATD 5:214; TOB 190 and esp. Childs Exodus 603, 609f: to shine (of the divine radiance); see further the Sumero-Babylonian representations of figures with horned caps; for the first suggestion see Pritchard Pictures 309, 513-521. †
hif: pt. מַקְרִן to possess, display horns Ps 69:32. †

Koehler, L., Baumgartner, W., Richardson, M. E. J., & Stamm, J. J. (1994–2000). The Hebrew and Aramaic lexicon of the Old Testament (electronic ed., p. 1144). Leiden: E.J. Brill.

I find it fascinating that Aquila rendered κερατώδης, which shows that Jerome most likely got the rendering from a Jewish understanding of the text, and he wasn't just making it up. Horns are a symbol of power and authority in the OT, and I'm pretty sure that's how Jerome understood it. It certainly does not suggest that he is incompetent in the language.
2 x
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1860
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Re: συνεχύθη in Acts 2.6

Post by Barry Hofstetter » June 8th, 2020, 1:26 pm

Robert S. Daniel wrote:
June 8th, 2020, 9:18 am

Well, Luke obviously wasn't writing in epic style, but especially Acts 17 suggests that he had some familiarity with classical literature. He quotes some Greek poets, but I've been thinking there are also echoes of Plato's Apology of Socrates in the Areopagus speech, as well as echoes of Aeschylus's Oresteia. Maybe you can comment on whether this has ever been explored in Bible scholarship.

Here are a few observations of my own about the Paul-in-Athens story. I'm supposing that Paul arrived in Athens by sea, based on 17:14, so he would have been making his way from the Piraeus up to the city, perhaps suggesting the opening scene of the Republic, and on the way Paul got into discussions with some Athenian philosophers, as Socrates often did. He was brought up to the Areopagus to answer a question they had about Paul's mention of a god that wasn't known to the Athenians. This was one of the charges brought against Socrates, and for which he was condemned to death. Paul dealt cleverly with this charge: he wasn't introducing a previously unknown god, just telling them what his name was. Socrates wasn't tried at the Areopagus, but there was a well-known trial of myth that took place there: the trial of Orestes for the murder of his mother. Aeschylus's trilogy the Oresteia was transparently about the introduction of a new system of justice, trial by jury superseding vengeance by family members. Paul's speech was about a new system of justice that would supersede all previous human systems of justice.

There's no proof here, but isn't this highly suggestive that Luke had some knowledge of classical literature, and if so would have known something about Attic word usage? So I'm thinking that such usages would have been available to Luke as an author, and he might have supposed that the original meaning of συγχέω wouldn't be too difficult for his readers to recover, given that words like χέω and εκχέω were current with their meaning of pouring liquid. I'm just saying that linguistic boundaries can be kind of fluid.

Another word whose usage in the NT seems to possibly carry some ancient baggage with it is κηρύσσω /κῆρυξ / κήρυγμα. In Ancient Athens, a κῆρυξ might be deputized to go into the agora and call the ἐκκλησία to assembly. Paul was the first NT author to use these words, with the exception of κῆρυξ. He was a highly educated person in full command of Greek, so its very tempting to think that he would have known of some of the histories of the words he used.

These NT authors strike me as being brilliant thinkers and writers and communicators, so it doesn't seem far-fetched to me to think that they might have had a deep understanding of the Greek language, including its history. I guess this is all speculation on my part, but maybe as I go along I'll find some hard evidence to support these thoughts. At least I plan to keep my eyes and ears open in case I do come across such a thing one of these days.
You will find me quite sympathetic here, and other examples include parallels in the shipwreck mini-epic of Acts 27 with both the Aeneid and the Odyssey. But that's way beyond your scope here, and with lexical usage, not really so much, particularly since the meaning rendered by most translations goes all the way back to Homer:
II. of the mind, confound, trouble, μή μοι σύγχει θυμόν Il.9.612, cf. 13.808; σὺν δὲ γέροντι νόος χύτο 24.358; συνεχέοντο αἱ γνῶμαι τῶν φαμένων Hdt.7.142; ὁ βίος διʼ ἀπιστίαν συγχυθήσεται Epicur.Sent.Vat.57: with the person as object, ἄνδρα γε συγχεῦαι Od.8.139, cf. Hdt.8.99:—Pass., τί συγχυθεῖσʼ ἕστηκας; E.Med.1005; μὴ ἀθυμείτω τις, ἐὰν συγχέηται Gal.15.584.
Liddell, H. G., Scott, R., Jones, H. S., & McKenzie, R. (1996). A Greek-English lexicon (p. 1668). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
1 x
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

Jonathan Robie
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Re: συνεχύθη in Acts 2.6

Post by Jonathan Robie » June 8th, 2020, 1:42 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
June 8th, 2020, 1:26 pm
You will find me quite sympathetic here, and other examples include parallels in the shipwreck mini-epic of Acts 27 with both the Aeneid and the Odyssey. But that's way beyond your scope here, and with lexical usage, not really so much, particularly since the meaning rendered by most translations goes all the way back to Homer:
II. of the mind, confound, trouble, μή μοι σύγχει θυμόν Il.9.612, cf. 13.808; σὺν δὲ γέροντι νόος χύτο 24.358; συνεχέοντο αἱ γνῶμαι τῶν φαμένων Hdt.7.142; ὁ βίος διʼ ἀπιστίαν συγχυθήσεται Epicur.Sent.Vat.57: with the person as object, ἄνδρα γε συγχεῦαι Od.8.139, cf. Hdt.8.99:—Pass., τί συγχυθεῖσʼ ἕστηκας; E.Med.1005; μὴ ἀθυμείτω τις, ἐὰν συγχέηται Gal.15.584.
Liddell, H. G., Scott, R., Jones, H. S., & McKenzie, R. (1996). A Greek-English lexicon (p. 1668). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
So we are back to this question: can we find examples of the original literal meaning of this word in Hellenistic Greek? If so, how common and how marked would such a usage be?

Robert, I have given you some tools to go search for examples. If you want to convince us that this meaning is in scope for this time, clear examples are the way to do that.

In context, I still think that the usual interpretation makes more sense in this passage, even if both meanings were used during this period.
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Robert S. Daniel
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Joined: May 27th, 2020, 6:20 pm

Re: συνεχύθη in Acts 2.6

Post by Robert S. Daniel » June 9th, 2020, 10:50 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
June 8th, 2020, 1:42 pm

So we are back to this question: can we find examples of the original literal meaning of this word in Hellenistic Greek? If so, how common and how marked would such a usage be?

Robert, I have given you some tools to go search for examples. If you want to convince us that this meaning is in scope for this time, clear examples are the way to do that.

In context, I still think that the usual interpretation makes more sense in this passage, even if both meanings were used during this period.
How about this?
Josephus Against Apion Book 1 section 236:
εἶναι δέ τινας ἐν αὐτοῖς
1.236
καὶ τῶν λογίων ἱερέων φησὶ λέπρᾳ συγκεχυμένους
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: συνεχύθη in Acts 2.6

Post by Jonathan Robie » June 9th, 2020, 10:56 am

Robert S. Daniel wrote:
June 9th, 2020, 10:50 am
How about this?
Josephus Against Apion Book 1 section 236:
εἶναι δέ τινας ἐν αὐτοῖς
1.236
καὶ τῶν λογίων ἱερέων φησὶ λέπρᾳ συγκεχυμένους
How do you interpret that word in this context, particularly together with λέπρᾳ? Do you know where to find standard English translations of that section? Do you agree or disagree with those translations, and why?
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1860
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: συνεχύθη in Acts 2.6

Post by Barry Hofstetter » June 9th, 2020, 11:05 am

Robert S. Daniel wrote:
June 9th, 2020, 10:50 am

How about this?
Josephus Against Apion Book 1 section 236:
εἶναι δέ τινας ἐν αὐτοῖς
1.236
καὶ τῶν λογίων ἱερέων φησὶ λέπρᾳ συγκεχυμένους
Are you sure about that? You might want to check it again.
0 x
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

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