στοιχεῖα

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Jason Hare
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στοιχεῖα

Post by Jason Hare » October 21st, 2011, 1:21 am

Hi, B-Greekers. 8-)

I just came across an interesting connection that I wanted to run by you. I have been aware for a long time that Paul discussed what he called στοιχεῖα and that they applied to religious strictures like holiday observances (Galatians 4:10) and purity restrictions (μὴ ἅψῃ μηδὲ γεύσῃ μηδὲ θίγῃς, Colossians 2:21).

I don't have access to BDAG, but I was wondering if someone could look up the references to both στοιχεῖα (στοιχεῖον) and στοιχέω and tell me how they're related. I noticed στοιχέω in Acts 21:24, regarding Paul's "submitting" to the law.

I just want to confirm that these words are definitely connected (besides the obvious appearance of similarity). I've checked both entries in LSJ, but I was hoping for some enlightenment as to how they are listed in the NT lexicon.

Thanks!

Jason
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Re: στοιχεῖα

Post by cwconrad » October 21st, 2011, 5:43 am

Jason Hare wrote:Hi, B-Greekers. 8-)

I just came across an interesting connection that I wanted to run by you. I have been aware for a long time that Paul discussed what he called στοιχεῖα and that they applied to religious strictures like holiday observances (Galatians 4:10) and purity restrictions (μὴ ἅψῃ μηδὲ γεύσῃ μηδὲ θίγῃς, Colossians 2:21).

I don't have access to BDAG, but I was wondering if someone could look up the references to both στοιχεῖα (στοιχεῖον) and στοιχέω and tell me how they're related. I noticed στοιχέω in Acts 21:24, regarding Paul's "submitting" to the law.

I just want to confirm that these words are definitely connected (besides the obvious appearance of similarity). I've checked both entries in LSJ, but I was hoping for some enlightenment as to how they are listed in the NT lexicon.

Thanks!

Jason
Jason, I think you're getting into a disputed area here. It is true that στοιχεῖον may refer to any basic element in a group, like characters in the alphabet, and some believe that the word refers in Pauline writings to religious strictures. But in the Pauline texts the στοιχεῖα are always qualified by the genitive phrase τοῦ κόσμου and described as powers to whom people may be enslaved as subjects. I recollect vividly this as the dissertation topic of my first Greek teacher at Tulane, Joe Billy McMinn, who identified the στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου with the κοσμοκράτορες τοῦ σκότους τούτου in Eph 6:12.

Here's the BDAG entry:
στοιχεῖον, ου, τό (since Aristoph., X., Pla.; also BGU 959, 2) in our lit. only pl.
1. basic components of someth., elements
a. of substances underlying the natural world, the basic elements fr. which everything in the world is made and of which it is composed (Pla. et al.; PGM 4, 440; Wsd 7:17; 19:18; 4 Macc 12:13; Ath., R. 3 p. 51, 17), to disappear in the world conflagration at the end of time 2 Pt 3:10, 12 (Ath. 22, 3; lit. s.v. καυσόω). The four elements of the world (earth, air, fire, water) Hv 3, 13, 3 (cp. Diog. L. 7, 137 [Zeno the Stoic] ἔστι δὲ στοιχεῖον, ἐξ οὗ πρώτου γίνεται τὰ γινόμενα καὶ εἰς ὃ ἔσχατον ἀναλύεται . . . τὸ πῦρ, τὸ ὕδωρ, ὁ ἀήρ, ἡ γῆ; Plut., Mor. 875c; Philo, Cher. 127 τὰ τέσσαρα στοιχεῖα; Jos., Ant. 3, 183.—JKroll, Die Lehren des Hermes Trismegistos 1914, 178ff; ESchweizer, JBL 107, ’88, 455–68). πῦρ . . . ὕδωρ . . . ἄλλο τι τῶν στοιχείων Dg 8:2; cp. 7:2 (s. b).
b. of basic components of celestial constellations, heavenly bodies (Ar. 3, 2; Just., A II, 5, 2; Diog. L. 6. 102 τὰ δώδεκα στοιχεῖα of the signs of the zodiac; POsl 4, 18 δώδεκα στ. τοῦ οὐρανοῦ; Ps.-Callisth. 13, 1.—PGM 4, 1303 the ‘Bear’ is called a στοιχεῖον ἄφθαρτον.—Rtzst., Poim. 69ff, Herr der Grösse 13ff; Diels [s. below] 53f; JvanWageningen, Τὰ στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου: ThSt 35, 1917, 1–6; FColson, The Week 1926, 95ff) Dg 7:2.
c. of things that constitute the foundation of learning, fundamental principles (X., Mem. 2, 1, 1; Isocr. 2, 16; Plut., Lib. Educ. 16, 2; Just., A I, 60, 11) or even letters of the alphabet, ABC’s (Pla. et al.) τὰ στ. τῆς ἀρχῆς τῶν λογίων τοῦ θεοῦ the very elements of the truths of God Hb 5:12. This mng. is also prob. for the passages in Gal (4:3, 9 NEB ‘elementary ideas belonging to this world’; cp. LBelleville, JSNT 26, ’86, 53–78) and Col; s. next.
2. transcendent powers that are in control over events in this world, elements, elemental spirits. The mng. of στ. in τὰ στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου Gal 4:3; Col 2:8, 20 (for the expr. στοιχ. τ. κόσμου cp. SibOr 2, 206; 3, 80f; 8, 337) and τὰ ἀσθενῆ καὶ πτωχὰ στοιχεῖα Gal 4:9 is much disputed. For a survey s. EBurton, ICC Gal 1921, 510–18. Some (e.g. Burton, Goodsp.) prefer to take it in sense 1c above, as referring to the elementary forms of religion, Jewish and polytheistic, which have been superseded by the new revelation in Christ (so also WKnox, St. Paul and the Church of the Gentiles ’39, 108f; RGrant, HTR 39, ’46, 71–3; ACramer, Stoicheia Tou Kosmou, ’61 [the unregenerate tendencies within humans]).—Others (e.g. WBauer, Mft., NRSV) hold that the ref. is to the elemental spirits which the syncretistic religious tendencies of later antiquity associated w. the physical elements (Herm. Wr. Κόρη κόσμου in Stob. I 409 W.=Sc. 486ff, esp. 486, 23; 25; 490, 14: the στοιχεῖα, fire, air, water, earth, complain to the deity who is over all; Orph. Hymn. 5, 4; 66, 4 Qu.; Ps.-Callisth. 1, 3 [s. below Pfister p. 416f]; Simplicius In Aristot. De Caelo 1, 3 p. 107, 15 Heiberg.—MDibelius, Geisterwelt 78ff; 228ff, Hdb. z. NT2 exc. on Col 2:8; ELohmeyer, Col 1930, 4–8; 103–5; FPfister, Die στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου in den Briefen des Ap. Pls: Philol. 69, 1910, 411–27; GMacgregor: ACPurdy Festschr. ’60, 88–104); they were somet. worshiped as divinities (Vett. Val. 293, 27; Philo, Vita Cont. 3 τοὺς τὰ στοιχεῖα τιμῶντας, γῆν, ὕδωρ, ἀέρα, πῦρ. Cp. Diels [s. below] 45ff; Schweizer 1a above). It is not always easy to differentiate betw. this sense and that of 1b above, since heavenly bodies were also regarded as personal beings and given divine honors.—HDiels, Elementum 1899; ABonhöffer, Epiktet u. das NT 1911, 130ff; OLagercrantz, Elementum 1911 (p. 41 στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου=θεμέλια τοῦ κόσμου); BEaston, The Pauline Theol. and Hellenism: AJT 21, 1917, 358–82; KDieterich, Hellenist. Volksreligion u. byz.-neugriech. Volksglaube: Αγγελος I 1925, 2–23; on Gal 4 and Col 2, GKurze, D. στοιχεῖα τ. κόσμου: BZ 15, 1927, 335; WHatch, Τὰ στοιχεῖα in Paul and Bardaisân: JTS 28, 1927, 181f; JHuby, Στοιχεῖα dans Bardesane et dans St. Paul: Biblica 15, ’34, 365–68; on Gal 4:3, 9 and Col 2:8, 20, LScheu, Die ‘Weltelemente’ beim Ap. Pls: diss. Cath. Univ., Washington ’34; BReicke, JBL 70, ’51, 259–76 (Gal 4:1–11); WBrownlee, Messianic Motifs of Qumran and the NT, NTS 3, ’56/57, 195–210; MKiley, SBLSP 25, ’86, 236–45.—RAC IV 1073–1100; B. 1501. DELG s.v. στείχω. M-M. EDNT. TW. Sv.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
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Jason Hare
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Re: στοιχεῖα

Post by Jason Hare » October 21st, 2011, 5:51 am

cwconrad wrote:Jason, I think you're getting into a disputed area here. It is true that στοιχεῖον may refer to any basic element in a group, like characters in the alphabet, and some believe that the word refers in Pauline writings to religious strictures. But in the Pauline texts the στοιχεῖα are always qualified by the genitive phrase τοῦ κόσμου and described as powers to whom people may be enslaved as subjects. I recollect vividly this as the dissertation topic of my first Greek teacher at Tulane, Joe Billy McMinn, who identified the στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου with the κοσμοκράτορες τοῦ σκότους τούτου in Eph 6:12.
Right, Carl. I'm writing a position paper, in which I'm only including this as a "possible" connection and building it from the context of legalism and its condemnation in the Pauline letters. I'm certain that it's disputable, but it's really just a side issue. I'm not going to stake any argument on it. Thanks for the cautionary note. :)
cwconrad wrote:Here's the BDAG entry:
Thanks a lot! Do you keep it in digital form? Perhaps LOGOS? I've got several texts on LOGOS, and I've thought about forking out the $150 for BDAG, but I don't know how well I trust the products there to be 100% tested and clean. Do you have something like that from which you just copy and paste these things?

Thanks and regards,
Jason
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Re: στοιχεῖα

Post by Jason Hare » October 21st, 2011, 5:54 am

Could I trouble you for στοιχέω also? And if στείχω is a synonym (which it appears to me), could you paste that up here, too?
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Re: στοιχεῖα

Post by cwconrad » October 21st, 2011, 6:24 am

Jason Hare wrote:Could I trouble you for στοιχέω also? And if στείχω is a synonym (which it appears to me), could you paste that up here, too?
Jason, I have it in Accordance on the Mac and it's really great. I also have Logos for Mac with the whole Perseus collection which was recently made available for free. It really is great to be able to go directly from a digital text of the GNT to a digital BDAG.

Here's στοιχέω:
στοιχέω (στοῖχος) fut. στοιχήσω (X. et al.; ins, pap; Eccl 11:6) orig. ‘be drawn up in line’, in our lit. only fig. to be in line with a pers. or thing considered as standard for one’s conduct, hold to, agree with, follow, conform w. dat. (Polyb. 28, 5, 6; Dionys. Hal. 6, 65; OGI 339, 51 [II AD]; SIG 685, 18; 734, 6; Michel 544, 14 βουλόμενος στοιχεῖν τοῖς πρασσομένοις; pap not until Byz. times) ὅσοι τῷ κανόνι τούτῳ στοιχήσουσιν all those who will follow this rule Gal 6:16; cp. Phil 3:16 v.l.; στ. τῷ λόγῳ Ἰησοῦ Χρ. MPol 22:1. πνεύματι στ. follow the Spirit Gal 5:25. εἰς ὃ ἐφθάσαμεν, τῷ αὐτῷ στοιχεῖν we must hold on to what we have attained Phil 3:16. στ. τοῖς ἴχνεσίν τινος let our conduct be consistent with what we have already attained (so REB; s. ἴχνος) Ro 4:12.—Abs. (so perh. OGI 308, 21) στοιχεῖς φυλάσσων τὸν νόμον Ac 21:24 (the ptc. tells what it is that Paul conforms to).—New Docs 2, 97. DELG s.v. στείχω. M-M. TW.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Jason Hare
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Re: στοιχεῖα

Post by Jason Hare » October 21st, 2011, 7:46 am

cwconrad wrote:Jason, I have it in Accordance on the Mac and it's really great. I also have Logos for Mac with the whole Perseus collection which was recently made available for free. It really is great to be able to go directly from a digital text of the GNT to a digital BDAG.

Here's στοιχέω:
στοιχέω (στοῖχος) fut. στοιχήσω (X. et al.; ins, pap; Eccl 11:6) orig. ‘be drawn up in line’, in our lit. only fig. to be in line with a pers. or thing considered as standard for one’s conduct, hold to, agree with, follow, conform w. dat. (Polyb. 28, 5, 6; Dionys. Hal. 6, 65; OGI 339, 51 [II AD]; SIG 685, 18; 734, 6; Michel 544, 14 βουλόμενος στοιχεῖν τοῖς πρασσομένοις; pap not until Byz. times) ὅσοι τῷ κανόνι τούτῳ στοιχήσουσιν all those who will follow this rule Gal 6:16; cp. Phil 3:16 v.l.; στ. τῷ λόγῳ Ἰησοῦ Χρ. MPol 22:1. πνεύματι στ. follow the Spirit Gal 5:25. εἰς ὃ ἐφθάσαμεν, τῷ αὐτῷ στοιχεῖν we must hold on to what we have attained Phil 3:16. στ. τοῖς ἴχνεσίν τινος let our conduct be consistent with what we have already attained (so REB; s. ἴχνος) Ro 4:12.—Abs. (so perh. OGI 308, 21) στοιχεῖς φυλάσσων τὸν νόμον Ac 21:24 (the ptc. tells what it is that Paul conforms to).—New Docs 2, 97. DELG s.v. στείχω. M-M. TW.
χάριν πάλιν ἔχω σοι!
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Re: στοιχεῖα

Post by George F Somsel » October 22nd, 2011, 2:22 am

Jason Hare wrote
I just want to confirm that these words are definitely connected (besides the obvious appearance of similarity). I've checked both entries in LSJ, but I was hoping for some enlightenment as to how they are listed in the NT lexicon.
I'm wondering whether we don't have two homophones here: στοιχέω / στοῖχος and στοιχεῖον the former indicating to be in a row / a row and the latter indicating elements / elemental spirits.
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Re: στοιχεῖα

Post by Jason Hare » October 22nd, 2011, 4:24 am

George F Somsel wrote:Jason Hare wrote
I just want to confirm that these words are definitely connected (besides the obvious appearance of similarity). I've checked both entries in LSJ, but I was hoping for some enlightenment as to how they are listed in the NT lexicon.
I'm wondering whether we don't have two homophones here: στοιχέω / στοῖχος and στοιχεῖον the former indicating to be in a row / a row and the latter indicating elements / elemental spirits.
The elements and fundamental teachings are those things which are set in order, aren't they? I know that we set our elements in a large table today, and we have many more than just four. They're definitely set in order according to atomic structure. We do things differently from the ancients, but wouldn't you imagine that the "elements" (whether or not they took on spiritual connotations) were called such because of an implied order in the creation?
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Re: στοιχεῖα

Post by George F Somsel » October 22nd, 2011, 2:19 pm

Jason Hare wrote:
The elements and fundamental teachings are those things which are set in order, aren't they? I know that we set our elements in a large table today, and we have many more than just four. They're definitely set in order according to atomic structure. We do things differently from the ancients, but wouldn't you imagine that the "elements" (whether or not they took on spiritual connotations) were called such because of an implied order in the creation?
You could be correct, but it seems a bit of a stretch to attempt to connect the two concepts. I generally prefer to KISS it (Keep it simple, stupid).
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… search for truth, hear truth,
learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
defend the truth till death.



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Re: στοιχεῖα

Post by Jason Hare » October 24th, 2011, 5:55 pm

So, I take it that στοῖχος and στίχος are synonyms.

What of στοιχῶ (-έω) and στείχω/στίχω?
Are they also synonyms?
Is there any important distinction between them?

Seems that originally στείχω would have basically been the causative - "to put in a line or row." While στοιχῶ was the action itself of being in or getting into line.

Did they merge together? Or, am I looking at this entirely wrong?

Thanks.
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