λυω - John 2:19 , 1 John 3:8 , LXX

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David Lim
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λυω - John 2:19 , 1 John 3:8 , LXX

Post by David Lim » December 12th, 2011, 11:35 pm

[John 2] [19] απεκριθη ιησους και ειπεν αυτοις λυσατε τον ναον τουτον και εν τρισιν ημεραις εγερω αυτον
[1 John 3] [8] ο ποιων την αμαρτιαν εκ του διαβολου εστιν οτι απ αρχης ο διαβολος αμαρτανει εις τουτο εφανερωθη ο υιος του θεου ινα λυση τα εργα του διαβολου
Does "λυω" in these two places mean the same as "απολλυμι"?
Or does the word in these two places mean more of "break up" (cause to disintegrate) rather than "ruin"?
Also I noticed that the LXX uses "λυω" for "αμαρτιαι" also. Does it have the same meaning as "αφιημι" would?
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cwconrad
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Re: λυω - John 2:19 , 1 John 3:8 , LXX

Post by cwconrad » December 13th, 2011, 6:23 am

λύω and δέω constitute a basic antithetical pair in a whole range of senses realted to "dissolve" or "fix" a bond or bonding or "undo" something that is settled.Standard older English uses the pair "loose" and "bind" traditionally to render this Greek pair, but some usages may not seem immediately obvious. ἁμαρτίαι are thought of as things that "cling" to a person, so that λύειν τὰς ἁμαρτίας means "disencumber" or "rid" or "free from." These are key verbs in the Greek vocabulary with pretty clear senses in a broad variety of contexts. A careful reading of the relatively full entries on λύω in LSJ or BDAG is very instructive.
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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)

David Lim
Posts: 901
Joined: June 6th, 2011, 6:55 am

Re: λυω - John 2:19 , 1 John 3:8 , LXX

Post by David Lim » December 13th, 2011, 9:03 pm

cwconrad wrote:λύω and δέω constitute a basic antithetical pair in a whole range of senses realted to "dissolve" or "fix" a bond or bonding or "undo" something that is settled.Standard older English uses the pair "loose" and "bind" traditionally to render this Greek pair, but some usages may not seem immediately obvious. ἁμαρτίαι are thought of as things that "cling" to a person, so that λύειν τὰς ἁμαρτίας means "disencumber" or "rid" or "free from." These are key verbs in the Greek vocabulary with pretty clear senses in a broad variety of contexts. A careful reading of the relatively full entries on λύω in LSJ or BDAG is very instructive.
I see. LSJ seemed to imply that "λυω" can indeed mean "destroy" as many translations have rendered John 2:19 and 1 John 3:8, so I was wondering whether there was any difference as compared to "απολλυμι". Since "loose" does not convey this usage well, would "break up" be closer to the meaning of "λυω" in the two instances? Also, LSJ just put "forgive" as one of the meanings without any indication that it was figuratively "loose from" or "free from", so thanks for confirming!
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Re: λυω - John 2:19 , 1 John 3:8 , LXX

Post by cwconrad » December 13th, 2011, 9:47 pm

David Lim wrote:
cwconrad wrote:λύω and δέω constitute a basic antithetical pair in a whole range of senses realted to "dissolve" or "fix" a bond or bonding or "undo" something that is settled.Standard older English uses the pair "loose" and "bind" traditionally to render this Greek pair, but some usages may not seem immediately obvious. ἁμαρτίαι are thought of as things that "cling" to a person, so that λύειν τὰς ἁμαρτίας means "disencumber" or "rid" or "free from." These are key verbs in the Greek vocabulary with pretty clear senses in a broad variety of contexts. A careful reading of the relatively full entries on λύω in LSJ or BDAG is very instructive.
I see. LSJ seemed to imply that "λυω" can indeed mean "destroy" as many translations have rendered John 2:19 and 1 John 3:8, so I was wondering whether there was any difference as compared to "απολλυμι". Since "loose" does not convey this usage well, would "break up" be closer to the meaning of "λυω" in the two instances? Also, LSJ just put "forgive" as one of the meanings without any indication that it was figuratively "loose from" or "free from", so thanks for confirming!
In John 2:19 (λύσατε τὸν ναὸν τοῦτον καὶ ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις ἐγερῶ αὐτόν.) the sense of λύειν is "deconstruct" -- undo the bonds that hold the νάος together as a construct. ἀπολλύναι means not so much to break down a structure as to render something useless, to "waste" something.

There are also some idioms in classical Attic that may still be active in the Koine (since it's economic/commercial usage, it wouldn't surprise me that it continues in usage: λύειν χρέος is "discharge an obligation" -- i.e., "pay a debt"; λύειν τέλος means soemthing like "resolve an objective" -- i.e., "accomplish a desired end"; this even became a compound verb λυσιτελεῖν "to be profitable, to pay."

I think that there are points where λύειν may overlap the usage of ἀπολλύναι, but these are not really synonymous at all. A careful reading of the entire article in the unabridged LSJ is very worthwhile (i.e. λυσιτελεῖ).
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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)

David Lim
Posts: 901
Joined: June 6th, 2011, 6:55 am

Re: λυω - John 2:19 , 1 John 3:8 , LXX

Post by David Lim » December 14th, 2011, 4:41 am

cwconrad wrote:
David Lim wrote:I see. LSJ seemed to imply that "λυω" can indeed mean "destroy" as many translations have rendered John 2:19 and 1 John 3:8, so I was wondering whether there was any difference as compared to "απολλυμι". Since "loose" does not convey this usage well, would "break up" be closer to the meaning of "λυω" in the two instances? Also, LSJ just put "forgive" as one of the meanings without any indication that it was figuratively "loose from" or "free from", so thanks for confirming!
In John 2:19 (λύσατε τὸν ναὸν τοῦτον καὶ ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις ἐγερῶ αὐτόν.) the sense of λύειν is "deconstruct" -- undo the bonds that hold the νάος together as a construct. ἀπολλύναι means not so much to break down a structure as to render something useless, to "waste" something.
Oh okay thanks! Anyway how would you convey the meaning accurately in English for these two places? How about "dismantle"? I saw that most translations use "destroy" for both and a few use "undo" for 1 John 3:8, but neither English word seems accurate because "destroy" implies "ruin" and "undo" implies "cancel the effects of" in those English sentences.
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Re: λυω - John 2:19 , 1 John 3:8 , LXX

Post by cwconrad » December 14th, 2011, 6:46 am

David Lim wrote:
cwconrad wrote:
David Lim wrote:I see. LSJ seemed to imply that "λυω" can indeed mean "destroy" as many translations have rendered John 2:19 and 1 John 3:8, so I was wondering whether there was any difference as compared to "απολλυμι". Since "loose" does not convey this usage well, would "break up" be closer to the meaning of "λυω" in the two instances? Also, LSJ just put "forgive" as one of the meanings without any indication that it was figuratively "loose from" or "free from", so thanks for confirming!
In John 2:19 (λύσατε τὸν ναὸν τοῦτον καὶ ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις ἐγερῶ αὐτόν.) the sense of λύειν is "deconstruct" -- undo the bonds that hold the νάος together as a construct. ἀπολλύναι means not so much to break down a structure as to render something useless, to "waste" something.
Oh okay thanks! Anyway how would you convey the meaning accurately in English for these two places? How about "dismantle"? I saw that most translations use "destroy" for both and a few use "undo" for 1 John 3:8, but neither English word seems accurate because "destroy" implies "ruin" and "undo" implies "cancel the effects of" in those English sentences.
I'm not one of those who think that a Greek verb or noun should be conveyed by the same English verb or noun in any and every different text and context. Let's take these two texts separately and consider what the sense must be, then consider what the best way to English that text may be. I'm of the school that thinks we should carry over meaning rather than structures in translation.

John 2:19 ... λύσατε τὸν ναὸν τοῦτον καὶ ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις ἐγερῶ αὐτόν.
Here the sense of the Greek verb is "deconstruct." I would English λύσατε as either "tear down" or "demolish." I'd make it, "Tear down this sanctuary and I'll put it back up in three days."

1John 3:8 ... εἰς τοῦτο ἐφανερώθη ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, ἵνα λύσῃ τὰ ἔργα τοῦ διαβόλου.
Here the sense of the Greek verb is something like "nullify" or "bring to naught" (pretty archaic English). I'm inclined to think that "undo" is probably as good as can be got: "God's son has come on stage in order to undo the Devil's accomplishments."
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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)

David Lim
Posts: 901
Joined: June 6th, 2011, 6:55 am

Re: λυω - John 2:19 , 1 John 3:8 , LXX

Post by David Lim » December 14th, 2011, 7:19 am

cwconrad wrote:
David Lim wrote:Oh okay thanks! Anyway how would you convey the meaning accurately in English for these two places? How about "dismantle"? I saw that most translations use "destroy" for both and a few use "undo" for 1 John 3:8, but neither English word seems accurate because "destroy" implies "ruin" and "undo" implies "cancel the effects of" in those English sentences.
I'm not one of those who think that a Greek verb or noun should be conveyed by the same English verb or noun in any and every different text and context. Let's take these two texts separately and consider what the sense must be, then consider what the best way to English that text may be. I'm of the school that thinks we should carry over meaning rather than structures in translation.

John 2:19 ... λύσατε τὸν ναὸν τοῦτον καὶ ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις ἐγερῶ αὐτόν.
Here the sense of the Greek verb is "deconstruct." I would English λύσατε as either "tear down" or "demolish." I'd make it, "Tear down this sanctuary and I'll put it back up in three days."

1John 3:8 ... εἰς τοῦτο ἐφανερώθη ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, ἵνα λύσῃ τὰ ἔργα τοῦ διαβόλου.
Here the sense of the Greek verb is something like "nullify" or "bring to naught" (pretty archaic English). I'm inclined to think that "undo" is probably as good as can be got: "God's son has come on stage in order to undo the Devil's accomplishments."
Yes actually I was asking for this. Thanks for your help!
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