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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Paul’s Non-Titular Use of "The Lord"

This post is related to a post I made last year. Here are some places where Paul uses the non-titular “the lord”, traditionally a Jewish circumlocution for saying YHWH:

1 Cor 1
31 ινα καθως γεγραπται ο καυχωμενος εν κυριω καυχασθω
31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord”

1 Cor 3
5 τι ουν εστιν απολλως τι δε εστιν παυλος διακονοι δι ων επιστευσατε και εκαστω ως ο κυριος εδωκεν
5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe–as the Lord has assigned to each his task

1 Cor 4
4 ουδεν γαρ εμαυτω συνοιδα αλλ ουκ εν τουτω δεδικαιωμαι ο δε ανακρινων με κυριος εστιν
4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me

5 ωστε μη προ καιρου τι κρινετε εως αν ελθη ο κυριος ος και φωτισει τα κρυπτα του σκοτους και φανερωσει τας βουλας των καρδιων και τοτε ο επαινος γενησεται εκαστω απο του θεου
5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God
17 δια τουτο επεμψα υμιν τιμοθεον ος εστιν μου τεκνον αγαπητον και πιστον εν κυριω ος υμας αναμνησει τας οδους μου τας εν χριστω [ιησου] καθως πανταχου εν παση εκκλησια διδασκω
17 For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every
church
19 ελευσομαι δε ταχεως προς υμας εαν ο κυριος θεληση και γνωσομαι ου τον λογον των πεφυσιωμενων αλλα την δυναμιν
19 But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have.

1 Cor 5
5 παραδουναι τον τοιουτον τω σατανα εις ολεθρον της σαρκος ινα το πνευμα σωθη εν τη ημερα του κυριου
5 hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature [or flesh] may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord

1 Cor 6
13 τα βρωματα τη κοιλια και η κοιλια τοις βρωμασιν ο δε θεος και ταυτην και ταυτα καταργησει το δε σωμα ου τη πορνεια αλλα τω κυριω και ο κυριος τω σωματι
13 “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”–but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body

14 ο δε θεος και τον κυριον ηγειρεν και ημας εξεγερει δια της δυναμεως αυτου
14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also

17 ο δε κολλωμενος τω κυριω εν πνευμα εστιν
17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit

1 Cor 7
10 τοις δε γεγαμηκοσιν παραγγελλω ουκ εγω αλλα ο κυριος γυναικα απο ανδρος μη χωρισθηναι
10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.

17 ει μη εκαστω ως μεμερικεν ο κυριος εκαστον ως κεκληκεν ο θεος ουτως περιπατειτω και ουτως εν ταις εκκλησιαις πασαις διατασσομαι
17 Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches

22 ο γαρ εν κυριω κληθεις δουλος απελευθερος κυριου εστιν ομοιως ο ελευθερος κληθεις δουλος εστιν χριστου
22 For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord’s freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ’s slave

25 περι δε των παρθενων επιταγην κυριου ουκ εχω γνωμην δε διδωμι ως ηλεημενος υπο κυριου πιστος ειναι
25 Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy

32 θελω δε υμας αμεριμνους ειναι ο αγαμος μεριμνα τα του κυριου πως αρεση τω κυριω
32 I want you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs–how he can please the Lord

34 και μεμερισται και η γυνη η αγαμος και η παρθενος μεριμνα τα του κυριου ινα η αγια [και] τω σωματι και τω πνευματι η δε γαμησασα μεριμνα τα του κοσμου πως αρεση τω ανδρι
34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world–how she can please her husband.

35 τουτο δε προς το υμων αυτων συμφορον λεγω ουχ ινα βροχον υμιν επιβαλω αλλα προς το ευσχημον και ευπαρεδρον τω κυριω απερισπαστως
35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord

39 γυνη δεδεται εφ οσον χρονον ζη ο ανηρ αυτης εαν δε κοιμηθη ο ανηρ ελευθερα εστιν ω θελει γαμηθηναι μονον εν κυριω
39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord

1 Cor 9
1 ουκ ειμι ελευθερος ουκ ειμι αποστολος ουχι ιησουν τον κυριον ημων εορακα ου το εργον μου υμεις εστε εν κυριω
1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord

2 ει αλλοις ουκ ειμι αποστολος αλλα γε υμιν ειμι η γαρ σφραγις μου της αποστολης υμεις εστε εν κυριω
2 Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord

5 μη ουκ εχομεν εξουσιαν αδελφην γυναικα περιαγειν ως και οι λοιποι αποστολοι και οι αδελφοι του κυριου και κηφας
5 Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas

14 ουτως και ο κυριος διεταξεν τοις το ευαγγελιον καταγγελλουσιν εκ του ευαγγελιου ζην
14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel

1 Cor 10
9 μηδε εκπειραζωμεν τον κυριον καθως τινες αυτων επειρασαν και υπο των οφεων απωλλυντο
9 We should not test the Lord, as some of them did–and were killed by snakes

21 ου δυνασθε ποτηριον κυριου πινειν και ποτηριον δαιμονιων ου δυνασθε τραπεζης κυριου μετεχειν και τραπεζης δαιμονιων
21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons

22 η παραζηλουμεν τον κυριον μη ισχυροτεροι αυτου εσμεν
22 Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

26 “του κυριου” γαρ “η γη και το πληρωμα αυτης”
26 for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”

1 Cor 11
11 πλην ουτε γυνη χωρις ανδρος ουτε ανηρ χωρις γυναικος εν κυριω
11 In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman

32 κρινομενοι δε υπο του κυριου παιδευομεθα ινα μη συν τω κοσμω κατακριθωμεν
32 When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world

1 Cor 14
21 εν τω νομω γεγραπται οτι εν ετερογλωσσοις και εν χειλεσιν ετερων λαλησω τω λαω τουτω και ουδ ουτως εισακουσονται μου λεγει κυριος
21 In the Law it is written: “Through men of strange tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me,” says the Lord

37 ει τις δοκει προφητης ειναι η πνευματικος επιγινωσκετω α γραφω υμιν οτι κυριου εστιν εντολη
37 If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command

1 Cor 15
58 ωστε αδελφοι μου αγαπητοι εδραιοι γινεσθε αμετακινητοι περισσευοντες εν τω εργω του κυριου παντοτε ειδοτες οτι ο κοπος υμων ουκ εστιν κενος εν κυριω
58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain

1 Cor 16
7 ου θελω γαρ υμας αρτι εν παροδω ιδειν ελπιζω γαρ χρονον τινα επιμειναι προς υμας εαν ο κυριος επιτρεψη
7 I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits

 10 εαν δε ελθη τιμοθεος βλεπετε ινα αφοβως γενηται προς υμας το γαρ εργον κυριου εργαζεται ως εγω
10 If Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am

19 ασπαζονται υμας αι εκκλησιαι της ασιας ασπαζεται υμας εν κυριω πολλα ακυλας και πρισκα συν τη κατ οικον αυτων εκκλησια

19 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord

22 ει τις ου φιλει τον κυριον ητω αναθεμα μαρανα θα
22 If anyone does not love the Lord–a curse be on him. Marana Tha [Come, O Lord]

Gal 1:19
ετερον δε των αποστολων ουκ ειδον ει μη ιακωβον τον αδελφον του κυριου
I saw none of the other apostles–only James, the Lord’s brother

Gal 5:10
εγω πεποιθα εις υμας εν κυριω οτι ουδεν αλλο φρονησετε ο δε ταρασσων υμας βαστασει το κριμα οστις εαν η
I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be

Philemon 1:16
ουκετι ως δουλον αλλ’ υπερ δουλον αδελφον αγαπητον μαλιστα εμοι ποσω δε μαλλον σοι και εν σαρκι και εν κυριω
no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord

Philippians 1:14
και τους πλειονας των αδελφων εκ κυριω πεποιθοτας τοις δεσμοις μου περισσοτερως τολμαν αφοβως τον λογον του θεου λαλειν
Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly

1 Thess 1
6 και υμεις μιμηται ημων εγενηθητε και του κυριου δεξαμενο τον λογον εν θλιψει τολλη μετα χαρας πνευματος αγιου
6 [And] You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit

8 αφ’ υμων γαρ εξηχηται ο λογος του κυριου ου μονον εν τη Μακεδονια και Αχαια αλλ’ εν παντι τοπω η πιστις υμων η προς τον θεον εξεληλυθεν, ωστε μη χρειαν εχειν ημας λαλειν τι
8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia–your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it

1 Thess 3
8 οτι νυν ζωμεν εαν υμεις στηκετε εν κυριω
8 For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord

12 υμας δε ο κυριος πλεονασαι και περισσευσαι τη αγαπη εις αλληλους και εις παντας καθεπερ και ημεις εις υμας
12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you

CONTESTED LETTERS / ΔΕΥΤΕΡΟ ΠΑΥΛΟΣ

2 Thess 1
9 οιτινες δικην τοσουσιν ολεθρον αιωνιον απ προσωπου του κυριου και απο της δοξης της ισχους αυτου
9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power

2 Thess 2
2 το μη ταχεως σαλευθηναι υμας απο του νοος μηδε θροεσθαι μητε δια πνευματος μητε δια λογου μητε δι’ επιστολης ως δι’ ημων ως οτι ενεστηκεν η ημερα του κυριου

2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come

13 Ημεις δε οφειλομεν ευχαριστειν τω θεω παντοτε περι υμων αδελφοι ηγαπημενοι υπο κυριου οτι ειλατο υμας ο θεος απ’ αρχης εις σωτηριαν εν αγιασμω πνευματος και πιστει αληθειας
13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth

2 Thess 3
1 Το λοιπον προσευχερθε αδελφοι περι ημων ινα ο λογος του κυριου τρεχη και δξαζηται καθως και προς υμας
1 Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you

3 πιστος δε εστιν ο κυριος ος στηριξει υμας και φυλαξει απο του πονηρου
3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one

4 πεποιθαμεν δε εν κυριω εφ’ υμας οτι α παραγγελλομεν [και] ποιειτε και ποιησετε
4 We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command

5 ο δε κυριος κατευθυναι υμων τας καρδιας εις την αγαπην του θεου και εις την υπομονην του χριστου
5 May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.

16 αυτος δε ο κυριος της ειρηνης δωη υμιν την ειρηνην δια παντος εν παπι τροπω ο κυριος μετα παντων υμων
16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you

Col 1
10 περιπατησαι αξιων του κυριου εις πασαν αρεσκειαν εν παντι εργω αγαθω καρποφορουντες και αυξανομενοι τη επιγνωσει του θεου
10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God

Col 3
13 ανεχομενοι αλληλων και χαριζομενοι εαυτοις εαν τις προς τινα εχη μομφην καθως και ο κυριος εχαρισατο υμιν ουτως και υμεις
13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you

18 Αι γυναικες υποτασσεσθε τοις ανδρασιν ως ανηκεν εν κυριω
18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord

20 τα τεκνα υπακουετε τοις γονευσιν κατα παντα τουτο γαρ ευαρεστον εστιν εν κυριω
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord

22 οι δουλοι υπακουετε κατα παντα τοις κατα σαρκα κυριοις μη εν οφθαλμουδουλιας ως ανθρωπορεσκοι αλλ’ εν απλοτητι καρδιας φοβουμενοι τον κυριον
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.

23 ο εαν ποιητε εκ ψυχης εργαζεσθε ως τω κυριω και ουκ ανθρωποις
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men

24 ειδοτες οτι απο κυριου απολημψεσθε την ανταποδοσιν της κλκρονομιας τω κυριω χριστω δουλευετε
24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving

Col 4
7 τα κατ’ εμε παντα γνωρισει υμιν τυχικος ο αγαπητος αδελφος και πιστος διακονος και συνδουλος εν κυριω
7 Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful worker and fellow servant in the Lord

17 και ειπατε αρχιππω “βλεπε την διακονιαν ην παρελαβες εν κυριω ινα αυτην πληροις”
17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord”

Eph 2
21 εν ω πασα οκοδομη συναρμολογουμενη αυξει εις ναον αγιον εν κυριω
21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord

Eph 4
1 παρακαλω ουν υμας εγω ο δεσμιος εν κυριω αξιως περιπατησαι της κλησεως ης εκληθητε
1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received

17 τουτο ουν λεγω και μαρτυρομαι εν κυριω μηκετι υμας περιπατειν [καθως] και τα εθνη περιπατει εν ματαιοτητι του νοος αυτων
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live [just as] the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking

Eph 5
8 ητε γαρ ποτε σκοτος νυν δε φως εν κυριω ως τεκνα φωτος περιπατειτε
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light

10 δοκιμαζοντες τι εστιν ευαρεστον τω κυριω
10 and find out what pleases the Lord.

17 δια τουτο μη γινεσθε αφρονες αλλα συνιετε τι το θελημα του κυριου
17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is

19 λαλουντες εαυτοις ψαλμοις και υμνοις και ωδαις πνευματικας αδοντες και ψαλλοντες τη καρδια υμων τω κυριω
19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord

22 αι γυναικες τοις ιδιοις ανδρασιν ως τω κυριω
22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord

Eph 6
1 τα τεκνα υπακουετε τοις γονευσιν υμων εν κυριω τουτο γαρ εστιν δικαιον
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right

4 και οι πατερες μη παροργιζετε τα τεκνα υμων αλλα εκτρεφετε αυτα εν παιδεια και νουθεσια κυριου
4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord

7 μετ’ ευνοιας δουλευοντες ως τω κυριω και ουκ ανθρωποις
7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men

8 ειδοτες οτι εκαστος εαν τι ποιηση αγαθον τουτο κομισεται παρα κυριου ειτε δουλος ειτε ελευθερος
8 because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free

10 του λοιπου ενδυναμουσθε εν κυριω και εν τω κρατει της ισχυος αυτου
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power

21 ινα δε ειδητε και υμεις τα κατ εμε τι πρασσω παντα γνωρισει υμιν τυχικος ο αγαπητος αδελφος και πιστος διακονος εν κυριω
21 Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing

1 Tim 5 *This is translated as “the lord’s people” but in actuality it
is “the holy ones” or “saints” (αγιων).

9 No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband,
10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of [the Lord’s people], helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.

2 Tim 1
16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains.
16 δωη ελεος ο κυριος τω ονησιφορου οικω οτι πολλακις με ανεψυξεν και την αλυσιν μου ουκ επαισχυνθη

17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me.
17 αλλα γενομενος εν ρωμη σπουδαιως εζητησεν με και ευρεν

18 May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.
18 δωη αυτω ο κυριος ευρειν ελεος παρα κυριου εν εκεινη τη ημερα και οσα εν εφεσω διηκονησεν βελτιον συ γινωσκεις

2 Tim 2
7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
7 νοει ο λεγω δωσει γαρ σοι ο κυριος συνεσιν εν πασιν

19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
19 ο μεντοι στερεος θεμελιος του θεου εστηκεν εχων την σφραγιδα ταυτην εγνω κυριος τους οντας αυτου και αποστητω απο αδικιας πας ο ονομαζων το ονομα κυριου

22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
22 τας δε νεωτερικας επιθυμιας φευγε διωκε δε δικαιοσυνην πιστιν
αγαπην ειρηνην μετα των επικαλουμενων τον κυριον εκ καθαρας καρδιας

24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
24 δουλον δε κυριου ου δει μαχεσθαι αλλα ηπιον ειναι προς παντας διδακτικον ανεξικακον

2 Tim 3

11 persecutions, sufferings–what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.
11 τοις διωγμοις τοις παθημασιν οια μοι εγενετο εν αντιοχεια εν ικονιω εν λυστροις οιους διωγμους υπηνεγκα και εκ παντων με ερρυσατο ο κυριος

2 Tim 4
8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
8 λοιπον αποκειται μοι ο της δικαιοσυνης στεφανος ον αποδωσει μοι ο κυριος εν εκεινη τη ημερα ο δικαιος κριτης ου μονον δε εμοι αλλα και πασιν τοις ηγαπηκοσιν την επιφανειαν αυτου

14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done.
14 αλεξανδρος ο χαλκευς πολλα μοι κακα ενεδειξατο αποδωσει αυτω ο κυριος κατα τα εργα αυτου

17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.
17 ο δε κυριος μοι παρεστη και ενεδυναμωσεν με ινα δι εμου το κηρυγμα πληροφορηθη και ακουσωσιν παντα τα εθνη και ερρυσθην εκ στοματος λεοντος

18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
18 ρυσεται με ο κυριος απο παντος εργου πονηρου και σωσει εις την βασιλειαν αυτου την επουρανιον ω η δοξα εις τους αιωνας των αιωνων αμην

22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all.
22 ο κυριος μετα του πνευματος σου η χαρις μεθ υμων

So what to make of this? It is pretty confusing. Is Paul talking about Jesus or is he using “lord” as its traditional Jewish circumlocution for saying YHWH? Paul cannot be talking about Jesus when he quotes from the LXX and then qualifies it with “says the lord”. I don’t think that Paul thought that Jesus was present at the Exodus and killed people with snakes (1 Cor 10.9).

Another interesting point is that pseudo-Paul uses “our Lord” quite a bit in 1 Timothy. All of this makes me think that the unnamed “lord” in the LXX (as opposed to “lord god”) was thought of as a second deity that
Christians applied to Jesus. I wonder what Christianity would look like – if it would have even existed at all – had the translators of the LXX not translated YHWH as “lord” but approximated the pronunciation as close as possible in Greek.

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2010 in lord;

 

The Anointed One, Or The Ointment?

The Greek word Χριστος (Christos) is how “anointed one” is rendered in the LXX and the NT. But is it an actual translation of the Hebrew “messiah” (מְשִׁיח :: anointed)?

The verb “to anoint” is χρίω (chrio) in Greek. I made an earlier post that listed all of the times that Josephus uses that word. It is about 10 times. Many times, Josephus uses “anointed” but he never uses the word χριστος to describe this. Some varieties he uses are χρισαμενος (part sg aor mid masc nom), χρίει (verb 3rd sg pres ind act), χρισατες (part sg aor act masc nom attic epic ionic). Granted, these are all varieties of verb forms of the word. So what would “one who is anointed” be like in Greek? Would it be χριστος?

Euripides, “Hippolytus” 486:
Φαίδρα
πότερα δὲ χριστὸν ἢ ποτὸν τὸ φάρμακον;
Phaedra

This drug, is it an ointment or a potion?

Aeschylus, “Prometheus Bound” 479-480:
Προμηθεύς
…οὔτε βρώσιμον, οὐ χριστόν, οὐδὲ πιστόν, ἀλλὰ φαρμάκων χρεία…
Prometheus
…no healing food, no ointment, nor any drink—but for lack of medicine…

Here, χριστος doesn’t mean “anointed”, it means the substance that does the anointing! Or something that is rubbed on. In other words, χριστος means something like “ointment”, not “anointed one”.

So why would the translators of the LXX confuse “one who is anointed” with “that which is used to anoint”? This had to have been done multiple times, since χριστος is written all throughout the LXX. This adds more confusion to the two mentions of “christ” in Josephus. Why would Josephus mention – to his Greek and Roman audience – that some guy was called “the ointment” without explanation?



This, also, is why people laughed at the nonsensical name “Christian”. This would probably be translated as “those who are like ointment”.

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2010 in anointed one, christ, ointment

 

God Torturing Babies For Fun

Is god torturing babies for fun immoral?

Most of us would react immediately and say “of course”. But this is more of a question for those who believe that all morality comes from god or is defined by god. Usually, when faced with this sort of question, they run through the outcome of each answer (the question is a binary question so there are only two answers: yes or no). If they say “yes” then this necessitates a source of moraliy outside of god that god has to appeal to. If they say “no”, then they are implying that god can do the most obviously horrible acts and still be considered good. This second is more of an emotional reaction but it’s an appropriate emotional reaction.

Of course, the purpose of this question is to find out what the implications are behind the assumption that god is the source for all morality.
This is where the right-minded believer will respond with “God would never torture a baby for fun”. But this doesn’t actually answer the question. It avoids the question altogether. Imagine a group of collge kids sitting at a bar drinking. Someone comes up with the question “What would you do if you have a billion dollars?” Most people would ponder the question for a bit and then answer with things that they would do given nearly unlimited resources. The point of the question is not the question itself, but what drives people. What they are really like.
What would the group of college kids say to someone who answers the billion dollar hypothetical with “I’ll never have a billion dollars” or “It is impossible to have a billion dollars”? The question isn’t asserting that you have a billion dollars, it’s asking what would you do if you had a billion dollars. By refusing to answer the question, someone might assume that the poor student has something to hide by not answering the question. Or maybe they lacked the mental faculty to ponder hypotheticals.
If I had a billion dollars I would put half of it in a savings account and live off the interest, and then become a fulltime student for the rest of my life 🙂 From answering that question, a person might be able to gain further insights into my character and what drives me. 
So the hypothetical question “Is god torturing babies for fun immoral?” isn’t meant to show how much of a bastard god is, but to question a fundamental premise. To question the nature of morality and whether it depends on the existence of god or not. Some theists might respond with a “definitional” argument; that is, god – by definition – will not torture a baby for fun. Much like, by definition, you can’t put a square peg in a round hole. Human beings also by definition cannot have Superman-like powers but it doesn’t stop some people from pondering what they would do if they have Superman-like powers (some might argue that Superman himself is a commentary on what a person would do with Superman-like powers). So the definitional response still doesn’t address the core point of asking that hypothetical.
Other responses that theists give (that they think are avoiding the question) actually give away the game. Some responses I’ve heard are “If torturing a baby for fun advances life somehow…” or “If torturing a baby for fun gives glory to god somehow…”. The first response is the first class of response. This shows that “advancing life” is the external standard that god has to appeal to in order to be “moral”. Thus morality does not come from god, but from advancing life. As long as we are advancing life, then we can cut god out of this equation. This class of response is the equivalent of answering “yes” to whether god torturing babies for fun is immoral.
The second class of response is more nebulous. How do we know what brings glory to god? This response brings us to Skeptical Theism. The idea that because god is mysterious, we don’t actually know what is moral and what isn’t. Or modified for this case, we don’t know what brings glory to god and what doesn’t. Some might point to the Bible at this point, but the Bible is just as morally relative as any other cultural product.
What if a little boy out with his family on a camping trip getting dragged away and eaten by wolves brings glory to god? What if having your wife and children raped and killed brings glory to god? It would actually be immoral to try to prevent this! And in the Bible, it is exactly the Midianites who are the “immoral” ones for fighting Moses and the Israelites. In the end the Israelites killed every Midianite man, boy, and woman… but saved the Midianite virgin girls as spoils of war (Numbers 31). This class of response, then, is equivalent with answering “no” to whether god torturing babies for fun is immoral.
In the end, if a person wanted to question whether god is the source of morality, how else would they do it other than by asking hypothetical questions like this?
 
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Posted by on December 14, 2010 in euthyphro dilemma

 

Is This A Christian?

I was reading chapter 18 of Josephus’ “Antiquities” and came across this section:

18.3.4

4. About the same time also another sad calamity put the Jews into disorder [Here Josephus goes on a tangent about members of the temple of Isis being crucified for tricking some noblewoman into sleeping with her stalker]

18.3.5. There was a man who was a Jew, but had been driven away from his own country by an accusation laid against him for transgressing their laws, and by the fear he was under of punishment for the same; but in all respects a wicked man. He, then living at Rome, professed to instruct men in the wisdom of the laws of Moses. He procured also three other men, entirely of the same character with himself, to be his partners. These men persuaded Fulvia, a woman of great dignity, and one that had embraced the Jewish religion, to send purple and gold to the temple at Jerusalem; and when they had gotten them, they employed them for their own uses, and spent the money themselves, on which account it was that they at first required it of her. Whereupon Tiberius, who had been informed of the thing by Saturninus, the husband of Fulvia, who desired inquiry might be made about it, ordered all the Jews to be banished out of Rome; at which time the consuls listed four thousand men out of them, and sent them to the island Sardinia; but punished a greater number of them, who were unwilling to become soldiers, on account of keeping the laws of their forefathers. Thus were these Jews banished out of the city by the wickedness of four men.

Wait, what? Here we have a Jew who apparently transgressed the laws of Moses, fled to Rome, and then started preaching about his interpretation of the laws of Moses. He then instigates a scheme to get some money and as a result of his shenanigans has all of the Jews banished from Rome. This sounds similar to an account in Seutonius: “Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome.” The only problem is that Tiberius (d. 37 CE) is the one who banished the Jews from Rome in Josephus and Claudius (c. 40 CE) is the one who does it in Seutonius.

Could Josephus and Seutonius be relating two different causes to the same event?

Seutonius gives it hardly any mention, whereas it is pretty important to Josephus. I think Josephus might have a more accurate portrayal of this event.

What’s obvious, however, is that the Testimonium is completely spurious. It’s obvious that a Christian interpolator inserted it into this chapter because this chapter speaks about Pilate, crucifixions, and Jews interpreting the laws of Moses and Jews being kicked out of Rome. The TF breaks the flow of this section where Josephus is relating all of the terrible things that happened to the Jews during Pilate’s tenure; its removal does not take anything away from the main point of this section. Its insertion, however, is jarring. Like listening to a music major play parallel 5ths.

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2010 in josephus, testimonium flavinium

 

Psi

While not as nefarious as religion, belief in psi (that is, psychic phenomena) shares a lot of the same failures of critical thinking and nonscientific reasoning as religion does. Psi, to me, is basically a belief in what I call “natural supernaturalism”. Psi is basically supernaturalism dressed up in the garments of natural and/or unknown phenomena. For example, many psi proponents cling to a sort of “psi-of-the-gaps” when it comes to the existence and cause of consciousness. The mechanics behind consciousness are not completely known, but at the same time they are not completely unknown either.

If psi were a real phenomenon, then much of what we know about physics would have to be thrown out the window. Sound, for example, cannot be explained by psi. Sound only exists when there is a physical medium for sound waves to travel on. We need physical eardrums and physical nerves connected to our brain in order to interact with this physical medium and discern sounds. But psi proponents claim that people who have Near Death Experiences (NDEs) can hear things while floating outside of their bodies! By the psi-ists own definition, this floating mind outside of a human body has no physical manifestation so the psi-ist needs to come up with a mechanism for air (or some other media) to interact with this non-corporeal entity.

This is one of many problems facing psi. One of many.

Anyway, once positing the existence of non-corporeal entities, it’s a small leap to positing the existence of an all powerful non-corporeal entity that has always existed. And this is (or at least should be!) anathema to any nontheist who claims to believe in psi.

This post is mainly acting as an as an archive to some good scientific info related to neuroscience. I think I’ll post more as I come across more good anti-psi neurology articles.

A decade ago, neuroscientist Andrew Newberg did a series of scans on Buddhists while they were meditating. What he found was fascinating. Bob Holmes in New Scientist Magazine (21 April 2001), reported the following:

The researchers found intense activity in the parts of the brain that regulate attention–a sign of the meditators’ deep concentration. But they saw something else, too. During meditation, part of the parietal lobe, towards the top and rear of the brain, was much less active than when the volunteers were merely sitting still. With a thrill, Newberg and d’Aquili realised that this was the exact region of the brain where the distinction between self and other originates.
Broadly speaking, the left-hemisphere side of this region deals with the individual’s sense of their own body image, while its right-hemisphere equivalent handles its context–the space and time inhabited by the self. Maybe, the researchers thought, as the meditators developed the feeling of oneness, they gradually cut these areas off from the usual touch and position signals that help create the body image.

“When you look at people in meditation, they really do turn off their sensations to the outside world. Sights and sounds don’t disturb them any more. That may be why the parietal lobe gets no input,” says Newberg. Deprived of their usual grist, these regions no longer function normally, and the person feels the boundary between self and other begin to dissolve. And as the spatial and temporal context also disappears, the person feels a sense of infinite space and eternity.

More recently, Newberg has repeated the experiment with Franciscan nuns in prayer. The nuns–whose prayer centers on words, rather than images–showed activation of the language areas of the brain. But they, too, shut down the same self regions of the brain that the meditators did as their sense of oneness reached its peak.

This sense of unity with the Universe isn’t the only characteristic of intense religious experiences. They also carry a hefty emotional charge, a feeling of awe and deep significance. Neuroscientists generally agree that this sensation originates in a region of the brain distinct from the parietal lobe: the “emotional brain”, or limbic system, lying deep within the temporal lobes on the sides of the brain.

Neuroscience can now duplicate the mystical experiences claimed by religious people over the years in two different ways. One is through the use of hallucinogenic drugs such as ketamine and psilocybin. The other is through electrical stimulation of certain parts of the brain.

Karl Jansen, M.D., Ph.D., a is a leading neuroscientist and a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. In an article entitled, “Neuroscience, Ketamine, and the Near Death Experience,” published in The Near-Death Experience: A Reader (ed. Lee Worth Bailey and Jenny L. Yates) he writes:

There is overwhelming evidence that the mind is produced by the brain. The effects on the mind of adding drugs to the brain, and the religious experiences which sometimes result, provide further evidence (p. 267).

Jansen’s research shows that drugs such as ketamine produce out of the body experiences or the sensation of experiencing the divine which are virtually identical to many near death experiences.

Brain scientists have also found that electrode stimulation of the temporal lobes evokes experiences which become part of the subjective stream of consciousness, embedded into the very fabric of the personality, such that the personality, and even sexual orientation may be altered. Moreover, patients may experience profound visual and auditory hallucinations and even feel as if they have left their bodies and are floating in space or soaring across the heavens (Rhawn Joseph, Neuropsychiatry, Neuropsychology, Clinical Neuroscience , 3rd Edition, chapter 9).

Newberg first took baseline images of the brains of the meditators to use as a standard for comparison (Newberg 5). It was important that these scans of the brain be taken while the subjects were at rest so that brain activity while one is simply relaxed could be differentiated from brain activity while one is having a spiritual experience. The baseline scans showed an “even distribution of activity throughout the brain,” characterized by a large amount of activity in the posterior, superior parietal lobe and a moderate amount in the prefrontal cortex (Newberg 4).1
The subjects then meditated. When they reached the peak, they pulled on a string attached at one end to their finger and at the other to Dr. Newberg.2 This was the cue for Newberg to inject the radioactive tracer into the IV connected to the subject. Because the tracer almost instantly “locks” onto parts of the brain to indicate their activity levels, the SPECT gives a picture of the brain essentially at that peak moment (Newberg 3). The results revealed a marked decrease in the activity of the posterior, superior parietal lobe and a marked increase in the activity of the prefrontal cortex, predominantly on the right side of the brain
The brain region in question, the posterior parietal cortex, is involved in maintaining a sense of self, for example by helping you keep track of your body parts. It has also been linked to prayer and meditation
To further probe its role, Cosimo Urgesi, a neuroscientist at the University of Udine in Italy, turned to 88 people who were being treated for brain cancer.
[…]
Doctors removed neurons from the 48 glioma patients to stem the spread of their tumours, whereas the people with meningiomas had tumour cells removed, but no neurons.
Both before and not long after the patients received this surgery Urgesi’s team gave them a battery of personality tests. In particular, the researchers were interested in a personality trait known as self-transcendence.

People score highly for this trait if they answer “yes” to questions such as: “I often feel so connected to the people around me that I feel like there is no separation”; “I feel so connected to nature that everything feels like one single organism”; and “I got lost in the moment and detached from time”. The same people also tend to believe in miracles, extrasensory perception and other non-material phenomena.

Abstract

Meditative practices typically require several coordinated cognitive activities. This study measured changes in cerebral blood flow during “verbal” based meditation by Franciscan nuns involving the internal repetition of a particular phrase. These results are compared with those we previously described in eight Buddhist meditators who use a type of “visualization” technique. Three experienced practitioners of verbal meditation were injected via i.v. at rest with 260 MBq of Tc-99m HMPAO and scanned 30 min. later on a triple head SPECT camera for 45 min. Following the baseline scan, subjects meditated for approximately 40 min. at which time they were injected with 925 MBq of HMPAO while they continued to meditate for 10 min. more (total of 50 min. of meditation). The injection during meditation was designed not to disturb practice. Subjects were scanned 20 min. later for 30 min. Counts were obtained for regions of interest for major brain structures and normalized to whole-brain blood flow. Compared to baseline, mean verbal meditation scans showed increased blood flow in the prefrontal cortex (7.1%), inferior parietal lobes (6.8%), and inferior frontal lobes (9.0%). There was a strong inverse correlation between the blood flow, change in the prefrontal cortex and in the ipsilateral superior parietal lobe (p<.01). This study on a limited number of subjects demonstrated the feasibility of studying different types of meditation with neuroimaging techniques, suggested that several coordinated cognitive processes occur during meditation, and also raised important methodological issues. 

V.S. Ramachandran says that we have mirror neurons that make us literally feel what others feel and that we have neurons in our limbs that cancel this actual feeling, and that when you lose an arm you can actually feel what you see happening to others in your phantom limb.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0pwKzTRG5E

At this point, though, a psi believer will repeat the mantra that “correlation doesn’t imply causation”. This is simply taking a tenet of skepticism and reducing it to the absurd. If we have no reason to posit more entities, then we shouldn’t do so unnecessarily. We know that only beings with a central nervous system possess consciousness. This is a pretty robust correlation. The psi-ist, in order to cogently argue against this very well established empirical fact, should produce some instances of consciousness that exist that isn’t in some way connected to some sort of physical central nervous system. The only being that I know that fits this description is a personal god.

Natural supernaturalism.
 
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Posted by on December 1, 2010 in psi, supernaturalism

 

Koine Greek Prefixes and Suffixes

A book that I'm planning on buying I was able to preview on Amazon. I've been looking around for a while for a list of K. Greek prefixes and suffixes (after my earlier post about Marcion and possible diminutives) and was unable to find any until now. So here I'm listing them for my own edification:
 
Noun Prefixes
 
α (αν)- negative indicator: not
δυσ- negative indicator: bad
ευ- positive indicator: well, good
νη- negative indicator: not
 
Verb Suffixes
 
-αζω: to do, be, cause
-αιρω: to do
-ανω: …
-αω: …
-ευω: to do, be
-εω: …
-ζω: …
-ιζω: …
-ιρω: to do
-μι: to do
-οω: to cause, do
-σκω: to do, be
-σσω: to do
-υνω: to cause, do
-ω: to do
 
Noun Suffixes
 
-αδιον: diminutive
-αριδιον: …
-αριον: …
-εια: quality (αληθεια – the quality of being true; truth)
-ειον: place
-ευς: agent
-ή: product of verb action, other
-ης, ο: agent
-ια: quality
-ιά: object, result of action
-ιδιον: diminutive
-ιον: diminutive, related to
-ιος: related to
-ισκη: diminutive
-ισκος: …
-ισσα: female indicator
-ις: diminutive, small, fem. indicator, object
-λος: characterized by
-μα: object, result of action
-μονη: action, state
-μος: process, state
-ον: object, other
-ος, τό: object, concept
-οστης, η: quality
-σις: action
-συνη: quality
-τηριον: place of action
-της, ό: agent, one who does
-τον: object
-τρια: fem. indicator
-τρον: instrument
-τωρ: agent, one who does
-ων: object, quality
 
Adjective Suffixes
 
-ην: quality
-ης: quality
-ικος: having the characteristic of
-ιμος: fitness, ability
-ινος: made of
-ιος: related to
-ιστος: superlative indicator
-ιων: comparative indicator
-κοντα: multiples of ten
-κοσιοι: multiples of one hundred
-μος: quality
-μων: quality
-νος: pertaining to
-ος: quality
-ους: made of
-πλασιων: multiples indicator (x amount of times)
-πλους: …
-ρος: quality
-τατος: superlative indicator
-τεος: obligation, intention, must do
-τερος: comp. indicator
-τηρος: quality
-τος: poissibility (-able; killable::φονοτος from φονος, murder)
-υς: quality
-ωλος: …
-ων: comp. indicator
-ως: quality
 
Adverb Suffixes
 
-η: manner, location
-θα: reference to place
-θαδε: to or at a place
-θεν: from a place
-ι: of time or place
-ιστα: superlative indicator
-κις: multiples indicator
-σε: to a place
-σι: related to time
-τερον: comp. indicator
-τερω: …
-τος: related to place
-ω: from
-ως: manner (-ly;)
 
Missing from this list is -ισθεις which I'm pretty sure has the same meaning as -ed in English. Like [having been] angered (οργισθεις; Mark 1:41) or [having been] baptized (βαπτισθεις; Matt 3:16). Also helpful would be the prefixes like -κατα (according to, down), -ανα (back, against, up), -δια (through, every), προς (first, previous), συν (same, co-), and others. There are probably others that I don't know about that weren't included in this list. But it's a good list for me, nonetheless.
 
It also confirms that Μαρκιων is not a diminutive. It actually seems like Marcion is not anything, since it's not originally a Greek name and would only fall in the category of Greek nouns. Εὔρυτος, while a name, also means “full-filling”, Εὐρυτίων means more full-filling. Εὐρυτάτος would be most full-filling.
 
Who knows though. The omega might have originally been an omicron to throw off the relationship between orthodox Mark and the heterodox Mark.
 
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Posted by on December 1, 2010 in greek

 
 
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