Stephen Hughes wrote:The people who debated what words meant in the New Testament were Christians. Those expressions of opinion are recorded in the church fathers.
You mean like St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom?
Chrysostom:...What is the wrong that I have done you, since I have determined to embark from this point upon the sea of apology? Is it that I misled you and concealed my purpose? Yet I did it for the benefit of yourself who wast deceived, and of those to whom I surrendered you by means of this deceit. For if the evil of deception is absolute, and it is never right to make use of it, I am prepared to pay any penalty you please: or rather, as you will never endure to inflict punishment upon me, I shall subject myself to the same condemnation which is pronounced by judges on evil-doers when their accusers have convicted them. But if the thing is not always harmful, but becomes good or bad according to the intention of those who practise it, you must desist from complaining of deceit, and prove that it has been devised against you for a bad purpose; and as long as this proof is wanting it would only be fair for those who wish to conduct themselves prudently, not only to abstain from reproaches and accusation, but even to give a friendly reception to the deceiver. For a well-timed deception, undertaken with an upright intention, has such advantages, that many persons have often had to undergo punishment for abstaining from fraud. And if you investigate the history of generals who have enjoyed the highest reputation from the earliest ages, you will find that most of their triumphs were achieved by stratagem, and that such are more highly commended than those who conquer in open fight. For the latter conduct their campaigns with greater expenditure of money and men, so that they gain nothing by the victory, but suffer just as much distress as those who have been defeated, both in the sacrifice of troops and the exhaustion of funds....
Basil: But none of these cases apply to me: for I am not an enemy, nor one of those who are striving to injure you, but quite the contrary. For I entrusted all my interests to your judgment, and always followed it whenever you bid me.
Chrysostom: But, my admirable and excellent Sir, this is the very reason why I took the precaution of saying that it was a good thing to employ this kind of deceit, not only in war, and in dealing with enemies, but also in peace, and in dealing with our dearest friends. For as a proof that it is beneficial not only to the deceivers, but also to those who are deceived; if you go to any of the physicians and ask them how they relieve their patients from disease, they will tell you that they do not depend upon their professional skill alone, but sometimes conduct the sick to health by availing themselves of deceit...For great is the value of deceit, provided it be not introduced with a mischievous intention. In fact action of this kind ought not to be called deceit, but rather a kind of good management, cleverness and skill, capable of finding out ways where resources fail, and making up for the defects of the mind...That it is possible then to make use of deceit for a good purpose, or rather that in such a case it ought not to be called deceit, but a kind of good management worthy of all admiration, might be proved at greater length; but since what has already been said suffices for demonstration, it would be irksome and tedious to lengthen out my discourse upon the subject.
(St. John Chrysostom "On The Priesthood, books I and II.")
In this English translation, St. Chrysostom doesn't use the word "lie," but in the Greek text, I suspect he uses the word ψευδὴς.
(And if he did, he seems to have thought that the proper use of the word involved the idea of malicious intent!)
I'd be interested in what word the good saint used here, but he wrote centuries after Paul, whereas Andronicus (who seems to me to have said much the same thing) only wrote fifty or sixty years before Paul, so I'd still be interested in what words that pre-Christian Greek author used to express his thought.
Stephen Hughes wrote: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).
Does it give examples of how these words were used by Greek authors before and after Paul?
Jonathan offered two different translations of the phrase Paul used in Titus 1:2.
1.) God, who is truthful.
2.) God, who cannot deceive.
Which one do you think better captures the meaning of ψευδὴς?