Louw & Nida, seen through the lens of the Semantic Dictionary of Biblical Greek, explain the idiom thus:John 13:23 wrote:ἦν ἀνακείμενος εἷς ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ, ὃν ἠγάπα ὁ Ἰησοῦς.
Is it over-interpreting this to say he was "in the place of honor"? If he was ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ, this does seem to imply that he was at the right hand of Jesus, and I imagine Jesus would have been the host. But is that too much for the dictionary sense to convey?Louw & Nida wrote:ἀνάκειμαι ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ (anakeimai en tō kolpō) 3 (an idiom, literally: to recline on the bosom) to take the place of honor at a meal.
Glosses: to dine in the place of honor
Domain: Recline [to eat] (17F)
Comment: These expressions in JHN 13:23 anakeimenos (reclining) and JHN 13:25 anapesōn (reclining) would mean that the so-called ‘beloved disciple’ would be at the right of Jesus, since guests at a meal would be reclining on the left side so as to permit freedom of the right hand in dining. It may, of course, be that the same expression could be used of persons sitting at a table rather than reclining on couches. Literal translations of ἀνάκειμαι ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ and ἀναπίπτω ἐπὶ τὸ στῆθος can result in serious misunderstanding, since they might imply overt homosexuality. There is no justification for reading into such idioms this type of implication.
Could this also refer to people sitting at a table, as the text seems to imply? Can κεῖμαι refer to sitting? BDAG seems to say no. I had assumed the setting looked like the picture below.