Meaning of κατα in Acts 11:1 in the context of 11:1–4?

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Tim Evans
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Meaning of κατα in Acts 11:1 in the context of 11:1–4?

Post by Tim Evans » August 14th, 2015, 2:05 am

Hi Guys,

Context
I understand that Peter is originally in Caesarea (Acts 10:1,10:24) and then travels "up" to Jerusalem (Acts 11:2):
11:2 Ὅτε δὲ ἀνέβη Πέτρος εἰς Ἰερουσαλήμ, διεκρίνοντο πρὸς αὐτὸν οἱ ἐκ περιτομῆς
I understand from Accordance Maps that Caesarea must be at sea level, and Jerusalem must be at approximately 700m above sea level, hence ἀνέβη must be a reference to literally going up yes?

The general definitions for κατα (accusative) in my textbook and in accordance are "against, down, or according to", yet bible translations translate κατα as "throughout" in verse 1:
11:1 Ἤκουσαν δὲ οἱ ἀπόστολοι καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ οἱ ὄντες κατὰ τὴν Ἰουδαίαν ὅτι καὶ τὰ ἔθνη ἐδέξαντο τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ.
If I understand my maps correctly, Judea is "down" when we look at our modern North/South oriented maps. In the context of the original readers of Acts, would Judea have sense of being "down" from Jerusalem, either geographically, or socially, or based on any form of map?
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Tim Evans
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Re: Meaning of κατα in Acts 11:1 in the context of 11:1–4?

Post by Tim Evans » August 14th, 2015, 2:35 am

Just in case it's relevant, Going from Jerusalem to Samaria is described as going "down" using κατελθὼν:
8:5 Φίλιππος δὲ κατελθὼν εἰς [τὴν] πόλιν τῆς Σαμαρείας ἐκήρυσσεν αὐτοῖς τὸν Χριστόν.
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Ken M. Penner
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Re: Meaning of κατα in Acts 11:1 in the context of 11:1–4?

Post by Ken M. Penner » August 14th, 2015, 7:03 am

Going to Jerusalem is conventionally "up", and therefore leaving Jerusalem is "down".
Schneider in TDNT wrote: Much more important is the use of ἀναβαίνειν in statements related to the cultic life or cultic actions. Here the NT follows the usage of the Heb. OT,5 the LXX,6 and Rabbinic writings.7 עָלָה == ἀναβαίνειν is a “standing formula for going to Jerusalem” (Schlatter) and the temple.
In the life of Jesus the moment of His going up from the water of baptism (Mt. 3:16; Mk. 1:10) acquires significance from the descent of the Spirit. Going into the sanctuary is ἀναβαίνειν εἰς τὸ ἱερόν (Lk. 18:10).8 ἀναβαίνειν is so typical an expression for this that further indication need not be given (Jn. 12:20). The cultic sense is especially common in John’s Gospel: ἀναβαίνειν εἰς Ἰεροσόλυμα (2:13; 5:1; 11:55);9 εἰς τὴν ἑορτήν (7:8, 10);10 εἰς τὸ ἱερόν (7:14; cf. Ac. 3:1).11 For Paul and the other apostles, too, the statement that they went up to Jerusalem12 had rather more than a topographical significance. Jerusalem meant the mother community. This is clearest in Ac. 18:22: καὶ κατελθὼν εἰς Καισάρειαν, ἀναβὰς καὶ ἀσπασάμενος τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, κατέβη εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν. Naturally the basic meaning in all these expressions is the topographical. Sanctuaries were usually located on hills, and Jerusalem is the holy city on a hill. Yet there is also a cultic nuance, especially when the word is used without object.
That ἀναβαίνειν was a cultic term may be seen in non-biblical writings. Steinleitner13 has pointed out that, though ἀναβαίνειν became the usual expression by reason of the elevated situation of temples, it became a technical term for cultic action in the sense of going to the temple.

Thus we have ἀναβαῖ Ἀντιγόνη14 and ἀ[ν]α(β)αῖ μετὰ τῶν ἰδίων πάντων15 on inscriptions from Cnidos. Again, we find ἀναβάντες ἐπὶ τὸν βωμὸν τῆς Ἀρτέμιδος τῆς Λαυκοφρυηνῆς16 on a Cretan inscription. Since the immediate environs of the temple are also holy, the expression ἀναβαίνειν ἐπὶ τὸ χωρίον also has a cultic ring.17 There is attestation in the pap. too. In P. Par., 49, 34 we read: ἐὰν ἀναβῶ κἀγὼ προσκυνῆσαι, and 47, 19 f.: ὁ στρατηγὸς ἀναβαίνει αὔριον εἰς τὸ Σαραπιῆν.18 Even clearer are the accounts of the Caric Panamaros cult on the Panamara inscr.19 In the festival of Comyrion, held in honour of Zeus, there is reference to a ceremony called the ἄνοδος or ἀνάβασις τοῦ θεοῦ.20 The idol, which leaves the temple at appointed times and then stays in Stratonikeia, is at the time of the main celebration of the mystery cult brought back to the temple, which lay on a hill near Stratonikeia. In the mystical sense ἀναβαίνειν is found in P. Oxy., 41, 5, which refers to the divine power flowing into man to salvation: ισιην φιλῖ σε καὶ ἀναβαίνι εὐτυχῶς τῷ φιλοπολίτῃ.



Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, eds., Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–), 519–520.
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Ken M. Penner
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Tim Evans
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Re: Meaning of κατα in Acts 11:1 in the context of 11:1–4?

Post by Tim Evans » August 14th, 2015, 7:14 am

So the usage of κατα in Acts 11:1, literally means "down to Judea", but for clarity in English, its tided up to "throughout Judea" ?
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Re: Meaning of κατα in Acts 11:1 in the context of 11:1–4?

Post by Ken M. Penner » August 14th, 2015, 8:33 am

Tim Evans wrote:So the usage of κατα in Acts 11:1, literally means "down to Judea", but for clarity in English, its tided up to "throughout Judea" ?
Not quite. You'll need a more complete lexicon than Accordance and your textbook. For a free online lexicon, many recommend http://www.textonline.org/files/abbott- ... .v0.14.xml
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Ken M. Penner
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Meaning of κατα in Acts 11:1 in the context of 11:1–4?

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 14th, 2015, 10:12 am

Ken M. Penner wrote:
Tim Evans wrote:So the usage of κατα in Acts 11:1, literally means "down to Judea", but for clarity in English, its tided up to "throughout Judea" ?
Not quite. You'll need a more complete lexicon than Accordance and your textbook. For a free online lexicon, many recommend http://www.textonline.org/files/abbott- ... .v0.14.xml
... where you will find this:
κατά (bef. a vowel κατ’, καθ’; on the freq. neglect of elision, v. Tdf., Pr., 95; WH, App., 146a), prep. c. gen., acc., down, downwards. I. C. gen. (WM, §47, k; Bl., §42, 2). 1. C. gen. rei, in local sense; (a) down, down from: Mt 8:32, Mk 5:13, Lk 8:33, I Co 11:4; (b) throughout (late usage; Bl, l.c.): κ. ὅλης κ.τ.λ., Lk 4:14 23:5, Ac 9:31 10:37; (c) in a peculiar adjectival phrase: ἡ κ. βάθους, deep or extreme poverty, II Co 8:2. 2. C. gen. pers., usually in hostile sense; (a) against (in cl. only after verbs of speaking, witnessing, etc.): opp. to ὑπέρ, Mk 9:40; μετά, Mt 12:30; after ἐπιθυμεῖν, Ga 5:17; λαλεῖν, Ac 6:13; διδάσκειν, Ac 21:28; ψεύδεσθαι, Ja 3:14; after verbs of accusing, etc., Mt 5:23, Lk 23:14, Ro 8:33, al.; verbs of fighting, prevailing, etc., Mt 10:35, Ac 14:2, I Co 4:6, al.; (b) of swearing, by: όμνυμι κ. (BL, §34, 1), He 6:13,16, cf. Mt 26:63. II. C. acc. (WM, §49d; BL, §42, 2). 1. Of motion or direction; (a) through, throughout: Lk 8:39 9:6 10:4, Ac 8:1, 36 al.; (b) to, towards, over against: Lk 10:32 (Field, Notes, 62), Ac 2:1o 16:7, Ga 2:11, Phl 3:14, al.; (c) in adverbial phrases, at, in, by, of: κατ’ [p. 232] οἶκον, at home, Ac 2:46; κατ’ ἰδίαν (v.s. ἴδιος); καθ’ ἑαυτόν, Ac 28:16, Ro 14:22, Ja 2:17; c. pron. pers., Ac 17:28 18:15, Ro 1:15, Eph 1:15, al. 2. Of time, at, during, about: Ac 8:26 12:1 19:23, Ro 9:9 He 1:10, al. 3. Distributive; (a) of place: κ. τόποὐς, Mt 24:7, al.; κ. πόλιν, Lk 8:1, 4 al.; κ. ἐκκλησίαν, Ac 14:23. (b) of time: κ. ἔτος, Lk 2:41; ἑορτήν, Mt 27:15, al.; (c) of numbers, etc.: καθ’ ἕνα πάντες, I Co 14:31 (on καθ’ εἷς, v.s. εἷς); κ. ἑκατόν, Mk 6:40; κ. μέρος, He 9:5; κ. ὄνομα, Jo 10:3. 4. Of fitness, reference, conformity, etc.; (a) in relation to, concerning: Ro 1:3, 4 7:22 9:3, 5, I Co 12:6 10:18, Phl 1:12; κ. πάντα, Ac 17:22, Col 3:20, 22 He 2:17 4:15; (b) according to, after, like: Mk 7:5, Lk 2:27, 29 Jo 7:24 Ro 8:4 14:15, Eph 2:2, Col 2:8, Ja 2:8, al. III. In composition, κ. denotes, 1. down, down from (καταβαίνω), etc.), hence, metaph.; (a) victory or rule over (καταδουλόω, -κυριεύω, etc.); (b) "perfective" action (M, Pr., 111ff.). 2. under (κατακαλύπτω), etc.). 3. in succession (καθεξῆς). 4. after, behind (καταλείπω). 5. Hostility, against (καταλαλέω).
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Tim Evans
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Re: Meaning of κατα in Acts 11:1 in the context of 11:1–4?

Post by Tim Evans » August 14th, 2015, 8:39 pm

Thanks, I did see that. Its not clear (to me) from this dictionary why κατα + acc couldn't be translated as "down" as opposed to "throughout".
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Re: Meaning of κατα in Acts 11:1 in the context of 11:1–4?

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 15th, 2015, 7:54 am

Tim Evans wrote:Thanks, I did see that. Its not clear (to me) from this dictionary why κατα + acc couldn't be translated as "down" as opposed to "throughout".
First off, this is a good question, and prepositions are slippery, and κατά has many different meanings. You need context to pick among possible meanings. I find it easier to use this version of the lexicon, which shows the outline of possible meanings. Let's narrow this down to meanings that seem plausible in this context.

We can rule out the senses that don't take the accusative. We can rule out the senses that wouldn't make sense with places. We're looking for a sense that fits this context:
Ἤκουσαν δὲ οἱ ἀπόστολοι καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ οἱ ὄντες κατὰ τὴν Ἰουδαίαν ὅτι καὶ τὰ ἔθνη ἐδέξαντο τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ.
Ἤκουσαν οἱ ἀπόστολοι καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ οἱ ὄντες κατὰ τὴν Ἰουδαίαν ... the apostles and brethren who were κατὰ τὴν Ἰουδαίαν. Nobody is in motion, they are just there. That's different from Acts 11:2 Ὅτε δὲ ἀνέβη Πέτρος εἰς Ἰερουσαλήμ, διεκρίνοντο πρὸς αὐτὸν οἱ ἐκ περιτομῆς, because ἀνέβη is a form of ἀναβαίνειν, "go up", as opposed to καταβαίνειν, "go down", as Ken's quote from Kittel discusses. So we're looking for senses that don't require motion and have the right case.

Here's one candidate:
But if you click on the link, three of them involve pigs rushing down the banks, and the other involves something on the head in a much disputed verse that won't quickly lead to greater clarity. So let's try another:
(b) throughout (late usage; Bl, l.c.): κ. ὅλης κ.τ.λ., Lk 4:14 23:5, Ac 9:31 10:37;
That's the meaning that we're looking for, but they all involve καθ’ ὅλης and a genitive, e.g. καθ’ ὅλης τῆς Ἰουδαίας. But here's another similar definition that takes the accusative:
(a) through, throughout: Lk 8:39, Lk 9:6, Lk 10:4, Ac 8:1, Ac 36 al.;
I think that's the best fit.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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