Linking the Phrase ἐν τῇ Τιβεριάδι With the Words in the Context

Other Greek writings of the New Testament era, including papyri and inscriptions
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Wes Wood
Posts: 688
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: Linking the Phrase ἐν τῇ Τιβεριάδι With the Words in the Context

Post by Wes Wood » March 31st, 2018, 4:58 pm

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
March 31st, 2018, 3:37 pm
Wes Wood wrote:
March 31st, 2018, 2:53 pm
I can appreciate the sentiment. I suspect that there may be a common element linking these two thoughts (and perhaps others) that is currently obscured from us. At the very least, it seems to me that the word doesn't have to refer to a literal presence or imply any kind of motion toward an intended destination, even if one or the other of these elements is explicit in the context of a given passage. Is it fair then to say that your reticence pertains to the general meaning of the word rather than how it should be understood here?
Yes, it's possible παρουσία represents a collection of semantic features for which there is no English equivalent, in such a manner that arrival, coming and presence could be collected in one semantic package. What I'm suggesting is we not be blinded by the translation options in any particular modern language. I'm very much aware of the hazards involved with trying to impose a modern English semantic network on an ancient language.
I never intended to suggest that you aren't aware of such hazards. If that is what you thought I meant, I apologize for the misunderstanding. I found your initial post ambiguous, so I have been asking more questions for the sake of clarity.

I think this thread now contains two separate issues (at least) in two different dialogues. On the one hand, there is the lexical issue you and I are currently discussing about which we seem to agree more than we disagree. On the other hand, there is the discussion between Bernd Strauss and me in which I have assumed that he is more concerned with understanding the passage than he is about understanding the lexical domain of παρουσία. I fully admit that this may be a misunderstanding on my part, but it exposes my thoughts to correction if need be. It should be noted that in my response on this matter I rejected the idea that the text can support the idea that Josephus sent the courier after he arrived, but I did so without appealing to the specific meaning of παρουσία. I think the text is sufficiently clear without knowing the exact shade of meaning that it provides.

Even before now, I have wondered if the translation I offered is at least partially to blame for the confusion that has arisen. It was deficient in at least one area because of my ignorance of the context. When I wrote it, I very nearly translated the future participle with a purpose clause, and now I wish sincerely that I had. I don't think my rendering is wrong, but it isn't the best translation in context.
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Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

Bernd Strauss
Posts: 75
Joined: May 20th, 2017, 11:23 am

Re: Linking the Phrase ἐν τῇ Τιβεριάδι With the Words in the Context

Post by Bernd Strauss » March 31st, 2018, 5:05 pm

On the other hand, there is the discussion between Bernd Strauss and me in which I have assumed that he is more concerned with understanding the passage than he is about understanding the lexical domain of παρουσία.
That is correct. Since I am currently writing some material in which I present evidence for the meaning “coming” in various contexts, I need to make sure that the instances which I am dealing with perfectly fit the meaning “coming” rather than “presence.”

The question that I am asking is why others believe that the statement underlined above is a likely option. The text says that Josephus sent the messenger while he was making his way to Tiberias, and we know from the next verse that the people met him at his arrival. This means that Josephus couldn't have sent the messenger after he was present. There doesn't seem to be a solid argument in favor of this understanding.
This is a logical conclusion from the perspective of the context. The grammar also supports it.

From the perspective of the grammar, would it be incorrect to interpret the phrase “τὴν ἐμὴν παρουσίαν τοῖς ἐν τῇ Τιβεριάδι σημανοῦντα” to mean “to report my presence among the people of Tiberias” instead of “to report to the people in Tiberias my coming”? Does the fact that the phrase ἐν τῇ Τιβεριάδι is grammatically linked with the plural article τοῖς and not with παρουσία rule out such an interpretation?
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Wes Wood
Posts: 688
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: Linking the Phrase ἐν τῇ Τιβεριάδι With the Words in the Context

Post by Wes Wood » March 31st, 2018, 5:31 pm

Bernd Strauss wrote:
March 31st, 2018, 5:05 pm
The question that I am asking is why others believe that the statement underlined above is a likely option. The text says that Josephus sent the messenger while he was making his way to Tiberias, and we know from the next verse that the people met him at his arrival. This means that Josephus couldn't have sent the messenger after he was present. There doesn't seem to be a solid argument in favor of this understanding.
This is a logical conclusion from the perspective of the context. The grammar also supports it.

From the perspective of the grammar, would it be incorrect to interpret the phrase “τὴν ἐμὴν παρουσίαν τοῖς ἐν τῇ Τιβεριάδι σημανοῦντα” to mean “to report my presence among the people of Tiberias” instead of “to report to the people in Tiberias my coming”? Does the fact that the phrase ἐν τῇ Τιβεριάδι is grammatically linked with the plural article τοῖς and not with παρουσία rule out such an interpretation?
Unless you have a different understanding of the phrase "my presence" than I initially think of, I think that such an understanding isn't possible. The next verse states that Josephus approached the city. I don't think that one can come to a city that he is already in.
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Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

Bernd Strauss
Posts: 75
Joined: May 20th, 2017, 11:23 am

Re: Linking the Phrase ἐν τῇ Τιβεριάδι With the Words in the Context

Post by Bernd Strauss » April 1st, 2018, 4:57 am

Thank you for the observations. I can see that both the grammar (ἐν τῇ Τιβεριάδι is linked with the plural article τοῖς and not with the word παρουσία) and the context of the statement give strong evidence for the meaning “coming.”
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