1Tim.6:9 ὄλεθρον καὶ ἀπώλειαν - sense of differentiation?

Semantic Range, Lexicography, and other approaches to word meaning - in general, or for particular words.
Stephen Hughes
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1Tim.6:9 ὄλεθρον καὶ ἀπώλειαν - sense of differentiation?

Post by Stephen Hughes » August 16th, 2014, 2:59 am

1 Timothy 6:9 wrote:Οἱ δὲ βουλόμενοι πλουτεῖν ἐμπίπτουσιν εἰς πειρασμὸν καὶ παγίδα καὶ ἐπιθυμίας πολλὰς ἀνοήτους καὶ βλαβεράς, αἵτινες βυθίζουσιν τοὺς ἀνθρώπους εἰς ὄλεθρον καὶ ἀπώλειαν
I hope I could get some input into my decision making process here...

I have two (and a half) ideas for the difference in sense between ὄλεθρον and ἀπώλειαν in this verse. My first thought is "destruction on this life and the one to come", and I prefer "destruction of both himself and his property", while my least preferred is "destruction of both his property and himself".
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Carlson
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Re: 1Tim.6:9 ὄλεθρον καὶ ἀπώλειαν - sense of differentiation

Post by Stephen Carlson » August 16th, 2014, 6:23 am

What does your lexicon say?
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
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Re: 1Tim.6:9 ὄλεθρον καὶ ἀπώλειαν - sense of differentiation

Post by cwconrad » August 16th, 2014, 7:15 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
1 Timothy 6:9 wrote:Οἱ δὲ βουλόμενοι πλουτεῖν ἐμπίπτουσιν εἰς πειρασμὸν καὶ παγίδα καὶ ἐπιθυμίας πολλὰς ἀνοήτους καὶ βλαβεράς, αἵτινες βυθίζουσιν τοὺς ἀνθρώπους εἰς ὄλεθρον καὶ ἀπώλειαν
I hope I could get some input into my decision making process here...

I have two (and a half) ideas for the difference in sense between ὄλεθρον and ἀπώλειαν in this verse. My first thought is "destruction on this life and the one to come", and I prefer "destruction of both himself and his property", while my least preferred is "destruction of both his property and himself".
I think this is an instance of rhetorical pleonasm; I don't believe there are any real nuances involved here at all but rather a doubling-down on connotative expressions: "a trap and a snare", "doom and ruin."
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: 1Tim.6:9 ὄλεθρον καὶ ἀπώλειαν - sense of differentiation

Post by Stephen Hughes » August 16th, 2014, 9:46 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:What does your lexicon say?
Descriptive only dictionaries don't describe enough to really be useful for composition.

Truth be told, there are so many "blanks" when I try to describe my day-to-day life in Greek, translate what I hear others sayinf, and what I want to say myself, or what I read around me.

This Iridescent by Linkin Park that I've heard is doubly difficult because the words could be taken in so many different ways which are probably dependent on the film.

Victorian era composition primers are okay for some things, but they are not designed for Koine and are not contemporary.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Carlson
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Re: 1Tim.6:9 ὄλεθρον καὶ ἀπώλειαν - sense of differentiation

Post by Stephen Carlson » August 16th, 2014, 10:36 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:What does your lexicon say?
Descriptive only dictionaries don't describe enough to really be useful for composition.
I didn't realize this was a composition question. I thought it was about the fine nuances of two similar terms, a inquiry which could take considerable effort to answer more fully than what the best lexicons have to offer.
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Re: 1Tim.6:9 ὄλεθρον καὶ ἀπώλειαν - sense of differentiation

Post by Stephen Hughes » August 16th, 2014, 12:08 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:What does your lexicon say?
Descriptive only dictionaries don't describe enough to really be useful for composition.
I didn't realize this was a composition question. I thought it was about the fine nuances of two similar terms, a inquiry which could take considerable effort to answer more fully than what the best lexicons have to offer.
It is a genuine question about the verse, and the motivation for the question comes frim the context of translating Linkin Park. Composition is really challenging and raises so many interesting side questions.

When I did the (weekly, I think) compositions at University, they were mostly guessing and "good enough" for the task at hand. Now, these days, I hope I could be idiomatic and nuanced.

My view is that like in our own native and learnt languages, we really understand as much as we are able to express. In the case of learning to read the New Testament, we are dealing with the written form of the language in the epistles (at least), and being able to write to the standard they were written to helps in reading them. The written form of the language, is to some extent based on the spoken, as that may have been, but apart from thinking, I have no chance for that.

A few months ago, I was interested in composing about ice ages and glaciation. Now it is this American band's song from Transformers.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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Re: 1Tim.6:9 ὄλεθρον καὶ ἀπώλειαν - sense of differentiation

Post by cwconrad » August 16th, 2014, 12:52 pm

cwconrad wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:
1 Timothy 6:9 wrote:Οἱ δὲ βουλόμενοι πλουτεῖν ἐμπίπτουσιν εἰς πειρασμὸν καὶ παγίδα καὶ ἐπιθυμίας πολλὰς ἀνοήτους καὶ βλαβεράς, αἵτινες βυθίζουσιν τοὺς ἀνθρώπους εἰς ὄλεθρον καὶ ἀπώλειαν
I hope I could get some input into my decision making process here...

I have two (and a half) ideas for the difference in sense between ὄλεθρον and ἀπώλειαν in this verse. My first thought is "destruction on this life and the one to come", and I prefer "destruction of both himself and his property", while my least preferred is "destruction of both his property and himself".
I think this is an instance of rhetorical pleonasm; I don't believe there are any real nuances involved here at all but rather a doubling-down on connotative expressions: "a trap and a snare", "doom and ruin."
I was deadly serious about this answer -- I believe that rhetorical pleonasm is a real authorial strategy; although in some contexts differentiation of nuances by a careful writer is something to be taken seriously into consideration, there are others wherein variatio underscores a meaning with synonymous expressions never intended to be savored in their fine-tuned nuances. I think this is a matter of "six of one and half a dozen of another" or of "stuff and nonsense." This is something different from a hendiadys where two expressions function together to express a single idea; this is rather a matter of phony equation: "1 + 1 = 1" dressed up to look like "1 + 1 = 2".
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Stephen Carlson
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Re: 1Tim.6:9 ὄλεθρον καὶ ἀπώλειαν - sense of differentiation

Post by Stephen Carlson » August 16th, 2014, 1:25 pm

I agree with the rhetorical pleonasm answer. But though it answers the question actually asked, it doesn't really help him with Stephen's deeper desire for skill with composition.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: 1Tim.6:9 ὄλεθρον καὶ ἀπώλειαν - sense of differentiation

Post by Stephen Hughes » August 17th, 2014, 1:13 am

cwconrad wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:
1 Timothy 6:9 wrote:Οἱ δὲ βουλόμενοι πλουτεῖν ἐμπίπτουσιν εἰς πειρασμὸν καὶ παγίδα καὶ ἐπιθυμίας πολλὰς ἀνοήτους καὶ βλαβεράς, αἵτινες βυθίζουσιν τοὺς ἀνθρώπους εἰς ὄλεθρον καὶ ἀπώλειαν
I hope I could get some input into my decision making process here...

I have two (and a half) ideas for the difference in sense between ὄλεθρον and ἀπώλειαν in this verse. My first thought is "destruction on this life and the one to come", and I prefer "destruction of both himself and his property", while my least preferred is "destruction of both his property and himself".
I think this is an instance of rhetorical pleonasm; I don't believe there are any real nuances involved here at all but rather a doubling-down on connotative expressions: "a trap and a snare", "doom and ruin."
...
I was deadly serious about this answer -- I believe that rhetorical pleonasm is a real authorial strategy; although in some contexts differentiation of nuances by a careful writer is something to be taken seriously into consideration, there are others wherein variatio underscores a meaning with synonymous expressions never intended to be savored in their fine-tuned nuances. I think this is a matter of "six of one and half a dozen of another" or of "stuff and nonsense." This is something different from a hendiadys where two expressions function together to express a single idea; this is rather a matter of phony equation: "1 + 1 = 1" dressed up to look like "1 + 1 = 2".
I understand what you are saying and discussion has been of great benefit in allowing me to clarify what I am asking. There are two ways of arriving at the pleonasm; (1) knowing the difference between the words, and how to use them and where, and then not thinking too much when they are not meant to be taken too strongly, OR (2) sort of like coming into the lecture room late and only catching the final summation 5 minutes before the bell and missing the details and how things have worked up to that point.

As a befumble-along (seemingly-serious) amateur - not using Greek professionally in any way - I lack some of the background understanding that I do have in English in a phrase like "Ruin and destruction". By understanding, "The book was ruined (by the the mildew)" and "The book was destroyed (by rodents)." gives the sort of background feel for the pleonasm - the feeling of totality (in its material composition and integral structure), a total devastation.

Thanks to your kind advice, I understand that I am looking for a depth of background knowledge, rather than the exactitude in the sense of differentiation that I thought I wanted. Something like the way that linguistic common sense (reasonableness of dealing with the language/ thoughtfulness of action) that accompanies the acceptance of the concept that Ignorantia juris (linguae Graecae) non excusat.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Mason Barge
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Re: 1Tim.6:9 ὄλεθρον καὶ ἀπώλειαν - sense of differentiation

Post by Mason Barge » August 17th, 2014, 8:13 pm

I was interested to see that these are cognates of the same root verb, in plain and augmented flavors. ὄλεθρον is from ὄλλuμι and ἀπώλειαν cognate to ἀπόλλuμι. So, with the dangerous assumption that they follow their cognate verbs, ἂπο- would most likely simply intensify the same meaning. ἀπώλειαν would be a more forceful version with otherwise identical meaning to ὄλεθρον.

Both nouns stretch as far as eternal damnation in the New Testament, and that would surely be supported by the context of the passage. Under this theory, the phrase would be a sub-category of a rhetorical pleonasm, since the second would include the first.
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