ἐπιλανθάνομαἰ in Phil 3:13, Does 'forget' do it?

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jweaks
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ἐπιλανθάνομαἰ in Phil 3:13, Does 'forget' do it?

Post by jweaks » May 15th, 2017, 12:05 pm

"ἓν δέ, τὰ μὲν ὀπίσω ἐπιλανθανόμενος τοῖς δὲ ἔμπροσθεν ἐπεκτεινόμενος," — Φιλιππησίους 3·13

In terms of how best to translate, it seem to me in English we don't say, "forget the things behind us", we say things like, "don't dwell on the past", "not be nostalgic", "no reminisce about things in the past".

The verse istm means "I will not dwell on past things, but focus forward."

I'm playing around with: "looking behind" or "focusing/dwelling on what's behind/the past"
"dwell" is an interesting semantic domain. It surely includes what you are "mindful" of/remembering (ie. not forgetting).

The only translations I found that don't use "forget" are:
"I don't look back": God's Word (GW)/Names of God Bible (NOG)
"I leave the past behind": JBPhillips
"I'm not turning back": The Message
"I’m leaving my old life behind": The Voice

Thoughts?

jweaks
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Re: ἐπιλανθάνομαἰ in Phil 3:13, Does 'forget' do it?

Post by jweaks » May 15th, 2017, 12:59 pm

Interesting is the complete lack of lexical parallel in Isaiah 43 LXX. I had assumed there would be.

"Μὴ μνημονεύετε τὰ πρῶτα καὶ τὰ ἀρχαῖα μὴ συλλογίζεσθε." — Ἠσαΐας 43·18

Jonathan Robie
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Re: ἐπιλανθάνομαἰ in Phil 3:13, Does 'forget' do it?

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 15th, 2017, 2:16 pm

Context is important here.
Phil 3 wrote:12 Οὐχ ὅτι ἤδη ἔλαβον ἢ ἤδη τετελείωμαι, διώκω δὲ εἰ καὶ καταλάβω, ἐφ’ ᾧ καὶ κατελήμφθην ὑπὸ Χριστοῦ. 13 ἀδελφοί, ἐγὼ ἐμαυτὸν οὐ λογίζομαι κατειληφέναι· ἓν δέ, τὰ μὲν ὀπίσω ἐπιλανθανόμενος τοῖς δὲ ἔμπροσθεν ἐπεκτεινόμενος, 14 κατὰ σκοπὸν διώκω εἰς τὸ βραβεῖον τῆς ἄνω κλήσεως τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ. 15 ὅσοι οὖν τέλειοι, τοῦτο φρονῶμεν· καὶ εἴ τι ἑτέρως φρονεῖτε, καὶ τοῦτο ὁ θεὸς ὑμῖν ἀποκαλύψει· 16 πλὴν εἰς ὃ ἐφθάσαμεν, τῷ αὐτῷ στοιχεῖν.
I read this as a runner who does not look back, but looks forward toward the goal, a goal he has not yet reached. I think τὰ μὲν ὀπίσω ἐπιλανθανόμενος / τοῖς δὲ ἔμπροσθεν ἐπεκτεινόμενος should be read in this context. BDAG suggests that for this verse, it has the sense 'disregard, put out of mind'. Perhaps 'ignoring what is behind' or 'disregarding what is behind'? Disregarding fits the physical analogy, meaning quite literally 'not looking'.

In the Acts of Paul, it may have a similar sense in the phrase ἐπιλάθου τοῦ πλούτου καὶ τοῦ κάλλους, though you would probably translate it differently into English.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Stephen Hughes
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Re: ἐπιλανθάνομαἰ in Phil 3:13, Does 'forget' do it?

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 17th, 2017, 10:58 am

jweaks wrote:
May 15th, 2017, 12:05 pm
Thoughts?
I think that the difference between λανθάνω and ἐπιλανθάνομαι is similar to the difference between ποθέω and ἐπιποθέω
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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