Linking the Words Συντέλεια and Πέρας With the English Translation

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Bernd Strauss
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Linking the Words Συντέλεια and Πέρας With the English Translation

Post by Bernd Strauss » April 30th, 2018, 11:48 am

I had previously asked about the usage of the word τέλος in one of Athanasius’ works. The following extract is from another writer, John Chrysostom, where the words συντέλεια and πέρας are used.

Homilies on the First Letter to the Thessalonians, excerpt from homily 9: “Ἄκουσον γοῦν οἷα νῦν ὁ μακάριος Παῦλός φησι· Περὶ δὲ τῶν χρόνων καὶ τῶν καιρῶν, ἀδελφοὶ, οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε γράφεσθαι ὑμῖν. Διὰ τί μὴ εἶπεν, ὅτι οὐδεὶς οἶδε; διὰ τί μὴ εἶπεν, ὅτι οὐκ ἀπεκαλύφθη, ἀλλ’, Οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε γράφεσθαι ὑμῖν; Ὅτι ἐκείνως μὲν ἂν ἐλύπησε μᾶλλον· οὕτω δὲ παρεμυθήσατο εἰπών. Τῷ γὰρ, Οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε, καὶ ὡς περιττὸν, καὶ ὡς ἀσύμφορον, ζητεῖν οὐκ εἴασε. Ποῖον γὰρ, εἰπέ μοι, τὸ κέρδος; Θῶμεν εἶναι τὴν συντέλειαν μετὰ εἴκοσιν ἔτη, μετὰ τριάκοντα, μετὰ ἑκατόν· τί τοῦτο πρὸς ἡμᾶς; οὐχὶ ἑκάστῳ ἡ συντέλεια τὸ τῆς αὐτοῦ ζωῆς πέρας ἐστί.”

Translation from Philip Schaff’s Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 1, Volume 13: “Hear for instance what the blessed Paul now says, “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that aught be written unto you.” Why has he not said that no one knows? why has he not said, that it is not revealed, instead of saying, “Ye have no need that aught be written unto you”? Because in that case he would have grieved them more, but by speaking thus he comforted them. For by the expression, “Ye have no need,” as if it were both superfluous, and inexpedient, he suffers them not to enquire. For tell me, what would be the advantage? Let us suppose that the end would be after twenty or thirty or a hundred years, what is this to us? Is not the end of his own life the consummation to every individual?”

In the above translation, is the word συντέλεια rendered as “end,” and the word πέρας as “consummation,” or is it vice versa?
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Linking the Words Συντέλεια and Πέρας With the English Translation

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » April 30th, 2018, 8:49 pm

Bernd Strauss wrote:
April 30th, 2018, 11:48 am

Homilies on the First Letter to the Thessalonians, excerpt from homily 9: τί τοῦτο πρὸς ἡμᾶς; οὐχὶ ἑκάστῳ ἡ συντέλεια τὸ τῆς αὐτοῦ ζωῆς πέρας ἐστί.”

Translation from Philip Schaff’s Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 1, Volume 13: "... what is this to us? Is not the end of his own life the consummation to every individual?”

In the above translation, is the word συντέλεια rendered as “end,” and the word πέρας as “consummation,” or is it vice versa?
The translation inverted the two final segments to disambiguate Chrysostom for English readers. A short trip lexicon would answer the question. It might be worth the trouble to actually read the relevant clauses. You don't have to read the whole section. I'm almost certain Barry Hofstetter would agree. Reading greek is what we do here. By the way, I'm reading Athanasius On the Incarnation over on Textkit. If you want to participate you're welcome. The pace will be leisurely, I'm in no hurry to get through it.
LEH

πέρας,-ατος+ N3N 0-0-18-31-11-60
Jer 18:7,9; 28(51):13; Ez 7:2(bis)limit, end, boundary Est 3:13b; end, conclusion, perfection 1 Ezr 9:17; at last ? Jer 18:7, see also 18:9

L&N

61.15 πέρας, ατος n: the end point of a process, implying a conclusion of a matter — ‘end, conclusion.’ καὶ πάσης αὐτοῖς ἀντιλογίας πέρας εἰς βεβαίωσιν ὁ ὅρκος ‘and in all their disputes, an oath constitutes the conclusion for establishing (evidence)’ He 6:16. In a number of [p. 612] languages it may be necessary to restructure this statement in He 6:16, for example, ‘when people are contradicting one another, an oath serves to confirm what is said and to put an end to the dispute.’

80.6 πέρας ατος n: limit as the distant end of a space — ‘end, limit.’ εἰς τὰ πέρατα τῆς οἰκουμένης τὰ ῥήματα αὐτῶν ‘their words reached to the ends of the earth’ Ro 10:18.

LEH

συντέλεια,-ας+ N1F 2-10-19-35-20-86
Ex 23:16; Dt 11:12; Jos 4:8; Jgs 20:40
consummation, accomplishment 1 Ezr 2:1; completion (of an activity) Ex 23:16; completion, end (of time) Dt 11:12; perfection Sir 45:8; conclusion, sum Sir 43:27; destruction 2 Kgs 13:17; profit, (unjust) gain 1 Sm 8:3 ἐπὶ συντελείας perfectly Sir 43:7; λαμβάνω συντέλειαν to finish 1 Ezr 6:19; ποιέω τινὰ εἰς συντέλειαν to make an end of Ez 20:17; περὶ συντελείας about the termination of his year’s contract Sir 37:11
*Am 1:14 συντελείας αὐτῆς of her end, of her destruction -סופ/ה for MT סופה of the whirlwind , see also Na 1:3;
*Am 8:8 συντέλεια destruction -‏כלה‎ ◊‏כלה‎ for MT ‏כל/ה‎ ◊‏כל all of it , see also Am 9:5; Hab 1:9,15;
*Hab 3:19 εἰς συντέλειαν to the end ? perfectly ? -◊כלה for MT כ/אילות like (the feet of) a deer ;
*Jb 30:2 συντέλεια completion, end, full term of life ? -כלה for MT כלח maturity, old age ?
Cf. CAIRD 1969=1972, 148-149; DANIEL 1966, 263; HARL 1971=1992a, 189; KATZ 1960, 162; LE BOULLUEC 1989, 237; WAANDERS 1983, 186.293.294; —>NIDNTT; PREISIGKE; TWNT

L&N

67.66 τέλος, ους n; συντέλεια, ας f: a point of time marking the end of a duration — ‘end.’
τέλοςa: κηρυχθήσεται τοῦτο τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς βασιλείας … πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, καὶ τότε ἥξει τὸ τέλος ‘this good news about the kingdom will be preached … to all mankind, and then the end will come’ Mt 24:14; ἔφθασεν δὲ ἐπ᾿ αὐτοὺς ἡ ὀργὴ εἰς τέλος ‘and in the end wrath has come down on them’ or ‘and wrath has at last come down on them’ 1Th 2:16. There are serious problems involved in rendering τέλοςa in Mt 24:14 and in similar contexts. In a number of languages one simply cannot say ‘the end will come’; rather, it may be necessary to say ‘that is the finish’ or ‘everything is finished.’ In the context of Mt 24:14, however, it may be best to translate ‘God will finish everything.’ The phrase εἰς τέλος in 1Th 2:16 may also be understood as an idiomatic expression involving a degree of completeness (see 78.47).
συντέλεια: οὕτως ἔσται ἐν τῇ συντελείᾳ τοῦ αἰῶνος ‘so it will be at the end of the age’ Mt 13:40. As in the case of a number of expressions involving ‘end,’ it may be important to use a verb meaning ‘to finish,’ for example, ‘so it will be like that when the age finishes’ or ‘… when there isn’t any more of the age.’
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Linking the Words Συντέλεια and Πέρας With the English Translation

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 1st, 2018, 8:17 am

I think Bernd is asking a legitimate question. I suspect part of the difficulty is that the meaning of these two words is similar and remains similar if you look them up in a lexicon.

Is the structure of the sentence οὐχὶ ἑκάστῳ ἡ συντέλεια τὸ τῆς αὐτοῦ ζωῆς πέρας ἐστί the issue? It may be helpful to identify the subject and predicate of ἐστί:

s ἡ συντέλεια τὸ τῆς αὐτοῦ ζωῆς
p πέρας
v ἐστί.

Once the structure of the Greek sentence is clear, I think it becomes clear how it maps onto the translation.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Bernd Strauss
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Re: Linking the Words Συντέλεια and Πέρας With the English Translation

Post by Bernd Strauss » May 1st, 2018, 11:24 am

Thank you for the explanations. I am familiar with the meanings of the words συντέλεια and πέρας. Since the words are synonymous and each of them can be rendered either as “end” or “conclusion,” I need to know how to correctly link the Greek text with the English translation.
I suspect part of the difficulty is that the meaning of these two words is similar and remains similar if you look them up in a lexicon.
Is the structure of the sentence οὐχὶ ἑκάστῳ ἡ συντέλεια τὸ τῆς αὐτοῦ ζωῆς πέρας ἐστί the issue?
Yes, I need to know with what English word each of the two Greek words is rendered in the English translation. The word πέρας is preceded by a form of the word ζωή (“life”). So it may appear that the phrase τῆς αὐτοῦ ζωῆς πέρας is rendered in the English translation as “end of his own life.” But I am not sure whether this is so, or whether “end of his own life” translates ἡ συντέλεια τὸ τῆς αὐτοῦ ζωῆ.
It may be helpful to identify the subject and predicate of ἐστί:

s ἡ συντέλεια τὸ τῆς αὐτοῦ ζωῆς
p πέρας
v ἐστί.

Once the structure of the Greek sentence is clear, I think it becomes clear how it maps onto the translation.
If I understand you correctly, is the phrase ἡ συντέλεια τὸ τῆς αὐτοῦ ζωῆς rendered as “end of his own life,” whereas the phrase “ἑκάστῳ … πέρας”—as “consummation to every individual”?
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Re: Linking the Words Συντέλεια and Πέρας With the English Translation

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » May 1st, 2018, 11:59 am

I am familiar with the meanings of the words συντέλεια and πέρας. Since the words are synonymous and each of them can be rendered either as “end” or “conclusion,” I need to know how to correctly link the Greek text with the English translation


Having reviewed Lampe, BDAG, L&N, LEH, Grimm-Thayer ... I don't agree that the words are synonymous. The idea of a process being carried out to completion is closer to to the core or prototypical meaning in the Συντέλ... wordgroup. Πέρας overlaps in peripheral semantic domains but that doesn't make it synonymous. Πέρας indicates the point in time when the process is complete. I'm always willing to be wrong.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Linking the Words Συντέλεια and Πέρας With the English Translation

Post by Barry Hofstetter » May 1st, 2018, 12:14 pm

To answer the original question, "end" matches up with πέρας, and consummation with συντέλεια.

Oh, I suppose I should say more than that:

ἡ συντέλεια τὸ τῆς αὐτοῦ ζωῆς πέρας ἐστί.

It can't be any other way. ζωῆς as a genitive has to be dependent on πέρας, notice that it is contained attributively within the articular phrase, τὸ...πέρας.
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Re: Linking the Words Συντέλεια and Πέρας With the English Translation

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 1st, 2018, 12:58 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
May 1st, 2018, 12:14 pm
To answer the original question, "end" matches up with πέρας, and consummation with συντέλεια.

Oh, I suppose I should say more than that:

ἡ συντέλεια τὸ τῆς αὐτοῦ ζωῆς πέρας ἐστί.

It can't be any other way. ζωῆς as a genitive has to be dependent on πέρας, notice that it is contained attributively within the articular phrase, τὸ...πέρας.
Yeah, my earlier post is nonsense. It should have been:

- οὐχὶ
+ ἑκάστῳ
s ἡ συντέλεια
p τὸ τῆς αὐτοῦ ζωῆς πέρας
v ἐστί.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Bernd Strauss
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Re: Linking the Words Συντέλεια and Πέρας With the English Translation

Post by Bernd Strauss » May 2nd, 2018, 12:22 pm

Thank you for the clarifications. I can conclude that the English words can be linked with the Greek text in the following way: “Is not the end [πέρας] of his own life the consummation [συντέλεια] to every individual?” (Οὐχὶ ἑκάστῳ ἡ συντέλεια τὸ τῆς αὐτοῦ ζωῆς πέρας ἐστί.)

Having reviewed Lampe, BDAG, L&N, LEH, Grimm-Thayer ... I don't agree that the words are synonymous. The idea of a process being carried out to completion is closer to to the core or prototypical meaning in the Συντέλ... wordgroup. Πέρας overlaps in peripheral semantic domains but that doesn't make it synonymous. Πέρας indicates the point in time when the process is complete.
In some contexts, the word συντέλεια is used with reference to a termination point, which is similar to how the words τέλος and πέρας can be used.

In the following instance, the word συντέλεια is used interchangeably with the word τέλος. Polybius, Histories, book 3, chapter 1, sections 8-10: “Τὴν μὲν οὖν καθόλου τῆς ὑποθέσεως ἔμφασιν καὶ περιγραφὴν ἤδη δεδηλώκαμεν. τῶν δὲ κατὰ μέρος ἐν αὐτῇ γεγονότων ἀρχὰς μὲν εἶναι συμβαίνει τοὺς προειρημένους πολέμους, καταστροφὴν δὲ καὶ συντέλειαν τὴν κατάλυσιν τῆς ἐν Μακεδονίᾳ βασιλείας, χρόνον δὲ τὸν μεταξὺ τῆς ἀρχῆς καὶ τοῦ τέλους ἔτη πεντήκοντα τρία, περιέχεσθαι δ᾿ ἐν τούτῳ τηλικαύτας καὶ τοιαύτας πράξεις, ὅσας οὐδεὶς τῶν προγεγονότων καιρῶν ἐν ἴσῳ περιέλαβε διαστήματι.”

Loeb Classical Library, W. R. Paton’s translation (1922 edition), volume 2: “I have already indicated the general scope and limits of this history. The particular events comprised in it begin with the above-mentioned wars and culminate and end in the destruction of the Macedonian monarchy. Between the beginning and end lies a space of fifty-three years, comprising a greater number of grave and momentous events than any period of equal length in the past.”
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Re: Linking the Words Συντέλεια and Πέρας With the English Translation

Post by Barry Hofstetter » May 2nd, 2018, 7:18 pm

Bernd Strauss wrote:
May 2nd, 2018, 12:22 pm
Thank you for the clarifications. I can conclude that the English words can be linked with the Greek text in the following way: “Is not the end [πέρας] of his own life the consummation [συντέλεια] to every individual?” (Οὐχὶ ἑκάστῳ ἡ συντέλεια τὸ τῆς αὐτοῦ ζωῆς πέρας ἐστί.)
Yes, this is correct.
In some contexts, the word συντέλεια is used with reference to a termination point, which is similar to how the words τέλος and πέρας can be used.

In the following instance, the word συντέλεια is used interchangeably with the word τέλος. Polybius, Histories, book 3, chapter 1, sections 8-10: “Τὴν μὲν οὖν καθόλου τῆς ὑποθέσεως ἔμφασιν καὶ περιγραφὴν ἤδη δεδηλώκαμεν. τῶν δὲ κατὰ μέρος ἐν αὐτῇ γεγονότων ἀρχὰς μὲν εἶναι συμβαίνει τοὺς προειρημένους πολέμους, καταστροφὴν δὲ καὶ συντέλειαν τὴν κατάλυσιν τῆς ἐν Μακεδονίᾳ βασιλείας, χρόνον δὲ τὸν μεταξὺ τῆς ἀρχῆς καὶ τοῦ τέλους ἔτη πεντήκοντα τρία, περιέχεσθαι δ᾿ ἐν τούτῳ τηλικαύτας καὶ τοιαύτας πράξεις, ὅσας οὐδεὶς τῶν προγεγονότων καιρῶν ἐν ἴσῳ περιέλαβε διαστήματι.”

Loeb Classical Library, W. R. Paton’s translation (1922 edition), volume 2: “I have already indicated the general scope and limits of this history. The particular events comprised in it begin with the above-mentioned wars and culminate and end in the destruction of the Macedonian monarchy. Between the beginning and end lies a space of fifty-three years, comprising a greater number of grave and momentous events than any period of equal length in the past.”
Here, they are certainly practical synonyms. All these word share a great deal of semantic overlap, but they can also go off in (what to us are) unexpected semantic directions. τέλος in particular has a very wide range of meaning. Context will be the single greatest determinative factor.
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