κεφαλή polysemy in head(ship) discussions.

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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κεφαλή polysemy in head(ship) discussions.

Post by Stephen Hughes » March 10th, 2016, 4:37 am

Is the play or development of an arguement on the polysemy of κεφαλή in Paul's epistles something that arises out of a close association in the language between κεφαλή as the concrete noun, a part of the body, and κεφαλή as "source", "origin" as the an extension of that meaning by metonymy, OR are they quite well differentiated concepts that Paul is bringing together to create his image of headship image? In other words, is Paul being novel in this case, or is he developing a pre-existing equivalence?

An example of this is Ephesians 5:23 ὁ χριστὸς κεφαλὴ τῆς ἐκκλησίας, καὶ αὐτός ἐστιν σωτὴρ τοῦ σώματος
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: κεφαλή polysemy in head(ship) discussions.

Post by Stephen Carlson » March 10th, 2016, 4:45 pm

There's been a lot written about this word, mainly due to hugely the important Christological and gender-relations issues occasioned by 1 Cor 11:3. Everybody's got a theory and the stakes are high. My sense is that metaphorical applications of this body part were not particularly common in Greek (in contrast to Hebrew), so we don't get a lot of good lexical parallels, and they tend to be specific to the occasion. For example, the metaphor in Eph 1:22 κεφαλὴν ὑπὲρ πάντα τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ, ἥτις ἐστὶν τὸ σῶμα αὐτοῦ gets a lot of contextual assistance with the explicit mention of σῶμα.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: κεφαλή polysemy in head(ship) discussions.

Post by Barry Hofstetter » March 11th, 2016, 6:46 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:There's been a lot written about this word, mainly due to hugely the important Christological and gender-relations issues occasioned by 1 Cor 11:3. Everybody's got a theory and the stakes are high. My sense is that metaphorical applications of this body part were not particularly common in Greek (in contrast to Hebrew), so we don't get a lot of good lexical parallels, and they tend to be specific to the occasion. For example, the metaphor in Eph 1:22 κεφαλὴν ὑπὲρ πάντα τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ, ἥτις ἐστὶν τὸ σῶμα αὐτοῦ gets a lot of contextual assistance with the explicit mention of σῶμα.
It's an excellent study in meta-hermeneutics and exegetical methodology, or how theology drives the discussion. κεφαλή does have quite a range of meaning. Here is the LSJ entry:

κεφᾰλή, ἡ,
head of man or beast, Hom. (v.infr.), Alc.15, etc.; once in A., Th.525 (lyr.), once in S., Aj.238 (anap.), also in E., Fr.308 (anap.), Rh.226 (lyr.), al.; ἄλλου οὐδενὸς ἐμψύχου κ. γεύσεται Αἰγυπτίων οὐδείς Hdt.2.39; κεφαλῇ . . μείζονες taller in stature, Il.3.168; so μείων . . κεφαλήν ib.193 Aristarch.: freq. with Preps.,
κατὰ κεφαλῆς, Ep. κὰκ κεφαλῆς, down over the head, κόνιν . . χεύατο κὰκ κεφαλῆς Il.18.24, cf. Od.8.85, etc.
κατὰ κεφαλήν, Ep. κὰκ κεφαλήν on the head, Ἐρύλαον . . βάλε πέτρῳ μέσσην κὰκ κεφαλήν Il.16.412, cf. 20.387, 475: in Prose, from above, X.HG7.2.8: c.gen., above, κ. κ. τινῶν γενέσθαι ib.7.2.11; τὸ κ. κ. ὕδωρ, of rain water, Thphr. HP4.10.7 (-ὴν codd.), CP6.18.10 (-ῆς): in Archit., upright, IG22.463.42; also, per head, each person (cf. infr. 1.2), Arist.Pol.1272a14, LXX Ex.16.16; κατὰ κεφαλὴν τῶν κωμητῶν PPetr.2p.17 (iii B. C.).
ἐς πόδας ἐκ κεφαλῆς from head to foot, Il.23.169; τὰ πράγματα ἐκ τῶν ποδῶν ἐς τὴν κ. σοι πάντ' ἐρῶ Ar.Pl.650.
ἐπὶ κεφαλήν head foremost, ἐπὶ κ. κατορύξαι to bury head downwards, Hdt.3.35; ἐπὶ κ. ὠθέεσθαι to be thrust headlong, Id.7.136, cf. Hyp.Fr.251; ἐπὶ κ. ὠθεῖν τινα ἐκ τοῦ θρόνου Pl.R.553b; ἐπὶ τὴν κ. εἰς κόρακας ὦσον Men.Sam. 138; εὐθὺς ἐπὶ κ. εἰς τὸ δικαστήριον βαδίζειν D.42.12; οὐ βουλόμενος πολίτας ἄνδρας ἐπὶ κ. εἰσπράττειν τὸν μισθόν recklessly, Hyp.Lyc.17; ἐπὶ ταῖς κεφαλαῖς περιφέρειν carry on high, in token of admiration, Pl. R.600d.
as the noblest part, periphr. for the whole person, πολλὰς ἰφθίμους κ. Il.11.55, cf. Od.1.343, etc.; ἶσον ἐμῇ κ. no less than myself, Il.18.82; ἑᾷ κ. Pi.O.7.67; esp. in salutation, φίλη κ. Il.8.281, cf. 18.114; ἠθείη κ. 23.94; Ἄπολλον, ὦ δία κ. E.Rh.226 (lyr.): in Prose, Φαῖδρε, φίλη κ. Pl.Phdr.264a; τῆς θείας κ. Jul.Or. 7.212a: in bad sense, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί Hdt.3.29; ὦ μιαρὰ κ. Ar.Ach. 285: periphr. in Prose, πεντακοσίας κεφαλὰς τῶν Ξέρξεω πολεμίων Hdt.9.99: in bad sense, ἡ μιαρὰ καὶ ἀναιδὴς αὕτη κ. D.21.117, cf. 18.153; ἡ κ. τῶν αὐτοῦ PRein.57.8 (iv A.D.); μεγάλη κ. a great personage, Vett. Val.74.7; cf. supr. 1 b fin.
life, ἐμῇ κ. περιδείδια Il.17.242; σύν τε μεγάλῳ ἀπέτεισαν, σὺν σφῇσιν κεφαλῇσι 4.162; παρθέμενοι κεφαλάς staking their heads on the cast, Od.2.237; τὴν κ. ἀποβαλέεις Hdt.8.65.
in imprecations, ἐς κεφαλὴν τράποιτ' ἐμοί on my head be it! Ar.Ach.833; ἐς τὴν κ. ἅπαντα τὴν σὴν τρέψεται Id.Nu.40; ἃ σοὶ καὶ τοῖς σοῖς οἱ θεοὶ τρέψειαν εἰς κ. D.18.290; ἐς κ. σοί (sc. τράποιτο) Ar.Pax1063, Pl.526; σοὶ εἰς κ. Pl.Euthd.283e; τὰ μὲν πρότερον . . ἐγὼ κεφαλῇ ἀναμάξας φέρω Hdt.1.155; οἷς ἂν . . τὴν αἰτίαν ἐπὶ τὴν κ. ἀναθεῖεν D.18.294; τὸ αἷμα ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τὴν κ. ὑμῶν Act.Ap. 18.6.
of things, extremity,
in Botany, κ. σκορόδου head ( = inflorescence) of garlic, Ar.Pl.718, cf. Plb.12.6.4; κ. μήκωνος Thphr.HP9.8.2; ῥίζα κ. ἔχουσα πλείονας tubers, Dsc.3.120.
in Anatomy, κεφαλαὶ τῆς κάτω γνάθου, prob. the condyloid and coronoid processes, Hp.Art.30; ἡ κ. τοῦ ὄρχεως, = ἐπιδιδυμίς, Arist.HA510a14, cf. Gal.4.565; μηροῦ, κνήμης κ., Poll.2.186, 188; of the base of the heart, Gal.UP6.16; but, apex, Hp.Cord.7; of the sac in poulps, Arist.PA654a23, 685a5; of muscles, origin, Gal.UP7.14.
generally, top, brim of a vessel, Theoc.8.87; coping of a wall, X.Cyr.3.3.68; capital of a column, CIG2782.31 (Aphrodisias), LXX 3 Ki.7.16, Poll.7.121.
in pl., source of a river, Hdt.4.91 (butsg., mouth, οἶδα Γέλα ποταμοῦ κεφαλῇ ἐπικείμενον ἄστυ Call.Aet.Oxy.2080.48): generally, source, origin, Ζεὺς κ. (v.l. ἀρχή), Ζεὺς μέσσα, Διὸς δ' ἒκ πάντα τελεῖται (τέτυκται codd.) Orph.Fr.21a; starting-point, κ. χρόνου Placit. 2.32.2 (κρόνου codd.), Lyd.Mens.3.4; κ. μηνός ib.12.
extremity of a plot of land, PPetr.3p.72 (iii B.C.), PFlor.50.83 (iii A.D.).
Ὁμηρείη κ. bust of Homer, IG14.1183.10.
κ. περίθετος wig, head-dress, Ar.Th.258.
metaph., κ. δείπνου pièce de résistance, Alex. 172.15.
crown, completion, κεφαλὴν ἐπιθεῖναι Pl.Ti.69b; ὥσπερ κ. ἀποδοῦναι τοῖς εἰρημένοις Id.Phlb.66d, cf. Grg.505d; ὥσπερ κεφαλὴν ἔχουσα ἐπιστήμη Arist.EN1141a19; consummation, σχεῖν κ. Pl.Ti.39d.
sum, total, πάσας ἐρρηγείας Tab.Heracl.1.36; of money, IG12(9).7 (Carystus, iv B. C.), SIG245ii 36 (Delph., iv B. C.).
band of men, LXX Jb.1.17; right-hand half of a phalanx (opp. οὐρά), Arr.Tact.8.3, Ael.Tact.7.3.
Astron., κ. τοῦ κόσμου, of Aries, Heph.Astr.1.1. (ghebh-, cf. κεβλή and Engl. gable.)
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MAubrey
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Re: κεφαλή polysemy in head(ship) discussions.

Post by MAubrey » March 19th, 2016, 10:51 am

Here' s a fun test:

So see how the Hebrew word for head (sorry, no Hebrew keyboard) is translated in the LXX. Translators consistently avoid κεφαλή when the context involve leadership.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: κεφαλή polysemy in head(ship) discussions.

Post by Stephen Hughes » March 19th, 2016, 12:27 pm

MAubrey wrote:Here' s a fun test:

So see how the Hebrew word for head (sorry, no Hebrew keyboard) is translated in the LXX. Translators consistently avoid κεφαλή when the context involve leadership.
What is the significance of that avoidance?
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: κεφαλή polysemy in head(ship) discussions.

Post by Stephen Carlson » March 19th, 2016, 11:30 pm

MAubrey wrote:So see how the Hebrew word for head (sorry, no Hebrew keyboard) is translated in the LXX. Translators consistently avoid κεφαλή when the context involve leadership.
Almost consistently, but not quite completely. The Hebrew usage leaks through in Judges 10:18 in the A text (καὶ ἔσται εἰς κεφαλὴν πᾶσιν τοῖς κατοικοῦσιν Γαλααδ) but not the B text (καὶ ἔσται εἰς ἄρχοντα πᾶσιν τοῖς κατοικοῦσιν Γαλααδ). See also Judges 11:11 A (καὶ ἐπορεύθη Ιεφθαε μετὰ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων Γαλααδ καὶ κατέστησαν αὐτὸν ἐπ’ αὐτῶν εἰς κεφαλὴν εἰς ἡγούμενον) and B (καὶ ἐπορεύθη Ιεφθαε μετὰ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων Γαλααδ καὶ ἔθηκαν αὐτὸν ὁ λαὸς ἐπ’ αὐτοὺς εἰς κεφαλὴν καὶ εἰς ἀρχηγόν).

Nevertheless, the general avoidance of rendering Hebrew rosh as κεφαλή among the various translators of the OG and LXX is striking.
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Re: κεφαλή polysemy in head(ship) discussions.

Post by Stephen Hughes » March 20th, 2016, 9:59 am

The LXX was written what? several hundred years before the turn of the era. Did κεφαλή mean "leader" or "boss" in New Testament times? (Besides in NT passages where it could be argued that an interpretation may be said to have influenced judgement of the meaning proferred.

The meanings of rosh were apparently synonymous in Hebrew. The full range of meaning didn't map onto the Greek κεφαλή, however. English is another story again, I guess.
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MAubrey
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Re: κεφαλή polysemy in head(ship) discussions.

Post by MAubrey » March 20th, 2016, 11:13 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
MAubrey wrote:So see how the Hebrew word for head (sorry, no Hebrew keyboard) is translated in the LXX. Translators consistently avoid κεφαλή when the context involve leadership.
Almost consistently, but not quite completely. The Hebrew usage leaks through in Judges 10:18 in the A text (καὶ ἔσται εἰς κεφαλὴν πᾶσιν τοῖς κατοικοῦσιν Γαλααδ) but not the B text (καὶ ἔσται εἰς ἄρχοντα πᾶσιν τοῖς κατοικοῦσιν Γαλααδ). See also Judges 11:11 A (καὶ ἐπορεύθη Ιεφθαε μετὰ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων Γαλααδ καὶ κατέστησαν αὐτὸν ἐπ’ αὐτῶν εἰς κεφαλὴν εἰς ἡγούμενον) and B (καὶ ἐπορεύθη Ιεφθαε μετὰ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων Γαλααδ καὶ ἔθηκαν αὐτὸν ὁ λαὸς ἐπ’ αὐτοὺς εἰς κεφαλὴν καὶ εἰς ἀρχηγόν).

Nevertheless, the general avoidance of rendering Hebrew rosh as κεφαλή among the various translators of the OG and LXX is striking.
Yep. (My mental lexicon has "not quite completely" and "consistently" as basically equivalent).
Stephen Hughes wrote:The LXX was written what? several hundred years before the turn of the era. Did κεφαλή mean "leader" or "boss" in New Testament times? (Besides in NT passages where it could be argued that an interpretation may be said to have influenced judgement of the meaning proferred.
The Pentateuch was probably completed around 200BCE, but as a whole, the LXX is really just a collection of translations produced over a period of couple hundred year. As to the NT, the problem there is that the instances of κεφαλή argued to mean 'leader' or 'boss' in the NT are also the same examples that are up for debate, so they can't be part of the discussion without begging the question.
Stephen Hughes wrote:The meanings of rosh were apparently synonymous in Hebrew. The full range of meaning didn't map onto the Greek κεφαλή, however. English is another story again, I guess.
Precisely.
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