ἀψευδες

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ἀψευδες

Postby Mike Burke » June 4th, 2014, 2:51 am

I know the short definition of ψευδες would be to lie, but I'd like some idea of how this word was actually used by the Greeks, and what they meant by it.

Could someone post some lexiconical definitions?

Does BDAG have any citations?
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"lie" ex Miriam Webster's Dictionary

Postby Stephen Hughes » June 4th, 2014, 8:00 am

Just so we are on the same page of the dictionary about what the gloss "to lie" means, here is the Miriam Webster definition for lie as a verb or a noun. (I've changed the formatting a little).

If you want to give a oone-word meaning for ψεύδος "a lie", you need to take "lie" as meaning the meaning that I have made green, emboldened and then underlined. You can't just take all these English meaning and give them to ψεύδος. The things in red are what I think are not inherent in the word ψεύδος, but may come along with it in some situations.

3lie verb \ˈlī\ (lied ly·ing)
Definition of LIE
intransitive verb
  1. to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive
  2. to create a false or misleading impression
transitive verb
  1. to bring about by telling lies <lied his way out of trouble>
Origin of LIE
Middle English, from Old English lēogan; akin to Old High German liogan to lie, Old Church Slavic lŭgati
First Known Use: before 12th century
Synonym Discussion of LIE
lie, prevaricate, equivocate, palter, fib mean to tell an untruth. lie is the blunt term, imputing dishonesty <lied about where he had been>. prevaricate softens the bluntness of lie by implying quibbling or confusing the issue <during the hearings the witness did his best to prevaricate>. equivocate implies using words having more than one sense so as to seem to say one thing but intend another <equivocated endlessly in an attempt to mislead her inquisitors>. palter implies making unreliable statements of fact or intention or insincere promises <a swindler paltering with his investors>. fib applies to a telling of a trivial untruth <fibbed about the price of the new suit>.
4lie noun \ˈlī\
Definition of LIE
    1. an assertion of something known or believed by the speaker to be untrue with intent to deceive
    2. an untrue or inaccurate statement that may or may not be believed true by the speaker
  1. something that misleads or deceives
  2. a charge of lying (see 3lie)
Origin of LIE
Middle English lige, lie, from Old English lyge; akin to Old High German lugī, Old English lēogan to lie
First Known Use: before 12th century
Stephen Hughes
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Re: ἀψευδες

Postby Jonathan Robie » June 4th, 2014, 9:57 am

Mike Burke wrote:I know the short definition of ψευδες would be to lie, but I'd like some idea of how this word was actually used by the Greeks, and what they meant by it.

Could someone post some lexiconical definitions?

Does BDAG have any citations?


Which lexicons have you looked at so far? Do you have specific questions about what they say? You should be able to look this up in at least Abbott-Smith and LSJ.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: ἀψευδες

Postby Mike Burke » June 4th, 2014, 3:36 pm

You should be able to look this up in at least Abbott-Smith and LSJ.


Thank you.

This was interesting.

ψευδήςψευδής, ές (the neut. sg. ψευδές is not found in early writers, ψεῦδος being used instead, cf.

A ψεῦδος 111; it is found in later Gr., OGI669.54 (Egypt, i A.D.), Palaeph.6, al., Gal.18(2).782); gen. sg. ψευδοῦς Id.15.168; old Att. acc. pl. ψευδᾶς IG12.700: (ψεύδομαι):— lying, false, untrue, of things, opp. ἀληθής, ψ. λόγοι Hes.Th.229; μῦθοι A.Pr.685, E.Hipp.1288 (anap.); τρέπεσθαι ἐπὶ ψευδέα ὁδόν to betake oneself to falsehood, Hdt.1.117; ψ. κατηγορία, αἰτίαι, false charges, Aeschin.2.183, Isoc. 15.138, Plb.5.41.3; λόγοι S.OT526; λόγος Pl.Sph.240e, Cra.385b: ψ. λόγοι are also fallacies, in Logic, Arist.Top.162b3 sqq.; ἥδε ἡ ψ. οὐσία this unreal Being (sc. the world of sense), Plot.5.8.9: irreg. Sup. ψευδίστατος, εἴδη Ael.VH14.37. 2 of persons, lying, false, and as Subst., liar, οὐ γὰρ ἐπὶ ψευδέσσι πατὴρ Ζεὺς ἔσσετ' ἀρωγός Il.4.235 (only here in Hom.; perh. ψεύδεσσι from ψεῦδος is the true accent; so Hermappias ap.Hdn.Gr.2.45 against Aristarch. and Ptol.Asc. ibid.); τοὺς θεοὺς ψευδεῖς τίθης S. Ph.992, cf. Ant.657; ψ. ἔφυς E.Or.1608; ψ. φανήσεσθαι to be detected in falsehood, Th.4.27, cf. Pl.Tht.148b; Κριτίαν ψευδῆ ἐπιδείξω Id.Chrm.158d: irreg. Sup. ψευδίστατος arrant liar, EM 110.29, cf. Eust.1441.25. 3 τὰ ψευδῆ falsehoods, lies, οὐ ψευδῆ λέγω A.Ag.625, cf. Antipho 1.10, etc.; οὐκ ἔσθ' ὅπως λέξαιμι τὰ ψευδῆ καλά A.Ag.620; τινὰς ψ. διαβάλλειν Ar.Eq.64; ψευδῶν συγκολλητής Id.Nu.446 (anap.). 4 ψευδέων ἀγορή, in Hp.Epid.3.1. ή, ιβ, said to be a name of the monkey-market, perhaps as being villanous counterfeits of humanity. II Pass., beguiled, deceived, E.IA852. III Adv. ψευδῶς falsely, λέγειν Id.IT1309 codd.; προσποιήσασθαι Th.1.137; mistakenly, ψ. δοξάζειν Pl.Phlb. 40d; ψ. γενέσθαι τὸν φόβον groundlessly, Plb.5.110.7.


But I'd still be interested in what BDAG has to say.

If you want to give a oone-word meaning for ψεύδος "a lie", you need to take "lie" as meaning the meaning that I have made green, emboldened and then underlined.


I'm not looking for a one word definition here.

The things in red are what I think are not inherent in the word ψεύδος, but may come along with it in some situations.


You put "with intent to deceive" in red, and the question of whether or not that might be implied in the word is part of what I'm interested in.

I think the early Greek Philosophers debated the question of what a lie (ψεύδος?) is, and that makes no sense to me if the meaning of ψεύδος was simply (and obviously) no more than "an untrue or inaccurate statement that may or may not be believed true by the speaker."

Hugo Grotius made this observation.

The commentator upon Aristotle, Andronicus of Rhodes, thus speaks of the physician who lies to a sick man: 'He deceives indeed, but he is not a deceiver,' adding the reason: 'for his aim is not the deception of the sick man, but his cure.'""

http://www.lonang.com/exlibris/grotius/gro-301.htm

If that is an accurate quote from a Greek author who wrote about sixty years before the birth of Christ, and if he used the word ψευδες, wouldn't that imply that by that time the intent to deceive had become part of the meaning of the word (at least for Philosophers like Andronicus)?

Is anyone familiar with that passage?

Also, did Socrates use this word when he was trying to distinguish what he called "true lies" from merely "verbal lies," and wouldn't that imply the same thing?

P.S. Grotius doesn't give a precise citation of the passage he's reffering to, and I've been unable to look it up in Greek, but I'd be interested in the word that's translated "deceiver."

Does anyone know if Andronicus used a form of the word ψευδες there in that passage?
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Re: ἀψευδες

Postby Jonathan Robie » June 4th, 2014, 9:46 pm

Can we spin this back to something simpler, Mike? I notice that you used ἀψευδες in the title, that seems to be a typo that occurs in some versions of Strong's Concordance on the Internet. I suspect you mean ἀψευδές, which is a form of ἀψευδής, a word used only once in the New Testament:

Titus 1:2 wrote:ἐπ' ἐλπίδι ζωῆς αἰωνίου, ἣν ἐπηγγείλατο ὁ ἀψευδὴς θεὸς πρὸ χρόνων αἰωνίων


Is this the verse you are looking at? Here's the Abbott-Smith definition of that word:

Abbott-Smith wrote:** ἀ-ψευδής, -ές (< ψεῦδος), [in LXX: Wi 7:17 * ;]

free from false-hood, truthful: Tit 1:2.†


The phrase ὁ ἀψευδὴς θεὸς means "God, who is truthful" or "God, who never lies".

The word you asked about, ψευδής, is roughly the opposite, and occurs only 3 times in the New Testament according to Abbott-Smith:

Abbott-Smith wrote:ψευδής, -ές (< ψεύδομαι), [in LXX for שֶׁקֶר, שָׁוְא, כָּזָב; etc. ;]

lying, false, untrue (of persons and things): Re 2:2; μάρτυρες, Ac 6:13; as subst., ὁ ψ., a liar: Re 21:8.†


May I suggest that you:

1. Use a real lexicon, not Strong's
2. Focus on just Abbott-Smith for now, since that is the period of Greek you find in the New Testament and Septuagint, and
3. Keep it simple for now. Just look things up in Abbott-Smith, ignoring the Hebrew stuff, and trust his definitions until you've learned more Greek.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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ἀπάτη, ψεῦδος, πλάνη

Postby Stephen Hughes » June 5th, 2014, 12:20 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:2. Focus on just Abbott-Smith for now, ... 3. Keep it simple for now

I suggest you look at 3 words in Abbott-Smith, so you can see what ψεῦδος is and is not.

The first is ἀπάτη "deception" which happens in the intention of a person, the second is the ψεῦδος "a lie" (the word that you are interested in understanding), and the third is πλάνη "deception" which may result from those other two.

Reading works of the philosophers is not a good place to start learning vocabulary from. The use words in ways that others don't, like advertising agencies do in our times.
Stephen Hughes
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself."
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Re: ἀπάτη, ψεῦδος, πλάνη

Postby Jonathan Robie » June 5th, 2014, 6:13 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:Reading works of the philosophers is not a good place to start learning vocabulary from. They use words in ways that others don't, like advertising agencies do in our times.


Agreed. And philosophizing about what the lexicon says doesn't help either. Read the word in context of the sentence, look at other, similar sentences, look up the meaning in a lexicon. Keep it simple.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: ἀψευδες

Postby Mike Burke » June 5th, 2014, 8:42 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:The phrase ὁ ἀψευδὴς θεὸς means "God, who is truthful" or "God, who never lies"


Depending on how you define the word "lie," those could be two very different thoughts.

If you remove "with intent to deceive, and define ψευδὴς as...

Stephen Hughes wrote:
  1. to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive
  2. to create a false or misleading impression
transitive verb[/code]


It's difficult to see how Paul (a former Rabbi who was very familiar with the story of Abraham, and often falls back on it when he's trying to make a point) could have used ἀψευδὴς of the God who told Abraham to go to a certain mountain and offer Isaac as a burnt offering, and then sent an angel to stop him in the act and tell him it was just a test.

If that God's ultimate intention wasn't to deceive Abraham, but to teach him and future generations something about faith and obedience, I can see how Paul could say that He is truthful (just as Andronicus said the physician who temporarily deceived his patient was truthful), but I can't see how he could say that that God is incapable of deliderately creating a false impression, can you?

Especially if the same Paul wrote the book of Hebrews, where it is implied that Abraham expected God to have to raise Isaac from the dead in order to keep the promises He made to him--that credits Abraham with a lot of faith, but it also implies that he was fully laboring under the false impression that God wanted him to kill his son.

Jonathan Robie wrote:...philosophizing about what the lexicon says doesn't help either. Read the word in context of the sentence, look at other, similar sentences, look up the meaning in a lexicon. Keep it simple.


I don't think the meaning of this word is simple, and I want to look at how it was used in other sentences outside the New Testament corpus, before the New Testament was written, which is why I'd be interested in any citations BDAG has to offer.

I'm also really interested in how pre-Christian philosophers (like Andronicus) used the word, since that would be part of the history of the word's ussage, and I've been told that usage determines meaning (and Paul was a man of letters, who quoted Greek philosophers in his Mars Hill sermon, and the pastoral epistles.)

Look at what Paul said about the God who gave Abraham the false impression that He wanted Isaac killed and offered as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of Moriah (ὁ ἀψευδὴς θεὸς), and what Andronicus said of the physician who temporarily deceives his patient (He deceives indeed, but he is not a deceiver, for his aim is not the deception of the sick man, but his cure.)

I would love to see the original Greek text of that quote, and to know what words Andronicus used there, and how the philosophers (learned men who gave some thought to what the words they used meant) were using the words ψευδὴς and ἀψευδὴς before the New Testament was written.

I'd still be interested in what BDAG has to say, and far from looking for a one word definition for ψευδὴς (or ψευδὴς), I'm interested in the full scope and range of meaning of these words.

Please don't over simplify things that aren't simple, or pat me on my pointed little head and tell me to just forget about it and learn more Greek before I ask such questions.
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Re: ἀψευδες

Postby Mike Burke » June 5th, 2014, 9:20 pm

Correction: "I'd still be interested in what BDAG has to say, and far from looking for a one word definition for ψευδὴς (or ψευδὴς), I'm interested in the full scope and range of meaning of these words" should read "I'd still be interested in what BDAG has to say, and far from looking for a one word definition for ψευδὴς (or ἀψευδὴς), I'm interested in the full scope and range of meaning of these words."
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Re: ἀψευδής

Postby Stephen Hughes » June 5th, 2014, 10:17 pm

Mike Burke wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:The phrase ὁ ἀψευδὴς θεὸς means "God, who is truthful" or "God, who never lies"
Depending on how you define the word "lie," those could be two very different thoughts.

If you remove "with intent to deceive, and define ψευδὴς as...
Stephen Hughes wrote:
  1. to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive
  2. to create a false or misleading impression
[in]transitive verb

ἀψευδής and ψευδής are actually adjectives not verbs. Those definitions that I gave in English are definitions of the English word "lie", not of the Greek word.

It is a rather long jump from (A) the definition of an English intransitive verb that is somewhat similar to (B) a Greek adjective to (C) the nature of God's character. The definition of one word in a philopopher's discussion about a doctor, or anyone else's text about something else again, is not enough to build that much on at all. The people who debated what words meant in the New Testament were Christians. Those expressions of opinion are recorded in the church fathers.

I've looked in BDAG, it says that ψευδής is used with both nouns capable of doing actions (eg. "lying witness") and those which are not capable of doing actions "eg. "false information"). The definition of ἀψευδής only refers to nouns capable of doing actions. That is to say that the definition comes from the active voice of the verb, which (verb) you should look at further to understand the adjective (and the negative adjective).

Mike Burke wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote: And philosophizing about what the lexicon says doesn't help either. Read the word in context of the sentence, look at other, similar sentences, look up the meaning in a lexicon. Keep it simple.
Please don't over simplify things that aren't simple, or ... tell me to just forget about it and learn more Greek before I ask such questions.
In this case "learn more Greek" means get some experience in how the Greek verbs relate to adjectives, and how the adjectives are used with different types of nouns. In this way language is a skill and a knowledge base being used together. Being able to quote the statistics about a motorcycle is different from being able to ride one (safely). Keep it simple means, balance your knowledge and your skill when you are learning a language - try to get an overal basic knowledge of the language and an overal skill in using it.

"Philosophising" is used by Jonathan here in the contemporary sense of "vain discussion by people with no real-life experience", rather than in the ancient (and more noble) sense of the word.
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