Why is the σφαλμός groups of words not in the NT?

Semantic Range, Lexicography, and other approaches to word meaning - in general, or for particular words.
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Stephen Hughes
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Why is the σφαλμός groups of words not in the NT?

Post by Stephen Hughes » August 30th, 2015, 1:13 pm

Was there a reason why the words such as σφάλλομαι, σφάλμα, σφαλμός did not make it into the New Testament discussions?

Were they part of a world view that was contrary to the Judeo-christian one that was being expressed?

Considering that Pape and Sakellarios (Vol. 3, page 932) include both δυστὐχημα ἁμάρτημα in their definition of σφάλμα, and σφαλμός is similarly glossed as ἀτυχία, does this family of words belong to the "luck" world-view?

[Where can I find Psalm 120:3, Isaiah 58:3 and Ezekiel 9:9 in the Aquilla version?]
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cwconrad
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Re: Why is the σφαλμός groups of words not in the NT?

Post by cwconrad » August 30th, 2015, 7:49 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:Was there a reason why the words such as σφάλλομαι, σφάλμα, σφαλμός did not make it into the New Testament discussions?

Were they part of a world view that was contrary to the Judeo-christian one that was being expressed?
A partial and negative answer:

My recollection of this word group is essentially negative, i.e. "privative". My first excursion in Greece was in a taxicab from Patras to Olympia, going around sharp curves on mountain roads with a sign advertising some sort of ΑΣΦΑΛΕΙΑ - "insurance" at every dangerous curve.

The root is represented by the alpha-privative forms in the GNT:
ἀσφαλίζειν: Mt 27:64, Acts 16:24
άσφάλεια: Lk 1·4, Acts 5·23, 1 Th 3·3
ᾶσφαλής: Acts 21·34, Acts 22·30, Acts 25·26, Πηι 3·1, Heb 6·19
ἀσφαλῶς: Mk 14·44, Acts 2·36, Acts 16·23
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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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Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Why is the σφαλμός groups of words not in the NT?

Post by Stephen Hughes » September 2nd, 2015, 12:45 am

The alpha-privative forms don't seem very closely related in meaning to their un-negated cousins.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

cwconrad
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Re: Why is the σφαλμός groups of words not in the NT?

Post by cwconrad » September 2nd, 2015, 7:03 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:The alpha-privative forms don't seem very closely related in meaning to their un-negated cousins.
Well, but the original question was phrased negatively, à la "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" I associate the verb σφάλλειν with "trip up" or σφάλλεσθαι with "lose one's footing." That notion is well represented by σκάνδαλον, σκανδαλίζειν, and σκανδαλίζεσθαι; like σφάλλειν/σφάλλεσθαι this is used as much in a figurative sense as literally, if not even more often. The antithetical word-group is based on the root βα/βη "stride", "stand firm": βέβαιος, βεβαιοῦν, βεβαιῶσις. These are well-represented in the GNT. I should think that the experience of doddering and tottering in oneself and in others is pretty universally human.
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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
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Why is the σφαλμός groups of words not in the NT?

Post by Stephen Hughes » September 2nd, 2015, 7:46 am

BDAG lists σφάλλομαι as used in a variant reading for (ἐμ)πεσοῦνται in Matthew 15:14 the familiar "τυφλὸς δὲ τυφλὸν ἐὰν ὁδηγῇ, ἀμφότεροι εἰς βόθυνον πεσοῦνται.". At least one editor was happy with it then in his time at least.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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