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ἐπιτρέπω & (οὐ) ἐάω - (not) allow

Posted: August 28th, 2015, 12:57 pm
by Stephen Hughes
Is there any logical (simple) reason why ἐπιτρέπειν is not used in the negative (in the NT at least), while ἐᾶν / ἐᾶσαι can and is negated.

[cf. ἐπιτροπή, authorisation; ἐπίτροπος. manager, steward, trustee]

Re: ἐπιτρέπω & (οὐ) ἐάω - (not) allow

Posted: August 28th, 2015, 1:38 pm
by Jonathan Robie
Stephen Hughes wrote:Is there any logical (simple) reason why ἐπιτρέπειν is not used in the negative (in the NT at least), while ἐᾶν / ἐᾶσαι can and is negated.

[cf. ἐπιτροπή, authorisation; ἐπίτροπος. manager, steward, trustee]
I think it is:
1 Tim 2:12 wrote:διδάσκειν δὲ γυναικὶ οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω, οὐδὲ αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός, ἀλλ’ εἶναι ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ.
I used that as a Vorlage for a class recently ...

Re: ἐπιτρέπω & (οὐ) ἐάω - (not) allow

Posted: August 28th, 2015, 1:44 pm
by Stephen Hughes
Good to know.

But... still the question remains what's the difference between them. Is one used in description and the other in expression of intent?

Re: ἐπιτρέπω & (οὐ) ἐάω - (not) allow

Posted: August 28th, 2015, 1:59 pm
by Jonathan Robie
I'm not sure I understand the criteria you are using to determine the similarities / differences among sets of words. Is this mostly subjective, or are you taking a systematic approach that you can explain?

What's the difference between 'allow' and 'permit' in English? Is there a real difference?

Re: ἐπιτρέπω & (οὐ) ἐάω - (not) allow

Posted: August 28th, 2015, 2:10 pm
by Stephen Hughes
I guess it's subjective. Just think of a few (or a few dozen) instances at the same time and ask some questions about how one usage seems different from the others. Just ask basic questions, nothing fancy.

Re: ἐπιτρέπω & (οὐ) ἐάω - (not) allow

Posted: August 28th, 2015, 2:15 pm
by Stephen Hughes
Jonathan Robie wrote:What's the difference between 'allow' and 'permit' in English? Is there a real difference?
Taking into consideration the cognates, there is probably something "official" about ἐπιτρέπειν. Being as the passage you have cited is about gender politics, there have probably been a lot of people writing about it that you might be able to look into.

Re: ἐπιτρέπω & (οὐ) ἐάω - (not) allow

Posted: August 28th, 2015, 3:03 pm
by Jonathan Robie
Stephen Hughes wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:What's the difference between 'allow' and 'permit' in English? Is there a real difference?
Taking into consideration the cognates, there is probably something "official" about ἐπιτρέπειν. Being as the passage you have cited is about gender politics, there have probably been a lot of people writing about it that you might be able to look into.
I'd rather look at careful lexicography, divorced from such disputes as much as possible.

This thread, like many other recent threads, looks like it is trying to go beyond the current state of Greek lexicography, reaching conclusions that are different from what I would find just by reading Louw & Nida, BDAG, Kittel, and Spicq. But I have no idea how I can tell if the conclusions you are reaching are true or not, or how you go about deciding this.

To me, it looks very subjective, and Hellenistic Greek is not our native language. English is, which is why I asked what the difference is between 'permit' and 'allow', when both are used as verbs. Is there one methodology, or one set of criteria, or a handful that are well defined and clear? How can I test the conclusions that you reach to see if they are consistent with your method?

Re: ἐπιτρέπω & (οὐ) ἐάω - (not) allow

Posted: August 30th, 2015, 5:23 am
by Stephen Hughes
Jonathan Robie wrote:This thread, like many other recent threads, looks like it is trying to go beyond the current state of Greek lexicography, reaching conclusions that are different from what I would find just by reading Louw & Nida, BDAG, Kittel, and Spicq. But I have no idea how I can tell if the conclusions you are reaching are true or not, or how you go about deciding this.

To me, it looks very subjective, and Hellenistic Greek is not our native language. English is, which is why I asked what the difference is between 'permit' and 'allow', when both are used as verbs. Is there one methodology, or one set of criteria, or a handful that are well defined and clear? How can I test the conclusions that you reach to see if they are consistent with your method?
I hear my own self-doubt well expressed in what you say. I tend to agree with your inference that this topic of synonymy is beyond my competency. It is so huge and so complex that it makes me doubt that I have attained any knowledge of Greek besides what I can directly or analogously associate with my knowledge of other languages. The variegations of meaning that even individual words display are as beautiful as they are astounding. Arranged with other words various tones are brought out or emphasised. Trying to guess why a particular word was chosen in preference to others that at first glance look entirely similar and equally fit for the purpose, does to a certain degree require attempting to recognise (in fact guess) what the objective part of an authour's choice is and what is subjective.

In the case of these two words, I am none the wise for having looked at them. It is far more difficult to differentiate some of the simpler or shorter words, than it is to explore words with prefixed prepositions, because there are no patterns within the words themselves that can be cross-referenced with usage patterns. Here I had thought that the syntactic patterns of negation might be a clue, but you found an example which I had not, so I'm still wondering what questions might be relevant to ask in this case.