Fw: Grounds for disbelief

From: Don Winterstein (dfwinterstein@msn.com)
Date: Wed Jun 04 2003 - 04:38:56 EDT

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    A closer look at Joseph H. Thayer's Lexicon and kamilos:

    First, Thayer's preface indicates that his work dates from 1889--not much
    later than Liddell and Scott. (Furthermore, the Publisher's Introduction
    says he was a Unitarian and that some of his definitions reflect Unitarian
    teaching (e.g., Christ was a mere man).)

    With respect to kamilos, Thayer refers to Liddell and Scott (1883-7th ed.)
    and Franz Passow (1857); so proof that the word was not invented seems to
    depend crucially on whether Thayer's "Schol. on Arstph. vesp. [1030]" (see
    below) refers to a pre-NT manuscript or not. (For contemporary readers it
    would be nice if Thayer had a more complete list of his abbreviations!)

    Evidence that Thayer's "Schol. on Arstph. vesp. [1030]" in fact does _not_
    refer to such pre-NT manuscript is in an appendix, where Thayer lists
    kamilos as a possible "New Testament Greek" word. By this I assume he means
    the word possibly originated as koine.

    Conclusion: George is right, we need a modern reference. All along I'd
    assumed Thayer was one, but he's not.


    > George Murphy wrote:
    > >
    > > If I may quibble: An expert on textual criticism may correct me but
    > is no
    > > "reading" /kamilon/ = "rope" rather than /kamelos/ = "camel". It is
    > instead a "textual
    > > emendation" - i.e., a guess at what the text might originally have been.
    > That is a
    > > legitimate procedure when the text we have is in such disarray that it
    > doesn't make any
    > > sense - as is the case in some places in the OT, like parts of Job. But
    > otherwise it's
    > > not appropriate.
    > >
    > > & here's something I hadn't noticed before. On looking up /kamilos/ in
    > > antique (1843!) Liddell-Scott, I find this note:
    > >
    > > "/a rope/: but probably invented merely to explain away the well-known
    > passage
    > > in the N.T., /for a camel to go through the eye of a needle/, etc.,
    > a rope might
    > > seem to us a more prob. image: but the Arabs have a proverb, /like an
    > elephant going
    > > through a needle's eye/; and /to swallow a camel/ occurs in N.T.; so
    > this is
    > > needless."
    > >
    > > But this was written before the discovery of a lot of the koine
    > so
    > > don't rely on it without checking some newer reference.
    > Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (copyright 1977) says,
    > in part:
    > "kamilos, ou, ho, a cable; the reading of certain Mss. in Mt. xix. 24 and
    > Lk. xvii. 25..... The word is found only in Suidas [1967c.] and the
    > on Arstph. vesp. [1030].... "
    > I don't comprehend all of Thayer's abbreviations and annotations, but to
    > this means that, apart from some NT manuscripts, the word is found in only
    > two other ancient manuscripts, one from around 1100 A.D. (Suidas) and the
    > other (possibly) from ancient Greece (Aristophanes?). So apparently it
    > wasn't "merely invented" but was very rarely used.
    > Don

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