Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Kenneth Matthews' Commentary for Genesis 2:19ff

He discusses the potential pluperfect in Gen. 2:19 and the proper name "Adam."

Monday, May 29, 2017

Daniel B. Wallace Explains Ascensive Conjunctions

Daniel B. Wallace defines an "ascensive conjunction" this way:

"This use expresses a final addition or point of focus. It is often translated even. This classification is usually determined by the context. Conjunctions that function this way are καί, δέ, and μηδέ" (Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, page 670-671). Emphases are in the original.

Two examples that Wallace gives of this usage are 1 Cor. 2:10; Eph. 5:3. Another possible example might be Gal. 6:16. As Wallace notes--context will ultimately determine whether a conjunction functions ascensively.

Note Pertaining to Greek Particles (An Edit)

Based on information written to a friend back in 2008:

There are numerous studies on Greek particles and Greek grammars normally deal with the μέν . . . δέ construction. Your question made me wonder about the number of studies out there on this kind of construction. Of course, we have the notable study by J.D. Denniston, The Greek Particles. I just checked amazon and they've got the book for about $90.00. In addition to Denniston's informative study, I found research on particles here: D Lassiter -

Furthermore, there are various journal articles about particles including one by Denniston. See G. Misener, "Greek Particles," The Classical Philology, 1937 and J.D. Denniston "The Greek Particles," The Classical Review, 1929.

But back to the matter at hand, μέν . . . δέ constructions can be translated "On one hand . . . on the other hand." So my remarks about your book purchases were in that vein. "On one hand (μέν), it is good that you bought the book . . . on the other hand (δέ), μέγα βιβλίον μέγα κακόν (i.e., "big book, big evil"). I'll stop while I'm ahead. :-)

Addendum: The link by Lassiter appears to have changed. And there is major work now being done concerning Greek particles. See

For an example of the μέν . . . δέ construction, see Ephesians 4:11.

Friday, May 26, 2017

John 1:3 and Christ as Creator - From Louw-Nida

Something I discovered in 2001.

While reading Louw-Nida's Greek-English Lexicon tonight, I came across
something I had never read in this tool before.

On page 793 (volume I) under semantic domain 89.120, this source makes this
observation about XWRIS in John 1:3:

"It would be wrong to restructure Jn 1:3 to read 'he made everything in all
creation,' for in the Scriptures God is spoken of as the Creator, but the
creation was done 'through the Word.' If one must restructure Jn 1:3, it may
be possible to say 'he was involved in everything that was created' or 'he
took part in creating everything.'

I thought this comment was interesting. It buttresses what others have already pointed about the use of the passive voice in Col 1:15-17 vis-à-vis the Firstborn of all creation.

A Little More Concerning Exegetical Fallacies (Once Written to a Friend)

Let me first qualify what we have been discussing
about etymology. I think D.A. Carson (Exegetical
) provides a balanced presentation on this
subject. After giving a caveat about word
meanings, he then notes that "the meaning of a word
may reflect the meanings of its component parts" (page
32). The denotation of EKBALLW (a compound of EK +
BALLW = "I cast out," "I throw out" or "I put out")
illustrates the validity of Carson's observation.

Carson even supplements the foregoing points by
writing: "Finally, I am far from suggesting that
etymological study is useless. It is important, for
instance, in the diachronic study of words (the study
of words as they occur across long periods of time),
in the attempt to specify the earliest attested
meaning, in the study of cognate languages, and
especially in attempts to understand the meanings of
hapax legomena (words that appear only once)" (page

Like Carson, I do not reject etymological studies in
. My point, however, is that synchronic data takes
precedence over diachronic data. Therefore, before we
assume that hUPARXWN or any other term possesses the
same meaning at each point in Greek history, we must
first ascertain how a word is used by speakers and
writers at a particular time period. I thus find
no major problem with what you note above, although I
think there are instances that militate against
espousing diachronic priority as I will try to show in
this email.

I do not think linguists generally say that most or
all words completely change their meanings over time.
But semantic change is usually inevitable and it
appears that one is wise to look at how a word is used
at a particular time rather than depending on how it was
used 800 years earlier.

So I would say that one can grasp how a term is
employed in the NT, if he or she relies on the LXX or
Greek papyri and related sources rather than depending
too heavily on Plato, Aristotle or Homer.

I agree that compounds can and do often retain their
original meanings in English. But we must not
automatically conclude that such is always the case. It
would behoove us to note how a word is used in context
or at a particular time. Consider the terms "gossip"
(from Godsibb), overjoy, and overhear. Just looking at
the etymology of each word will not be helpful in
understanding what the terms now mean. Moreover,
please note that The Concise Oxford Dictionary of
English Etymology
says that "over" (after the Middle
English period) underwent various modifications and
developments vis-a-vis its meanings. Ergo, even the
word "over" acquired new significances as time went

I think careful scholars will not
dogmatically assert that PRWTOTOKOS means "pre-eminent
one." BAGD simply questions whether the "force of the
element -TOKOS is still felt at all" in the NT period
(page 726). Compare the notes in Louw-Nida on this
word and Col. 1:15. One cannot anachronistically graft a
fourth-century meaning onto a first-century setting.

As for MONOGENHS, it could mean either "only-begotten"
or "only." It is used both ways in Classical and Koine
Greek, and the Early Church Fathers also utilize the term
both ways (see Lampe's Patristic Lexicon).

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Exegetical Fallacies

I recently watched a video done by Dr. Michael S. Heiser that reviewed so-called "exegetical fallacies." Of course, the scholar, who put such terminology on the map was D.A. Carson--the author of a book with that title.

Exegesis (especially used in the biblical sense) means to explain, interpret or unfold a text (see John 1:18); the act of exegesis involves drawing meaning from (out of) a text, not reading sense/meaning into it. Exegetes base their explanations on close readings of textual sources in their respective biblical language, whether that language is Hebrew-Aramaic, Greek, Latin or other. Nevertheless, like any task, there are right ways to undertake exegesis: bad exegesis usually entails committing exegetical fallacies or one sort or another. In logic, "fallacy" is normally defined as "a mistake in reasoning." E.g., argumentum ad hominem.

Other definitions for fallacy include:

a) a mistaken belief, especially one based on unsound argument.

b) a failure in reasoning that renders an argument invalid.

c) faulty reasoning; misleading or unsound argument.

Two kinds of exegetical fallacies are grammatical and presuppositional/historical fallacies. For example, to understand the Greek aorist as the "action that happens once in the past" tense is fallacious, since many uses of the aorist do not fit this definition. Furthermore, aspect research now suggests that aorists are default Greek verbal forms; and they likely portray action as a whole. See Matthew 4:9; Philippians 2:12; 1 John 2:1-2.

Historical fallacies might occur when exegetes try to reconstruct historical circumstances for Gospels or NT Epistles. We do not have access to precise historical conditions for the ecclesiae at Corinth, Philadelphia or Pergamum, apart from NT records. So while reconstructions of history might be interesting, they can lead to fallacies when imposed on the text from outside. But many other traps await interpreters of Scripture.


My Book Review of Robert M. Grant's "Gods and the One God"

The book Gods and the One God is written by Robert M. Grant. It is part of a series entitled the Library of Early Christianity edited by Wayne Meeks. This publication attempts to situate early Christian theology within its appropriate Greco-Roman context. But contrary to one of the blurbs that appears on my copy of this work, Grant does not simply document "the similarities and differences between beliefs of the emerging Christian movement" and beliefs held by the "larger world" in the first century or early second century CE. Rather, he seems to argue that there is a sense in which certain Christian beliefs depended on pagan beliefs or concepts about God (i.e., they were possibly shaped or influenced by pagan thought). An example of this phenomenon is when one analyzes what Grant has to say about the gradual development of Christology (the systematic doctrine of Christ's person and work) and its concomitant teaching, the Trinity. Grant argues that the early church fathers were almost universally subordinationist in thought (concerning the relationship between Christ and his divine Father) prior to the Council of Nicaea (page 160). As Grant writes in his description of Theophilus of Antioch and other early Christian authors like him, "we find the materials for such a doctrine [of the Trinity] but not a doctrine as such" (page 156). He also points out that "The doctrine of the trinity in unity is not a product of the earliest Christian period, and we do not find it carefully expressed before the end of the second century" (page 156).

Regarding the structure of this work:

There are three parts to this book and 13 chapters. Grant begins his study with an account of how the Christian God is portrayed in Acts of the Apostles and then discusses how philosophy, Judaism and Christianity depicted God in antiquity. He concludes his study by focusing on divergent Christologies and the Trinity doctrine. I highly recommend Grant's text--it is illuminating, intellectually honest and mainly objective.

Grant, Robert M. Gods and the One God. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1986.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Yet More Evidence Against the Johannine Comma

The weight against 1 John 5:7 is monumental, according to our present knowledge. Both Trinitarians and non-Trinitarians normally discount the famed Comma. In the work The Johannine Literature (by Barnabas Lindars, R. Alan Culpepper, Ruth B. Edwards, and John M. Court), we read that the Comma does not appear "in any Greek manuscript before 1400 CE" (page 16). The work says the reading is a "gloss" evidently motivated by Trinitarian debates.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Book Review of "Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian"

The groundbreaking study written by Michael B. Simmons has advanced our knowledge of Arnobius and his theology. Despite some problematic elements such as the claims made about religious conflict and competition, Simmons' investigation clarifies Arnobian thought by attempting to establish a socio-historical context for Adversus nationes. Simmons indicates that "Saturnian theology" possibly informs the Arnobian concept of God. The terminology that he uses refers to the doctrine of God that prevailed in Roman North Africa during the age of Emperor Diocletian (284-305 CE). Saturn was the chief god of North Africans and his cultus revolved around agrarian matters like crops, farming implements and weather control.

Certain factors that lead Simmons to adjudge that "Saturnian theology" informs Arnobius' theology are portions of Adversus nationes that disputably attribute Saturnian epithets to the omnipotent deity of Christianity. One readily encounters the terms genitor, pater, dominus and frugifer in Arnobius. Of course, this linguistic phenomenon does not necessarily confirm that the cultus of Saturn functions as a backdrop for Arnobius' thinking about God. Nonetheless, Simmons considers it a strong possibility.

While pagan concepts may shape the Arnobian understanding of divine fatherhood, it seems more feasible that polemical strategy or ignorance respecting certain doctrines as well as situational context influences his doctrine of God and Christ. Simmons' work is documented thoroughly and well-written--it has proved to be indispensable for my studies of the Latin Patristics.

Theophilus of Antioch on Inspired Prophets

"But men of God carrying in them a holy spirit and becoming prophets, being inspired and made wise by God, became God-taught, and holy, and righteous. Wherefore they were also deemed worthy of receiving this reward, that they should become instruments of God, and contain the wisdom that is from Him, through which wisdom they uttered both what regarded the creation of the world and all other things. For they predicted also pestilences, and famines, and wars. And there was not one or two, but many, at various times and seasons among the Hebrews; and also among the Greeks there was the Sibyl; and they all have spoken things consistent and harmonious with each other, both what happened before them and what happened in their own time, and what things are now being fulfilled in our own day: wherefore we are persuaded also concerning the future things that they will fall out, as also the first have been accomplished" (Theophilus to Autolycus II.9).

Greek: Οἱ δὲ τοῦ θεοῦ ἄνθρωποι, πνευματοφόροι πνεύματος ἁγίου καὶ προφῆται γενόμενοι, ὑπ' αὐτοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐμπνευσθέντες καὶ σοφισθέντες, ἐγένοντο θεοδίδακτοι καὶ ὅσιοι καὶ δίκαιοι. διὸ καὶ κατηξιώθησαν τὴν ἀντιμισθίαν ταύτην λαβεῖν, ὄργανα θεοῦ γενόμενοι καὶ χωρήσαντες σοφίαν τὴν παρ' αὐτοῦ, δι' ἧς σοφίας εἶπον καὶ τὰ περὶ τῆς κτίσεως τοῦ κόσμου, καὶ τῶν λοιπῶν ἁπάντων. καὶ γὰρ περὶ λοιμῶν καὶ λιμῶν καὶ πολέμων προεῖπον. καὶ οὐχ εἷς ἢ δύο ἀλλὰ πλείονες κατὰ χρόνους καὶ καιροὺς ἐγενήθησαν παρὰ Ἑβραίοις, ἀλλὰ καὶ παρὰ Ἕλλησιν Σίβυλλα καὶ πάντες φίλα ἀλλήλοις καὶ σύμφωνα εἰρήκασιν, τά τε πρὸ αὐτῶν γεγενημένα καὶ τὰ κατ' αὐτοὺς γεγονότα καὶ τὰ καθ' ἡμᾶς νυνὶ τελειούμενα· διὸ καὶ πεπείσμεθα καὶ περὶ τῶν μελλόντων οὕτως ἔσεσθαι, καθὼς καὶ τὰ πρῶτα ἀπήρτισται.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Additional Links for Theopneustos

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Translating Psalm 33:3

Psalm 33:3-"Sing to him a new song; Play skillfully on the strings, along with shouts of joy" (NWT 2013).

"Sing to him a new song; Do YOUR best at playing on the strings along with joyful shouting" (NWT 1984).

"Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise" (KJV).

Albert Barnes:

Play skillfully with a loud noise - literally, "Do well to play;" or, "do well in playing." That is, do the work well, or with all the skill of music. The word rendered "loud noise," means properly "a shout of joy" or "rejoicing:" Job 8:21; 1 Samuel 4:5. It is especially applied to the sound or clangor of trumpets: Leviticus 25:9; Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 29:1. There is rather the idea of "rejoicing" than of "noise" in the word. The meaning is that the music should be such as would be expressive of the highest joy.

JFB mentions 1 Samuel 16:17.

John Trapp's Commentary:
Play skilfully (or lustily) with a loud noise] Make good music, set all your skill and might at work to magnify the Lord. It is not an easy matter to praise God aright; it must be done Corde, ore, opere, with the very best of the best. Benefacite canendo, cum iubilatione.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible:
"Play skillfully with a loud noise" (Psalms 33:3). Some modern translators love to inject instrumental music into as many passages of the Old Testament as possible; and, in keeping with that intention, the RSV renders this place, "Play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts." "The words on the strings are not in the Hebrew text."[8] The words were simply added to the sacred text by the translators!

NET Bible: Sing to him a new song! 2 Play skillfully as you shout out your praises to him! 3

Notes from NET:

2 sn A new song is appropriate because the Lord is constantly intervening in the lives of his people in fresh and exciting ways.

3 tn Heb “play skillfully with a loud shout.”

Friday, May 12, 2017

Logical Possibility and the Existence of God

Vincent Brümmer distinguishes four types of modalities:

1) Conceptual impossibility-impossible by virtue of definition.
2) Logical impossibility-if an assertion that something has been done results in a contradiction, regardless of how one defines the terms used in the assertion.
3) Factual impossibility-things are impossible according to the known structure of reality.
4) Normative possibility-a form of possibility that involves rights and duties (i.e., employees and employers each have prescriptive responsibilities toward one another by means of some formalized agreement).

Some things clearly appear to be factually, conceptually or logically impossible like square circles or events that have happened, then unhappened (Nicomachean Ethics 6.2). Nothing is also red and green all over: that too is factually impossible. Nor is Lebron James both taller than 6 feet and not taller than 6 feet at the same time and in the same respect (law of non-contradiction).

Furthermore, God does not do things that by their very nature are impossible; if one maintains otherwise, he/she land himself/herself in numerous contradictions.

I define logical possibility as "terminological congruity" or internal coherence. The wording is mine, but the idea has been expressed by other writers (Anselm of Canterbury)--something is logically possible when it does not result in a contradictory state of affairs. For instance, there is no logical impossibility contained within the proposition: "All unmarried men are bachelors." The statement is analytically true by virtue of the terms involved. Conversely, to say that "A circle is round and a circle is square" lands one in a terminologically discordant situation: a round and square circle is not logically possible. Yet logical possibility should not be confused with truth or untruth; nor should it be confounded with causal or physical possibility. See Paul Herrick, Introduction to Logic, 61.

Atheists will sometimes insist that the existence of God is logically impossible; however, if this claim were true, then it would mean that predicating God's existence is self-contradictory. Wherein does the supposed contradiction lie? What is terminologically incongruent about asserting, "There is a being such that no being is greater than that being"? The onus probandi falls upon the atheist to explain and demonstrate how the foregoing proposition is logically impossible. But the fact that Anselm's ontological argument is not prima facie incoherent, suggests that atheists who want to deem God's existence logically impossible are guilty of overreaching their target.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Notes on Parens from Oxford Latin Dictionary, 2:1295-6

Historical Background for Augustine of Hippo and His Ethical Take

A. Historical Background on Augustine

Augustine (354-430 CE) was reared in Tagaste, North Africa (modern-day Algeria). He was baptized in 387 CE and eventually became a prominent bishop of the western church. Augustine later died in Hippo Regius (Algeria, North of Tagaste) during a Vandal attack. Aside from Jesus and the Apostle Paul, he evidently had the most profound influence on western ecclesiastical thought. Training in rhetoric could be added to Augustine's résumé. But most germane for our purposes, it is good to observe that the bishop is a divine command theorist, who emphasizes obedience to God: he believes that morality is wholly dependent on the Judeo-Christian God's statutes.

B. Basic Concepts in Augustine's Ethical System

The summum bonum in Augustine is God or eternal life; the divine sphere is humanity's ultimate end. This ethicist/bishop consequently believes that genuine happiness cannot be found in this world--especially not by secular means. He therefore contends that any attempt to master virtue (whether moral or intellectual) is futile: no system of thought divorced from theism can result in genuine happiness or virtuous character. Yet Augustine's ethical system is manifestly informed by Neoplatonism, a philosophy that he develops within the context of an orthodox ecclesiastical framework. The bishop was a Neoplatonist before he converted to Christianity although the extent of his conceptual departure from Neoplatonism has been the subject of scholarly debate at times. Did Augustine convert to Christianity or was Christianity converted to Neoplatonic philosophy by the rhetorical ecclesiastic?

Plotinus (205-270 CE) is usually credited with being the founder of Neoplatonism. He was born in Upper Egypt (Lycopolis) but studied in Alexandria under Ammonius Saccas. Plotinus developed an influential monistic system that posited three "hypostases": the One, Intellect, and Soul. He maintained that all things emanate from and (in due course) return to the One (Ultimate Reality). You can think of this divine movement that originates from the three hypostases as an example of egressus and regressus, a legendary motif that commonly appears in world literature. Hinduism likewise explains the phenomenal world's origin by means of a narrative that accounts for the source of everything plural and diverse through the One (Brahman). Plurality and diversity eventually return to this one unitary ground of being.

Augustine (the converted Neoplatonist) juxtaposes the city of God with the city of man. The city language is metaphorical imagery rooted in New Testament passages from the Revelation of John (e.g., Babylon the Great versus New Jerusalem). Each city represents two classes of humanity. Augustine's metaphorical language also points to the ongoing struggle between fleshly and spiritual people, between unregenerate and regenerate humanity (City of God 14). Those who belong to the city of God cherish divine values as the summum bonum. Conversely, those who align themselves with the city of man love pleasure or desire bodily goods more than goods of the soul. Augustine summarizes the utmost good of humanity in Confessions 1.1: "Our hearts are restless until they repose in thee" (quia fecisti nos ad te et inquietum est cor nostrum, donec requiescat in te). While one may look for God in external things, the idea posited in Augustinian writings is that God (in some sense) actually dwells within us; we just need to acknowledge the supreme presence that abides internally. He avers that our hearts will be troubled until we repose in God, so our eternal peace and very life purpose consequently become associated with the divine will.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Links for Diachrony and Biblical Hebrew

Just a tip of the iceberg for the work being done on diachrony and Biblical Hebrew:

Some Thoughts on Romans 14 and Foods (Keener)

Luke 1:34-35 (Brief Notes)

Luke 1:34-35:

εἶπεν δὲ Μαριὰμ πρὸς τὸν ἄγγελον· πῶς ἔσται τοῦτο, ἐπεὶ ἄνδρα οὐ γινώσκω; καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ ἄγγελος εἶπεν αὐτῇ· πνεῦμα ἅγιον ἐπελεύσεται ἐπὶ σὲ καὶ δύναμις ὑψίστου ἐπισκιάσει σοι· διὸ καὶ τὸ γεννώμενον ἅγιον κληθήσεται υἱὸς θεοῦ.

Translation (NET Bible): Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God.

Brief Notes: εἶπεν is aorist indicative active, third-person singular: "he/she/it said."

The words are spoken to the angel by Μαριὰμ, which is indeclinable.

ἔσται is future middle indicative, third-person singular of εἰμί.

ἐπεὶ ἄνδρα οὐ γινώσκω: David E. Garland points to Matthew 1:25 for help with understanding this idiom. There is obviously precedent for the language in Gen. 4:1 and elsewhere.

ἐπελεύσεται is future indicative middle, third-person singular. This verb, meaning "to come upon," is used seven times in Luke-Acts..

Garland also invokes Isa. 32:15 as a parallel use of the verb; he points to Exod. 40:35 in order to elucidate the "overshadow" language.


Thursday, May 04, 2017

My Amazon Review of "Linguistics and New Testament Interpretation" (book edited by D.A. Black)

This book contains selected papers from a 1991 conference sponsored by Wycliffe Bible Translators. Its editors are David A. Black, Katharine Barnwell and Stephen Levinsohn and there is also a foreword by Eugene Nida. Some of the essays include: "Reading a Text as Discourse" (J. P. Louw); "Constituent Order in Copula Clauses: A Partial Study" (John Callow) and "A Tale of Two Debtors: On the Interaction of Text, Cotext, and Context in a New Testament Dramatic Narrative (Luke 7:36-50)" by Ernst R. Wendland. There is also an essay by the accomplished scholar Randall Buth that is titled "OUN, DE, KAI, and Asyndeton in John's Gospel."

Two essays that I found particularly helpful where exegesis is concerned are "The Function of KAI in the Greek New Testament and an Application to 2 Peter" (Kermit Titrud) and "Towards an Exegesis of 1 John Based on the Discourse Analysis of the Greek Text" (Robert Longacre). The first essay helps scholars to avoid simplistic analyses of the Greek conjunction KAI. Moreover, Titrud discusses how a better understanding of the function of KAI in the Greek New Testament contributes to a possibly improved understanding of Granville Sharp's famed rule. He somewhat reformulates the rule, but still favors reading 2 Peter 1:1 in the standard Trinitarian fashion.

The second essay, by Longacre, demonstrates the importance of not just counting verbs or words, but also weighing them in light of the overall discourse. Through a fairly sophisticated analysis of John's discourse in the first epistle of his corpus, Longacre discerns the hortatory nature of John's epistle and its overall theme or purpose in relation to first century readers. Overall, I found this book to be educational and useful for those wishing to understand or rightly exegete Holy Scripture. Of course, there are points at which one might disagree with some explanation of a particular verse or even take issue with the methodology employed by those who contributed essays to this book. Nevertheless, I think that this work deserves to be read and pondered. Especially is this the case with the opening essay of the book written by Louw.


Wednesday, May 03, 2017

3 John 13

Πολλὰ εἶχον γράψαι σοι, ἀλλ’ οὐ θέλω διὰ μέλανος καὶ καλάμου σοι γράφειν·

(3 John 13, Nestle GNT 1904)

The older version of the Interpreter's Bible points out that 3 John 12 closely mirrors 3 John 13, but it has "just enough difference to reassure us that no copyist or imitator is at work" (page 12).

3 John 12 reads: Δημητρίῳ μεμαρτύρηται ὑπὸ πάντων καὶ ὑπὸ αὐτῆς τῆς ἀληθείας· καὶ ἡμεῖς δὲ μαρτυροῦμεν, καὶ οἶδας ὅτι ἡ μαρτυρία ἡμῶν ἀληθής ἐστιν. (Nestle)

3 John 14 also needs to be mentioned within the context of this discussion: ἐλπίζω δὲ εὐθέως σε ἰδεῖν, καὶ στόμα πρὸς στόμα λαλήσομεν. Εἰρήνη σοι. ἀσπάζονταί σε οἱ φίλοι. ἀσπάζου τοὺς φίλους κατ’ ὄνομα. (Nestle)

The IB says that for καλάμου, we should understand "reed." Of course, μέλανος refers to ink. Then in 3 John 14, the expression στόμα πρὸς στόμα λαλήσομεν occurs.

IB suggests the rendering "face to face" or "literally, 'mouth to mouth.'"

Compare Genesis 32:30; Exodus 33:11; Number 12:8; Deuteronomy 34:10; 1 Corinthians 13:12; 2 John 12. Meyer's cites Xenophon, Mem. ii. 6. 32.

Monday, May 01, 2017

William Mounce on μνημονεύω


Context plays a large role in determining what μνημονεύω means within a given text. For instance, the word clearly appears to signify the act of remembering in John 16:4, 21, whereas Heb. 11:22 possibly references the act of speaking or mentioning undertaken by Joseph.

See A.T. Robertson's note for Heb. 13:7:

Comments on Revelation 14:3-4 (Quotes)

Were not defiled with women (μετα γυναικων ουκ εμολυντησαν — meta gunaikōn ouk emolunthēsan). First aorist passive indicative of μολυνω — molunō old verb, to stain, already in Revelation 3:4, which see. The use of this word rules out marriage, which was not considered sinful. For they are virgins (παρτενοι γαρ εισιν — parthenoi gar eisin). Παρτενος — Parthenos can be applied to men as well as women. Swete takes this language "metaphorically, as the symbolical character of the Book suggests." Charles considers it an interpolation in the interest of celibacy for both men and women. If taken literally, the words can refer only to adultery or fornication (Beckwith). Jesus recognised abstinence only for those able to receive it (Matthew 19:12), as did Paul (1 Corinthians 7:1, 1 Corinthians 7:8, 1 Corinthians 7:32, 1 Corinthians 7:36). Marriage is approved by Paul in 1 Timothy 4:3 and by Hebrews 13:4. The New Testament exalts marriage and this passage should not be construed as degrading it (Robertson WP on Revelation 14:4).


From Vincent's Word Studies:
Were not defiled ( οὐκ ἐμολύνθησαν )

The verb means properly to besmear or besmirch, and is never used in a good sense, as μιαίνειν (John 18:28; Judges 1:8), which in classical Greek is sometimes applied to staining with color. See on 1 Peter 1:4.

Virgins ( παρθένοι )

Either celibate or living in chastity whether in married or single life. See 1 Corinthians 7:1-7, 1 Corinthians 7:29; 2 Corinthians 11:2.

From Henry Alford's GNT:

these (are) they that follow the Lamb wheresoever (for this use of ὅπου, see reff.) he goeth ( ἄν seems to have lost its peculiar force, and to have been joined to the ὅπου preceding, so that an indicative after it did not offend the ear.

The description has very commonly been taken as applying to the entire obedience of the elect, following their Lord to prison and to death, and wherever He may call them: so Cocceius, Grot., Vitringa, Wolf (who cites the oath of soldiers, ἀκολουθεῖν τοῖς στρατηγοῖς ὅπου ποτʼ ἄν ἄγωσιν), Bengel, De Wette, Hengstb., Ebrard: but this exposition is surely out of place here, where not their life of conflict, but their state of glory is described.