John 20:21 -- ἀποστέλλω vs πέμπω

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Wes Wood
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Re: John 20:21 -- ἀποστέλλω vs πέμπω

Post by Wes Wood » March 29th, 2017, 7:31 pm

Roger McDaniel wrote:It is (as best I recall it) as Dr. Lovell frequently stated it in an exegesis class, and in private conversations where we discussed it further. I believe he held it as a "general principal", though not a "hard and fast rule". I believe that he was urging us as 1st or 2nd year Greek students to attempt to find the subtle difference if it WAS there, but not to strain for a difference that was NOT.
Maybe I am cynical, but I don't think that second year students (save perhaps a truly elite few) are equipped for such a task.
Roger McDaniel wrote:I hope you will allow me some forebearance in failing to incorporate Greek text, as I am just beginning to use the forum and figure out the tools to even "quote"
I wasn't asking because of any breach of forum etiquette; I was wondering the whether those were his exact words or the gist of what you understood him to be saying. No worries! 8-)
Roger McDaniel wrote:"What differences do you see in phrases and clauses that can mean essentially the same thing?"

I would cite my observations regarding John 21:15-17. I'm sure the forum has pretty much exhausted the discussion of the difference between Jesus' and Peter's use of agape vs phileo (again, please excuse my lack of fonts, I'll try to get a handle on that as soon as possible)
This topic has been addressed one other time on the forum as far as I know... :lol:

Joking aside, if I thought that there were some type of word play going on in this passage it would have more to do with my perception of the discussion. I am not saying that I think this way, but let's work from this framework for sake of common reference:
1) The author of the Gospel of John witnessed the exchange between Jesus and Peter.
2) What we read in the passage quoted below is an accurate record of what John originally wrote and that it gives us the exact words used by both men.
John 21:15 Ὅτε οὖν ἠρίστησαν λέγει τῷ Σίμωνι Πέτρῳ ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Σίμων Ἰωάννου, ἀγαπᾷς με πλέον τούτων; λέγει αὐτῷ· ναὶ κύριε, σὺ οἶδας ὅτι φιλῶ σε. λέγει αὐτῷ· βόσκε τὰ ἀρνία μου. 16 λέγει αὐτῷ πάλιν δεύτερον· Σίμων Ἰωάννου, ἀγαπᾷς με; λέγει αὐτῷ· ναὶ κύριε, σὺ οἶδας ὅτι φιλῶ σε. λέγει αὐτῷ· ποίμαινε τὰ πρόβατά μου. 17 λέγει αὐτῷ τὸ τρίτον· Σίμων Ἰωάννου, φιλεῖς με; ἐλυπήθη ὁ Πέτρος ὅτι εἶπεν αὐτῷ τὸ τρίτον· φιλεῖς με; καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· κύριε, πάντα σὺ οἶδας, σὺ γινώσκεις ὅτι φιλῶ σε. λέγει αὐτῷ· βόσκε τὰ πρόβατά μου.
If I were to accept this as the background of the passage without reservation, then I would be more inclined to accept that the use of the verbs in red could be significant. However, this would be based largely upon my intuitive grasp of the English language which expects questions and answers to share similar language. For instance, if my wife asked me if I loved her she would likely expect either a "yes" or, perhaps, "yes, I love you." If I said, "Yes, I like you." She would likely be upset*! If instead, when asked that same question, I replied, "Yes, I am in love with you." The "subtle difference" could make her even happier than the reply she more likely anticipated. The problem, again, is that I will never have an intuitive grasp of Koine Greek.

*Of course, it is also possible that she will recognize from other cues that I were joking and respond appropriately.
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Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

Stephen Hughes
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Re: John 20:21 -- ἀποστέλλω vs πέμπω

Post by Stephen Hughes » March 30th, 2017, 1:12 am

Roger McDaniel wrote:
March 28th, 2017, 10:32 pm
I read along and am often struck by the "switch" (contrast?) from one word to another within a passage (or even a sentence), so it seems worthwhile to me to spend time comparing other passages to see what that sort of trend might exist, if some nuance is habitually exhibited. I find myself equally concerned with avoiding the development of meanings that aren't there against the loss of deeper meanings that ARE intended. So much to consider...
You guys are highlighting the whole words in red, but I think you are only thinking of them in terms of their lexical meaning, ie your discussion is about the meaning of the word in an abstract unconnected-with-the-players-involved way of looking at it. Try asking yourselves these two simple questions, "At what point of the process are the people involved in the process at?" and stating that from their point of view not ours "From what perspective are the people involved in the process looking at the process?"

Here is my reasoning that has produced those questions:

We see Jesus here among us (if we are empathising / identifying with the disciples) or among the disciples (if we read the story of Jesus and the disciples), during the carrying-out-of-the-commission stage of ἀποστεῖλαι verb, and he is telling us or the disciples about that stage of the process that we or they weren't privy to. From our or the disciple's point of view the whole of the ἀποστεῖλαι process lies ahead of us or them, it is about the first step, the commissioning stage of the ἀποστεῖλαι verb or the sending, rather than the carrying-out-of-the-commission stage of ἀποστεῖλαι verb.

In effect then, the ἀποστεῖλαι verb represents two different things, the first is the complete and often more abstract idea of both the commissioning and the carrying-out-of-the-commission, and the second is the thing that can happen within any given nunc fluens (relatively speaking "now") period of time, ie just the commissioning.

Πέμπτειν has the same degree of containment within a limited time period as ἀποστεῖλαι in the sense of just "commissioning" or "sending" has. While πέμπτειν has much less meaning than ἀποστεῖλαι, we understand the added significance it has in these passages from the context of the passages. The degree of specificity of a vague verb is increased by the other words around it that give more specific information.

By way of comparison with English, while Greek expresses the move from vagueness to specificity by choice of words, or by the choice of meanings that the words have (to us or the individuals) in the narrative, English uses tense to do the same thing. Moving from the present perfect to the simple past in a narrative is roughly the same. "I have been to Beijing. I visited the Great Wall." is a general statement followed by a specific one. [That is the vaguer use of the present perfect without immediate present reference, ie the one like, "I have eaten rice (at some point at least in my life)", vs. "I have eaten some rice (so I feel full)".]
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Wes Wood
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Re: John 20:21 -- ἀποστέλλω vs πέμπω

Post by Wes Wood » March 30th, 2017, 9:44 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:You guys are highlighting the whole words in red, but I think you are only thinking of them in terms of their lexical meaning, ie your discussion is about the meaning of the word in an abstract unconnected-with-the-players-involved way of looking at it.
I agree, and it is impossible to advance more quickly than the participants are willing.
Stephen Hughes wrote:Here is my reasoning that has produced those questions:

We see Jesus here among us (if we are empathising / identifying with the disciples) or among the disciples (if we read the story of Jesus and the disciples), during the carrying-out-of-the-commission stage of ἀποστεῖλαι verb, and he is telling us or the disciples about that stage of the process that we or they weren't privy to. From our or the disciple's point of view the whole of the ἀποστεῖλαι process lies ahead of us or them, it is about the first step, the commissioning stage of the ἀποστεῖλαι verb or the sending, rather than the carrying-out-of-the-commission stage of ἀποστεῖλαι verb.

In effect then, the ἀποστεῖλαι verb represents two different things, the first is the complete and often more abstract idea of both the commissioning and the carrying-out-of-the-commission, and the second is the thing that can happen within any given nunc fluens (relatively speaking "now") period of time, ie just the commissioning.

Πέμπτειν has the same degree of containment within a limited time period as ἀποστεῖλαι in the sense of just "commissioning" or "sending" has. While πέμπτειν has much less meaning than ἀποστεῖλαι, we understand the added significance it has in these passages from the context of the passages. The degree of specificity of a vague verb is increased by the other words around it that give more specific information.
Since the thread was resurrected, I have treated it as thought it had a life of its own. It would be better if the new discussion were given its own thread. The discussion has moved away from its previous focus.
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Roger McDaniel
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Re: John 20:21 -- ἀποστέλλω vs πέμπω

Post by Roger McDaniel » March 30th, 2017, 1:00 pm

Maybe I am cynical, but I don't think that second year students (save perhaps a truly elite few) are equipped for such a task.
Generally, I would agree with you, but I think his intent was to encourage us to be as observant as we were capable of being (at that stage of our education), and at least not slavishly translate two words the same because that was the first definition we found for each in the lexicon. I know it raised a certain, shall I say, "sensitivity" to similar words that causes me to read a bit slower and at least ASK myself, "I wonder why he used two different terms here?", especially when they occur in the same conversation (or sentence).

And, while I can't recall where I saw it (I think in a grammar by Davis), it was highlighted that the difference in a negative prohibition utilizing either ουκ or μή were worth observing; that using the former generally hinted at ceasing a current behavior, while the latter was more like, "You've not done it thus far... so don't even start!" My current level of reading is just trying to build a functional bank of vocab, but I'm also keeping an eye out for good "preaching points".

Concerning the John passage, and well aware that the whole "ἀγαπᾷς/φιλῶ" line of thought has been pretty well beaten to death :lol: , I was intending to point out my observations about the concurrent "οἶδας/γινώσκεις" interplay going on at the same time (See below). Again, not wanting to find "new doctrine" (more than is really there), but I wondered if anyone else saw significance that Peter might have quit appealing to "mental knowledge" (οἶδας) and pointed to the experiential relationship (γινώσκεις) that they had as evidence that, in SPITE of his serious failure, he very definitely loved his Lord.

John 21:15 Ὅτε οὖν ἠρίστησαν λέγει τῷ Σίμωνι Πέτρῳ ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Σίμων Ἰωάννου, ἀγαπᾷς με πλέον τούτων; λέγει αὐτῷ· ναὶ κύριε, σὺ οἶδας ὅτι φιλῶ σε. λέγει αὐτῷ· βόσκε τὰ ἀρνία μου. 16 λέγει αὐτῷ πάλιν δεύτερον· Σίμων Ἰωάννου, ἀγαπᾷς με; λέγει αὐτῷ· ναὶ κύριε, σὺ οἶδας ὅτι φιλῶ σε. λέγει αὐτῷ· ποίμαινε τὰ πρόβατά μου. 17 λέγει αὐτῷ τὸ τρίτον· Σίμων Ἰωάννου, φιλεῖς με; ἐλυπήθη ὁ Πέτρος ὅτι εἶπεν αὐτῷ τὸ τρίτον· φιλεῖς με; καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· κύριε, πάντα σὺ οἶδας, σὺ γινώσκεις ὅτι φιλῶ σε.

VERY much enjoying the conversation. Thanks, All!
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: John 20:21 -- ἀποστέλλω vs πέμπω

Post by Stephen Hughes » March 30th, 2017, 10:23 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
March 30th, 2017, 1:12 am
πέμπτειν
!?!

Creative spelling.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: John 20:21 -- ἀποστέλλω vs πέμπω

Post by Stephen Hughes » March 31st, 2017, 7:17 am

Wes Wood wrote:
March 30th, 2017, 9:44 am
Stephen Hughes wrote:You guys are highlighting the whole words in red, but I think you are only thinking of them in terms of their lexical meaning, ie your discussion is about the meaning of the word in an abstract unconnected-with-the-players-involved way of looking at it.
I agree, and it is impossible to advance more quickly than the participants are willing.
Let me rephrase that, then.

The word pairs you are looking at are more than just word pairs. They have subjects. Those subjects have a different appreciation of what the words mean, or are at a different stage in the realisation of the verb.

It seems you took me to be referring to the players involved, as those involved in this conversation. I mean those players (actors in a theatre) that are presented in the text.
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Wes Wood
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Re: John 20:21 -- ἀποστέλλω vs πέμπω

Post by Wes Wood » March 31st, 2017, 9:52 am

I am sorry for the tone of my post. It was seemed abrasive, but it wasn't intended to be.
Stephen Hughes wrote:The word pairs you are looking at are more than just word pairs. They have subjects. Those subjects have a different appreciation of what the words mean, or are at a different stage in the realisation of the verb.

It seems you took me to be referring to the players involved, as those involved in this conversation. I mean those players (actors in a theatre) that are presented in the text.
This is what I was alluding to when I wrote. "Without context, those words can appear to be exactly the same, but when uttered from [sic] a specific person they may not be." Even when armed with such awareness, the problem is that one cannot be certain about a individual's lexical or syntactical idiosyncrasies without a greater knowledge of that person than what context generally allows. While I agree that your method for assessing πέμπειν and ἀποστέλλειν is helpful, I think that it is aided greatly aided by the fact that "πέμπτειν has much less meaning than ἀποστεῖλαι." Your method seems to me less helpful for analyzing εἰδέναι and γινώσκειν since they appear to lack the same degree of differentiation. And even if one chose to study each of these words as carefully as possible for shades of meaning and connotation, one could never be sure of their lexical conclusions, much less about the speakers' conceptions at the time of utterance. While I think that all reflections are beneficial and have their proper place, I think that in most instances a student's time is better spent drawing conclusions from information that we have rather than drawing conclusions from speculations.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: John 20:21 -- ἀποστέλλω vs πέμπω

Post by Stephen Hughes » March 31st, 2017, 12:45 pm

Wes Wood wrote:
March 31st, 2017, 9:52 am
Your method seems to me less helpful for analyzing εἰδέναι and γινώσκειν since they appear to lack the same degree of differentiation.
Okay. I understand how just glosses without a theoretical structure of meanings is not so easy to work with. Let me point it out a little.

I think they have almost the same pattern of meaning as ἀποστέλλω vs πέμπω, but the ratio and pattern of their usage is not the same. The wider one is γινώσκειν, it extends from experience to knowledge, while εἰδέναι is more narrow and is just knowledge.
Wes Wood wrote:
March 31st, 2017, 9:52 am
While I think that all reflections are beneficial and have their proper place, I think that in most instances a student's time is better spent drawing conclusions from information that we have rather than drawing conclusions from speculations.
I understand what you are saying, and your intended direction for your studies, but let me say for my part that exploring the structure of the levels of meaning is mind-blowingly awesome. Greek has stood up from the page and become 3-D.
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Wes Wood
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Re: John 20:21 -- ἀποστέλλω vs πέμπω

Post by Wes Wood » March 31st, 2017, 2:19 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
March 31st, 2017, 12:45 pm
Wes Wood wrote:
March 31st, 2017, 9:52 am
Your method seems to me less helpful for analyzing εἰδέναι and γινώσκειν since they appear to lack the same degree of differentiation.
Okay. I understand how just glosses without a theoretical structure of meanings is not so easy to work with. Let me point it out a little.

I think they have almost the same pattern of meaning as ἀποστέλλω vs πέμπω, but the ratio and pattern of their usage is not the same. The wider one is γινώσκειν, it extends from experience to knowledge, while εἰδέναι is more narrow and is just knowledge.
Wes Wood wrote:
March 31st, 2017, 9:52 am
While I think that all reflections are beneficial and have their proper place, I think that in most instances a student's time is better spent drawing conclusions from information that we have rather than drawing conclusions from speculations.
I understand what you are saying, and your intended direction for your studies, but let me say for my part that exploring the structure of the levels of meaning is mind-blowingly awesome. Greek has stood up from the page and become 3-D.
You have been on this journey longer than I have, no doubt. I am just now beginning to appreciate such information and am still in my infancy when it comes to making these observations on my own. My intent was to keep the discussion at the poster's pace in the beginner's forum.

Again, I truly wasn't disparaging your method and was trying to make that clear. I think we agree more than not.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: John 20:21 -- ἀποστέλλω vs πέμπω

Post by Stephen Hughes » March 31st, 2017, 11:57 pm

Wes Wood wrote:
March 31st, 2017, 2:19 pm
My intent was to keep the discussion at the poster's pace in the beginner's forum.
This is not a beginner's question.

Rodger has has been reading regularly for 30 years and said that he is looking for patterns. He correctly noticed that γιγνώσκω means experience then know in one's mind, and that οἶδα means know just in one's mind. I have briefly pointed out some of the overal context within which that distinction occurs. I think that my comments are within what Vygotsky would consider Rodger's ZPD to be.
Wes Wood wrote:
March 31st, 2017, 2:19 pm
You have been on this journey longer than I have, no doubt. I am just now beginning to appreciate such information and am still in my infancy when it comes to making these observations on my own.
Speaking of infancy, while it is true that I first picked up a GNT almost a decade before your mother first picked you up, in many ways you have made much better progress than I ever did.

In terms of your own ZPD in regard to the matter of observing this abstraction - specificity distinction, let me make a suggestion for handling unknown vocabulary in your extensive reading. Let me assume, that ἐμπίμπρημι is an unfamiliar word for you.

If you are reading Matthew 22, and you come to the following:
Matthew 22:7 wrote:Καὶ ἀκούσας ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐκεῖνος ὠργίσθη, καὶ πέμψας τὰ στρατεύματα αὐτοῦ ἀπώλεσεν τοὺς φονεῖς ἐκείνους, καὶ τὴν πόλιν αὐτῶν ἐνέπρησεν.
You understand everything except ἐνέπρησεν. What do you do?

The first thing is to find the divide between abstract and concrete. Quite obviously it is here:
Matthew 22:7 wrote:Καὶ ἀκούσας ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐκεῖνος ὠργίσθη, καὶ πέμψας τὰ στρατεύματα αὐτοῦ ἀπώλεσεν τοὺς φονεῖς ἐκείνους, καὶ τὴν πόλιν αὐτῶν ἐνέπρησεν.
That is straightforward, because you know πέμπειν is a specific word at least, so you can check ἀπόλλυμι. In general it comes in the second (concrete / specific) part of a thought (later clause of a sentence or later sentence of a paragraph). The word family‎ φονεύειν, too, is the blood-on-hands specific, direct and contained in time and space action. On that basis, there is enough grounds to assume in the first instance that ἐμπίμπρημι is a concrete and direct action against their city, rather a sophisticated or conceptual action.

[The other verb‎ you might have been thinking of πιπράσκω "sell off (to get money, not as in buy and sell for profit)" seems to be more abstract, having the two ideas of sell and get money.]

[If you care to check it, ὀργίζειν only occurs in the first clause of sentences or in the first sentences of a paragraph, so it is easily identified as an abstract word.]

On the basis of this pattern in the lexical stock, you already know one very important feature of the meaning of the word before you need to go and look in the dictionary.
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