Does κατάλαλος have forensic associations?

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Bill Ross
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Does κατάλαλος have forensic associations?

Post by Bill Ross » June 30th, 2019, 5:55 am

BDAG have very little to say about κατάλαλος:
κατάλαλος, ον (s. two prec. entries) pert. to speaking ill of others, slanderous w. δίψυχοι Hs 8, 7, 2. W. δόλιοι 9, 26, 7. Subst. ὁ κ. (POxy 1828 r, 3) slanderer (in a list of vices) Ro 1:30 (κακολάλους D); Hs 6, 5, 5.—DELG s.v. λαλέω. TW.

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 5:40 AM June 30, 2019.
James forbids κατάλαλος saying that when one κατάλαλος a brother we speak evil of the Torah:
[Jas 4:11-12 NKJV] (11) Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. (12) There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?

[Jas 4:11-12 MGNT] (11) μὴ καταλαλεῖτε ἀλλήλων ἀδελφοί ὁ καταλαλῶν ἀδελφοῦ ἢ κρίνων τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ καταλαλεῖ νόμου καὶ κρίνει νόμον εἰ δὲ νόμον κρίνεις οὐκ εἶ ποιητὴς νόμου ἀλλὰ κριτής (12) εἷς ἐστιν ὁ νομοθέτης καὶ κριτής ὁ δυνάμενος σῶσαι καὶ ἀπολέσαι σὺ δὲ τίς εἶ ὁ κρίνων τὸν πλησίον
I'm wondering if καταλαλεῖτε ἀλλήλων might have a forensic association indicating that this refers to an accusation in a Roman court. By appealing to a Roman court one implies that the Torah is not adequate for resolving issues among the saints, making this largely parallel with Paul:
[1Co 6:1-8 CSB] (1) If any of you has a dispute against another, how dare you take it to court before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? (2) Or don't you know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the trivial cases? (3) Don't you know that we will judge angels ​-- ​how much more matters of this life? (4) So if you have such matters, do you appoint as your judges those who have no standing in the church? (5) I say this to your shame! Can it be that there is not one wise person among you who is able to arbitrate between fellow believers? (6) Instead, brother goes to court against brother, and that before unbelievers! (7) As it is, to have legal disputes against one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? (8) Instead, you yourselves do wrong and cheat ​-- ​and you do this to brothers and sisters!
Does κατάλαλος ever appear with association with a secular forensic setting? Without extant examples of a forensic use of the word is it reckless to posit such a usage in analyzing the text or does it seem unlikely, perhaps because extant examples reliably use a different term?
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MAubrey
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Re: Does κατάλαλος have forensic associations?

Post by MAubrey » July 8th, 2019, 5:44 pm

I wouldn't feel comfortable attributing forensic associations given the data available. BDAG appears to give most all the lexical data available--I don't see much more in LSJ beyond a handful of references in Polybius and nothing that looks forensic.
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Bill Ross
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Re: Does κατάλαλος have forensic associations?

Post by Bill Ross » July 8th, 2019, 6:42 pm

I think I may have found an association, right in the text of James:

James 4:11 μὴ καταλαλεῖτε ἀλλήλων ἀδελφοί ὁ καταλαλῶν ἀδελφοῦ ἢ κρίνων τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ καταλαλεῖ νόμου καὶ κρίνει νόμον εἰ δὲ νόμον κρίνεις οὐκ εἶ ποιητὴς νόμου ἀλλὰ κριτής

I'm understanding "ὁ καταλαλῶν ἀδελφοῦ ἢ κρίνων τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ" to identify the κρίνων (suing) as the same person as the one doing the καταλαλῶν (accusing?) his brother. When I look at the usage of krinw it includes law suits:

[Mat 5:40 ASV] (40) And if any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

[Luk 6:37 ASV] (37) And judge not, and ye shall not be judged: and condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: release, and ye shall be released:

I think that makes the passage more transparent to me.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Does κατάλαλος have forensic associations?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » July 9th, 2019, 1:24 pm

Note that the in James 4:11, it's the verb and not the ajdective. Looking it over, I doubt seriously that it was ever legal t.t. That doesn't mean it can't be used in a legal context, but it appears to me to be a very general term.
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