From: Don Winterstein (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Jun 04 2003 - 04:38:56 EDT
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. " (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. " 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
> > 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
> > 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. .... "
> 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.
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