Friday, January 31, 2014

"Euthus" in Mark

     The adverb Euthus means "immediately, at once." It is translated "straightway"
in many of the older versions. It occurs 42 undisputed times in Mark's record of the
life of Jesus the Messiah. There is a textual variant in Mark 7:35. Most manuscripts
omit eutheos in 7:35, but due to Mark's fondness of the adverb it is highly probable
that it is original, and if it is the count becomes 43 occurrences of euthus. It is also
found      in      p45    (  a    3rd    century   manuscript ),    codex      Alexandrinus
(a 5th century manuscript), and codex Washingtonianus (a 5th century manuscript).
The New Revised Standard Version translates euthus in Mark 7:35).

     The frequency of euthus in Mark's account is apparently designed to "energize"
or add  "verve"  to  the  narrative. The  following  examples are notable: (1) When
Jesus  is  immersed  by  John  he  immediately  comes up out of the water. (1:10)
(2)  Immediately    the   Spirit   drives   Jesus   out   into    the   wilderness. (1:12)
(3) Jesus    calls   Simon    and    Andrew    to    become    fishers    of    people,
"and     immediately    they     left    their    nets     and     followed    him."  (1:18)
(4) A leper begs Jesus  to  make  him clean. Jesus touched him, and said " 'I will,
be     clean,'     and    immediately     the     leprosy          left    him."   (1:40-43)
(5) Jesus  said  to  the  man  who was paralyzed, " 'Get up, take up your mat and
go     home.'     And     he     got     up,     and     immediately     took     up     his
mat     and     walked     out      in     full    view    of     them     all."     (2:11-12)
(6) When     Jesus     entered      the      region      of       the     Gerasenes    and
got     out     of     the     boat,     "immediately     a     man     with    an    impure
spirit       came       from       the       tombs       to       meet       him."       (5:1-2)

     Euthus  in   used  inferentially  by  Mark  in  a  few  contexts  to  indicate  an
immediately following event in a  sequence; something  that  comes  next. (1:21)
It can mean right after that, then, so then. (1:23, 30)

     Mark's account  of  the  life  and times of Jesus the Messiah is exciting, vivid,
and keeps the readers on a fast track. Euthus is one of the key words employed
by the Holy Spirit through Mark to accomplish this literary feat.
                                                                                                           R. Daly

Copyright, 2014


Sunday, January 5, 2014


     In  the  book  of  Acts  Luke  introduces  "a  certain  Jew  named  Apollos."
(Acts 18:24) The way that he "bursts" onto the scene virtually sets the stage for 
something spectacular. He  was  endowed  with  terrific  qualities  that  would 
distinguish him from other men who were not apostles. He was an  "erudite"
man (logios), (18:24)   "mighty  in  the  scriptures"  (18:24)  i.e. competent or 
well-versed   (dunatos  on  en  tais  graphais).    He    was    speaking   with  
"burning   enthusiasm"  (18:25)   (zeon  to  pneumati).    He   was  "teaching
accurately  the  things  concerning  Jesus" (18:25) (edidasken akribos ta peri 
tou Iesou),  but  he  was  "acquainted  only  with   the  immersion   of   John "
(18:25)   (epistamenos   monon   ta   baptisma   Ioannou ).   Aquila   and 
Priscilla taught him  the way  of  God  more  accurately, and  he  became  an
unstoppable force in the defense of the gospel. 

     Luke tells us that after he was taught the way of God more accurately, 
the disciples encouraged him  to go to Achaia. When he arrived he "greatly
helped those who had believed through the grace." (18:27)  But how did he help
the believers in Achaia? Luke answers the question. "For he was diakatelencheto
the Jews in public, showing through the scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah."
(18:28) What does diakatelencheto (grammatical form) of diakatelenchomai 
(lexical-dictionary form)  tell  us  about  the  work  of  Apollos  in  Achaia?

     The word only appears once in the New Testament. A less intense form
dielencho is found in classical Greek, particularly in Plato, Aristotle, Lucianus.
The meaning in classical Greek was to refute or expose. Dielencho appears
in the Septuagint in Job 9:33; Isaiah 1:18 and Micah 6:2. In those texts it means
to discuss, to argue a case. 

     The preposition dia-(katelenchomai) serves to intensify the word. Luke
paints a picture of  Apollos' work that is memorable and encouraging. Apollos
thoroughly refuted his Jewish opponents. He overwhelmed them in argument.
He demolished their arguments. He completely refuted the Jews in public
debate. He used a mighty spiritual jackhammer to crush pebbles! Luke tells us
what the jackhammer was: he "showed from the scriptures that Jesus is the
Messiah." Nothing works better, lasts longer, or is more formidable than the
word of the living God! (Jeremiah 23:29; Hebrews 4:12) 
                                                                                                     R. Daly

Copyright 2013   

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon Of The New Testament

     Joseph  Henry  Thayer,  born  1828  and  died  1901, was professor of New
Testament criticism and interpretation at Harvard Divinity School from 1884-1901.
His main interest was in the Greek language of the New Testament. His most widely
known work was A  Greek-English  Lexicon  of  the  New Testament. He was a
member of the  revision  committee, and appointed Secretary of the New Testament
committee that  issued the American Standard Version in 1901. A person, therefore,
should not be amazed to discover that the vocabulary of the ASV, generally concurs
with  the  definitions  assigned   to  the  words  in  the  Wescott-Hort  Greek  New

     What  is  commonly  known  as  Thayer's  Lexicon  is  not  Thayer's  lexicon.
It is Grimm's Wilke's Clovis Novi Testamenti.  Thayer translated, revised, and
enlarged the work. Grimm's work was completed in 1879. Thayer acknowledges in
the preface of the lexicon that "Both Professor Grimm and the publisher courteously
gave me permission to make such changes in his work as might in my judgment the
better adapt it to the needs of English speaking students." (Preface, page 6) So, it
should be kept in mind that by referring to this work as Thayer's Lexicon, it is his
role  in  translating,  revising,  and  enlarging  Grimm's  lexicon  that   is  primarily
in view.

     Even though Thayer's Lexicon is dated, it is still a valuable resource if it is used
with discretion, and if the user distinguishes Thayer's definitions from his comments.
There are instances when the definitions he assigns to words are unsubstantiated.

     For example, on  page  94  the  first  definition  given  to the word baptizo by
the lexicon in the classic period of the language is, "prop. to dip repeatedly..." No
literature is cited to support this definition, and the reason is the evidence does not
exist. In  classic  Greek  when  a  ship  sank  it  was  immersed. (Polybius 1,51,6;
8,8,4)  Did the ship sink repeatedly? On page 555 the word prototokos is defined
as "firstborn." Then he says "Christ is called prototokos pases ktiseos...who came
into being through God prior to the entire universe of created things..." This comment
reflects his Unitarian theology.

     On page 618 of the lexicon teleios is correctly defined as "brought to its end,
finished;  wanting   nothing  necessary  to  completeness; teleion,
substantively, that which is perfect...the perfect state of all things, to be ushered in
by the return of Christ from heaven, 1 Cor. xiii. 10." The latter reflects a misuse of the
context of 1 Cor. 13:10. To teleion refers to the state preceding the second coming
of the Messiah. It refers to the completion of God's revelation through those men who
were God's agents in revealing his written will.

     Thayer's Lexicon retains its usefulness, but  it  like all  other  religious  works of
human origin must be used with caution. Study the definitions, evaluate the comments.
Use such works like you eat fish; eat the meat and throw the bones away. It is wise
not to make the older pre-papyri lexicons your first court of appeal. A lot has been
learned about koine Greek grammar and lexicography since the 18th and 19th
centuries. If you are going to use the older lexicons, use them in conjunction with the
more modern scholarly lexicons.
                                                                                                           R. Daly

Copyright 2014